As reports of increasingly frightening anger filter in from McCain-Palin rallies, it’s necessary to understand where this comes from, and who is responsible.  Generally, the media has taken a nearly sympathetic tone towards McCain; it’s not really his fault because he’s losing, or he has no control over his supporters.  McCain can be absolved because once he was a Maverick, or because this is just what his last failing run at the presidency in his twilight years is doing to him.

There are, over and over again, explanations delivered with a sense of bemusement.  What happened to the honorable man we thought we knew?  The fact of the matter is that that man is a bully.

There really shouldn’t be all that much shock at the level of vitriol oozing from McCain supporters.  Some of it we saw coming; Islamaphobes will display hatred at the sound of the man’s name, racists will show their disdain for his color, and those who think that liberals are themselves evil will not hide that (though, it is important to point out that I know real liberals, and Obama is not a liberal).

But it’s also important to look at the man that these folks are taking their cues from.  “Who is Senator Barack Obama?”  McCain asks at a rally, and the first and loudest response is, “Terrorist!”  Until the pattern began to first form and then cement, it would look almost incidental, something beyond McCain’s realm of control.  But one could make a strong case that this is not far from how McCain himself would act.

The anger of the mob is a reflection of the anger of the man.

John McCain’s temper is legendary.  There have been tales of epithets in the halls of Congress, of physical altercations, and then there is the problem that John McCain has with wheelchair bound female family members of POW/MIAs.  If the incidents where McCain made one woman in a wheelchair cry, and then pushed another woman in a wheelchair into a wall weren’t documented, you would almost think of them as strange caricatures and not the actions of anyone real.  Real people just don’t do these kinds of things; it’s on par with murdering puppies.

But that’s John McCain; McNasty is a nickname well deserved.

Another report of the man’s mercurial temper also recently surfaced, this one taking place in a casino abroad.  Not being one to frequent casinos, and on the two occasions when I have I stayed away from the craps tables, I didn’t know this but apparently part of etiquette is that you keep your hands above the table.  At one particular outing, McCain allowed his hands to drop below the table and a middle aged woman touched him to correct him.  Here’s what followed:

“McCain immediately turned to the woman and said between clenched teeth: ‘DON’T TOUCH ME.’ The woman started to explain…McCain interrupted her: ‘DON’T TOUCH ME,’ he repeated viciously. The woman again tried to explain. ‘DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO?’ McCain continued, his voice rising and his hands now raised in the ‘bring it on’ position. He was red-faced. By this time all the action at the table had stopped. I was completely shocked. McCain had totally lost it, and in the space of about ten seconds. ‘Sir, you must be courteous to the other players at the table,’ the pit boss said to McCain. “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? ASK ANYBODY AROUND HERE WHO I AM.”

This being Puerto Rico, the pit boss might not have known McCain. But the senator continued in full fury–“DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”–and crisis was avoided only when Jeff offered to change places and stand between McCain and the woman who had touched his arm.

But if you think this is shocking, even for McCain, you haven’t seen anything yet.  Over at Taylor Marsh I found this video from Brave New PAC:


Here’s a partial transcript of the key portion:

A group of about two dozen of us went to the Senate Russell building to… in the hopes of talking with Senator McCain.  We had gathered on both sides of the hallway just a short distance from McCain’s office.  When we saw McCain and a young woman come from his office, I then saw Jeanette Jenkins, the niece of a missing man.

She stepped forward, but before she could say anything, McCain backhanded her, she hit the wall, and it was so loud that it resonated in the hallway.

Seriously, who does this?  And the thing is, we’ve seen his rage starting to boil over.  We’ve seen it in the debates.  We’ve seen it when he’s confronted by the press.  We’ve seen it in the way his campaign has shifted itself into outright aggression, and we have seen that rage transferred to the mobs that attend his rallies.  But from the reports we’re getting, like the one of John McCain backhanding a woman outside his office, it is clear that we’ve only seen a hint of the kind of viciousness McCain is capable of.

2 Responses to “Bully”

  1. Chad says:

    I think the accusations made with Sen. John Mccain are obscure and non-reliable. The accusations do not compel me to believe what the people in this video have said. There is no hard evidence, the people telling the stories are the only evidence, why should I believe just another editor or publisher that I see on tv or in a video? What makes them more creditable than any other media source portrayed in our society. Look at the videos of Sen. Barrack Obama. When there is point to be made they show HIM (Sen. Barrack Obama) speaking or doing what they are trying to reveal to the people of America. America needs to wake up, open their eyes and do the real research behind all the stories instead of listening to the news, and believing everything that comes out of the television. It is time for America to stop being ignorant, stop feeling sorry for everybody, and find the real truth.

  2. maya says:

    Chad, what you are saying is true, but there’s also no evidence that you yourself did any research before leaving your comment. I just did, and unfortunately it looks like a reasonably solid story. What I can’t yet find is the outcome of the Senate Ethics Committee hearings, but I found the submission, with attestation by several witnesses. I also found a very long trail back through the POW/MIA communities attesting to many events like these, including all through his earlier campaigns for the Senate, and psychological and medical discussions of his reactions as symptoms of PTSD which is common in vets, especially common in anyone who has been a prisoner, and which is never “cured.” The symptoms include a sort of “blackout” when triggered, and rage-filled actions that are not remembered. There are also old articles in the Arizona press referring to his hot-headedness, and many comments and reflections by other congressmen and women saying he’s verbally abusive. McCain himself admits to having a temper, and his nickname is McNasty. So when he said in the debate that America needed someone with a “cool head at the tiller,” who was he talking about? If he says he’s a hothead, then says he has a cool head, which are we to believe? It’s quite consistent with PTSD however that a person is somewhat (or a lot) delusional at times. You say we need to wake up — yes, we do. We need to look at the whole of a person. John McCain has done a lot of good work, but by nature of this condition he is not, in my view, the best man to have his hands on “the button.” Whether you like Obama or not, at least he’s level headed and there’s more consistency in his demeanor and character. He doesn’t just fly off the handle, black out, “forget” that he shoved or abused someone, and then claim the moral high ground by being willing to say “I’m sorry” for something he doesn’t even remember. In Presidential circumstances when people’s lives are at stake, it won’t cut it.

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