mccain as trojan horse?

A few days ago, in a thread about the election, our friend Robert left a particularly thought-provoking comment, and I thought that I’d move it up here to the front page… Here it is:

McCain is a nice old man who rightfully deserved to be the Republican nominee in 2000. He is now where Reagan was at the end of his term in 1988, and really isn’t in the mental or physical condition to handle the job. Had the Republican primaries not been high-jacked in 2000 by the Rove/Bush con-men, we would certainly be seeing everything we’re seeing now in a very different light. First of all, there would have not been any 9/11 attacks. Whatever your opinion of McCain and his policies, he would have been an actual president, not just the brain-dead speech reader Bush is. He would be reading his presidential daily briefings. He would have appointed at least a few other decent people and true patriots who would have never let the war-profiteers completely run the table as they have over the last eight years. This would mean that the warning signs of the impending attack would have been responded to early, as would be the case with any present and attentive Commander-in-Chief. We would have had a president who as the true patriot he is would have fought hard to keep in tact the constitutional rights of every American. Of course I could go on and on, but it’s all moot now.

It’s sad to see McCain struggling with things that eight years ago he would have had down. Like I said, he’s a decent guy, a true patriot, and a nice old man who deserved better than he got from his fellow Republicans. Most just went along with the con that was orchestrated by the few, but they’re all responsible. In the process they severely damaged our country and crippled their own party. But their ugliness and destructiveness isn’t over. What they are doing with McCain now is just a continuation of what they’ve been doing all along. This year, as a purely strategic move, they propped up McCain as their figurehead. They did it to appear moderate, decent, honorable and reasonable, as McCain is all these things. But with the exception of his wife, no one in, around or behind his campaign share these qualities. They are the same dirty tricksters, hypocrites, con-men and criminals which have flooded into positions of authority and power within the Republican Party over the last several years.

Their plan here is obvious…it is to ride back into office using McCain as their Trojan horse. It’s a sickening and cynical use of the man. I hope for his sake and ours, this ploy fails. I pray these criminals don’t have any more devastating surprises up their sleeves, like the ones we’ve seen demonstrated over and over during the past eight years.

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  1. egpenet
    Posted October 18, 2008 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m suprised Robert has fallen THIS far in seeming respect and pity for such a snake as McCain.

    Trojan Horse? I think not. Horse of a different color, maybe. Perhaps his parents should’ve used a Trojan.

    McCain would’ve been an even worse maniac in the White House … as he has been in the Senate with his buddies Rudman and Gramm.

    Wanna know who precisely to blame for today’s financial debacle? Keating’s old friend … John McCain. This must have Bom,b/Bomb/Bomb Barry Goldwater spinning in his silk-lined box.

  2. Oliva
    Posted October 18, 2008 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    For some truly interesting reading, check out:
    “Two Families Named McCain” by Douglas Blackmon,

    The author wrote a book called SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME (there’s a very fine web site about it, I heard him speak about it on C-SPAN. Hmmm, seems like I mentioned this here before. Worth mentioning again.

  3. Brackache
    Posted October 18, 2008 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Nah. McCain’s just another douche bag. 9/11 would have happened anyway.

  4. Posted October 19, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Chelsea said that too, Brackache. The difference is, Chelsea is a sweet and gentle creature, so I didn’t feel like challenging her.

    However, now that you’ve said it, would you care to back up that somewhat hollow statement?

  5. Brackache
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    No. It’s a conjecture vs. conjecture fight. We might as well back up our positions with a magic 8 ball.

  6. Robert
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Ok, then maybe you might just humor me with the answers to a few questions…

  7. Brackache
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Okay. I really doubt McCain being president would have led to the CIA interpreting intel any better regarding 9-11. I may or may not have known someone who worked in intel in the navy, and his very guarded implication (if such a person actually existed) was that the US typically moves on conclusions in intel that just aren’t there. So I think 9-11 would have happened anyway. The only thing that could have prevented it was to go back in time and not intervene in middle eastern countries’ internal bizznatches and building military bases over there. It was inevitable blowback.

    As far as him being a trojan horse for neocons, I don’t disagree. I just don’t buy that he would have been any better than Bush.

  8. Posted October 19, 2008 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    9/11 was in planning far before GWB ever got into office.

  9. Robert
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Brackache and Dude, are you both of the opinion that no administration would have made any difference what so ever in the way that whole series of events played out?

  10. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Not entirely, Robert. I feel that if there were a president who immediately recalled all our military from foreign soil and vetoed any spending bill that gave foreign aid to any government — during the Clinton years or earlier — 9-11 would not have happened. By the time Bush was prez 9-11 was well into its implementation stages and it was probably too late to stop it at that point with a foreign policy change.

