real-mccain.thumbnail.jpgHow is it possible for a politician as cynical as John McCain to get away with a statement as arrogant and narcissistic as this:

"I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s."

Unselfish? Putting country first? Whom does he think he’s kidding?

For the last year, we have watched McCain sell out his principles on issue after issue, including, of all things, his opposition to torture. He’s changed positions on virtually every policy for which he once claimed to stand above others. He’s pandered to and now totally caved to the religious right, extremists he once abhored as a threat to the nation.

The media, who once worshipped his candor and openness now condemn his evasiveness and intemperate, robotic statements. One by one, they’ve awakened to find a man they no longer recognize.

He’s turned over his campaign to the same unprincipled smear artists who slimed him so that they could slime his opponent. And to help in that effort, he’s asking his unqualified running mate, a self-described "pit bull with lipstick" to do the dirty work.

His campaign, now stripped of all integrity, and in complete denial about his responsibility for supporting the last eight years of failed policies, has become little more than pumped up self praise, relentless narcissism over a sense of honor he no longer displays, while smearing Obama’s character and lying about his energy and tax proposals. His strategy has been reduced to a Nixonian cultural war coupled with Rovean partisanship designed to divide the nation he claims to love, all as he cynically promises to end the "rancor" in Washington.

He uses his years as a POW — 30 years ago — as an excuse for every failing today. As bmaz noted, "I challenge you to show me any American veteran, ever in history, that has so shamelessly milked and exploited his military heroism."

Shameless is the right word.