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New McCain Stump Speech—Now With Twenty Percent More Subtext

My friends, this is a most important election, and I’ve come before the American people to ask the most important questions that face us in this time of trouble and uncertainty.  Questions such as: who is the real Barack Hussein al-Obama?  How did he come out of nowhere, trained by madrassas in Indonesia and Afrikanistan, to become the surprise stealth nominee of the Democrat party?  America knows me, my friends, and America knows my story of heroism and self-sacrifice.  And yet America knows nothing about this mysterious foreigner who makes so many nice speeches but who won’t level with the American people about what he really plans to do to them.

Rather than answer his critics, al-Obama will try to distract you from noticing that he never answers the serious and legitimate questions he has been asked about his pastor and his terrorist pals. But let me reply in the plainest terms I know. I don’t need lessons about telling the truth to American people. And were I ever to need any improvement in that regard, I probably wouldn’t seek advice from a Chicago politician who comes from the south side of Chicago, which, as Jim Croce pointed out many years ago, is the baddest part of town.

My opponent’s touchiness every time he is questioned about his record should make us only more concerned. For a guy who’s already authored two memoirs, he’s not exactly an open book.  He seems volatile, irascible, quick to anger, and possessed of a truly outrageous sense of personal entitlement. Not like me—all of America knows that I came up the hard way, and that no one ever offered me a handout or saved me a cushy place in some fancy East Coast university.  It’s as if somehow the usual rules don’t apply, and where other candidates have to explain themselves and their records, al-Obama seems to think he is above all that. Whatever the question, whatever the issue, there’s always a back story and a back-room deal with al-Obama. That’s how those people operate—they move under cover of darkness, hiding their shadowy associations and even changing their names.  All people want to know is: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government? What does he plan for America?

Sure, he gave a nice little speech in Denver in front of a bunch of expensive columns and talked about his “plans” in great detail.  But my friends, you know and I know that those weren’t his real plans.  When precisely does al-Obama plan to convert Americans to Islam?  Will he fulfill his promise to paint the White House black?  How many little babies will he kill with the help of domestic terrorist and longtime pal Bill Ayres?  Is it true that he is planning to round up all white people over the age of fifty and put them to work in his underground sugar mines?  And how exactly does he propose to teach your kindergarten-age child to have sex?  Will he use claymation models and origami pop-ups, or will he try to demonstrate specific sexual techniques himself?  But ask such questions and all you get in response is another barrage of angry insults.  My friends, it is time to come together, reject partisan bickering in Washington and the tired politics of division, and tell the straight truth about everything that’s gone wrong over the past eight years: it’s all the fault of the Democrat party and the dark, elusive stranger who calls himself—for now, anyway—Barack Hussein al-Obama.

Whew!  Now that McCain’s campaign has moved into its neo-Birchian phase, complete with its very own raving anti-Semitic wing and, at the very top of the media food chain, professional (and lipsticked!) scuzzballs like Sean Hannity and Smirkin’ Bill Kristol, I’m tempted to hope that Obama will say something like this in tonight’s debate, perhaps in his closing statement:

John, many months ago you promised to run an honorable campaign that respected the intelligence of the American people.  I’m truly sorry to say that your promise has been honored more in the breach than in the observance.  I’m sorry to see you respond to a global financial crisis by stooping to baseless innuendo and naked character assassination, simply because your advisers have decided that it’s time to “turn the page” on the crisis that affects all of us around the world.  I’m especially sorry to see that you’ve lost many of your admirers in the national media: the same people who were calling you a maverick and saluting your “straight-talk express” eight years ago are now saying you’ve run the most dishonest, dishonorable campaign in recent memory.  John, I’m asking you as a fellow Senator and a fellow American, because there are only four weeks left in this critical campaign: will you take the high road, will you run an honorable campaign, will you address yourself to the issues that really matter to the American people?

Call it the audacity of hope.  Of course, I don’t think Obama will say anything like this; if the first debate is any indication, Obama’s going to go for the cool deflection, not the red-hot direct reply.  In so doing, Obama will no doubt disappoint his partisans who want him to play Rock-Em-Sock-Em Robots with the vast right-wing noise machine.  Yes, I know, it’s better to play it cool when your opponent is an incoherent growling curmudgeon and you’re up by eight or nine nationwide.  But I do think that McCain is at the boiling point, and that if Obama says anything tonight that calls into question McCain’s one-hundred-percent truthiness and integritocity, or if Obama says anything that suggests that McCain should treat him as a peer (like “as a fellow Senator"), however gently and genteely he says it, the game might finally be over.

Because up to this point, the one thing McCain has been most willing to sacrifice—his reputation for integrity, the backbone of his carefully-crafted public legend—has been the one thing he most fiercely defends.  It’s almost as if he knows precisely how much he’s lost in the bargain, and has decided (consciously or unconsciously) to devote his campaign to his own self-destruction:  attacking his media base and slingin’ the shit while dedicating himself to a frantic defense of his reputation for country-first integritude and steadfast truth-telling maverickiness.  If Obama touches on this dynamic tonight, however lightly, his opponent might implode. 

