The Grifter and the Coward…

As some may have heard there is an interesting primary shaping up in Arizona. Long-time Senator John McCain is being challenged by J.D. Hayworth, a disgraced former Congressman who lost his seat in 2006 in no small part because of his involvement with Jack Abramoff and that major corruption scandal named after him.

Hayworth is the Grifter and McCain is the Coward in this race. (Yes, I know that we are all supposed to be aware of reports that as a young man John McCain was a courageous POW, but history is filled with tales of men who were courageous heroes in their youth and craven cowards in their later years. John McCain’s story is one of those stories).

Both men are also linked to the Abramoff scandal. It will be fascinating to see if McCain will decide to release details about the Abramoff scandal that he has kept covered up for years in a desperate effort to hold onto his Senate seat. Yesterday he gave an indication that he was ready to take that step.

Hayworth is a classic backbencher low level Congressional grifter who wants to take his skills of selling out his constituents to lobbyists, corporations and special interests from the House to the Senate. At one time, he was under investigation by the DOJ for his involvement in the Abramoff Scandal but the Feds decided to stop chasing him after he lost his House seat in 2006. This was not a surprise as the Bush DOJ did everything they could to slow-walk the Abramoff investigation and it was a ploy that kept most co-conspirators like Hayworth safe from any legal jeopardy (Republican do tend to take care of each other–especially when a scandal is involved).

Hayworth went into debt to defend himself from possible charges related to the Abramoff scandal and he set-up the Freedom In Truth Trust to get others to help him retire this debt before he officially announced his run against McCain. Naturally, many of Jack’s other pals contributed to JD’s defense fund. I found Hayworth’s defense on the site to be laughable. Documents released so far in the Abramoff scandal prove him to be a liar. For example, JD says:

Here are the simple facts:

1. Abramoff contributed a grand total of $2,250 dollars to my political efforts. ($250 in 1996, $1,000 in 1998, and $1,000 to our leadership political action committee, TEAMPAC, in 1999.)
2. I never met with Abramoff concerning any legislation.
3. He never came to my office.
4. He never lobbied me directly on any issue.

The record proves him to be a liar on points 1 and 4. Point 2 is certainly a lie if you include a phone call as a “meeting”. There are numerous records citing direct discussions between Abramoff and Hayworth. It is unclear if these meetings/discussions took place in Hayworth’s “office”, so point 3 could technically be true, but only if you exclude meetings between Hayworth’s staff and Abramoff’s staff.

There are missing donations as well. In some records, it is clear that Jack is directing specific clients to give Hayworth money. In others it is clear that Jack is using the PAC from his lobbying firm to send Hayworth money after meetings/discussions with Jack about a specific issue before Congress.

The relationship between Hayworth and Abramoff goes back to the beginning of Jack’s superstar lobbyist career in 1996. One quick example. In the fall of 1996 Abramoff was trying to get Congress to kill Legislation that would give the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (a US Territory in the Western Pacific) a Delegate to the US Congress. Jack and his sweatshop owning pals did not want the corrupt Governor they controlled from the Territory to have competition in Washington. In August of 1996 Jack and his sweatshop pals went to the GOP National Convention to meet and greet folks. In September Jack made a number of calls to Congressmen on the Resources Committee to lobby for defeating the effort. On 9-18-96 Jack directly lobbied Hayworth. A donation was made. The effort was defeated (Hayworth voted with Jack). And on 11-21-96 Jack made a “thank you” call to JD.

The Abramoff related records release to date show that this pattern was repeated (with Hayworth and many, many others), and that as time went by the way Abramoff moved money to a given Congressman or Senator was laundered with greater and greater sophistication to hide the connection to Jack and his clients (this was why some folks thought what Abramoff and his pals in Congress were doing was a scandal).

Only a small fraction of the millions of pages of emails, billing records and other evidence linking Abramoff to his co-conspirators has been released. Most of these documents are under wraps and that lets many of Jack’s old Congressional grifter buddies run for office again in 2010. In an ironic twist, a grifter like Hayworth can thank John McCain for the fact that he is out of jail and able to scam gullible voters once again. You see, John McCain had the goods on Hayworth but did not have the courage to put Country over Party or the integrity to let duty trump his ambitions.

In 2004 as the Abramoff scandal broke John McCain launched an investigation of the scandal from position as Chairman of the Senate’s Indian Affairs Committee. In that investigation McCain collected ALL of Abramoff’s emails, billing records and the same for many of Jack’s other associates. For McCain it was personal, back in the 2000 Election it was Abramoff and his pals Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed who led the effort to smear McCain in South Carolina. At first, McCain went after these guys with gusto and during a November 17, 2004 Hearing on the scandal, John McCain made a promise:

I pledge, as a member of the Committee on Indian Affairs, that we will not stop until the complete truth is told.

It turns out that McCain did not have the courage to keep that promise. Before that same hearing was over, McCain started to backtrack as it became clear just how big and deep the scandal was and how much harm exposing the details of the scandal would do to McCain’s Party. By March 10, 2005, Roll Call was reporting that McCain met with his colleagues and promised them protection from their crimes:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has assured his colleagues that his expanding investigation into the activities of a former GOP lobbyist and a half-dozen of his tribal casino clients is not directed at revealing ethically questionable actions by Members of Congress.

