September 29, 2023

Cancelled Czechs

Cancelled CzechsIt’s not as if he was out in the parking lot getting high in someone’s Trans Am that day in high school when Mr. Farquar told the rest of the 6th Period Social Studies class what happened to Europe after the Cold War. He’s been a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee since he was sworn in to his Arizona U.S. Senate seat in 1987. I don’t know about the Senate Armed Service Committee curriculum, but I’m pretty sure they cover things like current geopolitical reconstitutions and realignments. I was drinking more than I should have been in the early 1990s, but I do recall the rejiggering of most of the previously Soviet-controlled countries.

That said, this is a fast-changing world, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up on countries that are new and countries that are no more. I don’t know how many times I’ve would up with egg on my face when I’ve inadvertently cited Prussia as a member of the G-8. Thank God I’m not running for President!

It hasn’t caught on yet to my knowledge, but John McCain’s stump speeches should become America’s favorite drinking game. He took credit for a bill he didn’t show up to vote for? Take a drink. He touts the same Bush tax cuts he decried as key to the U.S. economic recovery? Take another belt. He cites Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a Sunni warlord. Pour one and slam it down. He thanks Hezbollah for being the ramparts against the gay Shining Path guerillas massing on the Texas border? Wipe your chin and slam another two ounces. President Putin of Germany. Al Qaeda in Iran. Listen. Cringe. Drink. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This isn’t an exercise for the faint of liver, so you’ll have to step up. And if you have to be anywhere, you might want to have a local cab company on your speed dial.

If you haven’t been keeping up this week, John McCain, not for the first time, cited the plight of Czechoslovakia. Fortunately, he stopped short of assailing Neville Chamberlain, and at least he didn’t cite Nazi troops surging over the border. “I was concerned about a couple of steps that the Russian government took in the last several days. One was reducing the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia.” He also wants a missile defense system for them, too.

Not to give too much credit to the Russian government, but maybe this was just a clerical roadblock. There’s a chance that Russian energy suppliers have been spending much of the past several weeks driving around and around, staring at their invoice and calling the home office as their phone minutes allowed, asking for further clarification–only to ultimately find out that not only isn’t there a particular Czechoslovakian address where they have an invoice to deliver energy supplies, but that Czechoslovakia no longer exists. And hence another well-intended shipment of energy supplies heads back to a warehouse in Minsk.

This is already getting to be a tired yarn, and we’re barely into summer. John McCain misstates a basic historical/poltical/lifestyle fact, and a nation that could elect him President yawns and waves a hand. That’s just John.

Why isn’t anyone getting worried yet? After all, this is the man who could very well become the next President Of The United States. On the other hand, John McCain isn’t stupid, so we can take comfort that we aren’t electing a moron for another four years. John McCain may be long in the tooth and a little…uncertain. But he’s not an idiot. So maybe those bonafides alone would be enough of a day in the sun for most Americans suffering nearly eight years under the clueless frat-boy hubris of George W. Bush. John McCain may be a lot of things, and he may be a lot of those things several times throughout the course of the day, but  almost anyone on either side of the aisle would agree that he’s not a moron.

So we’ve got that going for us, if Obama doesn’t win the election. A moron-free American Executive Branch is a tantalizing thought, even if his successor happens to be a coot. At the end of the day, that’s still a lot more lovable, even if the end result is another intractable war fought on spurious grounds, combatting high gas prices by selling drilling leases in Vermont, and offering a $300 million bounty for the inventive American who can create and patent our first energy-efficient cupholder in a generation.

That and better relations with the Habsburgs, of course.