Senator John McCain shown here thinking, "Holy God how I hate you!" while remaining absolutely silent.
(Annoying Prologue: The actual picture is a Photoshopped composite from “The Sweet Smell of Success”, which is where the “Match me” quote is from as well. I included the transitional version of it at the bottom of this post because it’s actually a better product that the one above, but w/o the Bush layer I thought it was a little too obscure. Which it still might be, but WTF; I had fun doing it.)
It’s hard for me to imagine being John McCain.
A man of boundless and ravenous ambitions and undeniable but faded talents, who has seen his only currency – his maverick, outsider status – debased again and again. The few pints of street cred left in his tank siphoned off in the service a man who he despises, and a Party that thinks of him of an embarrassment.
A man who once upon a time genuinely cared about things such as military readiness, veterans issues and respect for service to country…and has seen each one of the things he claims to love and value most in life methodically pimped, shat upon and eviscerated. By the same man and the very same Party who so obviously loathe and sneer at his quaint habits.
The mortal enemy of all that John McCain professes to hold sacred is named George Walker Bush. He lives in a building called the White House, and is the leader of a party called the Republicans.
So how is it that naval aviator John McCain keeps missing his target by miles and miles and miles?
How is it that instead of concentrating his verbal fire on the source of his pain, Senator John McCain just up and suddenly goes ape-shit…all over Senator Barack Obama of all people?
Matt Stoller from MyDD picks up the threads of that story…
John 'I Need Anger Management Therapy' McCain Savages Barack Obama
by Matt Stoller, Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 06:30:34 PM EST
Now this is fun.
An outraged Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) today called Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) insincere and partisan, suggesting the Illinois freshman as much as lied in private dicussions the two had about ethics reform last week.
Obama sent McCain a letter asking him to cosponsor the Democratic proposal on ethics reform rather than appointing a task force on the issue. McCain's response is one of the single most bitter, nasty letters I have ever seen from any Senator. It's rather remarkable, actually, and gives the lie to the notion that McCain is of a bipartisan mind.
I'm having trouble opening the PDF of McCain's letter, so I'll take the text from Marc Ambinder and Patrick Ottenhoff's well-written blog post."When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership's preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter. ... I'm embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interept your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in political to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won't make the same mistake again."
Obama's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, called McCain's letter "confusing" and "headscratching." He said Obama "remains committed" to reform and will work with "any Republican and Democrat" who is serious about the issue. His letter to McCain, said Gibbs, signaled his preference "to get legislation through committee, rather than wait for a task force."
In his letter, McCain says that his task force proposal would ensure that meaningless or cosmetic reforms aren't rushed into law -- and that the solution in the end would reflect the interests of both parties and their voters.
His last line suggests that Obama will not soon regain McCain's favor.Writes McCain, "I understand how important the opportunity to lead your party's effort to exploit this issue must seem to a freshman Senator, and I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness. Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isn't always a priority for every one of us. Good luck to you, Senator."
Bipartisanship is dead. That's just true. It's sad, but Republicans have become too partisan to work for the good of the country. Voters will need to repair this at the ballot box in November.
Why the sudden political lycanthrope? This venomous – almost hysterical -- lashing out at Senator Obama for, well, nothing, while the leader of his Party stands proudly behind lies, torture and corruption and fucks over veterans?
Every. Single. Day.
Maybe it's a bit of a mystery of one is bedazzled by titles and money, so think of it this way.
John McCain, pencil nub behind his ear, in his faded white, short-sleeved dress shirt and belt-slung tape-measure is the assistant manager of USA Hardware.
He works in the Republican Division, and has worked there ever since he got out of the Navy.
USA Hardware promotes from within, and for most of the last 20 years they’ve promoted someone from of John’s division to the top spot.
The customers like him OK, and even though the management doesn’t, he thought he had a clear shot at the Big Chair six years ago. He’d put in the time, knows hardware like a dog knows it’s ass, and had a few good ideas on building the business. Even works with some of the people over in the Democratic Division from time to time, which is very rare these days.
USA Hardware needed a leader, and instead along came this little punk Bush kid. Soft hands and not a lick of sense in him. Lazy, drunk and mean, but son of a former company President so he gets promotions no matter how badly he fucks up.
And he fucks up something awful.
Put a stock boy’s eye out screwing around with a band saw once. Then laughed about it. Starts fires for fun, and then tries half-assed to put ‘em out. Usually they burn until the fire department comes and douses them, but he never gets a fine; instead his Daddy’s friends arrange for him to get bonuses and plaques for his “quick thinking”.
Killed a cat once with a nail gun. On a dare, just because he was bored.
John always hated the little prick in an abstract way, but didn’t think much about him until the Top Spot opened up, and suddenly George decided he wanted the job.
That’s when John’s gas tank suddenly got sugared, and his house got trashed. His accounts disappeared off the company computer. His wife started getting threatening phone calls at all hours, and somebody beat up his adopted daughter on her way home from school.
People he didn’t even know started talking loudly in public places about how he faked his war record, and goes foaming-at-the-mouth crazy every time he sees a "gook".
That punk Bush kid and his buddy Karl were behind every bit of it, and when the smoke cleared, Little George had the big corner office, and John was up to his scar tissue in debt and his reputation was in tatters.
That was six years ago and now, in addition to everything else, George has made John his valet. John grits his teeth and lights the kid’s cigarettes, wipes his ass and laughs at his jokes.
And waits. Hating every fucking minute of it, he hangs on by his nails, bites his tongue ‘til it bleeds, and waits.
Little George retires in a few years, and John figures he has one, last shot at the Big Chair, but he needs the little fucker to pull it off. Needs his money, contacts, and gang of ratfuckers to pave the way, because if he misses it this time, it’s Game Over.
Another chance will never come his way.
He reeks of Old Spice, and desperation, and worst of all, every day he now has to work with some rising young Rock Star from over in the Democratic Division.
Kid named “Barack”, who’s as smart and smooth and charismatic as they come. The opposite of that freak George in every way. A genuinely nice guy, too, and even though he’s only been at the home office for something like ten minutes, the customers like him, and the management grudgingly does too. Even some people in the Republican Division say nice things about him, and it seems like he doesn’t have to fight his own organization every inch of the way.
Exactly the kind of guy John McCain might have been friends with…thirty years ago. But people are suddenly talking about skipping this Obama kid to the front of the line, and putting him in the Big Chair right away. And so when he stands next to him out on the floor, McCain doesn’t feel that sense comradeship and friendly competition he might have had long ago.
All he feels is a million years old. And tired. Like an old Underwood typewriter in a world of ThinkPads and G4s, and as if on cue here comes George with some little, humiliating errand for him to do. Pick up his dry-cleaning, maybe. Or give his dog a pedicure, and he’d better fucking well jump if he knows what’s good for him.
John McCain, moldering middle manager at USA Hardware, who can’t talk back to the hateful, wastrel boss who degrades him, and can’t help noticing that the new guy is already Mr. Popular among his regulars, and is practically measuring the Big Office for drapes and carpet.
And then, one day, he loses it. Starts screaming his head off at the Obama kid in the parking lot.
For what seems a lot like no reason at all.
(Here's the transitional graphic between the original movie still and my final product.)