He made his self-directed impotence and casual regard for justice clear in a December 2005 interview with Terry Gross on NPR (emphasis added):

Sen. McCAIN: We’re going to write a report, and there may be additional information we may have to look at, but we’ve pretty well wrapped it up. [snip]

We’ll be making legislative recommendations and other things. But it’s not the job of the Indian Affairs Committee to investigate members of Congress. That’s the Ethics Committee and other committees to do that.

And then he really explained his cowardice to Tim Russert in another 2005 interview:

MR. RUSSERT: Senator, you said you’re going to follow the money, but are you also going to investigate which legislators may have taken money and used that to influence legislation, to write into law what you’re suggesting…

SEN. McCAIN: Tim…

MR. RUSSERT:…the behavior of senators, your colleagues? Are you going to investigate them?

SEN. McCAIN: The–I will not, because I’m a chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee. This was brought to our–this whole thing started–was brought to us–attention by some disgruntled tribal council members in a small tribe in Louisiana, and we took it as far as we thought was our responsibility, which is where the money ends up. I’m not as–we are responsible for Indian affairs. We have an Ethics Committee. We have a government–we have other committees of Congress, but we also have a very active media. And believe me…

MR. RUSSERT: Does the Ethics Committee work?

SEN. McCAIN: I don’t think…

MR. RUSSERT: In all honesty?

SEN. McCAIN: I don’t think the ethics committees are working very well. The latest Cunningham scandal was uncovered by the San Diego newspaper, not by anyone here…

MR. RUSSERT: Duke Cunningham, the congressman from California.

SEN. McCAIN:…in Washington.

MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe that some legislators have committed a crime?

SEN. McCAIN: Well, I don’t want to–everyone deserves the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. I’m not a judge and jury.

MR. RUSSERT: But there’s strong evidence to suggest that.

SEN. McCAIN: There’s strong evidence that there was significant wrongdoing, but I’m not a judge or jury.

MR. RUSSERT: Do you think some legislators may be indicted?

SEN. McCAIN: All I know is what I read in the media. We stopped in the Indian Affairs Committee with where the money went, and that was our–the extent of our responsibilities.

At one point McCain had Grover Norquist in his sights. He was on the verge of issuing a subpoena for Grover’s financial records and urging the Senate Finance Committee to investigate the front groups like Americans for Tax Reform that Abramoff used to launder money. Then McCain dropped it, made peace with Grover, got Norquist’s support for his run for the White House and helped to bury the evidence linking Norquist to Abramoff. The Senate Finance investigation released a report that left more question unanswered than answered and that seemed like it stopped half-way through the process.

McCain’s investigation of the Abramoff scandal collected over 750,000 pages of documents. He has sent these documents to the National Archives where they will sit under seal for the next twenty years–it is a great way to sweep the largest Congressional scandal in decades under the rug. Still, it looks like he has kept a copy of these documents for other uses as McCain told the conservative National Review in an interview published yesterday (emphasis added):

“When the tea partiers take a close look at Mr. Hayworth’s record and see all of his earmarks and all of his ties to Jack Abramoff, they’ll find a record that demands scrutiny,” McCain says. “We have the letters and legislative records to prove it. And we will.”

Too bad McCain didn’t keep his promise to “not stop until the complete truth is told” that he made back in 2004. If he had then Hayworth, Norquist, Reed and a host of other grifters would be in jail and/or discredited. Instead, McCain let his cowardice and ambition conceal crimes that he knew they had committed. McCain actively hid evidence of corruption from the American people, but it looks like he kept a copy of that evidence readily at hand just in case he ever needed it. This is most likely why Norquist is still supporting McCain–John has the goods on him. And now, McCain is suggesting that he’ll dig into these hidden documents to release selective attacks on JD Hayworth. While this should make for an entertaining GOP primary in Arizona, it is just more evidence of John McCain’s failure to place justice and the needs of his Country before his ambition and his fear of exposing the corruption in his own Party. If McCain had a courageous bone in his body he would release all the documents and let the chips fall where they may. He doesn’t and so the bulk of these documents will be kept hidden for another twenty years.

Both the Grifter and the Coward should lose this election. I hope the Democrats recruit a decent candidate for this race.

Cheers

dengre

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

90 replies
  1. 1
    hal says:

    Yes, I know that as a young man John McCain was a courageous POW

    Why do people still feel the need to mention this? Everyone knows McCain was a POW. We don’t need to constantly qualify criticism of him because he served in Vietnam.

  2. 2
    Face says:

    Wow. TL; DR. Damn War N’ Piece-esque, bitches.

    But I’m somehow I’m sure this is great news for John McCain.

  3. 3
    Mike Kay says:

    I don’t know who to root against.

  4. 4
    Dennis G. says:

    @hal:

    I did it here for a half-snark. Perhaps it didn’t work.

    Cheers

  5. 5

    Yes, I know that as a young man John McCain was a courageous POW

    Every time someone makes this claim or one like it I am going to post a link to this article. McCain’s courage as a POW is as mythical as Ronald Reagan’s liberation of Auschwitz.

  6. 6
    Mike Kay says:

    I wonder if McCain loses will he go Indie, will he switch parties? I expect him to pull a full loserman.

