Monday, October 20, 2008

Say It Ain't So, John

After we liquidated things with Quietvision, they (quite decently) sent me the remaining copies. We've got two boxes of "Last Dancer" hardcovers, 20 copies, we're going to get rid of. $50 apiece, shipping included inside the U.S. -- an extra $10 outside the U.S. I've seen them going on Ebay for lots more than that. Drop me a line in the comments if you want one. They go in order requested.

~~~~~

Say It Ain't So ...

I've always admired John McCain. (Don't misunderstand; I'm not voting for him. I can't imagine voting Republican at the moment. But that's policy, and has nothing to do with McCain's quality as an individual.) As to McCain's quality as an individual -- he's an asshole, but that's not the worst failing for a politician. I'm sure, temper issues and all, he's a nicer guy than Bill Clinton, another guy with a volcanic temper. McCain's pragmatic and you can do business with him, which I've always liked -- I'm not a big fan of "bipartisanship," which is a longer post than I have time for at the moment -- but I do like pragmatic, and pragmatic married to something like character is the best you can ask for out of any politician.

Politics is an ugly business, and the first requirement is that you win. I don't have a problem (a moral problem, anyway) with much that McCain's done up to this point. Ditto Obama. A lot of what McCain's done so far has been a mistake, but that's just a judgement issue, not a moral one.

In 2000 robocallers in North Carolina, during the Republican primaries, called voters and told them that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child. It was the nastiest possible libel; McCain has an adopted daughter of Indian background. Bush's operatives took that adoption and used McCain's daughter as the bsis of a smear intended to inflame the racist sentiments of Republican primary voters.

My longtime admiration for McCain took a hit when he embraced Bush on stage at the 2004 convention. Screw the politics of it; Bush used McCain's daughter, lied about her, to pick up the votes of racists. And McCain embraced him four years later. Imagine being the daughter, watching that on television?

But life is full of compromises. OK, that hug was one. But yesterday I read that John McCain hired the firm that executed that racist smear against his own daughter. Hired them. Paid them.

I'm hard to surprise, when it comes to politics. Steve Barnes, who I admire, thinks Obama is a "political philosopher" -- I don't think so. I think Obama is a Chicago pol, a street fighter -- better than a philosopher. See Al Gore, who I do admire: but as a politician your first responsibility is to win, and Obama's so far willing to do what it takes to win. Gore wasn't. (Which doesn't change the fact that he did win -- the only time all the votes were ever counted in Florida, Gore won by every single standard that actually involved counting all the votes .... of course Bush was in the White House by the.)

But even politicians should have lines they won't cross. The contempt I always felt for Bill Clinton was an artifact of my inability to see where that line was, for him -- the admiration I always felt for McCain came from what was, I thought, a pretty clear set of lines he wouldn't cross, not even to win. He's blurred a few of those, running for President -- fair enough, ambition can make even good men do things they wouldn't brag about.

But I don't see how you parse this last as anything but a betrayal of his daughter. It wouldn't have surprised me from Bill Clinton, but it sure does surprise me from McCain.

Shame on you, John McCain.

16 comments:

Sean Fagan said...

Obviously, I want a copy. But you knew that, right?

I disagree about McCain. While I did like the image he managed to put out in '00, all the fact that have come to date have shown it to be a lie. That doesn't necessarily make me think he's evil (but it does mean I'd never vote for him, because of his actual beliefs and positions), but I simply could not trust someone who manipulates the media so much.

A week or two ago, John Scalzi challenged people to name something they didn't like about their preferred candidate, and/or something they did like about the other guy. And while I can list things I don't like about Obama (I'm still pissed about the FISA thing), I simply cannot come up with anything I like about McCain.

He's a liar; he's violent; he has anger management issues; he cheated on his wife and left her for money; he changes his position on a dime -- and then acts as if that was always his position; his judgment is dangerously poor. At t his point, I'm seriously wondering about his sanity.

Right now, Powell impresses me. I don't like him -- I don't like his politics at all. But he's continuing to strike me as the kind of person that McCain has tried to pretend to be.

matthew@infodancer.org said...

Dan -- I'd like one of the Last Dancer hardcovers, please.

steveburnett said...

I'm interested in one copy of _The Last Dancer_, please.

Anonymous said...

I'd love one of those Last Dancer copies...Tell me where to send my information and how you'd like payment......Thanks, Ron Joseph

Dan Ealey said...

Please count me in for one of the copies of tLD...if there are *any* left.....

Who in their right mind would *ever* want to spend 10's up to 100's of dollars for the worst job in the world is a mystery to me. No matter who wins, the winner loses. The state of our Economy, Foreign Relations, and the removal of our troops are just a tiny bit of what the winner gets to try and fix for an angry population who want it all done *yesterday*.

Dan Ealey said...

Please sign me up for a copy, please. Would a donation for you + copy of tLD be the best way to handle things?

As far as the election, I do not understand why someone would want to spend 10's or 100's of dollars to get the worst job in the world.

Dan Moran said...

Anyone wanting a copy, send me $50 throuth the paypal button in the upper right, and include your address. Shipping's the same no matter how many copies you order.

6 gone so far.

