If you haven't seen it already, check out the current Rolling Stone magazine. The cover article, "Make-Believe Maverick: A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty," is a scary look at a man who I actually felt good about eight years ago.
Viewing McCain's life through the author's eyes, Dubya's life of "failing upward" has the whimsical feel of a happy-go-lucky fool, stumbling and bumbling along the way, blissfully unaware of the disaster he leaves in his wake. Johnny, on the other hand, appears to have been all too aware of what he was doing--even when he was crashing planes.
In its broad strokes, McCain's life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers' powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives' evangelical churches.Having Moose-shootin' McGillicutty in the on-deck circle behind McCain is scary enough without knowing what the man might be like if he became, and survived as, president.
In one vital respect, however, the comparison is deeply unfair to the current president: George W. Bush was a much better pilot.