  7. 7
    liberty60 says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: Given how Max Cleland’s war injuries didn’t mean one effing thing to the people who attacked him, I don’t see why McCain’s POW experience should give him any cover.

    The man is as reckless as he is unprincipled.

  8. 8
    mr. whipple says:

    I’ve been away all day. Can someone bring me up to speed on how ObamaRahm stabbed me in the back today?

  9. 9
    valdivia says:

    Thanks for this post, just excellent.

  10. 10
    Mike Kay says:

    @mr. whipple:

    Ding-Ding-Ding! We have a winnnah!

  11. 11
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Anyone know if we have a candidate to field in Arizona yet? I saw Hayworth being totally nuts on Hardball yesterday and began to wonder if there’s anyone in place to take advantage of the the scenario of Hayworth successfully primarying McCain.

  12. 12
    MacsenMifune says:

    Gotta love how republicans cover their corruption with incompetence.

  13. 13
    Mike Kay says:

    according to me tee vee Hayworth has already begun hitting Mccain on the keating-5 corruption.

    and hayworth is really crazy. before the end, he’ll be accusing Mccain of being secretly mexican.

  14. 14
    Mike Kay says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    really, what did he do?

  15. 15

    Be interesting to see if all those ‘Song-bird McCain’ videos are dusted off on You-Tube and recirculated – by the wing nuts trying to show that he wasn’t such a hero in his youth.

    Can we say, ‘what goes around comes around?’

  16. 16
    shortstop says:

    Great post.

    It’s hard to believe McCain can keep pushing the ethical basement lower, but just about every time he opens his mouth he achieves deeper dishonor. He really is an astoundingly unprincipled and dignity-free man. There just isn’t anything he won’t say or do, or anyone he won’t screw over, if he thinks it will benefit him at that particular moment.

  17. 17
    John Cole says:

    You’re gonna make Dana Milbank cry.

  18. 18
    Paul L. says:

    Republican do tend to take care of each other—especially when a scandal is involved).

    How do you explain the “Bush” DOJ going after former Alaska senator Ted Stevens with manufactured evidence?

  19. 19
    Dennis G. says:

    @Paul L.:

    Assigning inexperience prosecutors who were fast and loose with the evidence got Ted off. I’d say that was a way to help out the old grifter. A competent prosecution would have him in jail.

    Cheers

  20. 20
    someguy says:

    Um, McCain’s a grifter too, and Hayworth is also a coward.

    Y’know. Just for the record and all.

  21. 21
    Mike S says:

    I know you left dKos because of some of the insanity over there but I sure do wish you would reconsider and post this there too. Every post there that reminds us of who and what the real enemies of the Democratic party are helps.

  22. 22
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @mr. whipple:

    I’ve been away all day. Can someone bring me up to speed on how ObamaRahm stabbed me in the back today?

    Appointing Janet Napolitano as DHS secretary was a devious Rahmdroid plot to ensure that the GOPers would retain control of both AZ Senate seats no matter what.

    See, that wasn’t even hard. Took me what, about 10 seconds, tops, and it was on-topic too.

  23. 23
    Chyron HR says:

    “Bush”

    Wow. Not only have Republicans disavowed voting for Bush, they’re even denying that was ever his name.

  24. 24
    dmsilev says:

    @mr. whipple: Will this do?

    -dms

  25. 25
    Paul L. says:

    @Dennis G.:

    Assigning inexperience prosecutors

    From the link to “rightwing” TPM

    2. Brenda Morris
    Morris was the lead prosecutor on the Stevens case, and the deputy head of the Public Integrity unit. A Washington DC native who’s said to be “known for her high energy and snap one-liners at trial”, Morris has worked at the unit since 1991, first as a trial attorney, then as the deputy chief for litigation, before being appointed to her current post.

    Morris’ assignment as lead prosecutor

    In other words, these are by and large career prosecutors, none of whom have obvious records of political activism on either side. These were serious missteps by veterans who should have known bette

    What is your new narrative?

  26. 26
    Ana Gama says:

    Wow! I hope Jane is mighty proud of her association with Grover.

  27. 27
    Lolis says:

    Glad you are posting here. That was fascinating.

  28. 28
    Paul L. says:

    @Chyron HR:
    The “Bush” was implying that during his term there were hacks in the DOJ working to undermine him.
    @Dennis G.: Please note that this was quoted from the “rightwing” TPM in the previous comment.

    In other words, these are by and large career prosecutors, none of whom have obvious records of political activism on either side. These were serious missteps by veterans who should have known better

  29. 29
    Tio Wally says:

    Being a pampered military brat, a breathtakingly shitty pilot and a POW does not a hero make. Sorry.

  30. 30
    Mike Toreno says:

    I’m glad you referred to McCain’s actions in Vietnam. It’s good for that to be brought to light. I know about it because I’m sort of a student of McCain’s history, but not many people have heard of it because he doesn’t like to talk about his war record.

  31. 31
    Newsie8200 says:

    In 2008’s U.S. Senate race in New Mexico, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund ran a “Two Sides of the Same Coin” campaign against both Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce who were duking it out in the GOP primary. The campaign basically labeled them both as corrupt, anti-environment jackasses.

