GOP Sen. John McCain upon being rescued as POW of the Viet Cong: Balls. Of. Steel.
I have issues with John McCain’s plugging of the “global warming” phenomenon (again, move away from Arizona, if it’s too hot), and his opposition to Bush’s tax cuts for small businesses — something that’s desperately needed to stimulate this sagging economy, especially when the move brought in more money into government coffers in a single day last year than any other single previous day in history.
I have also razzed McCain for appearing to doze off during the State of the Union address — I mean, if you’re going to run for president, you’ve got to at least LOOK awake while on official business, and not remind me of my dad in his armchair at 11pm in front of the tube on any given night.
But on that particular note, I’m thoroughly willing to concede that any 70-year old who can make it through what amounts to a grueling 2-year marathon campaign is sufficiently fit to be president. After all, the greatest president in US history — that would be Ronald Reagan — was also 70-years old when he took office.
Now let me tell you why, despite my opposition to his platform in some areas, I have a heck of a lot of admiration for John McCain — and why the rest of this country should (and apparently does, based on the fact that he’s now a frontrunner for the GOP nod).
You might not agree with him, but you absolutely have to respect Senator John McCain for sticking to his principles. In fact, we’re talking about a man who was SO principled that when he was taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, and after enduring unspeakable torture and broken bones and being offered release, he insisted that everyone else be released before him. So they kept torturing him, and demanded the names of his fellow servicemen. In response, McCain gave his tortmentors the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line.
One of my good friends, a professor with a PhD in history who’s more or less a political moderate (like most US voters), said the following of McCain in an email to me today:
“He’s one of the few real men in American politics. The rest are all chickenhawks. This guy will go into Afghanistan and personally cut the guts out of bin Laden, then [tell] the King of Saudi Arabia to quit playing his bulls**t games…”
What you see is exactly what you get with Maverick McCain — from telling the people of Michigan that auto industry jobs won’t be coming back, but that he will bring them new opportunities, to telling Fox News’ Alan Colmes and Sean Hannity that it was “great to be with you two jerks.”
Another passenger on his revived “Straight Talk Express” is McCain’s daughter, who conceded that Obama’s “cute”. (Yeah, I suppose some might say that he least has that going for him.)
BTW, while you may not agree with McCain’s position on illegal aliens, also keep in mind that the chances of electing a president who will go door-to-door to deport them is also precisely NIL. I know my fellow GOPers may not like hearing that, but it’s the reality. Just as Roe v. Wade will never be overturned, either. Not by even the most strident socially conservative president. When people realize the realities of what can feasibly be done and distinguish them from what cannot, it ensures that one’s choice for president actually has some basis in reality rather than fantasy.