As the grumpy old man from Arizonia continues his ongoing campaign of incoherent rants, endless policy flip-flops, public tantrums over imagined slights and sputtering rage at just about everything and anyone–many in the media are wondering what happened to the “Maverick” they thought they knew and loved back in 1999.
The cognitive dissonance that John McCain is creating in Washington among the political and media class is palpable. It is a raw thing. The distress and confusion is moving into the open as more and more folks try to sort out what McCain is doing and why–and to reconcile that with the John McCain myths they created back in the 1990s.
Call this new field McCainology. The first reports of this field of study surfaced in TNR back in 2004 as they explored “How McCain sold out” his virtues, principles and convictions by his full-throttled embrace of George W. Bush. In trying to explain the gap between McCain’s actions and the McCain myth a new field of study was born and those who study the contradictions of the man were identified as “McCainologists”.
Since then the field has grown as more and more try to reconcile the bitter angry old man driven by irrational grudges, deep hatred and endless rage over losing his run for the White House to a black man with the John McCain of the 2000 Presidential Campaign who would suck up to anybody and everybody who took the time to visit him on the mythical Straight Talk Express bus.
The dissonance that crazy bitter John McCain has created is spilling over and in the wake of today’s DADT vote, it seems that the angry, hypocritical, vindictive John McCain is becoming the dominant McCain narrative. Good. It is about time.
It was Dana Milbank who left the Straight Talk Express McCain myth behind today as he focused on what a total dick John McCain really is:
If John McCain gets any more hostile toward his Senate colleagues, they might consider having him go through the metal detector before he enters the Capitol. [snip]
McCain’s statement on the floor was roughly one part argument, four parts tantrum. [snip]
On Saturday, McCain’s rage was all the more striking because the general tone of the debate was tame. [snip]
The loss of Republican votes, no doubt, made McCain even angrier.
And Milbank didn’t even talk about McCain calling efforts to support the first responders of 9-11, “fooling abound” and a waste of his time–but others did.
It is good to see that more and more folks recognize John McCain for the small-minded weasel that he is and it is fun to see that members of McCain’s former base (the DC press) are starting to resolve their dissonance by embracing the cold fact that John McCain is simply a prick who acts of out of peevishness and not out of integrity.
No doubt that McCain still has many lovers in the DC press who still have stars in their eyes as they recall romantic moments with St. John in the back of the bus a decade ago. And because of those starbursts one can be sure that John McCain will still be a regular on the Sunday shows. But as the new angry McCain narrative grows those starbusts will fade. And yet, McCain will still be booked on those shows. But more and more he will be booked as a freak who can easily be poked and tormented and goaded into saying something crazy and irrational out of anger. He will be the go to ‘angry old man’ who yells at clouds as a predictable punchline.
And each batshit crazy rant will create more opportunities for McCainologists to comment on the McCain freak show. This will be a growing line of work in DC as more and more of McCain’s former DC press corps lovers will be compelled to try to talk about “what happen to John McCain” as a new way to fill air time, blog posts and column inches.
John McCain is joke and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.
ps: TNC has a spot on take down of McCain’s rantings which he aptly describes as being “in full-throttled white populist mode”. Go and read it and while you’re there be sure to read this one as well. TNC is on my daily must read list and I think he is doing some of the best work being done on the internets.