    There’s an opportunity here for an organization to lob grenades at both Hayworth and McCain during the primary…

  32. 32
    Mike S says:

    @Paul L.:

    One of my favorite things about republican appologists is the way they make the exception the rule. Ted Stevens was so blatant that they had no choice.

    Go ahead and ignore that whole US Attourney thing.

    Oh wait, being a typical Republican means that you either don;’t believe the facts of the case or believe that there was nothing wrong with it. Integrity is a trait not wanted in the GOP.

  33. 33
    catclub says:

    paul L @ 25

    They should have known better, but didn’t actually do better.
    Why was that? Incompetence? Dennis G can stand corrected that they were actually experienced, but the job they did was as incompetent as inexperienced, overzealous prosecutors could make it.

    I am also convinced they threw that prosecution the whole way, and intended for their misbehavior to be caught at trial rather than only on appeal.

    The one competence I give the Bush admin credit for is Bush keeping Cheney from bombing Iran.

  34. 34
    Phyllis says:

    Back in the day, this is just the kind of meaty story real investigative reporters would take hold of in their jaws and not let go unt…

    Never mind.

  35. 35
    Chyron HR says:

    @Paul L.:

    The “Bush” was implying that during his term there were hacks in the DOJ working to undermine him.

    So he’s back to being your Messiah? Good to know. Try to wait at least 24 hours before throwing him under the bus again.

  36. 36
    maus says:

    @Paul L.:

    What is your new narrative?

    There is no “new narrative”, they did a terrible job. If everything went smoothly, it would be surprising. A passive bungle is par for the course with most everything involved with the Bush presidency (if not his entire career.)

    There would be no room for argument if they actually wanted him to go down, and proceeded in any less strange of a manner.

  37. 37
    Bob S says:

    This is the best post I’ve ever read on this site. If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was at Robert Parry’s Consortiumnews. Thanks for your effort.

  38. 38

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Appointing Janet Napolitano as DHS secretary was a devious Rahmdroid plot to ensure that the GOPers would retain control of both AZ Senate seats no matter what.
    __
    See, that wasn’t even hard. Took me what, about 10 seconds, tops, and it was on-topic too.

    I know I’m not the first person to say this, but damn you’re good!

  39. 39
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: Ditto this. Every time I read about McCain’s bravery, I think of that Rolling Stones article. Hero, my ass.

    @Mike Kay: Gotta agree. I mean, I loathe McCain, but Hayworth is even worse.

    I’m with dengre. I hope the Dems steal this seat.

  40. 40
    Paul L. says:

    A passive bungle is par for the course with most everything involved with the Bush presidency (if not his entire career.)

    You mean like the NIE cited by progressives that “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.”?
    What Will It Take to Kill the 2007 National “Intelligence” Estimate on Iran’s Nuclear Program?

    A new report by the IAEA … concluded that Iran’s weapons-related activity apparently continued “beyond 2004,” contradicting an American intelligence assessment published a little over two years ago that concluded that work was suspended at the end of 2003.

  41. 41
    Dennis G. says:

    @Paul L.:

    My use of the word “inexperience” was wrong. There were experienced prosecutors on the case. They screwed it up. It has been a long time since I looked into the details of this case. I’ll go back and look. Whatever the reasons that the prosecutors made the mistakes that they made, they made them and now Ted walks free on that technicality.

    There was so much corruption in the Bush years that they were not able to avoid prosecution of every Party member, but when they did it was slow and sloppy. The leadership of the Public Integrity Unit was constantly being reassigned and/or appointed to other positions. Without leadership and continuity many investigations of corruption failed as mistakes were made. You may wish to blame the individual prosecutors for those failure (and they do share some of the blame), but the real problem was the failed leadership from the Attorney General and the Bush WH.

    Still, I appreciate your call for me to be clearer in my prose. I’ll work on that.

    Cheers

  42. 42
    MTiffany says:

    @hal:

    We don’t need to constantly qualify criticism of him because he served in Vietnam.

    Why do you hate America?
    No, seriously, I think it’s great that the Republicans are still obsessed with shit that happened before half the electorate was born and therefore don’t really care about.
    During the campaign we couldn’t go five seconds without the McCain camp trotting out his POW status. Of course if they wanted to talk about what McShame was doing during Vietnam, that invited the question, “What was Obama doing during the Vietnam War?” His homework.
    Way to go Republicans. Way to stay relevant!
    Still waiting for him to share his top secret plan to get bin Laden BTW.

  43. 43
    Jager says:

    As a friend of mine Phoenix says…J D Hayworth was a horse’s ass when he was a TV sportscaster, he was a horse’s ass as a congressman, a horse’s ass as a talk show host and now he wants to be a horse’s ass as a senator…

  44. 44

    @Paul L.:

    How do you explain the “Bush” DOJ going after former Alaska senator Ted Stevens with manufactured evidence?

    Oh joy, Paul is back trolling for links to his shitty blog. Again, if you want dickheads like Paul to go away just redirect his link to ActBlue, as soon as he stops getting hits from Juicers who don’t know not to click on his link the sooner he’ll go away because at heart Paul is just an attention seeking little drama queen.

