January 30, 2008

McCain Derangement Syndrome: A reply to Roger L. Simon [Karl]

Roger L. Simon, whose blog I usually enjoy, makes some serious errors today:

January 29, 2008: McCain Derangement Syndrome – It’s Here!

What’s amusing in one way and horrifying in another, but all-too-human in the final analysis, is how the moment a politician becomes popular and powerful – Bush, Clinton – a sizable percentage of the population starts to hate him. We’ve seen Clinton reviled. We’ve had years of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Welcome to McCain Derangement Syndrome – it’s happening before he’s even elected!

I heard two examples of it this evening – one from my friend Hugh Hewitt, whose rage against McCain today on Wolf Blitzer’s CNN show made the hair curl on my bald head and later, on the Larry Elder Show, I listened in as a woman caller excoriated McCain as no war hero even though she knew the Senator had spent five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, was tortured, had his bones broken yet stayed with the other troops when offered a chance to leave, etc. Even Elder was appalled at the woman, though Larry is no McCain supporter.

Put me in the same boat as Elder as to the woman who purportedly denied McCain was a war hero, but Simon manages to start from faulty premises and work his way even further into the weeds in his assessment of those opposed to Sen. John McCain. And I write that as someone who — unlike our esteemed host — has not ruled out voting for McCain if he is the GOP nominee.

Initially, while I have also invoked the “derangement syndrome” to describe certain mindsets, there are at least two things wrong with Simon’s use of it in this context. First, it is a phrase generally applied to blind partisan hatred. McCain is the subject of harsh criticism from within his own party, which suggests something quite different is at issue. Second, Simon seems to have forgotten that “Bush Derangement Syndrome” was initially the humorous description for the Post-Election Stress and Trauma Syndrome that plagued Democrats after losses in 2000 and 2004. AFAIK, McCain’s critics are not pouring into the psych ward with their symptoms.

Moreover, Simon is greatly mistaken in his assertion that the criticism of McCain is a recent phenomenon. Simon might want to ask himself why McCain was not the GOP nominee in 2000.

He will quickly find that the main answer is McCain’s record in the US Senate. Simon presumes to call McCain’s critics deranged while mentioning only his positions on the “surge,” waterboarding and Gitmo. There is obviously far more to McCain’s record than that. Thus, to address only issues within McCain’s strongest issue bloc is fairly disingenuous.

For example, as a blogger and a principal in Pajamas Media, Simon might have considered that he would be spending much less time blogging and collecting ad revenue — and much more time justifying his existence to the Federal Election Commission — if John McCain had his way. McCain sued the FEC to force the agency to police bloggers. It took a great deal of bipartisan effort on the part of the blogosphere to get the FEC to ultimately exempt most blogging from government regulation, therby ensuring that people like Simon and I are free to blog on the issues of the day (and for Simon to make money from PJM’s ad network).

Beyond McCain’s less-than-stalwart defense of free speech, Simon might want to consider “John McCain’s Top 10 Class-Warfare Arguments Against Tax Cuts,” all of which were made long before the current campaign. I will give Simon enough credit to recognize that most GOP voters like tax cuts and dislike class warfare.

These are just two of the many substantive reasons people have for opposing McCain. His proposed legislation on greenhouse gases would be another. His proposed “patients’ bill of rights” would be another. The full list goes on and on.

However, the McCain-Kennedy “immigration reform” bill warrants special attention in the context of Simon’s puzzlement (as well as that of Glenn Reynolds) that McCain’s critics are so much more forgiving of Mitt Romney, whose record as Governor in Massachusetts was admittedly not that of a doctrinaire conservative (his proposals on heathcare and aid to the auto industry in the current campaign are not either, but I digress).

Mitt Romney has shifted his positions on various issues… to positions that are more conservative and in line with those of the GOP since Reagan was nominated in 1980. Republicans — shockingly — are likely to be forgiving of those who agree to join them. There is some history on this point. Reagan shifted his position on abortion. George H.W. Bush shifted his positions on abortion and taxes.

However, that acceptance has to be accompanied by a certain level of trust in the candidate. McCain has shifted position on issues like abortion, yet is rarely called on it, primarily because those positions have been conservative and he has since had a track record of sticking with them. Where McCain insists on being a Maverick, his stubborn temperament (exceeding even that of Pres. Bush) leaves many convinced that much of what McCain says now is simply an expediency.

The recent profile of McCain in Vanity Fair contains his now classic commentary on immigration:

He began this mid-October day in Sioux City, appearing at a fund-raising Siouxland Breakfast for Representative Steve King, an immigration hard-liner. Recently he had called McCain an “amnesty mercenary” for daring to work with Senator Ted Kennedy on a compromise bill that would provide an eventual path to citizenship for the millions of immigrant workers already in the United States illegally. A day earlier, in Milwaukee, in front of an audience of more sympathetic businessmen, McCain had been asked how debate over the immigration bill was playing politically. “In the short term, it probably galvanizes our base,” he said. “In the long term, if you alienate the Hispanics, you’ll pay a heavy price.” Then he added, unable to help himself, “By the way, I think the fence is least effective. But I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it.”

