John McCain: Time to Retire When You Badly Copy Perry Mason

Three strikes you’re out. Border, Palin, Hagel.

John McCain allows and may even encourage unauthorized ‘militia’ to patrol Arizona’s border with Mexico, even though many have been alarmed about McCain’s seeming unconcern about illegal seizures and abuses of human beings there, and the actions ‘self-designated “militia”‘ personally decide to take –out of sight and under no consistent daily and thorough oversight authority.

That’s an ongoing strong strike against McCain in terms of human rights issues. He appears over these last years since standing mummified and mystified on stage with his chosen running mate Sarah Palin, to be increasingly not curmudgeonly, but temper-tantrumming, staying away from complex dialog, certainly not listening, and instead just repeating himself with pre-canned words.

He was once a prisoner of war, and no one takes that away from him. I used to regard him for that alone and still do with mercy. But/ and, what occurred more than 40 years ago doesnt have enough shine to light up modern times. Happenings long ago in most of our lives, are now hollow memories filled in only by ourselves often.

Thus, most of the voting young have no idea in what war or where McCain was captured. He has no capital from ‘then’ left. He allowed his story of that time to be overhyped til it has no jing left –even though the stories of others from war that have not been flattened out by being over-produced for political positioning, have much life and glint yet left in their stories. Just not John McCain’s.

McCain in being belicose with Hagel appeared to be not only doing a bad imitation of the fantasy lawyer Perry Mason, but also trying to pull military rank on Hagel.

That will never fly. McCain is no longer in the military. He is no one’s commanding officer, certainly not Hagel’s, even though McCain may rant as though he imagines he is. McCain missed being beloved supreme leader of the entire armed forces by a mile in his failed presidential run in 2008, so there’s no quarter nor privilege granted to him there either.

Watching McCain’s tail-caught-in-trap bellowing approach to questioning Hagel– who may be the new Secretary of Defense– I thought how futile any parent, teacher, leader knows that failed tactic is: Trying to corner a person into a yes or no answer ONLY, then attempting to bully them into an either/or answer is the fodder of actual bullies, and/or puff-piece television interviewers of pap– not statesmen, not leaders, not exemplars.

And though Hagel demurred on answering an either/or demand from McCain, he stood up to McCain’s scattered efforts at bullying. But/ and, the issues of who and why and how Hagel, are complex– and McCain did nothing to inquire, gather nor enlighten us. McCain doesnt appear to grasp or speak about complexity somehow.

Most of us might think of a hundred questions to ask Hagel, that actually would go to the deep, rather than flit around in the shallow end whilst wearing water wings and acting angry.

McCain seems to have leaned far into senatoring-lite, by grandstanding for the cameras at best [Perry Mason's either/or style of cross examination and examination in order to hurry along the soap opera's finale was fine for 1960s tv, but is a joke today], and unable to speak to the many layers of an appointees complete panorama of work/ life– at McCain’s worst.

Most of all: time given to such johnny-one-note questioning like McCain’s, wastes everyone’s time, cheapens Congressional dialog down to sitcom quality with a stentorian and predicable mad track included, doesnt educate the constituencies, doesnt respect the interviewee, and makes it not about the nominee, but in this case about McCain…

That’s what grandstanding is about: pushing into the background an issue revolving around another or others, and instead making the scene about yourself. Like the mother of the bride wearing an elaborate white wedding dress to at the real bride’s wedding. Or bringing your guitar and playing another song on it entirely at a Rolling Stones concert. Or trying out your newest speech out loud in the audience during a televised something or other, one you think delivered so loudly/ nattily will actually somehow not clue people that you are not well in mind or playacting –instead of being intelligent and in depth.

McCain, just my .02, is an old man, an elder some might say, who ought perhaps yes? after all these years, have gravitas and wisdom, instead of what he displays often: a temper fit of fussy pique.

The oddity is that some, like McCain, still think bullying a nominee, somehow makes him look what? able under duress? He isnt under any duress; he lives like a king.

I venture there’s something awry and time will tell. Bark, bark, barking like a chihuahua at a nominee somehow is not anymore senatorial or presidential than McCain standing stunned onstage in the bright headlight that was Sarah Palin. I felt sorry for him then. I feel sorry for him now, for I am watching too much pique and not enough presence, consistently.

On a related note re any of the Congressional hearings, briefings, televised anything or any part or person in Congress: BEWARE… More and more, many of us note who in Congress ‘get’ that the citizens are FAR more educated, far more savvy, far more insightful, far FAR more informed about local, national and world affairs– all the result, I believe, of the internet and its huge amounts of information and exchanges between diverse peoples across the world…

Congress, the GOP, the DNC as gatekeepers of info, herding the masses in their direction? No, the gates are blown off their hinges. The gatekeepers are no more, though some persons in Congress… pitifully function, speak, most often ONLY in their nostalgia for ‘the olden times’ when citizens mostly believed whatever they were told. And complexity was not required study nor prowess put forth to inform, and lead the citizenry.

That time is long gone.

Author: DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist