Saturday, September 27, 2008



I don't use profanity on this blog, and I tried to come up with a less explicit title for this post, but this really was the most appropriate way to call attention to an amazing catch from Andrew Sullivan.

John McCain cursed twice when Barack Obama challenged him on having equivocated last week when asked if he would meet with the president of Spain.

McCain had just finished attacking Obama over his stated willingness to engage in direct diplomacy with other nations without preconditions. At the 4:30 mark, as Obama is responding, McCain says "that's horseshit. Horseshit."

Think about this. John McCain lost his temper and cursed on stage during a presidential debate being watched by 60 million people. He does not possess the self-control of a child.

Imagine John McCain's temper as the only thing standing between us and a shooting war with Russia over Georgian sovereignty.


Andrew adds:

[Update: a reader persuasively says that McCain is saying "'Course you can" and it sounds like "corshucan".]

[Update II: I just listened to it all over again and now I'm not clear again. Oh, the joys of blogging in real time. If anyone has another translation for what was an under-the-breath remark by McCain, I'd be happy to air anything that makes sense. I'd email the McCain campaign but they won't answer blogger emails.]

[Update III: I listened to it on headphones. Now I think my husband was right again. McCain says: "'Course ... Course not." Well: 'mutters angrily' conveys the tone better.]
I have listened back to it, and it could go either way.

I do think that in context, "horseshit" makes much more sense than "corshucan."

"Course... Course not" fits the context better, but I'm not entirely convinced.

And even if it is "course not," it still sounds peevish, rather than presidential.

And if that's what it was, it is still evidence of a character flaw - dishonesty.

When his campaign was asked about McCain's refusal to commit to meeting with the president of Spain, his national security advisor Randy Scheunemann told the Washington Post that McCain said what he meant and meant what he said.

McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Sheunemann said McCain's answer was intentional.

"The questioner asked several times about Senator McCain's willingness to meet Zapatero (and id'd him in the question so there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred). Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview," he said in an e-mail.
So, either the McCain campaign was lying on September 18 to cover up the fact that McCain was confused about Spain, or he was lying last night to cover up the fact that he is a crazed neocon. Those are the only two possibilities.

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