Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Another Stellar Political Performance

Scandal! Caught playing iPhone game at
3+ hour Senate hearing - worst of all I lost!
DATELINE: KNOWING WHEN TO FOLD EM - I sat for three and a half hours yesterday, watching the US Senate hearings regarding a response to the crisis in Syria. I did this because, as a Canadian with many attachments to people on the southern side of the 49th, I believe this is a very critical point in history. I did this because I recognize that the results of this decision WILL impact me – it could result in more threats to security to all of us, it could require that friends and their loved ones will be required to serve in Syria, it definitely could set a precedent for future diplomacy around the world and it very much will have an impact on the global economy, especially if the wrong decision is made. I felt it was important because trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of more lives, Syrian and American, could be at stake. I watched because I wanted to know if there was more information, more learned opinions who are familiar with the situation offering possible alternatives or different insights as to whether or not someone should interfere. I watched this because it could change how regimes are dealt with, how civil wars are dealt with in the future. I needed to know more because I am concerned about the credibility and efficacy of the United Nations, and in particular the UN Security Council, that appears farcically impotent at best. There were many reasons to watch, or to at least keep tabs on the discussions and questions.

I was not paid to be there, as every one of those people in that senate chamber were. In fact, they are paid damned handsomely for sitting in there. As I listened, though, I thought about family members who had fought in wars, who had been injured in wars... I have interviewed many over the years in the course of doing research, and I thought about every one of them, and how they talked about war. I thought about their perspective of war – the perspective of men and women who agreed to defend the country, who are paid peanuts to do so, but who nonetheless do as they are ordered, despite their own personal concerns or disapproval of the action. There was none who didn’t have a story about an asinine order issued from a commander. Now, commanders are human, and they make mistakes. Some of them do what they think is best for the right reasons. Overall, they accept that the person one rank higher than them always had their backs, that someone would be watching out and making sure the stupidity was cut off at the knees. It is imperative for those in uniform to know, to be able to trust, that those making decisions are doing so in a dedicated, informed, responsible manner.

So, enter Senator John McCain. This is a man who wore a uniform, who spent time as a POW, who has tried to become President of the United States, and probably, sadly, will try again. Not only does he disrespect... blatantly disrespect... the people of the United States, the people in the countries around the United States and around Syria, the people of Syria, the men and women wearing uniforms but he also disrespects... blatantly disrespects... the other people in that senate chamber, by playing god damned games on his cell phone instead of paying attention. It was three and a half hours. He can’t sit and pay attention for that long? Well, then, Mister McCain, it’s time for you to check into the senior’s home and see if you can handle a whole game of scrabble in one sitting. God knows the troops who could end up involved because of a misstep by the US government would be committed to something a hell of a lot longer than three hours.

So, while I was incensed by McCain’s indifference and disrespect, his tweeted response and all his subsequent responses today should have him standing in a dock facing treason charges. He blows off the concerns by flippantly complaining that he lost pretend money? We’re talking lives and potentially trillions of dollars, and a global economy, and this moron is seriously making comments about his poker money? He is implying that people have no right to be mad or question him. He is implying that a three hour meeting is more to expect from any human being... what with their crystal water glasses, plush chairs, and minions waiting on you. If I was paid to sit in a meeting for three hours and I pulled out my phone to play a game on it, my ass would be out the door so fast, my head would be spinning, so how the hell dare you, Mister McCain, how the hell dare you criticise people for expecting that you at least pay attention.

It is to be hoped that the next time John McCain next appears on a ballot, that those who support him are too damned busy playing on their cell phones to be able to find their way to the voting booth. It’s hard to believe, though, that they would not just laugh him out of the state.

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