The Vanity Fair profile is filled with similar anecdotes, but Todd Purdum sums it up nicely:

John McCain has spent this whole day, this whole year, these whole last six years, trying to “fix it,” trying to square the circle: that is, trying to make the maverick, freethinking impulses that first made him into a political star somehow compatible with the suck-it-up adherence to the orthodoxies required of a Republican presidential front-runner.

On one level, I cannot help but respect McCain for not wanting to change his positions to align himself with the conservative base. It is undoubtedly the same defiant streak that got him through the hell of the Hanoi Hilton. On the other hand, many people wish that he would at least reserve his most harsh, sneering, morally arrogant and childish rhetoric for liberals, Democrats and their subset in the media, rather than for those with whom he purports to agree with most of the time.

Unlike Romney, McCain has built his political fortune on kicking people right of center in the teeth. Neither he nor Simon should be surprised when conservatives, libertarians and classic liberals fail to swoon at McCain’s success to date. Indeed, someone who thinks that is going to happen quickly is probably more deserving of being diagnosed with a “derangement syndrome.”

(h/t Memeorandum.)

Posted by Karl @ 7:50pm

Comments (114)

  1. vote bloomberg

    this almost looks like an ARG (alternative reality game)

    sadly, it sounds like allahpundit had to be spoonfed it…sigh…threedigits just shudnt mix with twodigits….
    its intellectual miscegenation.

  2. I regard Mr. Simon as my blogfather. Estranged for several years now, sad to say. But his forum, and especially his commenters, drove me to open up my own humble shop. Well, storefront.

    Cripes. Okay, the Buick is parked in the alley behind the boarded up Comp USA store…

    But he’s wrong here, and for exactly the reasons spelled out by Karl.

    Roger L. came to his own political epiphany from an entirely different direction than that from which born and bred conservatives spring; methinks he works from radically different perspectives on several key levels.

    Those levers, pedals, and buttons don’t do the same things out here as they do in Hollywood, and that’s just the way it is.

  3. Roger has also forgotten that BDS is based on irrational personal hatred of Bush, leading to hatred of everything Bush proposes, does, and says, as well as applying to those around them, such as Condi and Powell being called house ….. well, you know.

    The conservative bashing of McCain has everything to do with McCain the politician, and very little to do with McCain the person. So, Roger fails in is MDS allegory.

  4. Looks like it is over:

    Somebody tell me again how much my vote matters. Fuck all these sonuvabitches.

  5. I’m mostly opposed to McCain because he’s clearly a RINO, his stance on immigration is awful, and.. McCain Feingold. But there’s also a gut issue: I get the same vibe from the guy as from a paranoid schizophrenic of long aquaintance. That boy ain’t quite right in the head and it scares hell out of me to think of him with his finger on the nuclear button. I know that’s not anywhere near an objective or thoughtful assessment of the man, but.. Brrrr.

  6. I was listening to the John & Ken radio show in LA yesterday and heard something I could hardly believe. They had invoked their “no mocking rule” so they could get McCain supporters to call in and explain why. Not one, but several callers said they supported him (among other things – “war hero” being first) because he would stand up to the Republicans in Congress.

    A rather bizarre endorsement for a Republican Presidential candidate.

  7. Pingback: The evidence builds… « McCain’s Strait Talk

  8. I’m voting for whoever RTO Trainer and SGT Ted and the other military folk ask me to, if McCain is the nominee. It’ll be my way of saying thanks.

  9. Well, maybe being a Republican Senator will come to mean something again with this heroic piece of shit in the White House.

  10. Creepy codger John Warner is retiring too. That one chick that talks like a stroke victim is hanging around though I think.

  11. Props, happy, that was a good zing-zing-zinger.

  12. It’s all I got thor.

  13. Maybe Jeff will find a way to give us deep thoughts from John McCain’s prostate.

  14. By the way, I’d still rather vote for McCain than for Romney. At least with McCain you know you’re voting for a looney RINO with no respect for the constitution. With Romney? Well, you really don’t know which Romney you’d be voting for, do you?

  15. MCcain is a POS but he is our POS! I will not stay home in protest and allow Obambi or the hildabeat to win that would be a far greater disaster than a RINO like MCcain as President.

  16. Voting for Romney doesn’t validate the media though.

  17. Pingback: McCain Derangement Syndrome? Get Real. : The Sundries Shack

  18. The radical Right, the GOP’s base, the Americans whose politics are driven mainly by fear and hatred – of Mexican immigrants, of Muslims, of homosexuals, of welfare recipients, of liberals, of Clintons – will be isolated.

    And this, above all, is why Democrats should support McCain. With Barack Hussein Obama as president, the radical Right will be in its glory. With Hillary Clinton as president, they’ll be over the moon.

    With John McCain as president, they’ll be finished.”


  19. I don’t want to be over a moon.

  20. OK, McCain has a few big, red genital warts on his record. OK, OK! Stop picking at ’em!

    With McCain will finish off Iraq, blitzkrieg Iran, nuke Pakistan and pave over Afghanistan. Maybe.

  21. will = we’ll = wheel = well = whale

    Happy’s inside my brain. I can’t think anymore. It hurts.

