July 2, 2008

McCain vs. the Poets

Hatched by Dafydd

Even Ronald Reagan never did this!

McCain denies claim that he roughed up Sandinista

McCain's longtime nemesis within the Republican senatorial conference, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS, 83%) -- one of the pork kings on our side of the aisle -- chose this precise moment to imitate a monkey at the zoo, flinging poo at Republican nominee John S. McCain:

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., told a Mississippi newspaper that he saw McCain, during a trip to Nicaragua led by former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., grab an Ortega associate by his shirt collar and lift him out of his chair....

"McCain was down at the end of the table and we were talking to the head of the guerrilla group here at this end of the table and I don't know what attracted my attention," Cochran said in an interview with The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss. "But I saw some kind of quick movement at the bottom of the table and I looked down there and John had reached over and grabbed this guy by the shirt collar and had snatched him up like he was throwing him up out of the chair to tell him what he thought about him or whatever....

"I don't know what he was telling him but I thought, 'Good grief, everybody around here has got guns and we were there on a diplomatic mission.' I don't know what had happened to provoke John, but he obviously got mad at the guy ... and he just reached over there and snatched... him."

(Only the eplisis at the end of the first paragraph is mine; the rest were in the original. I have no idea what cuts they indicate.)

Closely questioned about the timing of Cochran's attempted (and failed) body slam -- why now, during the presidential campaign, when McCain's opponent is the most liberal senator in the body? -- Cochran's spokeschick, Margaret McPhillips, offered a full, complete, and precise explanation:

"I think Sen. Cochran went in to as much detail Monday as is necessary to make the point that, though Sen. McCain has had problems with his temper, he has overcome them."

"Decades have passed since then and he wanted to make the point that over the years he has seen Sen. McCain mature into an individual who is not only spirited and tenacious but also thoughtful and levelheaded," McPhillips added. "He believes Sen. McCain has developed into the best possible candidate for president."

Oh. Now I understand.

Three amusing points raise Cochran's sandbagging of his own party's nominee to the level where it deserves notice:

  1. There is real bad blood between Cochran and McCain; last month, the former said the idea of nominating McCain sent "a chill" down his spine. I'm a tad skeptical of Ms. McPhillips' suggestion that in today's comment, Cochran was only trying to show how much McCain has "matured."
  2. With (1) in mind, it's especially telling that Cochran evidently thought he would hurt McCain's standing by describing an incident -- hotly denied by McCain and the only other witness AP could find -- where McCain grabbed some scrofulous Sandinista by the scruff of the neck and worried him like a rottweiler with a miniature poodle.

For the historically challenged, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional) were Communist thugs who allied with Castro and the Soviets (a great band, by the way) to seize control of Nicaragua in a 1979 coup. They called themselves the "revolution of poets;" I'm sure you're all very shocked to learn that the leftist Democrats of the 1980s embraced these Communist dictators. I mean, that's so out of character for the post-Vietnam Left.

As Fidel Castro's lapdog, Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega attempted to destabilize the rest of Latin America. (Oogo Chavez is today's Ortega; well, actually, as Ortega was just elected president of Nicaragua again, it's fair to say that Daniel Ortega is today's Daniel Ortega.) They struck a long-term deal with the Soviet KGB to help spy on us.

President Reagan had a long-term plan to drive the Sandinistas out of power; among other policies, the "Iran-Contra" scandal is so-named because it was an attempt to use arms sales to Iranian rivals of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini -- such as Hashemi Rafsanjani -- to support the "Contras," guerillas for freedom who fought against the Sandinista machine.

Eventually, the Sandinistas ran Nicaragua into the ground, and they were voted out of office in 1990. As they departed, they took the opportunity to seize massive tracts of land from private and public owners... and handed it out to their friends and cronies, in one of the biggest land-snatching schemes in a continent known for land-snatching schemes.

One assumes that when Ortega is again voted out of office, his personal real-estate holdings will undergo another huge expansion.

