Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain Breaks His Word.

Republican John Sidney McCain III decided he would take a little breather in the campaign to be President of the United States of America. He “suspended” his campaign to rush back to Washington because of the Wall Street liquidity crisis. Actually rushed is the wrong word, ambled with purpose is perhaps a better description. He canceled his appearance with David Letterman but did get in some face time both with Katie Couric and with the Big Dog himself. Only after his grip and grin at the Clinton Global Initiative will Republican John McCain bother to show up in D.C. to save the nation from immanent economic disaster. Once engaged in this Herculean task he will of course not be able to participate in something as common or political as a Debate with Barack Obama. No if this business is not done by this Friday the 26th of September, he will camp out on the very steps of Congress until the deed is done.


How convenient, Republican John McCain will put country first by putting the voters last. Even more convenient he may push the first debate until the second of October, shoving the Palin-Biden debate off until later, if at all. Such gallantry by Republican John McCain, ladies first- right under the wheels of the bus. Taylor Marsh has already gone into John McCain’s sexism in choosing Sara Palin as his spokes-model so let us look at this from a different perspective, that of keeping one’s word.


Republican John McCain is a product of the military. He followed in the footsteps of a great family tradition of Naval Service. He went to Annapolis and was drilled with those core values of the Naval Academy. One of the most important values was Honor. There is a code of Honor that is instilled in the cadets from day one. Part of that code is that your word is your bond. It is part and parcel of the warrior code and is critical to unit cohesion. Following through on your verbal and written commitments is paramount for any military officer. In the clubish confines of the Naval Officer ranks it is absolutely critical. Break your word as an Annapolis graduate and you're toast; you will be lucky to command a tugboat.


Keeping the faith, “country first” is the main theme of the McCain Republican Campaign. They have pushed McCain’s POW history to no end. Every time Republican John McCain gets in a bit of bother his four year stint in the “Hanoi Hilton” is waved about like a bloody shirt. It got absurd when Obama’s light prodding of McCain’s internet illiteracy caused the right-wing noise machine to claim that McCain’s inability to e-mail was caused by the torture meted out by his North Vietnamese captors. Republican McCain’s shameless exploitation of his POW history is just one example of his wrapping himself up in the warrior mythos.


Is that mythos real? At one point it may have been. Naval Aviator McCain did do his utmost to hold up the code of honor. Through no fault of his own he was eventually broken by his captors. In his only executive role he did a standout job getting a under performing training squadron up to outstanding readiness. He overcame his injuries to fly planes again, an amazing act of shear will power. Naval Aviator McCain was an exemplar; but that man is at least 26 years gone.


The current version of McCain began at least in Congress. This version of McCain, the political operative, is who he is now. And this version of McCain, the Republican Senator from Arizona is trying to skip out of a contract. Modern Presidential debates are a contract. They are the exact opposite of a Judy Garland and Andy Rooney film, neither side says to the other “let’s put on a show!” Every detail is worked out prior to the presentation: the format, the location, the host, the size and placement of the lecterns, no detail is too small, too trivial to ignore. These negotiations take time and a raft of aides. The best analog would be negotiating a treaty with a foreign power. When the deal is sealed, it is locked in. In the first debate alone some three million dollars will be spent by the host to put it on. In a snap decision Republican John McCain flaked out on that agreement.


The excuse for this abandonment is thinner than Mary-Kate Olsen. The debate will be held on a Friday at 9:00pm EST. Congress will not be in session at that time. Even if it is it can adjourn for a short period of time so the candidates can debate. Both candidates have jets; they can easily fly out of D.C., debate, and then fly back in for the vote. The markets will understand, the voters will understand. There is Saturday and Sunday to continue the debate, and as this could easily be a trillion dollar hit on the taxpayers there all the more reason for careful deliberation. As Republican John McCain does not sit on any of the relevant Senate committees one wonders why his presence is so urgently needed in Washington. It becomes even more suspect when the man meanders back to his critical perch in the Senate.


Republican John McCain gave his word on a very critical meeting, the debates. He gave his word that he would be at specific place at a specific time. In the Navy he would be missing ships movement. His failure to appear at the appointed place and time in the Navy would have caused serious repercussions’. His lame excuse for not fulfilling his written obligations would not have been greeted with any sympathy. In the Navy when you are assigned to be at a certain place by a certain time you snap to it. This is not the behavior of a man of honor. This is the action of a man who can not keep his word, the very opposite of what is expected of an Officer and a Gentleman.


The question then becomes “Can we trust Republican John McCain?” His actions do not speak well for him, he breaks or attempts to break a solemn commitment with his Democratic opponent to debate him, he protest the urgency of the situation while acting in a manner that appears to be absolutely slothful, then he proposes the “postponement” of yet another debate (the V.P. debate) in a way that make one suspect a cancelation, then the man has the gall to ask for a couple of “Town hall meetings” that his opponent has said no to time and time again. Will Republican John McCain keep his word? Or will some other suspicious “emergency” cause him to dishonor his commitment to debate his opponent? In the Military one always finds a way to honor your commitments not weasel out of them. Somewhere along the line McCain has forgotten that.

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