Friday, March 07, 2008



"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."

No, that isn't a quote from Hillary or Obama. In fact it isn't from one of McCain's opponents or even from a Democrat. It's from a close colleague of over thirty years, another right-of-center Republican, Thad Cochran, the senior senator from Mississippi. Cochran told the Boston Globe his feeling that McCain-- who has since been pressured into endorsing him-- is unfit to be president, and especially Commander-in-Chief, is based on his temperment. "He said he has seen McCain's temper fly too often in committee hearings or on the Senate floor... During McCain's 2000 campaign, his hometown newspaper, the Arizona Republic, published an editorial saying that the country should be warned about McCain's 'volcanic' temper." McCain has one of the filthiest potty mouths in Congress and there have been more complaints about him cursing out fellow senators than about anyone in modern history-- and usually Republicans like John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA). (Thad Cochran, a former cheerleader, has a really lovely singing voice too and you should check out this little song of his.)

Even at Fox, which has begun full-time shilling for McCain, it is news when McCain doesn't lose his temper or threaten or curse someone out. Media Matters reports on a Fox Special on McCain acting like a normal person for a change:
On Special Report, Brit Hume aired a report by Carl Cameron about Sen. John McCain keeping his temper in check when the microphone did not work during a donor's conference in Florida and later when he was hit on the head by a TV camera. At the end of the report, Cameron stated: "McCain makes no bones about blowing his stack occasionally and having a temper. A campaign has the capacity to test the temperament and character of a candidate. If today was a pop quiz, you got to say McCain passed." Hume replied: "Yeah, with flying colors I'd say, under the circumstances."

Today, though, the media isn't reporting how calm, cool and collected McCain is. Instead they're pointing to his "testy"-- some would say bullying-- exchange with NY Times writer Elisabeth Bumiller on his campaign plane. You can watch much of it and read the whole transcript at Crooks & Liars. When McCain was a young man he was universally known as "Punk" and "McNasty." Punk had a different meaning back in the 1930s than it does now but you can definitely see where the "McNasty" comes from by reading his exchange with Ms. Bumiller:
“Senator, can I ask you about Senator Kerry. I just went back and looked at our story, the Times story, and you told Sheryl Stolberg that you had never had a conversation with Kerry about being about vice president...”

McCain testily replied, “Everybody knows that I had a private conversation. Everybody knows that. That I had a conversation. There’s no living American in Washington-- that knows that, there’s no one.”

Bumiller: “Okay.”

McCain: “And you know it, too. You know it. So, I don’t even know why you ask.”

Bumiller: “Well, I ask because I just read…”

McCain: “You do know it. You do know it.”

Bumiller: “Because I just read in the Times in May of ’04 you said….”

McCain: “I don’t know what you may have read or heard of, I don’t know the circumstances. Maybe in May of '04 I hadn’t had the conversation…”

Bumiller: “But do you recall the conversation?”

McCain: “I don’t know, but it’s well known that I had the conversation. It is absolutely well known by everyone. So do you have a question on another issue?”

Bumiller: “Well can I ask you when the conversation was?”

McCain: “No. nope, because the issue is closed as far as I’m concerned. Everybody knows it. Everybody knows it in America.”

Bumiller: “Can you describe the conversation?”

McCain: “No, of course not. I don’t describe private conversations.”

Bumiller: “Okay. Can I ask you…”

McCain: “Why should I? Then there’s no such thing as a private conversation. Is there (inaudible) if you have a private conversation with someone, and then they come and tell you. I don’t know that that’s a private conversation. I think that’s a public conversation.”

Bumiller: “Okay. Can I ask you about your (pause) Why you’re so angry?”

McCain: “Pardon me?”

Bumiller: “Nevermind, nevermind.”

McCain: “I mean, it’s well known. Everybody knows. It’s been well chronicled a thousand times. John Kerry asked if I would consider being his running mate.”

Bumiller: “Okay.”

McCain: “And I said categorically no, under no circumstances. That’s very well known.”

The 2004 New York Times piece in question ends in this way: "If Mr. McCain is offered the vice-presidential spot, people close to Mr. Kerry say, the request will come from the candidate himself and not through the campaign's vice-presidential vetting process."

"Asked if Senator Kerry had made such an offer, Mr. McCain said no without hesitation. But asked if the two men had ever discussed it, even casually, he paused for a moment. 'No,' he said finally. 'We really haven't.'"

Now perhaps the reason McCain was so unhinged and argumentative today goes beyond just his nasty personality and the embarrassment of begging Kerry to give him the VP nomination. Looks like he stepped into another pile of crap, right after his embrace of anti-Catholic bigot Jon Hagee. This time he's in bed with one of the most extremist lunatic-fringe organizations in America, Tim LaHaye's Council for National Policy. He's courting this group of dangerous miscreants in New Orleans-- which is where he was flying when he started snarling at poor Elisabeth Bumiller. Fox and the Moonie Times first reported McCain's closed door secret session (no press allowed) with the radical extremists today. (Fox says the session, or at least part of it, will be videotaped and shown to ordinary Americans.) Some of the lobbyists who run McCain's campaign are members of the whacko far right group and he may have been talked into this imprudent meeting by one of them and lashed out at Brumiller in anger. Or maybe he was just reacting badly to some of the advance press on the meeting:
The depth of disaffection from Mr. McCain among prominent members of CNP is so strong that some are already questioning the group's bona fides.

"It will say more about the state of the conservative movement than it does McCain," a veteran CNP member said. "If he is accepted at CNP, this will mark the official end of the conservative movement as we knew it."

Like some other members of the narrow coalition of radicals McCain has been assembling, the Council for National Policy (CNP), is extremely bigoted, especially towards Catholics and gays. Like Hagee, Lahaye insists Catholicism is a "false religion" and often runs his mouth off about how popes are "antichrists". Although this secretive organization guards it's membership list closely, it has been confirmed that among the members are familiar right wing names like Dobson, Weyrich, Coors, Wayne LaPierre of the National Riffle Association, Richard Viguerie, Mark Mix of the National Right to Work Committee and Grover Norquist. Talk about getting fleas from who you lay down with!

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