No, it probably won’t happen.  But it would be great fun to watch.

Posted by on 10/07 at 12:09 AM
  1. Bravo, Bérubé. 

    I think every time McCain throws a fist full of monkey poo, Obama should just look at him and chuckle.  As Mr. Clemens said,

    “The human race, in all its poverty, has only one truly effective weapon: laughter. Against the assault of laughter - ha-ha-ha-ha! - nothing can stand.”

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  01:47 AM
  2. i keep hoping against hope to see mcmuffin in an intereview w/any pundit/tv personality, who actually calls him on his bs:

    mcmuffin:  we need to know about obama, his character.  the american people already know who i am.

    pundit:  well, with all due respect, senator, i thought i knew who you were.  you used to be a man of integrity, intelligence, and honor.  you said yourself you weren’t going to run a negative campaign.

    but now you’ve sold your soul to the devil of rovian politics, throwing wads of feces on the wall, hoping that something sticks.

    and it may stick, sir, and you might indeed hurt sen. obama’s standing in the polls.

    but your increasingly desperate behavior and that of your campaign, has hurt your standing in the hearts and minds of america.

    what we once thought of an an honorable man, sir, has become nothing more than a school yard bully, whining because nobody’s listening to him.

    and it’s sad to see.

    Posted by skippy  on  10/07  at  02:02 AM
  3. John, I’m asking you as a fellow Senator

    Man, John McCain’s rhetoric slithered from the gutter to the sewer so stealthily that I’d basically stopped thinking of Obama as a Senator. But indeed, accusing a fellow Senator of being bought off by foreign countries is, like, grave. If McCain said anything like that on the Senate floor he’d be told to take his seat and be quiet. 

    Luckily, I cast my vote for Obama today before McCain could persuade me I should be afraid to do so.

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  02:39 AM
  4. Well, I for one hope that Obama can actually get McCain to throw a punch, or at least say “horseshit” a little more audibly this time.  I expected some real entertainment value out of the veep debate and I got nothing.  Although, admittedly, if the drinking game I was playing called for taking a swig every time Palin dropped a “g” it would have been at least adequately amusing.  So it’s as much my fault for not having the foresight to include that as a rule, or not to have just drunk more anyway and rules be damned as it is hers for say, not answering questions by paraphrasing the lyrics to “The Hokey Pokey.”

    They owe me some quality entertainment, and if McCain won’t throw down he’s in danger of losing this audience share to <a href=http://prowrestling.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=prowrestling&cdn=sports&tm=24&f=00&su=p504.1.336.ip_&tt=2&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http://www.usanetwork.com/sports/wwe/index.html>someone who will</a>

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  02:40 AM
  5. I’ll be in Tanzania on Election Day, and Kilimanjaro couldn’t possibly be a more taxing mountain to climb than this exhausting heap of political MS. 

    “M” as in Moose, that is.  On the brighter side, it appears increasingly likely that we’ll decide to return and help clean up the mess, since the Obama administration will reportedly grant generous subsidies to revitalize the slumping American shovel industry.

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  02:56 AM
  6. I see that ”The second presidential (town meeting format) debate will include any issues raised by members of that audience and online…” according to the Debate Commission’s website, but I don’t see any indication of where online questions are supposed to be sent, who’s going to gather them and who’s going to decide which ones get read. Any clue?

    Posted by peter ramus  on  10/07  at  03:32 AM
  7. >> put them to work in his underground sugar mines?

    I dont think Hussein would bother with the white stuff. I am thinking Chocolate mines…

    Posted by wolfgang  on  10/07  at  07:09 AM
  8. I don’t see any indication of where online questions are supposed to be sent, who’s going to gather them and who’s going to decide which ones get read. Any clue?

    I think the questions are going to come chiefly from VFW Post 1881 in downtown Cheyenne.  Either that, or they’ll be selected from the same fine people who gave us this piece of surreal performance art last November.

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  08:03 AM
  9. Oddly, it does seem like the McCain legend was merely a waypoint for the senator, a cocoon that protected the fragile butterfly that is McCain’s inner vision and destiny. Now we as we see the outer shell breaking up there is really only one thing to say: paging Ellen Ripley.

    Posted by black dog barking  on  10/07  at  10:03 AM
  10. We have a call in to Mr. Kubrick and are trying to reach Mr. Sellers.
    We’ll get back to you…

    Posted by neill  on  10/07  at  10:17 AM
  11. A prelude of sorts.

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  11:39 AM
  12. Thanks, J--.  There’s really no question in my mind, based on that amazing exchange and the wonders of the past few weeks, that John McCain is not worthy to stand on the same stage with Barack Obama.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/07  at  11:54 AM
  13. From the transcript linked from #8:

    Schmoopsy: Schmoopsy here with a question for the Republican candidate.
    (End videotape)
    Cooper: Sadly, Schmoopsy will not be heard from tonight.

    Oh man, I hope Schmoopsy gets to ask, uh, its question tonight!!!

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  12:10 PM
  14. Of course, Michael, you realize that for five and half years McCain didn’t have the opportunity to write deranged, resentful, condescending, and obnoxious letters to his colleagues, like J links to.

