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Their dissolution is hard to watch

Barrett Rainey
Second Thoughts

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and entrances;”

Why Willie Shakespeare put “exits” before “entrances” has always been a mystery. Had I been writing “As You Like It,” I’d have put them in reverse order – the way they really work. Well, so be it.

The need of some people to “exit” from the overwrought, noxious media stage and my life has been on my mind lately. An already limited patience is at an end when I hear certain names. I’ve even compiled a list – in no specific order – and herewith post it for those interested to see if they’re on it.

One name is “Kardashian” or any kinship thereto. The term “reality” has been attached to their grotesque lives. There’s nothing remotely real about any of ‘em – including the many silicone enhancements.
Speaking of “reality,” all those TV programs masquerading as such – which get no play at our house – made the list. All. They exist because they’re cheaper to produce than most other shows. Also, they require no talent to be on them – just strong stomachs and a has-been career in something else.

Keeping to false “reality, Bieber, Sheen Jr., Lohan, Jolie, Spears, Gervais, Beck, Limbaugh, are on the list. And Bachman, Gohmert, Gingrich, Santorum, Brewer, Walsh, West, Smith (2), Scott, Paul (2), Akin and the entire legislatures of states trying to discriminate against minority American voters. And, of course, for local Oregon consumption – Robinson. Time is long-past for them to “exit stage very far right” given the paucity of their contributions.

A special engraved “get outta my life” invitation goes to Trump – he of the squirrel-like hairpiece. We’re talking “unreality” here. Whatever credibility he has left is not measurable by any device known to man.

Then there’s John McCain and hand puppets Graham and Ayotte. While Graham has suffered previous humiliations of intellectual over-reach as a senator and McCain sycophant, Ayotte is new to the mix. Voters in New Hampshire got her out of the state by sending her to Washington. She’d do less harm there. Idaho did that with George Hansen and Steve Symms years ago. But I digress.

Why Ayotte has hitched her little freshman political wagon to the other two elephants is beyond me. Both McCain and Graham are existing on previous contributory credits and those credits are wearing thin.

It’s not hard to fault Graham – with his mediocre career – for looking like a fool recently. Allowing McCain’s hand up his back, he’s done things and said things at the senior senator’s behest- apparently without much thought to what he was doing – for several years. They’ve gotten so good together you can hardly see McCain’s lips moving when Graham is “talking.”

John McCain, however, is a whole other matter. His pre-political career was of such strength-of-steel stuff as to make him a legend while still in the Navy. Between what’s been documented and what’s been told by others who shared his Viet Nam P-O-W experiences, McCain showed the stuff of real courage. There is surely no doubt. Aside from military recognition, he’s earned many, many public accolades. Entirely justified. All of ‘em.

But – the John McCain we see today – and see far too often – is not that man of strength and professionalism. He has become – on far too many Sunday talk shows and in far too many other appearances – a bitter and, at times, a confused old man. He’s jousting with demons and devils only he sees.

The Benghazi story – with the loss of four American lives to Libyan violence – while certainly tragic, could be McCain’s Waterloo. Between his outrageous behavior – and the totally unbelievable witch hunt sponsored by Fox News backing him – McCain’s public credibility has taken some major hits. On this issue alone, he and his cohorts have gone too far.

McCain took to our living rooms many weeks ago, loudly criticizing the Obama administration over the Benghazi attack. He did so even before the intelligence services could factually reconstruct events. Long before. He kept it up with fact-free assistance from Fox. Then he announced he would singularly block any attempt to make U.N. Ambassador Rice our country’s new Secretary of State. Two days later, Graham and Ayotte – “Us, too.”

When the CIA, FBI and National Security Directors went to Capitol Hill a couple of weeks ago, to present a classified briefing with all the then-known official facts of the tragedy, McCain boycotted that hearing he – HE – had previously demanded. At the same hour, he called a press conference to loudly criticize Obama, Rice and everybody else involved. Said he “still had questions” while those “questions” were being answered less than 100 yards away from the cameras.

Next, he wanted to violate Senate rules by creating a completely new committee to deal just with Benghazi. He, of course, would be chairman. The unprecedented effort was quickly killed by leadership.

Then he wanted to personally meet with Ambassador Rice to get his own private briefing. The guy who skipped out on the first presentation decided he wanted a second – just for him. With the President’s support, Rice and several others from the national security agencies complied. Within minutes, McCain and his sycophants were before the cameras – again.

“Now, I have still more questions,” he complained – accompanied by the requisite “Us, too’s” from the others. And, interestingly, all three had written talking points on the rostrum in front of them which they read. Did you notice? Curious, that. Must have been excellent staff work.

While it’s sad to see a respected public figure like McCain disintegrate in our living rooms, that appears to be what’s happening. With national media encouragement, he’s being ably assisted in making his anger and resentment over the loss of his 2008 presidential campaign very, very public.

McCain is an old hand with combined military and political experience far more extensive than most in Congress. He’s been a leader and deeply involved since his freshman term. He knows the rules. He knows the structure. He knows military and civilian intelligence operations and has participated in hundreds of their classified briefings. His knowledge and experience are deep.

From lesser voices, this criticism over Benghazi and other intelligence matters would be simply what we’re all too used to from our members of Congress – open mouth, insert foot, bite down firmly. From McCain, the response has become entirely inappropriate and wrong. It’s no longer credible or believable. He holds a deep hatred for the President – personal as well as political. And it’s destroying an otherwise fine man.

That’s why I’ve reluctantly put him on the list of people from whom I want to hear no more. I’ve had high regard for John McCain for years. Still do. This is not that John McCain.

“They have their exits and entrances,” ol’ Will said. It’s time for Sen. McCain to find his exit.

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