    As far as the Ted Stevens case goes Paul, you snivelling little link-whoring drama queen, I’ve always wondered what Teddy “intertoobz” Stevens did that pissed the Bush administration off so bad. Seriously, I find it hard to believe that out of 100 senators Stevens was the only one that they’d go after for corruption or was the only one that could be charged with corruption. You’d think that if the Bush administration had wanted a major congressional corruption case they could have gone after someone like John Murtha, who was as dirty as they came and who also criticized the administration’s handling of Iraq, or Chuck Rangel, who’s a crook or any number of other members of Congress. But the only ones they went after were William “Doesn’t everyone have 90k in their freezer” Jefferson, Duke “I cried like a bitch at my sentencing hearing” Cunningham and Teddy “intertoobz” Stevens.

    So what did Teddy do that pissed off the Bush administration so badly that he ended up being thrown to the wolves?

  45. 45

    You know, I wish the Democratic party weren’t so goddamned useless and incompetent because the Arizona Senate race between McCain and Hayworth is just ripe for some good old fashioned ratfucking.

  46. 46
    demo woman says:

    Dennis, that was an excellent post. I’m not sure that McCain is a coward as much as he has no where else to go except the Senate. He’s willing to sell his soul in order to stay in DC.

  47. 47
    Bob S says:

    @Paul L.: Change your diaper.
    Less incontinent individuals can check out Jason Ditz’ at antiwar.com for somewhat more levelheaded reporting.
    Some people just never learn….

  48. 48
    Annie says:

    Unless the media does its job — which it won’t — Hayworth’s past is of little consequence to the primary. For the majority of the population, history is what occurred ten minutes ago. Hayworth has plenty of opportunities to reinvent himself and bury the past.

    McCain, on the other hand, has plenty of opportunities to rewrite his own past — he doesn’t want to bury it, he wants to revise it…

    And, in both cases, the media gives them a pass.

  49. 49
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:
    Thanks for the props.

    As for this:

    You know, I wish the Democratic party weren’t so goddamned useless and incompetent because the Arizona Senate race between McCain and Hayworth is just ripe for some good old fashioned ratfucking.

    I’ve been paying close attention to US politics since 1972 when I was not even a teen yet but fortunate to have parents who didn’t mind explaining what was going on in adult terms to a precocious and impertinent kid, even if it took a while. And since then I’ve developed two rules of thumb that come in handy more often than not:
    (1) The Republicans are evil.
    (2) Never underestimate the incompetence and stupidity of the Democratic Party.

    After the 2008 election I thought I might have to retire #2. Looks like that may have been a bit premature.

  50. 50
    Mike G says:

    and hayworth is really crazy. before the end, he’ll be accusing Mccain of being secretly mexican.

    McCain was born in Panama. I’m waiting to see if the Talibirthers are going to attack him for it.

  51. 51
    scarshapedstar says:

    Hayworth is the Grifter and McCain is the Coward in this race

    Hmm… after Keating Five, I’d say McCain fits pretty comfortably into both circles on the Venn diagram.

  52. 52
    panicbean says:

    “If John McCain really wants to make this a campaign about ties to lobbyists we will very forcefully respond to his outrageous conduct and Bahamian vacations with convicted banker Charlie Keating,” said Jason Rose, a spokesman for Hayworth.

    Hayworth vs. McCain is going to fun to watch.

    “This isn’t a whisper campaign,” said Brian Rogers, McCain’s communications director. “The people of Arizona made a judgment about J.D. Hayworth’s ethically questionable role in the Jack Abramoff scandal when they voted him out of office in 2006. By stark contrast, the people of Arizona have overwhelmingly re-elected John McCain on numerous occasions.”

    Hmmm.

    Sure do wish we could get a good Dem candidate in the race, it might be one we could win with the two of them bashing each other for their crooked sins.

    Great post, Dennis. Thank you!

  53. 53
    Bob L says:

    This is one of those logic conundrums; if it is okay if you are Republican, who gets the free pass when it is Republican verse Republican? This probably comes down which Republican has the better hair so Hayworth gets forgiveness for past sins.

  54. 54

    I’ve never really understood why McCain is considered “courageous” for being a POW. It reminds me of when I was in HS and a parent died. Everyone kept saying things like “I couldn’t go through that” and I was like “I DON’T HAVE A FUCKING CHOICE!”

    Dude flew a plane, got shot down, and was captured. Where is the heroism? I’m sure it was horrible and I wish it hadn’t happened, but I don’t see how it reflects on McCain in any way. Is there a story I’m missing?

  55. 55
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @nutellaontoast:

    I’ve never really understood why McCain is considered “courageous” for being a POW.

    Heaping praise on a right wing veteran for having served in the military is a conditioned reaction on the part of our mainstream press to the Vietnam dolchstosslegende. You might as well ask why Pavlov’s dogs drooled or why the rats in a Skinner Box avoid the glinting steel of exposed electrodes. That this does not apply to Dems (e.g. John Kerry) of course goes without saying.

  56. 56
    joes527 says:

    @nutellaontoast: Didn’t he pass on a get out of jail free card if he would screw Jane Fonda on top of a tank?

    Something like that.

  57. 57
    r€nato says:

    @Newsie8200:

    There’s an opportunity here for an organization to lob grenades at both Hayworth and McCain during the primary…

    Yeah, you’d think that the Arizona Democratic Party would get right on that and find a strong candidate for the general election, huh?