  22. I don’t know, Karl. For a person to even feel the need to make the argument that McCain is no hero after everything he went through is a sign that there is some personal hatred involved. There is an emperical argument to be made about what a hero is, but that’s not what I see going on.

    Also, blind partisan hatred doesn’t necessarily have to involve inter-party conflicts. And while you are right about the initial definition of BDS, Krouthammer’s definition is primary now.

    Not that I am a support McCain (far from it), but some of the rhetoric and doom saying is rather overblown.

    I mean, hell, go over to Ace’s comments and you’d think the end is near.

  23. This is depressing and uncomfortable. Also, Schwarzenegger is gay.

  24. Who cares if McCain’s a hero? He can’t catch a frisbee these days. Good Lord. Glory days much?

  25. I hate people who can’t catch Frisbees.

    Also, Bob Seger.

  26. The irony hits the atrophy. Hold tight; it’s never over.

  27. I’m just saying he’s unlikely to be doing anything particularly heroic so if you vote for him cause of that you’ll get let down. I’d hate to see that happen.

  28. He’s not that much older than Sly, haps.

  29. Totally, but that’s different than saying “McShamnasty’s no hero! All he did was hang there and let his arms get broke! And he cooperated with the VC!”

    When I hear stuff like that I get the sense that it’s, you know, personal and slightly overblown.

  30. Pingback: Hot Air » Blog Archive » Medved: Rush is acting like a liberal

  31. I just checked and Grambo is the #1 movie today. But that’s a movie, Dan.

  32. The conservative bashing of McCain has everything to do with McCain the politician, and very little to do with McCain the person. So, Roger fails in is MDS allegory.

    Mr. Teach pretty much nails it.

    While in uniform, McCain did much and suffered greatly in defense of America. As a Senator, not so much. He has a decent stance on national defense, IMHO. Unless it involves securing our borders. And so on.

    And for any lefties caring to apply their own nuances to this matter, Ill say here what I’ve said elsewhere:

    McCain I could vote for, given the choice of Hillary or Obama. But I’ll have to be blotto on cheap whiskey at the time. Just to kill the pain.

  33. Actually that would have been yesterday. The thing about the movie.

  34. Pingback: Michelle Malkin » John McCain vs. the Right: No easy peace; Update:McCain at CPAC

  35. that’s a movie, Dan

    And your point is?

  36. Real life Dan is that Stallone also played Rocky and Harry Reid used to be a boxer.

  37. I always thought McCain Derangement Syndrome referred to McCain’s derangement syndrome.

  38. So, it’s ok to be for something before you were against it as long as it is a conservative position? Thanks for clearing that up…I’m just a lurker and I had suspected that was the case among the Right, I just had never seen it explained so clearly and unabashedly…I might have to visit this blog more often.

  39. – The Dems threw out a red harring, and the hapless Reps, looking over their shoulder at a very knife edge fine Congressional loss in 2004, have done yet another ball-less retreat, and taken the bait.

    – From almost the first week of this prinmary cycle the Republican house bosses have been taking the “Who’s most likely to beat the Dem nominee” approach, and unfortunately the conservative block will now get to suffer the consequences, unless Rhomney loses the sKerry posing approach, and starts acting like he can be decisive about anything.

    – Every Dem pundit, talking head, and party pol, was sent forth to bury Rudi as soon as possible, via absolute derision, no mention ever that he was a viable candidate, rather that they wanted Rudi first and foremost because he was so “beatible”, puting forth their “fear” of McCain as loud and as often as possible.

    – This imbicillic RNC approach to campaign politics has simply amplified the react rather than act personna of the entire Rep leadership, and has for almost the entire 7+ years of Bush’s administration. The fact that Bush is something like 50 and 0 in the eternal AnyGate game that rages on between him and the SecProgg/Liberal media, has more to do with the naive’ ideas/risable lies/mistakes of the hard left and their mediot lap dogs, than anything that he has done to aggressively respond. Its a limp wristed result of classic Dem errors, not Bush/Rep accuity.

    – So now, just to put the crowning glory on 8 years of vacuous inaction, the RNC has opted out of a true competitive primary, and by selecting a candidate who’s positions decidedly lean as far to the left as is possible, and still have a hope in hell of claiming conservatism, they have effectively disenfranchised the better half of the Republican voter majority.

    – Because they took the chocolate, they also have raised the Dems potential to win by a proportionate amount. Personally I am disgusted with the whole process. McCain has so many liberal views it would be hard to explain how he could find himself leading the primary game. Hard, save for the idea that the Dems floated countless examples of fearing him, while ridiculing Rudi at every opportunity.

    – Rudi has a few socially liberal ideas also, but there can be no doubt how he would act in the WOT or the really major issue among almost all voters, illegal immigration, and existing illegal populace already here.

    – What I see overall is Washington gaggle finding ways time after time to burry the alien problem, and continue to ignore the will of the people.

    – It hurt them in 2004, and it will hurt them again in this race. Except this time its for all the marbles. If the Dems are able to capitalize on this jackass move of the Reps, the RNC can hold itself proud that it single handily handed the whole magilla to the DNC.

    – I would say that if the Rep leadership is that pathetic, then maybe we get what we deserve.

