Thursday, September 18, 2008

John McCain is Losing His Marbles

Yesterday he apparently confused the prime minister of Spain -- Zapatero -- with long-dead Mexican revolutionary Emilio Zapata. Zapatistas!

The fact is that McCain has been stumbling and bumbling on the campaign trail for over a year and the media has been quick to excuse and paper over his gaffes. I bet I've heard cable TV hacks say at least 10 times this week that McCain didn't say we'd be in Iraq for 100 years. They keep saying he said we'd keep noncombat troops there for 100 years.

Which is complete balderdash. He didn't say anything nuanced. He said cavalierly, when asked if he was willing to stay in Iraq for 50 years, "Make it a 100." That's what he said. He never used the word noncombat. Then he began to back off and explain that we kept troops in South Korea and Japan for decades, and it would be fine for him if Americans weren't being killed. Well, that would be nice if peace had been declared in Iraq, or if we were on one side of a DMZ in the friendly part of the country.

But those aren't the facts on the ground. There has never been any time during our occupation of Iraq that there has been peace. We don't have noncombat troops in Iraq. McCain was talking about the Iraq that there is, and was willing to stay for 100 years. He and his media base have been trying to explain his statement ever since. But the statement stands.

A few days ago McCain said, with a straight face, that Sarah Palin, his completely unqualified running mate, “knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America.” Climate Progress calls that statement "The Mother of All Lies".

Plus whenever he introduces Palin as his running mate, he manages to slip in that she was the point guard on her state high school basketball team. He's like your dotty uncle when he does that, proud but throwing in a non sequiter. (I think he does it because he remembers that about her. It was in the speech he read when he introduced her, a month ago).

And I think that's what's going on. He's tired, and confused. He's old, and his memory isn't what it once was. So he falls back on the lines he's used to saying, the old lines that have served him well. The fundamentals of our economy are strong.

If he can't fall back on an old speech, he has established a pattern of using long, rambling generic statements that don't really say anything but seem to answer the question. Like he said about the Spanish prime minister:

INTERVIEWER: Senator finally, let's talk about Spain. If elected president would you be willing to invite President Jose Rodriguez Louis Zapatero to the White House, to meet with you?

McCAIN: I would be willing to meet with those leaders who are friends and want to work with us in a cooperative fashion.

[My note, here I think he is confusing Zapatero of Spain with Zapata of Mexico, so he turns back to Latin America.] And by the way President Calderon of Mexico is fighting a very, very tough fight against the drug cartels. I'm glad we are now working with the Mexican government on the Merida Plan, and I intend to move forward with relations and invite as many of them as I can, of those leaders to the White House.

INTERVIEWER: Would that invitation be extended to the Zapatero government? To the president himself?

McCAIN: Uh, I don't, I, ya know, I, honestly, I have to look at the situations and the relations and the priorities. But I can assure you, I will establish closer relations with our friends and I will stand up to those who want to do harm to the United States of America.

INTERVIEWER: So you have to wait and see. If he's willing to meet with you, would you be able to do it? In the White House?

McCAIN: Well, again, I don't -- All I can tell you is I have a clear record of working with leaders in the hemisphere that are friends with us and standing up to those who are not. And that's judged on the basis of the importance of our relationship with Latin America and the entire region.

Generic blather, because he can't keep actual facts and names and places in his head. Like this extremely confused statement, picked up by Chris Kelly at HuffPo:

The Delicate Subject of John McCain's Marbles

You might think "I'll end greed" [ed. note, one of the seven deadly sins, it's been around for awhile] would be the most mortifying thing John McCain could say at one sitting. You'd be wrong. At Wednesday's town hall -- his first with Sarah Palin -- he topped himself with this explanation of her credentials:

"She has been commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard. Fact. On September 11 a contingent of the Guard deployed to Iraq and her son happened to be one of them so I think she understands national security challenges."

Which is fine except:

The governor of Alaska doesn't command the National Guard in combat overseas.

Sarah Palin didn't deploy anyone anywhere on September 11th. She was a guest speaker at an Army deployment ceremony.

Track Palin isn't in the National Guard; he's in the Army

Sometimes it seems like it's more than John McCain can handle, just keeping all the lies about Sarah Palin straight in his head. Tomorrow he'll say she's in the Air Force herself, on a plane she bought on eBay, bombing the bridges at Toko-Ri.

All in all, it's pretty clear that a vote for doddering McCain is a vote for I Can See Russia From My House! Sarah Palin.


Anonymous said...

Great post.

First, as you well know, McCain never was that smart. Basically he graduated bottom of his class at the Naval Academy (Or was it NavEl).

As a POW he had PTSD (never treated), which some say he still shows signs of. He has recurring cancer. And I know a physician who thinks McCain may be showing early signs of Alzheimer's. Boy, that gives one confidence, huh? If he's not bad enough, can you imagine a President Palin?

He has made so many strange gaffes, like this one you pointed out about Spain. Called Putin the President of Germany, referred several times to "Czechoslovakia". Are they gaffes? Is he confused? Stupid? Doddering?

And let's remember, this man said economics is not something he understands as well as he should. I'd say foreign relations as well. So what the hell has he been doing in Washington for the past 26 years? Isn't it his job to understand these things when he's dealing with legislation? And the fact he's running for President???

God help us if these 2 win. Matt Damon is right. It's like a bad Disney movie: "The POW and the Point Guard."

truth said...

Great points. I had forgotten about him being at the bottom of his Academy class.