    I’ve yet to hear of any such person. I couldn’t tell you if there IS anyone on the Dem side running for this seat, even a no-name longshot.

    In any case, the primary should be pretty spectacular.

  58. 58
    danimal says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    (2) Never underestimate the incompetence and stupidity of the Democratic Party.
    After the 2008 election I thought I might have to retire #2. Looks like that may have been a bit premature.

    This is the legacy of the HCR debacle. I’ll stay a Dem if they get their act together and pass the damn bill, but I really thought the national party had learned from the past 30 years in the wilderness.

    A shame, because even a mediocre Dem could probably beat McCain/Hayworth this year if the national brand weren’t so tainted.

  59. 59
    The Main-Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    @joes527:
    He was offered better treatment if he would denounce the US on radio (the same offer was extended to other POWs). He didn’t give in to that, but ultimately ended up denouncing the US anyway after being tortured. There are…some (probably incorrect) suspicions that he may have actually sold out and gotten the good treatment anyway.

  60. 60
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    There are a lot of good reasons to rag on John McCain, his POW status and war record isn’t one of them.

  61. 61
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    Of course, that’s just my opinion fwiw.

  62. 62
    Timmy B says:

    John McCain is the George Bush of the U.S. Navy: A complete incompetent who got to where he was only because of nepotism. Like Bush, MCCain was an arrogant slacker who rode the coattails of an accomplished father. McCain would have been thrown of of the Navy numerious times but for his father, who was a well-respected Admiral.

    McCain graduated at the bottom of his Naval Academy class, and would have been thrown out but for his admiral father pulling strings. From there, he went on to become the Navy’s most incompetent pilot. McCain was called “Reverse Ace McCain ” because he piloted 5 U.S. war planes that were destroyed. The joke is that you get to be called “Ace” if you destroy 5 enemy aircraft, not 5 of your own. This includes multi-million dollar aircraft that he crashed because he ran out of fuel. Anyone else would have been thrown out of the Navy with his flying record, but his father was Commander of the Pacific Fleet.

    McCain is also a coward. After escaping from his aircraft during the 1967 USS Forrestal fire, Lieut. Commander McCain fled the flight deck and hid out in the ward room while most everyone else was manning fire hoses trying to put out the fire. The fire killed 134 sailors and injured 161. “Hero” my ass.

  63. 63
    Cain says:

    @Bob S:

    This is the best post I’ve ever read on this site. If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was at Robert Parry’s Consortiumnews. Thanks for your effort.

    You must be new here. There are all kinds of wonderful wonderful posts out there; some that will make you laugh hysterically. This is a decent post, but no way “best” post evah!

    cain

  64. 64
    TimO says:

    One very important point in JD losing the election was that he’s a complete asshole.

    Harry Mitchell and JD sat together with the AZ Republic Editorial Board for a debate/interview. Slugworth could not have been a bigger asshole trying to intimidate both his opponent and the board members.

    That sealed the deal and the Conservative Republic endorsed Harry and told the public why.

    The endorsement never even mentioned Abramoff, they didn’t have to.

    http://www.azcentral.com/arizo.....i1-27.html

    Whenever Abramoff comes up as a reason, I always scratch my head because we really didn’t hear alot of that here in AZ. It wasn’t a widely publicized issue here.

  65. 65
    Just Suck Fomehead says:

    John McCain can solve all this by finally dying.

  66. 66
    Kate in AZ says:

    @sentient puddle
    Rodney Glassman, a city councilman in Tucson, is in the exploratory phase for the seat. Very green, very early in his political career, but quite impressive. (shades of Obama?) That’s about it, however…where have you gone, Janet N??

  67. 67
    Dennis G. says:

    @Cain:

    Yes. There is no way that this is the best post ever, but thanks for the kind words. I think it was OK, but I also think it could be improved.

    I’ve been posting here for a little while now and there has been some excellent work. For example, this post from John was brilliant. Simply fucking brilliant.

    Cheers

  68. 68

    @General Egal Tarian Stuck:

    There are a lot of good reasons to rag on John McCain, his POW status and war record isn’t one of them.

    From the fine article The Make Believe Maverick.

    At Fort McNair, an army base located along the Potomac River in the nation’s capital, a chance reunion takes place one day between two former POWs. It’s the spring of 1974, and Navy commander John Sidney McCain III has returned home from the experience in Hanoi that, according to legend, transformed him from a callow and reckless youth into a serious man of patriotism and purpose. Walking along the grounds at Fort McNair, McCain runs into John Dramesi, an Air Force lieutenant colonel who was also imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam.
    __
    McCain is studying at the National War College, a prestigious graduate program he had to pull strings with the Secretary of the Navy to get into. Dramesi is enrolled, on his own merit, at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in the building next door.
    __
    There’s a distance between the two men that belies their shared experience in North Vietnam — call it an honor gap. Like many American POWs, McCain broke down under torture and offered a “confession” to his North Vietnamese captors. Dramesi, in contrast, attempted two daring escapes. For the second he was brutalized for a month with daily torture sessions that nearly killed him. His partner in the escape, Lt. Col. Ed Atterberry, didn’t survive the mistreatment. But Dramesi never said a disloyal word, and for his heroism was awarded two Air Force Crosses, one of the service’s highest distinctions. McCain would later hail him as “one of the toughest guys I’ve ever met.”
    __
    On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.
    __
    “I’m going to the Middle East,” Dramesi says. “Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran.”
    __
    “Why are you going to the Middle East?” McCain asks, dismissively.
    __
    “It’s a place we’re probably going to have some problems,” Dramesi says.
    __
    “Why? Where are you going to, John?”
    __
    “Oh, I’m going to Rio.”
    __
    “What the hell are you going to Rio for?”
    __
    McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.
    __
    “I got a better chance of getting laid.”
    __
    Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. “McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man,” Dramesi says today. “But he’s still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in.”