~~~~~

I do like McCain. That said, I can't recall ever voting for someone based on something as unimportant as whether I liked him. Of current politicians, in the "who I'd like to have a beer with" department, it goes something like ....

Gore
.... big dropoff
Obama
McCain
Huckabee
Hillary
Ron Paul
... big dropoff
John Edwards (what the hell is wrong with you?)
Rudy Giuliani (what the hell is wrong with you?)
Bill Clinton (I know what's wrong with you)

... down to politicians who should be whipped through the streets:

George Bush & Arnold Schwarzenegger, a torturer and war criminal, and an evident rapist.

Reaching back a ways just so I could get him in, a vigorous hipping for Gil Garcetti, who helped set the city of Los Angeles on fire by moving the beating trial of the Rodney King cops from downtown to Sylmar; and who then, showing his evident inability to learn a single fucking thing about how to do his job, moved OJ Simpson's trial from Brentwood to South Central.

~~~~~

But none of those people, not even Bush and Schwarzenegger, would fail to get a vote out of me if the alternative was scary enough. I'd certainly vote for Bush over End-Times Sarah Palin, lemme tell you. Bush is merely corrupt and black hearted; but he wants to live and wouldn't (on purpose) direct the world toward the End Times. I have no such faith about Sarah Palin.

~~~~~

As to McCain, hell -- I like that he requested a combat assignment in Viet Nam. I like that he did the right thing and stayed with his guys when the North Vietnamese offered him early release. I like that he's unapologetic about hating the people who tortured him, and at the same time went to Viet Nam to normalize relations: that's a man who can keep two ideas in his head at the same time.

I like that he doesn't whine or even make a big deal about being physically unable to raise his arms above his head due to torture he suffered in Viet Nam.

I could certainly make the case in the other direction. But at the end of the day I think McCain's probably a decent man, and certainly a brave one, whatever his other failings.

Which, of course, is why I'm surprised by his having retained the people who slimed his daughter. I do believe the man has a functioning conscience, and I have to think when he has a quiet moment, he feels dirty over that. He should.

Dan Moran said...

That should have been "vigorous whipping" for Garcetti.

Well. And he's not even my type.

Joe Miller said...

I'd also like a copy.

I agree with the "Win win win" idea though, you can't do the job if you aren't in place to do the job. But for the Maverick McCain, most people respect the maverick. They're good to see at a distance, but NIMBY. First rule of successful revolution is to get rid of the revolutionaries.

Lance Brown said...

Dan,

Just sent the $50.00 through your PayPal donation button for the book.

Thanks!
--[Lance Brown]

J.D. Ray said...

I'm happy to say that I got copies of all the available hardbacks when they were first published. In fact, I just dug them out of storage the other day and put them on the shelf. My wife asked why I chose to put those up, and I said, "Those four books are more valuable than that bookshelf and the rest of the stuff on it."

That set her on her heels, that's for sure. :) Mind you, the bookshelf is from IKEA, and the rest of what's on it is a variety of family photos and four cookbooks, so...

Joel said...

Hmm I've managed to lose two copies of the old del ray printings of the last dancer. Wish I had 50 to spend on a third. Oh well the pdf was still a good read.

And as for miss Palin I still can't figure out why some one in collusion with the Alaskan Independence Party is running as a VP.

Gollumer said...

I'd like one of the hardcopy tLD's

...Politics, I have no dog in this hunt, I will vote for neither Mccain or Obama, as voting for the lesser of 2 evils is still voting for evil, IMO.

Richard Galvez said...

I would like one of the copies of The Last Dancer, too, please.

Brendan said...

Oh good heavens yes please!!

Dan Moran said...

13 copies sold, seven left.