    – I will not vote for a candidate who poses to be one thing, while championing ideas that are simply non-conservative by any yardstick, which brings us to yet another trainwreck.

    – The real problem in the coming elections won’t be because Conservatives crossed over and voted Democratic. No, the real problem for the Republicans is that with McCain, a proven dyed in the wool RINO as their flag bearer, an arguebly sizable number of Independent and Conservative voters simply won’t bother to vote, which is as a result, the exact situation the Democrats needed to have a chance.

  40. I hate people who can’t catch Frisbees.

    Also, Bob Seger.

    And the Dutch.

  41. The irony hits the atrophy.

    Would that be like the letter I got in the mail today?

    “So, in today’s challenging times, I take great pride in the knowledge that you have enough faith in our effort to contribute so generously.

    Let me assure you that I seek to return to “first principles” and to reassert the concept that the government in Washington is the servant of the people, not the reverse.

    I believe it will require candor to lead America forward. And I deeply appreciate your confidence that I can accomplish that mission.

    Fred Thompson”

    Well as long as we are being candid, go piss up a fucking rope, Fred.

  42. Simon’s post is way, way, way wide of the mark. BDS sufferers have such a deep, visceral hatred of Bush that they see anything that he does as being evil — even if it’s some claptrap they were pushing themselves scarcely a week before. With McCain, most Republicans have an abiding respect for the man and his history in Vietnam, and it just irks people that he runs with such bad company and gets associated with such horrible ideas.

    If he quit slumming with Feingold and Kennedy, and quit mouthing vaguely socialist platitudes about the way tax cuts should go to people who pay no taxes, that it’s not a big deal that those nice, helpful, hard-working people you see began their visit to America by breaking the law, or that being extra nice to truly evil people will make us loved, there’s a lot to like about the guy.

  43. So, it’s ok to be for something before you were against it as long as it is a conservative position?

    It’s hard to say, Hank. That depends on whether the change in position is sincere, or merely posturing so as to pander to a given demographic in a cynical attempt to garner more votes.

    It’s all about nuance, you see, and not a little context. That’s something that I learned from other politicians. Mostly Democrats, but a few Republicans as well.

  44. Everytime I hear the McCain supporters tout how McCain is such a grand guy who “reaches across the aisle” to work with Dems, I want to ask…”Ok, so when was the last time he reached across the aisle to the CONSERVATIVES?”

    McCain may win over Hillary…but we’ve seen what the Clinton machine can do when arroused, so it’s a sure thing they’ll be playing down in Mike Rowe terroritory and McCain’s POW past won’t mean a thing.

    The so-called “radical right” is not the GOP base, though the left-dominated MSM has promoted, caricatured, overblown and demonized this demographic for their own agenda for almost as long as I can remember.

    If Obama is the Dem nominee, McCain won’t get anywhere near winning. The Kennedy machine will take over and any show of temper from Maverick will be spun as racism from The Old White Guy. As the Sacramento Bee pointed out, the Obama volunteers are told not to talk policy to newbies or seekers that come to Obama offices. They are told to “share their personal story of political conversion”. While Hillary works the old political machine infrastructure, Obama has overlaid his organization with a patina of religious fervor. The young, left of center, spiritually berift see in Obama someone that makes them FEEL all tingly and historic. McCain can’t counter that.

  45. Conversion? Once you go Barack . . .

  46. I think Mr. Simon, and others, are starting to believe their own press. What I mean by that is that they are described as “Conservative” bloggers. They are not. Yes, they support the WOT and Iraq, but they are not conservatives. They have become so disgusted with the Democrats that they have decided to leave them. The problem with that is they think they may have found a home in the Republican party and are trying to make the Republican party into something they wish the Democrats were. Please, stay with the Democrats, try to change them. I will support you 100%. But do not tell me, a conservative, that I have MDS because I do not support McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman, and do not tell me I am the one with the problem because I will find it difficult to support a Republican who has no problem reaching across the aisle in order to get things done, all the while never missing an opportunity to stick his thumb in conservatives eyes.

    Mr. Simon, I have nothing but respect for you, truly. But do not tell me I have give up my principles in order to get your approval.

  47. Hank

    Flip flopping is insincerity on positions. If someone changes due to re-evaluation according to changing circumstances, that is NOT flipflopping.

    For instance… Romney as a Mormon has always been pro-life. Period. HOWEVER, as a politician, he believed what he believed privately and religiously should not be part of policy (a position many so-called “pro-choicers” occupy. it may be more correctly labeled as “reluctant pro-choice”) Romney became convinced that government should not take a complete “hands off” position on abortion. Flip-flop? Not at all.

    When Reagan was CA’s governor he signed in (pre- Roe v Wade) one of the most ‘liberal’ of abortion laws. He believed he was being compassionate and later stated he very much regretted is bill. That is not a flip-flop.

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  49. Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

    These are UN Sanctions and credit cards.

    17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name

    This is the start of an economic collapse and credit scores going down.

    And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 8:11And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

  50. lulz, i was serious.
    Mitt cant afford to stay in, Bloomberg is extravagantly much richer than mitt, a vastly more successful bidnessman and an atheist to boot!
    he says he can spend a cool billion on campaignin.
    for someone who is a connaisseur of evil and parttime blogverse griefer like me…this is just…exquisite.
    good times.

