Thursday, February 21, 2008

GOP collective sigh, "Oh, well. At least it was with a woman."

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:43 PM Permalink

Once again, in its finest tradition, a GOP candidate for the president has had his "family values" credentials tarnished after years of pomposity, posing, lecturing, and just generally bragging about what a nice, family man he was and that his qualifications, both private and public, undoubtedly warranted electing him to the highest office in the land.

I refer, of course, to John McCain, now forever precluded from preceding his name with the qualification of "saint." (Oh! Wait a minute! I haven't finished reading the article yet! Is there any mention of changing faiths, choir boys, and late night "summer camps" where the little chirrun' are taught how to gennu…genus…genyou…aw the hell with it, where they were taught to pray to the Republican God of War, gwb, and beg for salvation when he finally brings about the "End of Days?" I'll be write back.)

Whew! No young males THIS TIME.

From the New York Times comes this tragic story of a good man possibly gone bad with all the sordid tales of, "Hey! I was just showin' the young, pretty, nubile, hard-bodied wo…no…lobbyist, showing a lobbyist, yeah, a lobbyist how you land on an aircraft carrier [Now known to be one of the qualifications of a GOP presidential candidate. Bill] and that's why everything had been pushed off my desk! Any damn fool will tell you that you can't possible land while simultaneously dodging the pencil sharpener and the "In and Out" boxes. Oh! And strike that remark about In and Out boxes, my wife might get that one, heh, heh. And the pencil sharpener comment, too.":
Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign
said on the condition of anonymity.

When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.

Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity.

It had been just a decade since an official favor for a friend with regulatory problems had nearly ended Mr. McCain’s political career by ensnaring him in the Keating Five scandal. In the years that followed, he reinvented himself as the scourge of special interests, a crusader for stricter ethics and campaign finance rules, a man of honor chastened by a brush with shame.
Although not sufficiently chastened, apparently, to correct the public's impressions that Republicans primarily seduce little boys and/or while engaging in self-destructive heterosexual urges, an image the GOP desperately wants after the election debacle of 2006.

My friend Bobby Dillingerford, an employee of the RNC who begged me not to identify him for fear of castration and other interrogation techniques the GOP is now famous for, requested and was granted anonymity for this article. Said he, "McCain's really blown it this time. Oh my god, a pretty lobbyist when he could have had any intern of his choice? One we could have silenced with scholarships, jobs for the parents, or even exiling them all from America? Lord knows it is helpful to the party that at least some GOP members are heterosexual. His fund raising should pick up now that his credentials are now fully established."

Said another longtime friend:
“He is essentially an honorable person,” said William P. Cheshire, a friend of Mr. McCain who as editorial page editor of The Arizona Republic defended him during the Keating Five scandal. “But he can be imprudent.”

Mr. Cheshire added, “That imprudence or recklessness may be part of why he was not more astute about the risks he was running with this shady operator,” Charles Keating, whose ties to Mr. McCain and four other lawmakers tainted their reputations in the savings and loan debacle.
He later added that, "At least he didn't have sex with old Charlie boy. Now that would have been hard to explain at the CPAC meeting this year!
McCain further stated: With his nomination this year all but certain, though, he is reminding voters again of his record of reform. His campaign has already begun comparing his credentials with those of Senator Barack Obama, a Democratic contender who has made lobbying and ethics rules a centerpiece of his own pitch to voters.

“I would very much like to think that I have never been a man whose favor can be bought,” Mr. McCain wrote about his Keating experience in his 2002 memoir, “Worth the Fighting For.” “From my earliest youth, I would have considered such a reputation to be the most shameful ignominy imaginable. Yet that is exactly how millions of Americans viewed me for a time, a time that I will forever consider one of the worst experiences of my life.”

A drive to expunge the stain on his reputation in time turned into a zeal to cleanse Washington as well. The episode taught him that “questions of honor are raised as much by appearances as by reality in politics,” he wrote, “and because they incite public distrust they need to be addressed no less directly than we would address evidence of expressly illegal corruption.”
Besides, as my friend Bobby, suddenly no longer in his office but at some "undisclosed location" being interrogated by Dick Cheney, said, quoting the NYT article:
Mr. McCain started his career like many other aspiring politicians, eagerly courting the wealthy and powerful. A Vietnam war hero and Senate liaison for the Navy, he arrived in Arizona in 1980 after his second marriage, to Cindy Hensley, the heiress to a beer fortune there. He quickly started looking for a Congressional district where he could run.
This obvioulsy enhances Mr McCain's chances of being elected president now that all the Republican qualifications have been met: He can fly a plane wearing a hugh codpiece, he speaks to eternal war, now comes allegations of an alleged illicit affair with the Keating Five and a really hot female lobbyist, and all after having been served notice by his staff [Staff, get it? Staff! I crack myself up, Bill], that his actions were so reckless, shameful, hypocritical, and asinine enough to practically guarantee him the presidency.

What a man. What a candidate. Yet another "family values" candidate (whose wife can bring the beer!) for which the all-white, evangelical, homophobic, anti-civil rights religious right voters can really get behind.

Vote McCain or al-Qaeda will kill you.

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At 5:09 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

wow, you crack me up and have me standing in awe.

I didn't have a clue about whether I could or what approach I would take with this story.

Great job!

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

Don't applaud, just throw money! Thank you.


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