September 25, 2008

The Tattlesnake – October and Other McCain Surprises Edition

Or, St. John and His Cowardly Lyin’

“Presidents have to deal with more than one thing at a time.”
– Barack Obama, Sept. 23, 2008, as quoted by Business Week.

All politicians lie to some degree; it’s a gloomy fact of national politics in America, and the higher the office sought, the more likely and frequent the infractions of the truth.

Some self-servingly shade reality intermittently, others cross their fingers behind their backs and deliver the quasi-whopper occasionally, and then there are the full-out Nixonian scoundrels who’ll tell a lie at the drop of a hat in the ring.

John McCain, in his conduct since becoming the Republican nominee, has crossed the Nixon threshold of deceit, most recently by calling David Letterman at the last minute and telling him he couldn’t appear on his show September 24th because he had to urgently drop everything and fly to Washington to delve into the bailout crisis.

McCain’s prevarication to Letterman blew up in his face when the talk show host discovered McCain was still in New York City for many hours after that phone call; indeed, McCain was being interviewed by CBS’ Katie Couric not far from the theater where Letterman tapes his show and could easily have stopped in and kept his commitment to Letterman. As Dave said sarcastically, showing a live feed of McCain talking to Couric, “Need a ride to the airport, Senator?”

This is self-destructive blowback of the first order: Letterman reaches tens of millions of viewers across the land, many of them the politically semi-literate that McCain is trying to reach with his over-simplified messages of ‘maverick reformer,’ ‘reliable leader’ and comfortable ‘regular guy,’ and Letterman spent most of the show last night, including his notorious Top Ten list, savaging McCain for his absence, his suspension of his campaign, and asking the pointedly mocking question of why Palin couldn’t simply step in and take McCain’s place. He even had McCain’s harshest Big Media critic Keith Olbermann on to further pound the stake into the Republican candidate. Presidential campaigns in America are really won or lost in the comedy sketches of the late night TV hosts and viewers form their opinions of the candidates’ characters based on the kinds of jokes disseminated – by that measure, millions of late night TV viewers now know that McCain is a bald-faced liar; a treacherous old codpiece willing to deceive their trusted TV friend Dave. Hmmm, what else might he lie about as president? Not only was this a nuclear one-night hit, but McCain has now made a foe of David Letterman, an enmity that will carry on until the election – it could very well make the difference in November.

Something else that will make a difference, and also presents McCain as a perpetual dispenser of falsehoods and humbug, is his bizarre abandonment of his former friends in the Big Media and Punditrocracy. McCain’s campaign has lately made it a badge of honor to snub and treat with contempt the very same ‘Guys and Gals on the Bus’ who protectively guarded and excused McCain for his gaffes and deceptions in the past. Once heralded for his access to the media, now only pre-tested loyalists are invited to speak with the coddled candidate on his campaign jet, and the rest are shuttled off like cattle to stand behind a shield of sour-faced campaign staff. The turning of opinion amongst the press corps is growing obvious.

In the past few weeks, the reporters and the Punditocracy covering him no longer freely use such adjectives as ‘maverick,’ ‘reformer,’ ‘war hero,’ ‘straight-talker’ and ‘truth teller’ when referring to McCain. Perhaps they are late to the party, but those in the BM who previously gushed over his war record and ‘reformer’ image are now bemusedly wondering, “Whatever happened to John McCain?” as his mountain of dishonesty and sleaze rises to Everest-like proportions. It’s an intensely personal slap in the face as the Rove-mentored Steve Schmidt and the other McCain jackboots have lately been treating the BM like so many turds in the punchbowl, contemptuously bypassing them to ‘take their message directly to the public.’ This is personally offensive to McCain’s former media cronies and he’s going to pay for it in October.

The recent New York Times revelations regarding McCain campaign manager and lobbyist Rick Davis’ involvement in taking money from Freddie Mac up until a month ago is a case in point; McCain last Sunday claimed Davis had not had any involvement with Freddie Mac in years, and even impudently invited the press, ala Gary Hart, to check Davis’ record. They did and the Times’ devastating story is the result. The tale is a perfect encapsulation of McCain’s egregious lying and rampant hypocrisy; he has known Davis for years and chose him to be his campaign manager: to say he was unaware of his lobbying activities is implausible; to say he didn’t know about Davis’ recent connections to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shows either deception, confusion, or a lack of attention to his own campaign. Whatever it is, they are not qualities anyone wants in a president, especially with a female Dan Quayle waiting in the wings.