    Posted by John Protevi  on  10/07  at  12:17 PM
  15. Nor did he have a kitchen table to write that letter on, even if he had had the opportunity.  Don’t even ask what he might have had to use for paper and pen.

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  12:21 PM
  16. Sven @ 13:  what’s really amazing is that the Schmoopsy moment in that debate was the high point.  Just keep reading ‘til you get to Tancredo and Duncan talking about their Infinitely High Border Wall, followed by Ron Paul on Teh Evil NAFTA Superhighway Conspiracy involving the Council on Foreign Relations, Queen Elizabeth, and the faked moon landing.

    John @14 and nashe @ 15:  would that be the period during which McCain didn’t have very good health care?  Because I don’t always get those references.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/07  at  12:29 PM
  17. Ooooh, I hopeIhopeIhope McCain loses his temper tonight--high time we got *some* fun outta this election! (And no, sexist-jerk comments about Sarah Palin don’t count.)

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  12:33 PM
  18. I wonder if McCain will wink at the camera?

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  12:36 PM
  19. I enjoyed reading that part about “painting the White House black...” And don’t forget to drape a condom over the Washington Monument.

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  12:46 PM
  20. I have a British colleague, ex-military, goes by the name of “Mandrake.” He thinks there’s a three letter acronym that explains McCain’s behavior.

    Posted by John Protevi  on  10/07  at  01:10 PM
  21. Possible movie scenes for John McCain to act out during the debate:

    a) “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

    b) “No wire hangers ... ever”

    c) The first rule of fight angry old man club is that you do not talk about fight angry old man club.”

    d) “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up”

    e) “I think you’re all fucked in the head. We’re ten hours seven weeks from the fucking fun park election and you want to bail out. Well I’ll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation campaign. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun. I’m gonna have fun and you’re gonna have fun. We’re all gonna have so much fucking fun we’ll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles. You’ll be whistling ‘Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah’ out of you’re assholes!”

    e) ”Saigon Nashville… shit; I’m still only in Saigon Nashville… Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in the jungle. When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I’d wake up and there’d be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said “yes” to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I’m here a week now… waiting for a mission… getting softer; every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie Barry squats in the bush is on stage, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around, the walls moved in a little tighter.”

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  01:20 PM
  22. Good ones, JP, but my money’s on this one.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/07  at  01:41 PM
  23. About that photo of the Maverickator, does he have the mumps, has he been in a fight, is he chewing tobacco, has be been to the dentist, or is his tongue simply stuck in his cheek?

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  02:30 PM
  24. Actually, I think this is the movie we’re looking for:


    (And a hearty hi ho, Herr Doktor Professor!  We who also attended college with Barry for a short time salute you!)

    Posted by the talking dog  on  10/07  at  02:31 PM
  25. A jowl-flap’s as good as a wink to a blind bat.
    Say no more, squire.

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  02:44 PM
  26. Michael @ 22: Yes, that one is probably the best (and good site) although it also brings to mind:

    Ah, but the strawberries! That’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, and with geometric logic, that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox did exist! And I’d have produced that key if they hadn’t pulled Caine out of action! I-I-I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officer and!......(realizes he has been ranting, babbling)
    Naturally, I can only cover these things from memory if I’ve left anything out, why, just ask me specific questions and I’ll be glad to answer them...one-by-one…

    A pair of ball bearings could be the new McCain campaign prop.

    Posted by  on  10/07  at  02:55 PM
  27. Hey black dog barking...I think the metamorphosis is incomplete.  He is transmongrifying into Colonel Tigh (complete with trophy wife)and we know what happened when they let him get his hands on the levers…

    Posted by  on  10/08  at  01:01 AM
  28. I must confess, collin99, that I’ve not managed to keep up with BG. Did Colonel Tigh crash several battle stars? Did an unexplained rash of “mechanical failure” follow his pilotin’ from post to post, too?

    Posted by black dog barking  on  10/08  at  10:28 AM
  29. America knows me, my friends, and America knows my story of heroism and self-sacrifice.

    What story would that be?  I wish he’d stop teasing us with his sketchy allusions to… something… in his history.

    Oh man, I hope Schmoopsy gets to ask, uh, its question tonight!!!

    Yes, I too went into Round 2 last night thinking: “Hang on, Schmoopsy.  Schmoopsy, hang on!” Alas, it was not to be.

    Did Colonel Tigh crash several battle stars?

    “Vipers” would probably be a better comparison than “battlestars.” Not even the way-out vet sites have accused McCain of crashing numerous aircraft carriers… yet.

    Posted by  on  10/08  at  07:57 PM
  30. I’m dressing up as an old man tomorrow for a halloween contest at work. I have bought everything, but I want to make the costume very original. Since I’m a middle age female, I want the wrinkles to look real. Please help! I read info here:
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    Posted by wrinkles  on  11/24  at  03:01 PM
  31. I have always liked McCain. This speech text was really nice. I liked and enjoyed reading the whole post.
    is bronchitis contagious
    Regards, Jackson

    Posted by Jackson - bronchitis contagious  on  06/10  at  03:17 PM





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