    But again, this argument is irrational. None of us can even come close to proving his/her point in hindsight, due to the multutude of unknown factors involved. I’m being foolish for getting involved in it at all.

  11. Posted October 20, 2008 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Are you saying that the President only makes a difference on the foreign policy aspect of a security situation like this?

    What I’m getting from your statement is that you believe no administration, no matter what its makeup would have had any chance of thwarting this particular attack. This dispite the fact that many other planned attacks were thwarted all through the 90s…operation Bajoinka and the Milleium plots for example.

    Oh, and on a side note; Apparently Bill Clinton is stealing my lines now too. He’s now making the same points I’ve been making here on Mark’s blog the last few days. Today he talked about how John McCain was selected because he was the GOP’s only “remote chance to win” and he keeps pointing out that the GOP was in control of the congress for the first six years of the Bush presidency. The good news is that apparently, Bill Clinton reads your blog Mark.

  12. Posted October 20, 2008 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing we could have ever done to avert 9/11 short of finding every single person involved and stopping them before they started. Brackache, I seriously doubt that any foreign policy decisions could have changed anything. Althought, I’m no expert, I have read that and believe that Al Qaeda’s objective is not necessarily to see us do anything in particular, so much as it is to expand their name and stick it to what they see as an evil cultural influence.

    Our presence would not have changed anything given that our cultural influence is world-wide at this point. It also needs to be said that most of Al Qaeda’s targets at this point have not been American. This isn’t restricted to us.

  13. Robert
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Dude, your statement that “There is nothing we could have ever done to avert 9/11 short of finding every single person involved and stopping them before they started” is simply absurd. In every situation where terrorist plots have been thwarted, it all came down to a break in one aspect of the organization. Secret operations are always halted when there is considerable security breach of the operation, and operational secrecy is no longer guaranteed. That’s the very nature of such things. The threshold at which any secret operation dissolves is very low. Take for example the thwarting of Operation Bojinka. From there, look at the regular work of Israeli’s Mossad. If what you assume could somehow be true, Israel would be suffering devastating attacks continuously, without any letting up. Mossad regularly disrupts plots to carryout terror attacks, and they don’t do it by capturing every single individual involved.

  14. Robert
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    The argument is not irrational, Brackache. I believe there is enough public information available to debate the issue quite satisfactorily. I asked you particularly to allow me to throw some questions at you because I know you to have a reasonable grasp of logic. My questions have and would be very specific and not require much explanation. I was sort of gambling on you to be the person least likely to start dancing around a set of straight-forward questions.

    I actually enjoy being the person on the witness stand – so to speak – being cross examined by an aggressive attorney. Being questioned is the quickest and most effective method of learning. I don’t avoid it. I like learning. I hope you, and everyone else on this blog feels completely free to question me (seriously) at will about anything I say here. I know I act like an ass, but I am always open to serious questions. Additionally, I am always looking for other folks who enjoy the challenge of undergoing a line of questioning.

  15. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Shoot, socrates.

    But how was President Clinton instrumental in thwarting the mellennium bombing? If memory serves, an astute border guard caught the guy. The Prez had shit to do with anything.

  16. mark
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want to speak for Robert, but I think what he’s trying to say is that if McCain were handed an intelligence brief saying, “Osama determined to strike inside United States,” he probably would have done something with that information instead of just sit there with his thumb up his ass. Yes, it might not have changed anything, but it would have been better than nothing.

    [note: In my original comment, I’d written Obama instead of Osama. I came back and corrected the mistake later, so as not to cost Mr. Obama the election.]

  17. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    “Obama determined to strike inside United States,”

  18. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    You’re one of them now, mark.

  19. egpenet
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:27 pm | Permalink


  20. mark
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    OK, I’m going back to edit that now… My apologies to Senator Obama if I just cost him the election.

  21. Posted October 20, 2008 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you Robert. However, that really wasn’t my greater point. I was trying to say that 9/11 was conceived and executed independently of whatever administration was in place.

  22. designated republican
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    “Their plan here is obvious…it is to ride back into office using McCain as their Trojan horse.”

    As a republican and a conservative, I can assure you that many in the Republican Party see John McCain as the worst possible republican nominee for 2008. He has run a remarkably inept campaign, and his maverick proclivity towards deep-sixing his own party in favor of liberal Democrat policies is going to give most republicans gas for the next 4 years as President.

    As a “trojan horse” he leaves a lot to be desired.