    Further on in the fine article.

    There is no question that McCain suffered hideously in North Vietnam. His ejection over a lake in downtown Hanoi broke his knee and both his arms. During his capture, he was bayoneted in the ankle and the groin, and had his shoulder smashed by a rifle butt. His tormentors dragged McCain’s broken body to a cell and seemed content to let him expire from his injuries. For the next two years, there were few days that he was not in agony.
    __
    But the subsequent tale of McCain’s mistreatment — and the transformation it is alleged to have produced — are both deeply flawed. The Code of Conduct that governed POWs was incredibly rigid; few soldiers lived up to its dictate that they “give no information . . . which might be harmful to my comrades.” Under the code, POWs are bound to give only their name, rank, date of birth and service number — and to make no “statements disloyal to my country.”
    __
    Soon after McCain hit the ground in Hanoi, the code went out the window. “I’ll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital,” he later admitted pleading with his captors. McCain now insists the offer was a bluff, designed to fool the enemy into giving him medical treatment. In fact, his wounds were attended to only after the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a Navy admiral. What has never been disclosed is the manner in which they found out: McCain told them. According to Dramesi, one of the few POWs who remained silent under years of torture, McCain tried to justify his behavior while they were still prisoners. “I had to tell them,” he insisted to Dramesi, “or I would have died in bed.”
    __
    Dramesi says he has no desire to dishonor McCain’s service, but he believes that celebrating the downed pilot’s behavior as heroic — “he wasn’t exceptional one way or the other” — has a corrosive effect on military discipline. “This business of my country before my life?” Dramesi says. “Well, he had that opportunity and failed miserably. If it really were country first, John McCain would probably be walking around without one or two arms or legs — or he’d be dead.”

    I think that given that John McCain’s POW story is so much bullshit, and is being called as such by a fellow POW and former commander of the 509th Bomb Wing is a perfect reason to rag on John McCain. It’s not the only one, the way he spent seven years sucking up to the same group of right wing fucks who slimed his adopted daughter Bridget during the 2000 South Carolina primary, or the complete lack of judgment he showed in picking Sarah Palin as his VP choice are also really good, and they’re not the only ones. But the POW myth is central to John McCain, it’s what he’s been peddling for almost 40 years.

  69. 69

    @Just Suck Fomehead:

    John McCain can solve all this by finally dying.

    Would it be good news for him if he did? Would his death reduce the number of times he appeared on the Sunday morning idiot news lineup?

  70. 70
    eemom says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    probly not, but it might improve his appearance.

  71. 71

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Heaping praise on a right wing veteran for having served in the military is a conditioned reaction on the part of our mainstream press to the Vietnam dolchstosslegende. You might as well ask why Pavlov’s dogs drooled or why the rats in a Skinner Box avoid the glinting steel of exposed electrodes. That this does not apply to Dems (e.g. John Kerry) of course goes without saying.

    “Dolchstosslegende”, Pavlov’s dog’s drooling, rats in a Skinner box avoiding the “…glinting steel of exposed electrodes”. Such imagery, if you lived in the Seattle area I would drive over to your house right now, knock on your door and when you opened it rip my shirt off and scream “Take me! Take me now!”. Or not, if that’s a disturbing image.

  72. 72
    Mary says:

    Fascinating post Dengre. McCain is reaping some fierce karma with J.D. Hayworth popping back up to challenge his seat.

  73. 73
    Bob S says:

    @Cain: You’re right. When I come here it’s to laugh, and the comment section rarely lets me down.
    But that was good reporting, something I don’t ever remember reading here.

  74. 74
    James says:

    Before he was a ‘heroic pow’ he killed a helluva lot of people on board the Forrestal. Probably a helluva lot more Vietnamese women and children in Rolling Thunder.

    It’s more ‘time served’ than hardship.

  75. 75
    SFAW says:

    Being a pampered military brat, a breathtakingly shitty pilot and a POW does not a hero make. Sorry.

    IOKIYAR.

    Also, from your statement, it appears that you were either out of the country or just not paying attention from 2000 until just recently.

  76. 76
    feebog says:

    Hayworth is so fucking dumb that the first time McCain uses one of these selective documents to smear him, J.D. will demand that all the documents be released immediately.

  77. 77
    JWW says:

    Dennis G,

    I know that the Abramoff scandal, is pretty much fact. I think your further comments are bullshit. You are a walking mouth that skews politics from war. If you want to see a coward, walk into your bathroom and look in the mirror. I don’t like either one of them as a representative in our government. But to make your point by trashing a POW from then to now is cowardice in itself. Pull up your pantyhose and walk the line between both.

