To: The editors
From" Stephen L. Love
Re: McCain's Transformation
The freight of the message Thursday night was that the torch was being passed from the Bush Republican Party to the McCain Republican Party. There would be no change in the policies, but the leadership would transfer from Bush, who was as welcome a figure as Usama bin Laden might have been, to an "honorable, patriotic and selfless servant of the people."
In the absence of explaining what he would DO differently than what has been done in the last eight years, we are left with the simple imperative: "Trust me! I'm working for you!" And to bolster that call to join his cult of personality he recited, yet another of his many renditions of his military history. This one was of particular interest is what it mentions and what it leaves out.
McCain told us Thursday night two things about his POW experience: First, that he had fallen in love with his country. [So what does this say about his prior devotion? How different in meaning is this from Michelle Obama's statement? Maybe the McCain's of the world get to feel lukewarm about their country but the Obamas are not.]
Secondly, he says he came back to the states a new man: stripped of ego and self-centeredness and totally devoted to his country. If we are to take McCain at his word, then we must believe that carrying on public sexual liaisons with numerous women, some of which might have been junior Navy personnel; divorcing a crippled wife; and abandoning his navy career, in which the taxpayers had invested millions of dollars over twenty-six years, was an act of patriotism.
Maybe it is that our definition of honor and devotion to country has changed since McCain came to be the darling of the party of family values, honor and putting the country first, but I am awaiting to see how that sells in Peoria. Could this be the reason the son and grandson of distinguished admirals in McCain's family tree just barely made the rank of captain before he ushered himself out the door?
Well, the truth is that he came back to find his wife severely crippled, from an automobile accident she had while he was in prison, about which, she had not told him, in order to shield him from more stress than the Vietnamese captors were already dealing him. And how did he repay her and their children for their 5.5 year of loyalty to him? By proceeding to have a number of affairs! Mr. Nobility returns to the same promiscuous life style that his cell-mate in the "Hanoi Hilton", George "Bud" Day (who got the Congressional Medal of Honor) tells us John bragged to him about. He also had to expurgate from his history the man who Day says "saved McCain's life" by "caring for him like a parent" in those days immediately after being dismissed from the hospital in a full body cast. That man was Norris Overly. A man, McCain could not acknowledge Thursday night, while acknowledging the name of the man in the next cell who encouraged him after one of the many instances of violating the Universal Military Code of Conduct. What is honorable about ignoring the man who saved your life and bring praise on someone who gave you a pass for collaborating with the enemy?
After attending the National War College, as a result of perhaps his daddy's pull [he had not held the requisite command position to qualify for the War College, which was required for future advancement] and after regaining flight status, his first and last command was as base commander of the flight school in Pensacola. Florida, where his affairs were the talk of the base.
This command position, he bragged about at Saddleback, lasted about a year when he was relieved of command and sent to Washington to be liaison to the Senate. [You will notice that the talk about "executive experience" recently is all about comparing Palin and Obama, not McCain and Obama. Is this by accident or calculated to divert attention from McCain's history of leadership or lack thereof?]
It was while on this last assignment that McCain met, fell madly in love with and agreed to marry a woman seventeen years his junior but with the ability to give John three things that his "selfless devotion to country" called for:
- a new sexual partner;
- access to all the money and political influence in Arizona needed to begin a political career; and,
- a way out of the Navy, that he had dishonored during his POW days.
All he had to do was get a divorce from the woman who had kept solidarity with him during fifteen years of marriage, had borne him a son and given him two sons for adoption. Another of those people who have been expurgated from the "heroic" version of the Saga of John McCain.