Update: I decided to remove some of the less relevant points from here, including certain things about McCains past. If you’re curious, you can find the details in the linked article. The selected points left below are only those I believe can still in some way be relevant today.
Note: Obviously, I haven’t verified all the details here. Yet, if half, or even one tenth of this is true, then it tells a story that is starkly different from the way John McCain presents himself.
Rolling Stone has an interesting ten-page article on the republican candidate for president. In “The Make-Believe Maverick”, they tell what they claim is his true life story, a story that strongly contradicts McCain`s own claims. If you`re interested in politics, I strongly recommend you read it. If you don’t have the patience for that, the following are a list of the key points (direct quotations are in italic).
Short story: John McCain has always been an ignorant, spoiled, self-serving jerk in every sense of the word. He takes great risks and has huge (but self serving) ambitions, and has risen to the top through string-pulling, and “having the right connections”.
“A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty”
- “(…) he has engaged in a “practice of politics” so deceptive that even [Political adviser to Bush, Karl] Rove himself has denounced it, saying that the outright lies in McCain’s campaign ads go “too far” and fail the “truth test.”
- Rita Hauser, who served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board: “the truth of the matter is that ambition is John McCain’s basic character. Seen in the sweep of his seven-decade personal history, his pandering to the right is consistent with the only constant in his life: doing what’s best for himself.“
- He graduated “(…) fifth from the bottom – 894th out of a class of 899.
- “Charlie Keating,(…) would ultimately be convicted on 73 counts of fraud and racketeering for his role in the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s (…) McCain and his family took at least nine free trips at Keating’s expense, and vacationed nearly every year at the mogul’s estate in the Bahamas.“
- “In June of this year, McCain reversed his decades-long opposition to coastal drilling — shortly before cashing $28,500 from 13 donors linked to Hess Oil.”
- Far from the portrayal he presents of himself as an unflinching maverick with a consistent and reliable record, McCain has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to taking whatever position will advance his own career. He “is the classic opportunist,” according to Ross Perot, who worked closely with McCain on POW issues.
- McCain was among the earliest and strongest backers of the invasion of Iraq. He worked hard for over a year before it, and had a terribly naive view of how the post-war situation would be. (He now claims he knew from the onset that it would be a long, tough struggle).
- Flip-flopping: “(…) his own statements show that he has been on both sides of a host of vital issues: the Bush tax cuts, the estate tax, waterboarding, hunting down terrorists in Pakistan, kicking Russia out of the G-8, a surge of troops into Afghanistan, the GI Bill, storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, teaching intelligent design, fully funding No Child Left Behind, offshore drilling, his own immigration policy and withdrawal timelines for Iraq.”
And finally, one of my favourite quotes from this article:
At least three of McCain’s GOP colleagues have gone on record to say that they consider him temperamentally unsuited to be commander in chief. Smith, the former senator from New Hampshire, has said that McCain’s “temper would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger. In my mind, it should disqualify him.” Sen. Domenici of New Mexico has said he doesn’t “want this guy anywhere near a trigger.” And Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi weighed in that “the thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded.”