    Having said that, he IS going to win the election on Nov. 4th, regardless.

  23. Posted October 21, 2008 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    You forgot to say that he’s going to take Michigan by 20 points.

  24. Brackache
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    As a republican and a conservative, I can assure you that many in the Republican Party see John McCain as the worst possible republican nominee for 2008. He has run a remarkably inept campaign, and his maverick proclivity towards deep-sixing his own party in favor of liberal Democrat policies is going to give most republicans gas for the next 4 years as President.

    Yet they voted for him in the primary, so it’s their own damn fault.

    Beer goggles?

  25. Posted October 21, 2008 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Designated republican, you implied a direct contradiction to yourself in that last comment. If, as you predict, McCain does win, he will have then been a perfect Trojan horse, because that’s the only purpose of such a thing…to get past the gates. I agree with your point that most Republicans see McCain as a very bad choice, and that is the very reason why the choice was made FOR you instead, by Rove and friends. They knew, just as Bill Clinton essentially said yesterday, that a phony moderate front would give the GOP the only chance they would have at staying in office at this point. In other words, your comments support my assertion that McCain is just a Trojan horse. I guess I should thank you for backing up my point, but it may look better for me next time if I was getting that backup from someone who wasn’t blatantly contradicting themselves.

    As for what you said Mark, yes I think you make a point which is one of many I would have gotten around to eventually. The suggestion, however, that a president can not effectively take steps to respond to such a specific warning is one you are all clearly pulling out of your asses. (I know you just said it “might” be the case) It contradicts all historical evidence and by implication suggests there is actually little reason to even HAVE a president who is ever ready at the helm. The last eight years may have knocked you all semi-conscious, but you still seem to assume it’s a good idea to have a president who can handle sudden crisis and threats, foreign and domestic. Stay with that notion. It’s a valid one.

    Dude, the point you intended to make is valid. However, that point doesn’t imply quite as much as you assume it does. Yes, it’s true that planning for the attacks was going on well before the Bush Administration took office, and without regard for who was in that office. There’s no question about that. Terrorist attacks are being planned all the time. It is going on continuously. There are always several ideas being developed, plans being initiated and groundwork being laid for attacks. Almost all of these plans are thwarted at one stage or another, and most well before they reach a state of operational readiness. Your comment actually helps me make one of my points though. Plots to high-jack and crash US commercial airliners had already nearly reached operational readiness many times before the Bush Administration came into office, and in every case those plots were thwarted (see Bojinka). It wasn’t until the Bush Administration was in office that the guard came down and this nation became vulnerable to a significant domestic attack. That is why it only took a few months for one plan to reach operational stage and for the go-ahead to be given. It wasn’t random chance as so many (and with so little knowledge) seem to want to believe. The Bush Administration would certainly like to encourage that misconception. I mean please, this was the same administration which a few years later wasn’t even prepared for a hurricane. Do you believe Katrina was the first hurricane to hit a US city? My point to you is that terror attack planning happens regardless. However, successful execution can only take place when guard is dropped and security threat indicators (already in place) are ignored or suppressed. The previous administration was not ignoring or suppressing any threat indicators. They were reacting to them. For an attack to reach execution stage, it was necessary for an administration to be “asleep at the wheel”

  26. Brackache
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    President Clinton, as the very involved, very engaged individual we all know he was

    Okay. That speaks volumes.

    But I disregard that and all the time-wasting tit-for-tattery that that might provoke for this: your point is that McCain would have appointed guys better than the guys Bush appointed, and that McCain would have been more involved and engaged than Bush was.

    Prove that without conjecture. Name the guys Bush appointed and prove exactly how and why they fucked up, then name the guys McCain WOULD HAVE appointed and prove exactly how and why they would have done anything differently. The second part (McCain’s imaginary appointees) is more crucial if you only have time for one list.

    You can’t do it without plucking things from your imagination. There are too many unknown factors, not the least is hidden human motivation. Hence, like I said in the beginning, this boils down to a conjecture vs. conjecture fight, which is stupid, though you might find it enjoyable.

  27. Robert
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    It sort of seems like you’re suggesting I didn’t make any detail points in my last comments.

    I didn’t think anyone would suggest Clinton wasn’t “very involved and very engaged” in details and decision making, regardless of what people thought of his decisions and political idiology. Are you suggesting you don’t think he was? I’ll admit, that response took me by surprise.

    Brackache, you seem to want to gloss over most of the specific statements I made. Is there any detail I’ve stated which you find inaccurate? In what I’ve said, I’ve answered already your question about what was done wrong, where it had previously been done right as standard proceedure.