It's somewhat puzzling why conservatives -- the group McCain most needs to court now -- would do anything but stand up and cheer him having bitch-slapped some commie thug "down there," as Reagan used to refer to South America. For that matter, the Sandinistas no longer have the support of centrist Republicans and Democrats; maybe their poems weren't good enough. About the only people left who still think of them as the "revolution of poets" are ultra-liberals from the Barack H. Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

Oh yes -- I promised three reasons why this bizarre episode in Thad Cochran's political career deserves attention, but I've only given two so far. Here's another entry in the "you'd think you'd listen to your own words" contest:

  1. Per above, Cochran said, "I don't know what he was telling him but I thought, 'Good grief, everybody around here has got guns and we were there on a diplomatic mission.'"

Er... a "diplomatic mission" -- where "everybody... has got guns?" Evidently, they learned well at the feet of their master, Fidel... who regularly showed up at United Nations meetings sporting a loaded sidearm.

Yep, that's the Sandinistas for you. I'm sure you're shocked, shocked to discover that John McCain doesn't suffer murderous, tin-horn commie dictators gladly. He's always been so pacific towards them, live and let live.

I wonder what would happen if we took one of those polls asking, "now that you know, would you be less likely to vote for McCain -- or more likely? I suspect Thad Cochran's response would be, "Curses, foiled again!"

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 2, 2008, at the time of 5:53 PM

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The following hissed in response by: brotio

I hope it's true. Can anyone imagine a liberal Senator having the balls to do something like that? Actually, the only other elected person in Washington at the time that I could see having that kind of guts is B-1 Bob Dornan.

The above hissed in response by: brotio [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 2, 2008 7:57 PM

The following hissed in response by: Doc-obiwan

I rather hope it's true, too. It would make me think a bit more highly of Mr. McCain than I currently do. Perhaps, instead of denying it, McCain should say, "D*mn right I did. And I'd do it again, too!"

The above hissed in response by: Doc-obiwan [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2008 8:14 AM

The following hissed in response by: Geoman

McCain told his North Vietnamese torturers to sod off on multiple occasions. You think some punk Sandinista revolutionary poet would scare him?

Perhaps this explains McCain's much derided proposal for a league of democracies to replace the UN. Toss the thugs and punks into the street.

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2008 9:47 AM

The following hissed in response by: Karmi

Ditto on the - I hope it's true also! We need someone in the White House with a temper!

The above hissed in response by: Karmi [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2008 11:48 AM

The following hissed in response by: TerryeL

I hope McCain smacked the guy. I wish he would do the same thing to some of those socalled conservatives out there who seem to think McCain is the guy to beat and not Obama. Kind of makes you wonder whose side they are on.

The above hissed in response by: TerryeL [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2008 2:08 PM

The following hissed in response by: BarbaraS

John McCain was tortured for 5 1/2 years. He cannot lift his arms above his head. I seriously doubt that he had the strength to lift a man from his chair with his arms in this shape. I think Cochran had dreamed this scenario so many times it became true in his mind. In fact, knowing McCain's temper, he probably dreamed it the first time at this meeting. But he has an agenda. Why else would he bring up something so far back in time except to damage McCain's campaign. He probably just made it up recentlyanyway. Poiticians lie all the time so that was easy. It probably kills him that McCain might be president and he will do what he can to stop him.

The above hissed in response by: BarbaraS [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2008 3:20 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

I have a feeling the truth is somewhere in between.

My guess is that there was such a meeting, there was a punk Sandinista there who mouthed off to McCain, but that McCain didn't yank him up; the BarbaraS thesis seems determinative to me.

But McCain could, for example, have engaged in a couple of painful sternum-jabs with his finger. If Cochran saw that, and if it frightened him enough (with the Senate delegation being surrounded by "diplomats" with guns), he might have exaggerated it somewhat in his mind.

Thus, Cochran could be wrong about what McCain did, but McCain could simultaneously be wrong about it not happening at all.

(Remember Dafydd's Dilemma: "The possibility always exists that all positions are equally erroneous.")


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2008 4:07 PM

The following hissed in response by: rightwingprof

If it were true, it would give me one more reason to enthusiastically pull the lever for McCain. It isn't surprising Cochran is doing this. McCain is the original porkbuster, and if he's elected, he'll veto all of Cochran's pork barrel projects.

The above hissed in response by: rightwingprof [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 4, 2008 5:16 AM

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