Now McCain has announced he is suspending his campaign and wants to bow out of Friday’s presidential debate with Obama to allegedly concentrate on solving our economic crisis chiefly caused by dedicated deregulators such as McCain himself. He wants to show off as a ‘leader’ putting ‘country first’, but it only exposes him as the lowest and shiftiest of political manipulators – McCain has no more influence than his own vote and his appearances, so he hopes, will display him working hard for the American people in one long series of what are essentially free campaign ads, burnishing his stage-crafted image as someone who cares for his nation more than his campaign, but really is the desperate ploy of a candidate besieged by falling poll numbers shackled to a Not-Ready-For-Primetime running mate who herself was a desperate ploy that backfired, and his attempt to cancel his first debate with Obama exhibits a cowardly streak that counters his war hero conceit.

Perhaps sensing electoral death and wishing to dissociate themselves from the imminent corpse, George F. Will and other Reaganaut ‘intellectuals’ are abandoning the Palin-McCain shambling tragicomedy of error and deceit, sounding like Democrats in their disparagement of the Ancient Mariner and his Moose-Hunter running mate.

All of that is grim enough for McCain, but the true October Surprise favoring Obama will be the disgusted Big Media that used to adore him turning and treating McCain the way they treated Al Gore in 2000. Every flip, flop and lie will be magnified and exaggerated endlessly like a Howard Dean scream, and McCain will go down in flames November 4th.

Should be an interesting election, like Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt’s in 1932.


  1. I watched Letterman- it was awesome.
    Olberman couldn’t really add anything, Letterman had it all covered.
    And you know if Mcain hadn’t lied to Letterman, had said he needed to research a bill or something, and stayed off TV, the whole thing probably would have blown over with an “old” joke of some kind.
    Craig Ferguson got a little animated, too.

    Comment by bittershaman2 — September 25, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  2. Bittershaman2, if McCain had been smart enough to have a flunkie make to call to Letterman, it might have blown over — Letterman might not have even mentioned it.

    But the Half-Wit Flyboy PERSONALLY lied to Letterman and, understandably, it really pissed Dave off.

    Some GOP flack on MSNBC this afternoon tried to laugh the whole thing off, and claimed Letterman had always been a critic of McCain, so it was no big deal. (BTW, Letterman has had McCain on in the past and treated him well.)

    This is how I know how badly they were stung on this thing — whenever they laugh instead of answer the question, and dismiss the episode as the creation of a McCain-hater, you know they’ve got nothing, not even a Talking Point to fall back on, and hope the whole nightmare passes.

    I have no doubt the McCain handlers were dumping bricks last night listening to Letterman rip their boy a new one and slipping the shiv to Palin along the way. It was worth a million bucks in pro-Obama ads.

    You can bet the talk in offices and factories today was about what a goddamn liar McCain is –hey, it was on Dave last night — here’s the video on You Tube.

    I think Bart is right — Sept. 24th will be remembered as the day the wheels completely came off the McCain Horse-Pucky Express.

    Comment by RS Janes — September 25, 2008 @ 7:14 pm

  3. Here ya go:

    Note: over one million views in less than a day.
    ROTFLMFAO is coming fear it!

    Comment by Rainlander — September 25, 2008 @ 8:34 pm

  4. Thanks for the article RS, I had been hearing bits and pieces about it on the news all day. Don’t get Letterman with my rabbit ears.
    Thanks for posting the link Rain, I was just getting ready to check out youtube for it. ;O)

    ROFLMBO!!! I just watched the video and boy was Letterman pissed.
    I’ll bet he rides McLiar until inauguration day! Or his funeral!
    Johnny boy’s plan to look like a hero ‘nation saver’ backfired.

    Anyone wonder why the ‘idiot-in-chief’ wants the two candidates to meet with him on the Wall Street fiasco? Is he going to tell them to back his latest money grab or he will use his self granted executive powers to cancel the elections indefinitely?

    Comment by kerry — September 26, 2008 @ 12:43 am

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