    What I am doing here is trying to make a presuasive argument, not a conclusive one. I can go through and get all the names of the individuals in the FBI who were in that chain of command, and I’ll post them here, but I feel like you are trying to make me back up things you probably already believe.

    My point is that ANY more engaged person would have done a better job, and in fact DID for all the years before that dim-wit occupied the Oval Office. It is without a doubt that McCain would have made actual conscious decisions about who he was appointing to important posts. It is also clear that Dubya simply put the official stamp on suggestions that were made to him by a circle of advisors. And these advisors chose him, not the other way around. I can name them also if that matters somehow.

    Clinton’s appointments were often people who’s ideas I didn’t agree with, but who were up to the basic demands and requirements of the their respective appointments. It would shock me if you, or anyone else for that matter, were to suggest that McCain is not far more aware, informed, and interested than Bush ever was. Are you saying you don’t believe that?

    Judging from your comments, I think I would probably have to have a better idea of what you DO belive, so that I am not run in circles as a tactic. It’s sort of as if you were breaking things down to the point of asking what the meaning of “is” is. If you were to start saying things like “define what you mean by informed” I’d be here all day typing and never actually getting to any meaningful point. It is why I feel it is important to establish what we agree upon first. That is why I think I may need to ask you these basic questions:

    Was Clinton not very involved and engaged?

    Is there any detail I’ve stated so far which you find inaccurate?

    Do you feel McCain is generally more aware, informed, and interested than Bush?

  28. Robert
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I know nobody is as interested in discussing this stuff as much as I am, so I try to be considerate of anyone who’ll humor me, believe it or not. Don’t feel I’m expecting responses ASAP or anything. This kind of discussion can’t be whipped through in a day. I will also automatically be trying to do most of the jibber-jabber myself, and just asking pretty specific questions of you. However, I’d sort of need you to do the same to some degree. In fact, I will be back, when I have time, to try to sufficiently answer each of the statements you’ve made so far.

  29. Brackache
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I stand by my last post entirely.

    I’ve deliberately ignored parts of your post I’ve found irrelevant, conclusions which you assert are not in question but which are unsubstantiated or contested, and socratic-method questions which lead away from the heart of the matter which is this:

    You can only conjecture that McCain would have averted 9-11. I can only conjecture that he would not have. To prove otherwise, we would need evidence which we don’t and could never have. The end.

    The rest is just smokescreen bullshit and red herrings, it seems to me.

  30. Posted October 21, 2008 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m not defending the Bush administration but to suggest that it’s their fault 9/11 happened is stretch. Many of the problems that led to 9/11 and to Katrina were the result of years of disorganization that extend well beyond Bush and even back before Clinton.

    While I think that Robert is more or less informed on many topics, I think there’s a reactionary slant that makes him like to blame all the world’s ills on Bush. You give Bush way too much credit.

  31. designated republican
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Most of the key primaries won by McCain were “open” primaries, where Democrats and independents were able to vote on the republican side if they elected to do so. In several states, McCain deliberately focused on attracting independents to vote for him.

    The Karl Roves of the party would’ve preferred almost anyone else (even Huckabee) to McCain, but he is who we’ve got (and he’s far better for the future of our country than Obama).

  32. Posted October 22, 2008 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Just to get this out here. My annoyance of the week is all this crap about “punishing success”. The Republicans roll out this golden carrot of “if you become rich, Obama will take all your money away” while I have multitudes of folks in my community college classes having me sign unemployment verification forms so that that they can continue to receive benefits. Of course, they claim to vote Republican and happily take advantage of social welfare all the while worrying about what will happen if they happen to get rich tomorrow.

    Sorry, I just had to get that out there.

    Go back to insulting each other.

  33. Brackache
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Well good news. I grabbed a 2008 sports almenac, took Doc Brown’s Delorian back to 1999, and gave it to the McCain camp. He raised enough funds to win the primary, appointed a bunch of better guys to the CIA and FBI, was really involved in their investigations, and stopped 9-11. I won’t get into the convoluted misadventures that occured after I discovered the broken head of Cheney’s cane in the passenger seat, but suffice it to say, Robert was right all along.

    Feels like I’ve been gone for a year, but for those who don’t think 4th dimensionally I’ve only been gone five minutes. Now I’m safe and sound back in good old 1955.


