Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dirty Trick of the Day

Man, John McCain can't buy a friend in South Carolina, where he's getting swift-boated:

Charges of dirty tricks flew once again in South Carolina Tuesday as supporters of Republican Sen. John McCain's campaign described as "absolutely despicable" a flier claiming that he turned his back on fellow prisoners of war in Vietnam.


The flier featured a cartoon of McCain, a former POW, sitting in a cell and a supposed "fact sheet" accusing him of collaborating with his captors.

This is about as low as I think it could get, which probably means it will only get worse.

By the way, did you know there's a statue of McCain in Vietnam commemorating his capture by the Viet Cong?

As McCain stands by the memorial of his capture at Truc Bach Lake with Jack and Cindy, he is laughing and smiling, just like any other dad checking out, say, the Liberty Bell. He reads the Vietnamese inscription to "the people's defense forces" shooting down the "air pirate" named "John Sney Ma Can," misidentifying the former naval aviator as a member of the U.S. Air Force.

"That's the greatest insult of all," he announces.

The statue, which includes a figure of "Ma Can" being dragged out of the water, wasn't as well tended to the first time he saw it, during his 1985 return with CBS' Walter Cronkite. "There was grass running up all over it and bird crap everywhere," McCain notes.

I actually first heard about this reading "Up, Simba!" David Foster Wallace's absolute must-read account of his trip on the 2000 Straight Talk Express. It's in his last collection of essays, Consider the Lobster.

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