Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

John McCain, John Kerry's Friendship-- A Dream Deferred

In "A Dream Deferred," the great poet Langston Hughes asks:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Today, the daddy is reflecting on friendships: how they can be constant and stabilizing or dynamic and changing; how they can jel and grow ever "syrupy sweet" over a lifetime or suddenly change--how beautiful memories carefully nurtured over decades can "explode" into the stratosphere and, for all practical purposes, exist no more. Want an example? Take the friendship between Sen. John McCain and Sen. John Kerry, two celebrated veterans of the Vietnam war, two long-time friends in the U.S. senate.

Yes, once upon a time, Sen. John McCain and Sen. John Kerry were the closest of friends. Indeed, Kerry once said that serving in the senate alongside fellow veteran and close friend McCain was "one of my greatest joys." Once upon a time, McCain and Kerry took turns defending each other from the comments of rivals and foes, regardless of political party or presidential administration. So much so that, in 2004, in his run for president, Kerry toyed with the idea of placing Republican McCain on the Democratic ticket as his VP. But since 2004, things have changed.

Now, the relationship is strained. During the democratic nation convention, Kerry, in perhaps his most passionate speech ever, called out McCain as a flip-flopper on tax cuts and a cheerleader for Bush's failed Iraq war policies. He also blasted McCain for resorting to the same ugly personal attacks that sank his own presidential ambitions.

In a recent interview, Kerry, a Senior Adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign, said:

"I'll always consider McCain a friend, but he's very different from the man I once knew...This John McCain has taken on a negative tone. He's lurching from one issue to another, from one place to another. He's talked about having a steady hand on the tiller, but he's had anything but a steady hand."

There are several ways to look at this development: John Kerry could be viewed as a traitor to a fellow veteran and a friend. Two, both Kerry and McCain could be viewed as "just playing party politics." In other words, in a close political race, politicians say things that they don't necessarily mean to win an election. McCain had to move farther to the right wing of his party to win; and Kerry, as an adviser to Obama, had to say negative things about McCain. So what? It's just politics.

But whether this is politics or not, whether Kerry is a traitor to a senate colleague and close friendship or not, one thing is certain: this development must be sobering and painful for both. The friendship was real, the respect mutual.

Another thing that is certain is that Kerry told the truth. McCain, in Reaganese fashion, supports a lowering of taxes on the richest Americans and a reduction of services on the less well-off. Like Bush, he supports a continued war in Iraq. The only difference is that he wanted more U.S. troops there from the start. And he has flip flopped on many of the positions that he took in 2000, positions that beefed up his unwarranted but widespread image as a maverick (Sorry, Governor Palin). And, sadly, it doesn't look like this relationship will be repaired anytime soon, if ever.

Have you had a dream of a close friendship that exploded into small pieces and exists no more?


Anonymous said...

"Have you had a dream of a friendship that exploded and exists no more?"
Many, daddy.

Christopher said...

The Old Coot is a douchebag.

His choice of running mate, McCandy, is a radical, rightwinger who belongs with Mullahs in Afghanistan.

In 14 days, we will flush them both down the commode as Barack Obama is elected president-elect!

rainywalker said...

There may a third thing to consider thinking about here. They are both veterans and so am I. We have a bond that could be considered strange. They did a study back in the 80's that said 90% of all Vietnam veterans could recognize each other on the street. I detest many of the things John McCain did in Vietnam and things he is doing now. You have heard me call him a crazy man. We still have the bond, but I am not his friend. I would give him my last breath, but not as friends. But even veterans who are good friends have an unspoken code. They may want to help a fellow veteran, but see in a sad way that their friend has gone off the deep end. Kerry will not call him on his erratic behavior because he see's a different John McCain than you and I. The dream is being deferred until another time, perhaps when there is only a one sided conversation.

MacDaddy said...

anon: I hear you.
christopher: Hey, man, where have you been? Good to hear from you again...Yep, 14 days.
rainywalker: Thanks for helping me to understand this. You sound like my friends/Vietnam vets. They wouldn't vote for McCain but talk about him and this bond at another level, a level that, frankly, I don't get. But I'm trying. Another thing they have in common is that they are very historical about military matters, both in strategic terms as well as historical terms. I'm working on that too. The other thing is the fascination with Gen. Eisenhower. They can quote him on what he said about the military complex and the folly of war. From the way they speak of him, it's clear he only believed in war as a last resort and that war has become a cottage industry, which is why it is perpetual for our government. But the main thing is the bond they have. Therefore, he would have been against the Iraq war. It could be you sitting around a table at the coffee shop with us on a Sunday morning.

October 21, 2008 6:52 PM

Anonymous said...

My best friend was my live-in husband. We didn't have any papers. We were so close we didn't think we needed any. But he found someone younger at work. At least I don't have to go through a legal divorce.

rainywalker said...

The honor would be all mine, thank you for making such a kind complement.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Daddy, I really appreciate how you've shown me a level of contemplation that I never really felt in a general sense.
Rainy, I have always thought I understood VN and the vets who served there even though I never went.
You have, over the past months given me a new perspective and shown me how little I really understood.

I've always treated the internet as a sort of fantasy land where people didn't really exist. . . "it's cyber space and nothing is really real in cyberspace." Funny though, I feel like you two guys are something like friends.