Alexander Cockburn: The Mushrooming Clouds That Hang Over McCain
Until last week John McCain's political handlers had been complacently sketching out their basic strategy: to portray Obama as a mere novice in statecraft, devoid of those powers of mature wisdom and sober judgment with which the seasoned McCain is so richly endowed.Ouch!
The problem here for McCain is that he's a dunderhead in statecraft, devoid of self control, capricious in moral standards and an imbecile in his lack of political judgment. Across the past four days these deficits have all come home to roost. Often, the deadliest wounds a scandal can inflict are on the second, third and fourth days, as the follow-up stories disclose " troubling new disclosures", "apparent contradictions" and the like.
True to this pattern, each successive day since the New York Times finally disgorged at least partially -- its story last Wednesday, has brought fresh disasters, particularly as the Washington Post and Newsweek play catch-up. As it progresses, the Iseman affair scandal discloses him as an idiot (the view of his horrified staff in 1999 as McCain, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee paltered with the attractive 32-year old communications lobbyist), a liar (in his denials he met with Lowell "Bud" Paxson, the media operator for whom Iseman was working) and a hypocrite (in thundering against lobbyists and their employers, while traveling in their private planes, taking their money and doing them favors).