  34. Robert
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Designated republican, you make a good point regarding Democrats and Independents voting in the Republican primaries. However, I think this year it was probably mostly Independents who were involved in that. Democrats were pretty busy with their own close and hotly contested race between Obama and Clinton. The vast majority of Democrats, and even most Independents were drawn into trying to help tip that race one way or another. It also went on quite a bit longer than the Republican fight did. It looks to me that Rove and friends essentially used “dummy” candidates to slit the more conservative vote in the Republican primaries. I don’t think it was just lucky timing for McCain that Thompson got in right when it looked like Huckabee was going to sweep many southern and mid-western states by considerable margins. Thompson then got out just after South Carolina, and after his presence on the ballot successfully split the more conservative majority in that state, handing the win there to McCain. Had Thompson gotten out before then, the nomination would have eventually gone to Huckabee or Romney. I also agree with you that the Roves of the party would have personally preferred Huckabee, but they are realists and they knew McCain would appeal to the moderates that need to be picked up this year. They felt as you do, that McCain is better than losing by going with a candidate just because they are more in line with him ideologically.

    Brackache, obviously doesn’t want to come out and play. If he doesn’t even read my comments, I guess I can’t kid myself that we could have any sort of discussion. I’ll still come back and respond to some of the comments he HAS made some other time when I am bored I guess.

    Dude, I don’t give Bush any credit personally. I think he is completely clueless and was selected for that very reason. I don’t think he is personally the cause of anything that has gone wrong over the past eight years. My view is that a cabal of unsavory interests decided to place what is essentially a cardboard cutout in the office of the presidency. It was done so that there would not be anyone in the White House who might interfere with their war and crisis profiteering plans. I would describe the problem we’ve had not so much as being that we have had a bad president so much as I would describe it as being that we didn’t really have a president at all. The most ironic thing for me is that Dubya is probably the president who is most like me in many ways…dumb, disinterested, drunk, etc.

    Dude, I know what you mean about the “punishing success” nonsense the GOP is throwing around now. I’ve met a few goofballs who are buying this line all the while taking government handouts. Unfortunately for the Republicans though, after 12 years of them running congress and 8 years of them running the executive branch, there aren’t a whole hell of a lot of people anymore who are expecting to get rich anytime soon.

  35. designated republican
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 12:05 pm | Permalink


    You give the Republican Party and its leadership FAR too much engineering/organizing credit. Didn’t you watch the last season of West Wing? (which focused on the election process and primary fights for both parties’ candidates) It’s on Bravo right now – go TiVo it. Primaries are messy affairs, and Presidential nominations/elections turn on the goofiest things. Nobody could’ve “engineered” a McCain nomination in 2008.

    As for goofy turning points, I believe that the “Joe the Plumber”-Barack Obama “spread the wealth” moment in Ohio will be looked back on by the analysts as the turning point for this election. With that one offhand, unscripted, moment of truth comment, Senator Obama lost the election.

  36. Robert
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Designated republican, you know I don’t believe you actually believe anything you just said. I’m still willing to do an hour of community service for every electoral vote Obama loses by, if you will agree to do one hour for every electoral vote McCain loses by. I think it would be a fun thing to do either way. We could have Mark choose the type of community service right now so I can’t try to get him to soften it if things start looking bad for Obama. So what do you say, talker. You wanna back those statements up?

  37. Robert
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and it doesn’t take a lot of engineering or organizing to encourage some dope that is thinking about running to get into the race, and then advise him when to pull out. Some guys might even go along with something like that knowlingly for the purpose of simply influencing the outcome and winning points with the folks who asked ’em. It happens quite frequently on the local, state, and congressional levels.

  38. Curt Waugh
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Designated Republican is a dork. He/she/it just likes to say provocative things and scurry away. Robert, he/she/it didn’t take the bait the last time you offered your bet and it won’t this time either.

  39. Posted October 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    My guess is that’s he’s just lazy. Maybe he expects that his wealth will trickle down to some local poor folks who will do the community service for him.

  40. designated republican
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 6:08 pm | Permalink


    I already have my wager down on this election (my brother is a Gore/Kerry/Obama supporter currently 0 for 2). I have no interest in increasing my exposure, even if it is “only” community service involved.

    Thanks for the offer, though.

    ps This is the first time I’ve read of your offer – I must’ve missed previous offers while I was out campaigning. sorry.

  41. Robert
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    It’s good to see that your brother is cancelling out your vote for us, designated republican. Please pass the message of our gratitude on to him.

    I understand how you might not want to increase your exposure. I’m with you on that. As an alternative, we could just have Mark name a non-partisan charity we could both agree upon, and then we could agree also to contribute $1 per electoral vote our candidate loses by, in Mark’s name. This way neither one of us has to be exposed, and we can still prove we actually believe the shit we say.

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