Shocking, Explosive Exposé on McCainOctober 5, 2008
Rolling Stone has been a bastion of rock & roll, revolutionary writing by icons, and, every once in a while, terrific journalism. This incorporates two of the the three. No, I don’t mean it’s a great piece of journalism by an icon (maybe someday, Mr. Dickinson). It’s a terrific rock & roll piece of political journalism.
Tim Dickinson hits Senator McCain where it hurts, right in the cavity that should house John McCain’s soul. It’s not Mr. Dickinson’s (or Rolling Stone’s) fault that they found an empty, dank crevasse where ethics, morality, and humanity should be stored within John McCain–it’s the Senator’s fault alone.
This piece uses a crowbar where the major media tries to use a feather. The writer hammers out the discombobulating contradictions in the Senator’s life and politics into a smooth sheet of paper on which he wrote the most truthful profile of John McCain yet. Dickinson doesn’t shy away from telling the story from the Senator’s pampered beginnings to his gilded twilight. He gives praise, albeit begrudging, when it is due, yet narrows his focus upon what Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs should know–the real John McCain.
From McCain’s glory days as a boozing and gallivanting Navy pilot*, to his back door dealings in the Keating Five scandal, from the shunning of his crippled wife to his verbally abusive rants at his current, Dickinson explores the John McCain that wants to lead this nation. It is shocking, and it is terrifying at times, but do yourself a favor and read this account.
Just a small glimpse of what you’ll miss if you ignore my heed:
In the Senate — where, according to former GOP Sen. Bob Smith, McCain has “very few friends” — his volcanic temper has repeatedly led to explosive altercations with colleagues and constituents alike. In 1992, McCain got into a heated exchange with Sen. Chuck Grassley over the fate of missing American servicemen in Vietnam. “Are you calling me stupid?” Grassley demanded. “No, I’m calling you a fucking jerk!” yelled McCain. Sen. Bob Kerrey later told reporters that he feared McCain was “going to head-butt Grassley and drive the cartilage in his nose into his brain.” The two were separated before they came to blows. Several years later, during another debate over servicemen missing in action, an elderly mother of an MIA soldier rolled up to McCain in her wheelchair to speak to him about her son’s case. According to witnesses, McCain grew enraged, raising his hand as if to strike her before pushing her wheelchair away.
*What’s the difference between a fighter pilot and his aircraft?
The aircraft stops whining when you shut down the engines.