If I hear the term "maverick" associated with John McCain one more time, I think I am going to puke.
The Republican Party is trying very hard to portray McCain as a Man Of Change! He's a man who crosses party lines, reaches across the aisle, blah blah blah. In fact, he's not just a maverick. Hell, he was a fighter pilot; he IS Maverick! Just like Tom Cruise in that movie!
It's just so much bullshit. He's a politician...a career politician. He will say whatever it takes to get elected, simple as that. I can't take it anymore.
Back during the primaries, there was that saying about Rudy Giuliani: "When Giuliani speaks, every sentence contains a noun, a verb, and 9/11." (It is still true today.) When John McCain speaks, every sentence contains a noun, a verb and "prisoner of war." It seems that it is simply impossible for anyone to talk about McCain (including himself) without bringing up his Viet Nam war experience, both as a fighter pilot and as a P.O.W.
Like it friggin' matters.
Okay, he spent years as a captive in a torturous prison. He endured stuff that would have in all likelihood killed me. For that he deserves and gets our undying respect. He's da man. But does that qualify him to be President? Does that even qualify him to lead our military as Commander In Chief? Let's just see.
McCain's U.S. Naval Academy graduating class consisted of 899 cadets. McCain did not graduate in the top 10. He didn't even graduate in the top ten percent. Not the top 50 percent, either. Nope, John McCain graduated 894th. Out of 899. Not exactly a great beginning. I'm sure his father and grandfather (high-ranking career military men themselves) were just bursting at the seams with pride. "Well hey Johnny, you sure did better than those other five guys. Way to go!"
McCain's proficiency as a pilot can be legitimately questioned. Robert Timberg's book, "John McCain: An American Odyssey" reports that he crashed two airplanes and had a wire strike with a third. And then, of course, he was shot down.
After returning from captivity, McCain was physically rehabilitated and then briefly given command of a flight training squadron in Jacksonville, Florida. Realizing that he'd never make it to the rank of Admiral (no sea command), he retired in 1981. In 1982 he switched to politics. He's been in Congress or the Senate ever since.
People talk about McCain's military background if it were the only thing that should be considered of a presidential candidate. Well, if being President were solely about leading our military, John McCain would not even be my first choice. There are those better qualified than he. But as President, McCain will very likely have to deal with one or two other issues. He's already admitted that his knowlege of the economy is weak. God only knows what other deficiencies he has.
He is certainly a mediocre public speaker, as evidenced by his speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention last night. I expected to be glued to the screen in rapt attention. Halfway through I picked up my laptop and began surfing my helicopter discussion forums, only half-listening to the same crap we've heard year after year after year. Then again, Rudy Giuliani's speech/stand-up comedy routine and Mitt Romney's astonishingly bizarre rant from the previous night were tough acts to follow. Even Sarah "Maverick" Palin upstaged McCain with her acceptance speech.
Look, has any presidential candidate ever not promised to shrink government...to cut wasteful government spending...to reduce our dependance on foreign oil? Has any presidential hopeful ever not promised to cut taxes...and stand up to those nefarious "special interest groups?"
Do we even pretend to believe them anymore? Dear God, why? Oh, please. I'm just sick of it. Sick of all the lying and pandering and politicians telling me what they think I want to hear.
If McCain wins...and that's a very big "if" at this point...he will be a very mediocre one-term president. Four years won't nearly be enough to accomplish all of the things he's promised us so far.