Pandering or Senile?

by digby

I vote for pandering:

And then McCain told a rather moving story about his time as a P.O.W. "When I was first interrogated and really had to give some information because of the pressures, physical pressures on me, I named the starting lineup, defensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers as my squadron mates."

"Did you really?" asked the reporter.
"Yes," McCain said.
"In your POW camp?" asked the reporter.
"Yes," McCain said.
"Could you do it today?" asked the reporter.
"No, unfortunately," McCain said.
Here's one reason he likely couldn't do it today -- the Steelers aren't the team whose defensive line McCain named for his Vietnamese tormentors. The Green Bay Packers are. At least according to every previous time McCain has told this story.

In McCain's best-selling 1999 memoir “Faith of My Fathers,” McCain writes:
“Once my condition had stabilized, my interrogators resumed their work. Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship’s name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant. Pressed for more useful information, I gave the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line, and said they were members of my squadron. When asked to identify future targets, I simply recited the names of a number of North Vietnamese cities that had already been bombed.”

In 2005, A&E ran a movie version of "Faith of My Fathers."
And McCain discussed that precise clip on CNN.
The actor playing McCain, asked to name the men in his squadron, says: "Starr; Greg; McGee; Davis; Adderly; Brown; Ringo; Wood."

Cut back to real life. The CNN anchor asks McCain: "For those who don't know the story, were those NFL football players?"

"That was the starting lineup of the Green Bay Packers, the first Super Bowl champions, yes," McCain responded. But it's -- it was the best I could think of at the time."

Recall that Hillary Clinton was excoriated mercilessly for many years for allegedly lying when she said she'd been both a Cubs fan and a Yankees fan. This was shown to be accurate and provable, but it didn't matter. All politicians are held to an entirely different standard than those who were held in Vietnamese prison camps. They are allowed to just make stuff up whenever they choose. It's a sign of their good character and patriotism.

And imagine if Obama were caught in a pander this crude? (Or a memory gap this huge.) The man can't even ask for a glass of orange juice in Pennsylvania without it being considered a sign of hi "inauthenticity." If he made a mistake like this Morning Joe and Tweety would be drooling and speaking in tongues about what a disgusting flip-flopping kiss ass he was.

McCain has had a very bad week. (And that article doesn't include his truly mind boggling "Viagra Moment." His fans in the media seem to be treating this gaffe-fest as if it's their avuncular old neighbor just popping off after having a few too many brewskis, but I would think the voters might become alarmed if this continues. (His comment about social security should be a deal breaker among the senior citizens, many of whom are already skeptical of his abilities and I hope the Democrats play it incessantly during the campaign.)

McCain is just a disastrous presidential candidate -- unorganized, somewhat dumb, cranky and undisciplined. Except for the dumb and cranky parts, that's what makes him a maverick Republican.