  51. Before I even read the comments, Karl, excellent post.

  52. Guys, I know it’s been a whole year, but try to remember 2006. All the true conservatives got mad at Bush, and no small number stayed home. The Democrats — the Kossack Democrats at that — were soon in charge in both the House and the Senate. What followed: a Congress of alarums and ecxcursions that spent its entire legislative calendar trying to manufacture a defeat in Iraq and political embarrassment and defeat for the Republicans at home. All that stood between them and success, to a great extent, was the “spineless” Bush, who appears to be the one politician in living memory who’d rather do what he thinks is right than have high approval polling.

    Now, we’re hearing the same thing: that McCain is a “RINO”, and that conservatives are going to sit out the election. Well, just make sure you’re thinking of the consequences: either the Red Witch wins, or the Empty Suit does, and the Dems hold the Congress again.

    You say that it just means four years later the Republicans will win again. Maybe so. But do you remember 1978? I do. Do you really think that four years of embarrassing defeats, ineffectual foreign policy, massive new government program, the nationalization of health care, and Keith Olbermann’s cackling, are a reasonable price to pay? Do you think you are making the country better off by electing a person you think will make it worse off?

  53. well said. It seems the only argument the McCain defenders actually seem to believe is that he’s electable. This makes them more pragmatic realists than the rigid ideologues they imply. Electability is important, but the argument hinges on current polls (meaningless) and the impression that McCain is popular. He is, but almost solely due to the adoring press he gets. That will turn 180 right after he gets the nomination and I doubt that McAnger will be able to deal very well with actually being demonized by the machine he courts. And those mushy moderates who love him now will only go along with what their TVs suggest, just as they do now.
    What no one points out though is Romney was elected in MA. This is very impressive for any Republican. Sure it takes some compromises, but damn man, that is the definition of electability! McCain could only do so if he became a democrat and married a Kennedy. And I think he would.

  54. You gotta be kidding.

    McCain hatred is the absolute epitome of “derangement syndrome.”

    I have my issues with him, too – based on actual issues.

    But the out-of-touch right-wing blogosphere is absolute deranged. He’s “Shamnesty” – that’s his name. Precisely like liberals with their various names for the President. And no matter how many times you point out the various clear indicators of McCain’s conservatism on judges, the GWOT, limiting spending, eliminating pork, tax cuts, etc etc ad infinitum … it’s always … “Shamnesty!”

    The irrational opposition to McCain is almost entirely an Internet mythology. It’s classic derangement syndrome, EXACTLY like how liberals treat Bush.

    Fortunately, there isn’t one conservative blog that will actually sway the electorate. Thankfully, most of you don’t much matter.

  55. Maybe all of you folks telling the rest of us we need to line up behind McCain because he’s electable should start working on an actual argument for electing him.

  56. McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts, P. The Bush tax cuts have been an incredible success. The American economy has had good growth and low unemployment. McCain failed to understand the economics of tax cuts.

    McCain’s signature issue for years was campaign finance reform. Campaign finance is dirtier now than ever before. There’s more money in politics now than ever before. He failed to clean up campaign financing and he damaged freedom of speech in the process.

    The gang of 14 deal blocked conservative judges, P. You could look it up.

    We also call him McAmnesty, P. Thankfully, for you, the socialist national media that does matter and now supports McCain will turn on him in a flash and he will lose in November. McCain will have failed again and again he will again have damaged America. He’s no Democrat but I can see why you Democrats love him.

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  58. “P” – Quit arguing with the voices in your head.

  59. “Everytime I hear the McCain supporters tout how McCain is such a grand guy who “reaches across the aisle” to work with Dems, I want to ask…”Ok, so when was the last time he reached across the aisle to the CONSERVATIVES?””


    ********CAMPAIGN SLOGAN ALERT********

    McCain: He’ll always reach across for the liberals, he’ll occasionally reach around for the conservatives.

  60. Pingback: Don Surber » Blog Archive » McCain-Feingold

  61. I have decided if it comes down to McCain vs. Hillary, I should vote for McCain. Because I already know some Spanish, I don’t know any Chinese at all.

  62. Franklinstein said it best why Simon is off base.

    McCain is an Al Gore Greenie believer who voted against drilling in ANWAR; only a Liberal could believe The Long War can be won using corn as the fuel while America lives by the light of dem mercury bulbs.

    That said, I am surprised by the fact that Mr. Simon missed how the media made McCain the winner in order to kill off Guiliani’s longstanding national lead in the polls; this alone should bring concern to McCain’s electability. No matter how Liberal is McCain if he gets the nomination the media will cream him as a Deranged Bushie.


  64. Suzan – Had you limited that group to McCain and Hillary, you could have been right. Barry O’Kennedy is in a league all his own though.

  65. My response to Simon was that it isn’t McCain Derangement Syndrome that makes people oppose him, it’s Hillary Derangement Syndrome that makes people support him.

  66. Or simply deranged:


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  68. Pingback: Cold Fury » Blog Archive » Je refuse

  69. Funny, innit, how McCain’s perversely obstinate stances based on HIS quixotic “principles” make him a “leader” and a “maverick”, while OUR stances based on opposing conservative principles are signs of McCain Derangement Syndrome.

