How to Swiftboat McCain

We, the Jet Ski Veterans for Truth, aim to destroy McCain’s candidacy. We resurrect the evil but ingenious tactic of the Swift Boat Veterans in their 2004 character assassination of war hero John Kerry: transform the candidate’s greatest strengths into disgusting liabilities.

As an organization, we have been careful to avoid honesty at every turn, including our origins. None of us are jet skiers or veterans. We may not even be an “organization.” We may not even be a “we,” but a lone crackpot with a laptop.

Let’s start with simple stuff, parts of names and madrassas, and move on to serious derelictions of wartime duty. We’ll end with old lions being whipped.

Raising Cain with McCain

While Obama is blessed with that famous middle name—glad reminder of our late ally King Hussein of Jordan—McCain’s name seems innocuous. But look at it again. What comes after the “Mc”? CAIN. CAIN! The very name of the Bible’s first murderer, a brother-killer, no less. Given the bullying McCain is notorious for, does his uncontrollable rage spring directly from Cain’s own dark DNA? If he is the great-great-great-great-grandson of humanity’s original killer, little wonder McCain wants to extend the carnage in Iraq for another hundred years.

Gay Episcopal Madrassa Jihads

Those affiliated with McCain’s homosexual-led Episcopal Church might admit that a school similar to the one young John attended may share characteristics with a Muslim extremist madrassa—both are religious-affiliated schools. It follows, therefore, that young McCain must have been indoctrinated in a holy-book-obsessed madrassa-type school and may to this day continue to practice the Episcopal “jihad,” whose predecessors waged Holy War in the Holy Land—and for a hell of a lot longer than a hundred years.

Hero, or Slacker at Hanoi Hilton?

McCain’s greatest purported asset is a heroic narrative as an airman shot out of the sky over North Vietnam, then imprisoned in the “Hanoi Hilton.” This tale seems impervious to inquiry; we’re supposed to salute his courage and endurance and go all misty-eyed. Even more, part of the Hanoi story is how McCain refused an offer of release so he could stay with his fellow detainees. Yet that’s exactly where the Jet Ski Veterans for Truth work their greatest magic: McCain’s decision wasn’t valor. Some dare call it dereliction of duty.

We won’t even pursue what kind of pilot gets himself shot down in a pleasant lake in the heart of the enemy’s capital, leaving a valuable jet in enemy hands. But what the hell was McCain doing, refusing release from those enemy hands in the midst of a war he so strongly supported? He was supposed to be providing air support for thousands of American troops, among them future Senate colleagues John Kerry, Jim Webb, and Chuck Hagel. His fellow warriors were risking their lives down in the mucky, booby-trapped jungles and deltas, yet McCain chose to hang out in his cell with a few other prisoners of war. Why didn’t he jump back in the cockpit and do his job? You might say McCain refused to report for duty.

Remember, McCain’s mission ended in spectacular failure—like the American war in Vietnam itself. Rescued by locals, the young pilot remained sequestered in a former French chateau-like facility as the war raged for over five more years. Is that why McCain remains so blind to the catastrophe of U.S. aggression in Vietnam? He continues to nurture justifications contrary to every reputable historian and even the architect of the American war in Vietnam himself, Robert McNamara. Having remained by choice in a colonial chateau, McCain to this day seems clueless that the American War was a nightmare for everyone else serving in Vietnam, our nation disgraced and utterly defeated.

Maybe this explains why McCain doesn’t support funding for the Veterans Administration or our struggling, decrepit military hospital system. His aerial detachment could be why he shot down the new G.I. Bill for Iraq War veterans. The failed aerial bomber still can’t see what he destroys below, can’t detect the wounds, the severed limbs, the lost eyesight, the mental torments of our mere foot soldiers on the ground.

Old Lion or Cindy’s Boy?

Another of McCain’s supposed assets is his masculine image—the older lion with younger trophy wife. This is easily reversed, for McCain is actually Cindy’s “trophy.” Alcohol-distribution heiress Cindy McCain has the prize politician on a leash—he’s old, battered, unsexy, maybe–but adequate as her rich and powerful family’s water boy in Washington.

On April Fool’s Day, while Cindy tended to the family business, providing beer to college kids, the old lion-on-a–leash made sure his strolls through Baghdad markets were caught on all channels. Yet despite McCain’s panting swagger in advance of his Baghdad visit, the street violence spiked–again–again–in the occupied city. The truth on the ground spoke for itself: a doddering old guy arrayed head to toe in Kevlar, almost invisible behind his cordon of virile young bodyguards. It’s hardly sporting to point out the obvious: The lion is a pussy.

The Pillsbury Dough Boy in the Final Twilight of Life

An old pussy: McCain pushes his “experience” as his most vaunted asset, but it’s the most easily demolished. For McCain could only acquire all that experience by growing so aged and feeble. The talk-show joke on McCain casts him as the mean old man chasing kids off his lawn. Yet this disease-riddled grouch probably can’t hobble that far–he’d have to dispatch his bodyguards to torment the kiddies. Though “only” in his early seventies, the pile-on of decades has been cruel. He looks pasty, bloated, as if he has eaten so many biscuits he has actually become a geriatric Pillsbury Dough Boy.

McCain likes to point to his mother’s amazing longevity, with justifiable pride in her vigor, yet when seen in Momma’s company, it’s obvious that he did not inherit those genes. She seems younger than the old boy, stronger, more upright and certainly more lucid and witty, as if always about to pound her militarist “maverick” with her handbag. It’s another wild, compelling image of the Lion as Pussy—the decrepit yet bratty momma’s boy, whupped in turn by the old lady and his much-younger wife.

In Sum: Sun City Retirement

It should be obvious that the old airman needs to retire to a cul-de-sac in Sun City while he guards his cancers from the Arizona sun. He can putter around in a golf cart, my friends, refusing to speak to Iran—or was it Iraq?—and spare America another eight years of being whupped.

LEE PATTON is the author of Nothing Gold Can Stay. He lives in Denver and can be reached at:




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