  78. 78
    Brian J says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    The Democrats really do need to be prepared for this race. I imagine that even if McCain is the nominee, he’ll be damaged by Hayworth, and we can take advantage of his weakened state. Besides, if they have to spend money defending Arizona, that’s less money they can spend in Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, and other states.

  79. 79
    SFAW says:

    The Democrats really do need to be prepared for this race.

    They are – Tim Kaine has already enlisted Bob Shrum to run the campaign for whomever the Dem nominee is.

  80. 80
    Yutsano says:

    @SFAW: Napolitano would have been a walk even over Grandpa, but if Hayworth wins the primary this race moves to at least competitive immediately. I have a friend in Arizona who says that Hayworth has managed to piss off the Mormons, and if they sit this out a Dem could win. Arizona has a huge influx of Californians who have been slowly bluing the state. If the Republicans focus on other races plus their huge money deficit, suddenly the Senate looks less disastrous.

    @Dennis G.: Thanks for that clarification. Every time I hear the McCain as war hero meme I find myself ready to spit bile. He is no fucking hero until he explains what happens on the Forrestal. That alone will earn him his own special level in Hades.

  81. 81
    Irony Abounds says:

    Ummm, Janet N would be toast at this point if she hadn’t gone to Washington. Arizona’s budget is in terrible, terrible shape, and she flew the coop just before the shit hit the fan. Stimulus money helped stave off massive cuts this year, but this coming year will be a complete and total disaster with huge cuts to education and virtually everything else. Arizona’s legislature is run by the wingnuttiest of wingnuts, a bunch of East Valley Mormons and rural know-nothings, all of whom hate, I mean hate, public education. They are attacking Janet’s replacement, a conservative Republican, for wanting to put a sales tax increase on the ballot for voter approval (that’s right, they don’t even want the voters to have a say). Janet would be crucified if she had stayed as Governor and then run for the Senate given the deplorable state of Arizona’s finances.

  82. 82
    Mike in NC says:

    Two motherfuckers who should rot in hell…

  83. 83
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Paul L.: Do you even understand what the phrase “tend to” means?

  84. 84
    Joey Maloney says:

    Buddy movie!

  85. 85
    fbg46 says:

    McCain doubtlessly has his share of physical courage — anyone who would willingly land on the deck of an aircraft carrier over and over has demonstrated that.

    But, as is often the case, Mark Twain put his finger on the situation when he once asked rhetorically why physical courage was so abundant and moral courage so scarce.

    McCain has plenty of the former, but none of the latter.

  86. 86
    JWW says:

    To Yall POS,

    You can attack the thought process, voting record, political ideals but you show your own character when you attack the person. Dennis when you find a run in your pantyhose, who do you blame? The above comments are about as FUBAR as it gets. If you don’t like the way a politician thinks or votes, don’t vote for them. Bashing them as a person doesn’t get you any respect!

  87. 87
    Larry M says:

    Mass murder of innocents from the sky is hardly a mark of courage. McCain has been a murderous coward all of his life.

  88. 88
    Larry M says:

    JWW,

    Yeah, I hate it when people attack Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Cheney as persons. Please stick to attacking their thought processes, voting records, and political ideals.

  89. 89

    […] Franks is mentioned in quite a few of them. It is also likely that Grifter Franks is mentioned in the 750,000 pages of Abramoff documents that John McCain collected and is keeping hidden from the pu…. Perhaps this is why Trent Franks is endorsing McCain over his wingnut brother JD […]

  90. 90

    […] PDRTJS_settings_132826_post_7207 = { "id" : "132826", "unique_id" : "wp-post-7207", "title" : "Idiot%2Fcrook+du+jour%3A+Trent+Franks", "item_id" : "_post_7207", "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fblogontherun.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F03%2F01%2Fidiotcrook-du-jour-trent-franks%2F" } If, like me, you’d never heard of him until a day or two ago, you need to know that Trent Franks 1) is a Republican congresscritter from Arizona; 2) believes that African Americans were better off under slavery than they are today; 3) is probably a crook; and 4) is supporting Sen. John McCain’s re-election bid against primary challenger (and fellow crook) J.D. Hayworth, most likely because McCain is keeping secret some records that likely could hurt him. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] PDRTJS_settings_132826_post_7207 = { "id" : "132826", "unique_id" : "wp-post-7207", "title" : "Idiot%2Fcrook+du+jour%3A+Trent+Franks", "item_id" : "_post_7207", "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fblogontherun.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F03%2F01%2Fidiotcrook-du-jour-trent-franks%2F" } If, like me, you’d never heard of him until a day or two ago, you need to know that Trent Franks 1) is a Republican congresscritter from Arizona; 2) believes that African Americans were better off under slavery than they are today; 3) is probably a crook; and 4) is supporting Sen. John McCain’s re-election bid against primary challenger (and fellow crook) J.D. Hayworth, most likely because McCain is keeping secret some records that likely could hurt him. […]

  2. […] Franks is mentioned in quite a few of them. It is also likely that Grifter Franks is mentioned in the 750,000 pages of Abramoff documents that John McCain collected and is keeping hidden from the pu…. Perhaps this is why Trent Franks is endorsing McCain over his wingnut brother JD […]

Comments are closed.