    When big-government loving, anti-tax cut, Free-Speech suppressing, “Keating Five” conspirator McCain tries, ludicrously, to hold himself out as a Reagan avatar, it makes millions of conservatives gag.

    Unless I’ve missed something, WE conservatives still get to choose our leaders based on whether they meet OUR standards and adhere to OUR principles. McCain doesn’t meet the test.

  70. My take on the whole war-hero bit is that McCain being touted as a hero for having been a POW is kind of lame. I think it’s something he deserves to be acknowledged for, but I don’t know that being a prisoner of war makes on particularly heroic, in and of itself.

    He did do some things while in prison that I regard highly, if the stories are true.

    I’m probably being overly nit-picky, here.

  71. If these four (Obama, Clinton, McCain, Romney) are the best we can find to lead the country, we are in some deep shit, my friends.

  72. I find this MDS accusation interesting for two reasons. The first was well-stated above by Anna Keppa (#71): a very fine as well as true rant.

    The other thing is that I don’t understand how supposedly perceptive people like Roger Simon, Bob Krumm, or even to a certain extent, Don Surber can so misunderstand the arguments that people like me have to be against McCain. It is almost as if these argument are miscontrued or even willfully perverted to make the case for MDS.

    As originally mentioned by Karl, most of the things mentioned as reasons I and other conservatives are opposed to McCain are not even on the docket. McCain’s war record is, at worst, of no consequence to me. His stand against waterboarding is not a dealbreaker. His attitude/personality is not necessarily a bad thing. But not of these accusers mentions McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, votes opposing drilling in ANWAR, or any of the other policy reasons for which I don’t see any reason to vote for McCain under any circumstance.

    I – we haven’t changed our opinion about McCain (we were against him a year ago and we’re against him now) and we haven’t formed this opinion for any of the reasons given by people who should, actually, know better.

  73. It is almost as if these argument are miscontrued or even willfully perverted to make the case for MDS.

    It’s exactly as if these arguments against McCain are not even being read by those seeking to marginalize their makers.

    Just like when many of us opposed Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, or Bush’s amnesty plan.

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  75. Is Roger Simon trying to give us a “do it for the good of the party”? To support a man who never did anything for the good of his supposed Republican Party? That would be rich.

  76. It’s exactly as if these arguments against McCain are not even being read

    I’m OK with this too… ‘course, knuckle-dragging nativist racist misogynist war-monger neo-con (read jew lover) that I am, that would even presume I can read. Anything except a bumper sticker.

  77. Slart has a point. It’s not like there are kids who dream of growing up to be a bravely defiant prisoner in some third world country. It’s differently heroic anyway for sure.

  78. I’m with Charlie on this one and I’m pretty surprised to see so many pundits, both on talk radio and on blogs, talking about hwo they’d rather not vote or vote democratic then vote for McCain. I can’t stand McCain- he’s terrible and with the exception of Ron Paul, there’s no a candidate I wanted less to end up with the nomination (well maybe Huckabee too btu I think its a toss up). But as Charlie pointed out, a democratic president AND a democratic congress can make changes to this country that could potentially screw things up (I’m speaking mostly about our economy) that in four years, we’re not even going to recognize this country anymore. Yes, McCain is wrong on so many issues- I mean for crying out loud, he’s a freaking dem when it comes to global warming. However, at least, he wouldnt’ go for national government paid health care, he wouldn’t screw up social security, he wouldn’t let spending get too out of control (I suspect McCain would exercise his veto more than Bush has in the last 8 years). I don’t think this country can survive the socialism of Hillary or the complete lack of experience with Obama (as an aside, I had an Obama supporter today tell me that “experience doesn’t matter, vision matters” … =x).

  79. ANWAR is not an acronym, it’s the first name of Sadat. The Alaskan Northern Wildlife Refuge is ANWR.

    Nit-picky, again, I know.

    Happyfeet, just to be clear, I wasn’t attempting to diminish McCain’s…um…lack of participation with his jailors. In any way. Just that that doesn’t match up with my own, possibly incorrect definition of “war hero”. And, again, I’m not saying that none of his participation in warfighting activities was or was not heroic.

  80. McCain is not a war hero because he was a POW. Being a POW does not make one a defacto hero. McCain is a war hero because his father was Admiral McCain, and when the Vietnamese offered to let him go because of that, he declined and chose to stay with the others. He most certainly suffered due to that decision.

    To me at least, that IS heroic.

  81. McCain can have hero status. That’s fine. He deserves it. U. S. Grant also deserves war hero status and he brings the keg to annual get-together of
    the 10 Worst American Presidents.

    I may have a touch of the MDS what with the smirking and the distorting and the bumpy-faced chuckling. But I’ve got a skin-stretching hardon for Huckabee for staying in and huckin’ up the waters.

  82. Nit-picky, again, I know.

    I stand corrected. And yes, it is.

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  84. I know, slart. But sheesh he’s way way over the average number of miles you can usually get out of the average wartime heroics thing. Also heroism in war is not a license to be a dildo the rest of your life. It’s just not.

