Published on
the Bangor Daily News (Maine)

President Bush's Stinking Endorsement

Got tomato juice? I know somebody who could use some. So if you've got any extra, please mail it to P.O. Box 16118, Arlington, VA 22215, Attention: Sen. John McCain.

Why tomato juice? Well, it works when a skunk gets your dog, so maybe McCain can eliminate that George Bush stink he got from standing too close during the "endorsement" the other day.

McCain has fortitude. I'll give him that. It's impressive enough that the rank smell of hypocrisy didn't make him gag, but the superiority-laced words of the president didn't get him heaving either. Bush condescended: "John showed incredible courage and strength of character and perseverance in order to get to this moment."

I'll say he did.

A military man trained to kill - with no compunction when it comes to taking life and destroying property for what he feels is a just cause - stood there and didn't so much as flinch when the guy who had abused his family's reputation and employed ad hominem attacks on him in the 2000 primary tossed that patronizing statement his way.

Let's look at the counterfeit nature of Bush's words: "John showed incredible courage and strength of character and perseverance in order to get to this moment."

McCain should have turned to him and said, "Why, you little draft dodger, you think I need you to call me courageous? What do you know of courage? You ridiculed my record. Your minions slandered me to make you look better. Why, you didn't even have the stones to do it yourself. You had others fight your battles, just like in Vietnam."

Picture that in your mind's eye. Oh, what a beautiful moment that would have been.

Gee, let's take the fantasy a little further.

McCain then pulls out the can of V8 that he brought for lunch and starts dousing himself with it, hoping that it will mitigate the stench of the endorsement he had to endure to get the neocon support that still clings to America's worst president.

Then fantasy McCain goes on rebuking him. "What makes you think you have the right to assess my strength of character? While I languished in a POW camp, you hid from a tour in Vietnam by enlisting first in the Texas National Guard and then pretending to serve in the Alabama National Guard - a safe haven for you but, according to Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers' office, a source of 727 troops you sent to Iraq in 2005 alone!"

Imaginary McCain continues, "When the media issued one of their extremely rare challenges to you about whether you even showed up to work in Alabama, you produced dental records that proved what? That the brave George Bush heroically got his teeth cleaned?"

Now our dream McCain gets extremely animated and with V8 running into his eyes and over his lips, the man who faced torture further vilifies the president that sanctions torture, "They used dental records to identify the bodies of my fellow soldiers and you used them to prove your hiding space! You will never assess my character!"

At this point, intrepid White House reporter Helen Thomas faints with delight and is caught before she falls by the AP photographer standing behind her.

McCain finishes up, "As for perseverance, you have no idea what perseverance is. A morally bankrupt man who just vetoed the bill to halt waterboarding, who manufactures fear in a manner proportional to the way great leaders inspire courage, can't fathom what an honest American hero like me has had to endure.

"Forget 5 1/2 years of captivity - I'm referring to my newly perceived need to suck up to the right-wing establishment in order to win this election."

But alas, we need look no farther than Eliot Spitzer to learn that after a while fantasies just don't cut it anymore, and no price is too high to get a little satisfaction.

What I wouldn't give for Sen. McCain to prove to us what he must already know. No payoff - not even the presidency - is worth it for such a brave man to lower himself by getting in bed with just anybody.

The world doesn't have enough tomato juice.

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Pat LaMarche

Pat LaMarche

Pat LaMarche is an author, activist and advocate. She is the author of "Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States."  Her new novel, The Magic Diary, is due out in late spring.

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