  85. “Funny, innit, how McCain’s perversely obstinate stances based on HIS quixotic “principles” make him a “leader” and a “maverick”, while OUR stances based on opposing conservative principles are signs of McCain Derangement Syndrome.”

    Spot on. It is not a matter of me having McCain Derangement Syndrome, it is my concern about McCain having Constitution Derangement Syndrome. Or Geneva Convention Derangement Syndrome.

  86. To me at least, that IS heroic.

    Yeah, I’d forgotten about that. He also declined to go wallow in collective guilt at the Hanoi Hilton, which is again to his credit.

  87. Is Roger Simon trying to give us a “do it for the good of the party”? To support a man who never did anything for the good of his supposed Republican Party?

    Actually that’s not true. Not true at all. Remember back in 2004? McCain supported the re-election of President Bush. He traveled for him and spoke for him and appeared on TV for him. And for a lot of other Republicans, too. Part of the reason so many Republican politicians are supporting McCain now is because McCain has worked hard for the Republican party in the past. Republican politicians feel they owe him for helping them.

    Too bad he’s such a dick on some issues.

  88. Oh. A Republican Senator supported the re-election of a Republican president. He definitely gets points for that. What a guy!

  89. Well, happyfeet — it does make him better than Arlen Specter.

    ‘Course, I wouldn’t vote for him either.

  90. ‘Course, I wouldn’t vote for him either.

    Now that’s just mean… OK, not that I would either.

  91. Arlen Specter. What I like is when bad things happen to Arlen Specter. I like it a lot really.

  92. There’s a few reasons not to vote for McCain. Like his econonic plan that doesn’t exist. His healthcare plan that doesn’t exist. His idea that we should occupy Iraq until the 2nd Coming of Jesus or whenever. But nothing from you wingnut jerks comes remotely close to being heard anywhere but in your ditto-head echo-chamber.

    In the real world, which I happen to be in, 43% of Florida republicans think abortion rights are cool. Hell, 11% of Florida republicans claim to be liberals.

    If you fools can’t even convince more than half of the REPUBLICAN party that you have a brain, what chance do you think you have with the rest of us? But keep it up!!! Pretty soon we’ll all be convinced–like you are–that the earth is 6000 yrs old and the the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s flood. Suuuuure, we will. In the meantime, take this pill–you’ll feel better.

  93. I love Jesus. He loves you too. Me though I piss on you head.

  94. JohnMcC lay down the hash pipe.

  95. Now those are the brilliant comments from the cleansed-colon right wing. Ditto Rush!!!

  96. Oh shut up. What’s cool is they’re thinking about a Cloverfield sequel.

  97. I’ve taken dumps more sentient than those comments by JohnMcC. Just this morning the remnants of a bean burrito and I were having a discussion about monetary policy before I pushed the handle. We both felt the Fed was overreacting.

  98. If you fools can’t even convince more than half of the REPUBLICAN party that you have a brain, what chance do you think you have with the rest of us?

    Oh, you’re hopeless, Johnny. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and all of that.

  99. That Jonah guy says a lot the same thing as I was thinking at #9 except he forgets about that one chick and also Arlen and Olympia and Lindsay Wagner and all of McCain’s other pals but still, I think there’s probably something to it…

    In the meantime, let me make one last point. I think both the GOP and the conservative movement could benefit from a slightly more adversarial relationship. George W. Bush moved the party leftward and/or damaged the image of the GOP in many respects precisely because he was given the benefit of the doubt by conservatives who saw him as “one of us.” It’s not obvious to me that having a more transactional relationship with a Republican president would be altogether bad for the country, the party or the conservative movement.

  100. I think he hangs a bit too much on Bush though but except for that there’s a point in there about getting terms a bit more defined and how maybe that would be for the good.

  101. U. S. Grant also deserves war hero status and he brings the keg to annual get-together of the 10 Worst American Presidents.

    I’m afraid you’ve bought the hype. Grant was no Lincoln, but neither was he Warren Harding (point of fact, even Warren Harding wasn’t Warren Harding, but that’s another argument). All anyone knows about the 18th Presidency is Issues with Reconstruction and Gilded Age Corruption Shenanigans. Any serious examination of U.S. Grant’s actual actions and achievements while in the White House yields a startlingly different picture:

    1) Ku Klux Klan Act. Went after the fuckers gangster-style. Won most of the southern states in 1872 with black votes because of it.

    2) Back to Hard Currency. Finally ends the easy-money policies of the Lincoln-Johnson years. We got at least 20 years of solid economic growth out of it.

    3) Patching up relations with Britain. We weren’t happy with the Mother Country during and after the Civil War due to a couple of reasons, mostly the privateers they build for the rebels. Grant settles the whole thing by binding arbitration and because of that, few people know how close we came to ending up being enemies again.

    As to the scandals, yes, there were shifty guys in his administration. He wasn’t one of them, nor did he carry water for any of them. The “scandal-plagued administration” meme is one written by his enemies. It’s often been said that Grant was no politician, and he wasn’t, but he was a committed public servant whose policies benefited the country and, BTW, ensured that his next three successors were Republicans. That plus beating the shit out of the Confederacy makes him aces in my book.

  102. It’s often been said that Grant was no politician, and he wasn’t, but he was a committed public servant whose policies benefited the country and, BTW, ensured that his next three successors were Republicans. That plus beating the shit out of the Confederacy makes him aces in my book.

    Not to mention that he spent his childhood in the same area I spent mine. That counts for a lot in my book.

  103. The single most important pivot of the Civil War was Grant’s order of the day following the seven days of battle in the Wilderness.

    The preceding three years, spring had seen a parade of Union generals take their numerically and logistically superior armies down country to seek out Lee and Jackson, then have their heads handed to them in spectacular and bloody fashion.

    By 1864 no grunt, artilleryman, or trooper wearing the battered black hat of the Army of the Potomac had any doubts as to the combat spirit of the Army or the ineptitude of its leadership.

    After fighting seven days of bloody, confused and often hand-to-hand combat, the Union troops found themselves on the
    South side of the Wilderness looking at Lee’s rearguard forted up a short way down the road. All previous experience told them that they would spend a few days trading shots with pickets and then return to their camps around Washington while recriminations and politics generated yet another general.

    Grant allowed the morning of the seventh day for processing reports and resupply, then commanded his army to sidestep west around Lee’s rearguard and continue pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia, with the objective being the destruction of that army.

    The troops cheered. 1864 to 1865 would be the bloodiest year of the war… but it would lead to an end to the killing.

    Grant was the one who made it happen. And for that, I can forgive him for being a poor politician. Without a blink.

  104. Grant good, got it. No offense meant. I live in a Top 10/Bottom 10 list world. Makes things easier.

    I’ll close with this:

    When Arny endorses McCain and says the word environmental 20 to 25 times, all I hear is “John will reach into your pocket and pull your wallet out through your bunghole.”

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  106. There’s a few reasons not to vote for McCain. Like his econonic plan that doesn’t exist. His healthcare plan that doesn’t exist.

    Mayhaps his econonic plan doesn’t exist because he is not well schooled in econonics. But then, who is?

    As to “healthcare plan”, you may have noticed that in recent years “healthcare plans” have been long on plan and short on healthcare. Why you think that will improve by making healthcare subject to government fiat is a mystery, except by the triumph of dope over experience.

    His idea that we should occupy Iraq until the 2nd Coming of Jesus or whenever.

    Your spoon-edged wit tickles me. Perhaps you are skeptical of seeing victory in Iraq because you don’t know how it would look on television, but I suspect you’d simply rather defeat Republicans then Jihadis. Please take a number for the Obama Change Express.

    But nothing from you wingnut jerks comes remotely close to being heard anywhere but in your ditto-head echo-chamber.

    Whereas we may be sure that when your particular Lunar-Mammalian Keebler Tree hits the big time, we’ll have the rat cages strapped to our faces tout de suite. Got your Victory Gin recipe all worked out?

    In the real world, which I happen to be in, 43% of Florida republicans think abortion rights are cool. Hell, 11% of Florida republicans claim to be liberals.

    So in the real world, minorities dicated to the majority what is policy? Thanks for clearing that up for us.

    How’s that Victory Gin taste, anyway? Cloying like Chartreuse, or a manly slap followed by pain, like Ouzo?

    If you fools can’t even convince more than half of the REPUBLICAN party that you have a brain, what chance do you think you have with the rest of us?

    So people are persuaded of the rightness of another’s policy prescriptions the very instant they are assured that the other possess a neural mass in the cranial cavity. Got it.

    Tell me more of your reality. Do the lepers smell like fresh sunshine there?

    But keep it up!!! Pretty soon we’ll all be convinced–like you are–that the earth is 6000 yrs old and the the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s flood. Suuuuure, we will. In the meantime, take this pill–you’ll feel better.

    Protein Wisdom: Your source for Creationist cant since TEH BIBLE was written.

    You are officially the dumbest fuck ever to post here. Stand up and take a bow.

  107. Fark. lost a “/” in the ““. My entire closing is ruined.


  108. Andrew, let not your heart be troubled. That was an especially lucious smackdown. Bravo!

  109. You are officially the dumbest fuck ever to post here. Stand up and take a bow.

    Impressive. With the likes of alphie, caric and she-who-cannot-be-named as competition…wow. Maybe you’ll get an acknowledgement in his thank-you speech.

  110. Just found this via Ace. I like Roger a lot and used to follow his blog multiple times a day. It’s not the same anymore for obvious reasons (attention and obligations to PJ). But the ability to think critically and rationally is one if the things that separates the moonbats from most of the rest of us, and this post of Roger’s on MDS shows he’s not fully separated from his former intellectual comrades. I am already sick and tired of the MDS (or its variant McDS) epithet, as it shows a knee-jerk and unthinking equation of the irrational, partisan dementia of BDS and what I consider to be extremely justified, rational and tempered objections to McCain as the Republican standard-bearer. (And as they say, if I have to outline all those objects to anyone, that person is incapable of rational thought. If you can articulate all the objections and still justify voting for McCain, I can respect though disagree with that.)

    Roger has greatly, greatly disappointed me. I now put a lot less faith in his commentary in general.

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