Patterico's Pontifications


Beldar Says McCain Owes an Apology

Filed under: Immigration — Patterico @ 8:18 am

Beldar explains why Ann Althouse and Glenn Reynolds are wrong to cheer on John McCain’s profanity-laced tirade against John Cornyn.

Most of you probably know the background by now, which is set forth here and here, among other places. (If profanity offends you, now’s the time for you to move on to the next post, because I’m not bleeping any of it out.)

Cornyn was raising some issues about the amnesty bill, and McCain called Cornyn’s concerns “chickenshit,” and said he was raising them to derail the bill. Cornyn, to his credit, snapped back, saying: “Wait a second here. I’ve been sitting in here for all of these negotiations and you just parachute in here on the last day. You’re out of line.” McCain responded by telling Cornyn: “Fuck you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room.”

Althouse, in a post that was favorably linked by Glenn Reynolds, praised McCain (!). I’ll turn it over to Beldar:

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)’s skepticism about the pending “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation (a/k/a McCain-Kennedy) very closely mirrors my own and also, I believe, that of a good-sized majority of his other constituents in this largest Republican border state. As far as I’m concerned, Sen. Cornyn’s earning his salary, and my vote if he runs for re-election, by voicing some very legitimate concerns over that proposed legislation.

. . . .

I do not want an American president who cannot restrain himself from shouting “F*** you!” at his peers. Losing one’s temper to the point of shouting profanity in the workplace is not something to encourage or trivialize in general. But doing so when one is in a job or profession or position that’s supposed to involve dignity and sound judgment demonstrates a lack of dignity and a lack of judgment. I don’t know Prof. Althouse personally, but it would surprise me if she shouts “F*** you!” at faculty colleagues, or would think “it’s nothing” if they regularly did so at her.

Prof. Reynold’s linking post to Prof. Althouse’s opinion is titled “MCCAIN TALKS TOUGH, and that’s okay.” Well, sure, tough talk is sometimes actually vital. But this isn’t “tough talk,” it’s rude talk. Private rude talk is one thing; even public rude talk may sometimes be excusable, depending on just how rude and what the circumstances are — but in these circumstances, it wasn’t. I’m surprised that neither Sen. McCain, Prof. Althouse nor, apparently, Prof. Reynolds seem able to draw that simple, but very important, distinction.

Indeed. The issue is not profanity in the abstract, but that McCain was rudely giving short shrift to some legitimate concerns raised by Cornyn. That’s the context that shows how wrong McCain was to make his points so rudely. As Beldar says, there’s tough talk, there’s straight talk, and then there’s plain rude talk. McCain’s tirade was “rude talk” — and unjustified rude talk at that.

24 Responses to “Beldar Says McCain Owes an Apology”

  1. Did Althouse miss McCain’s “press conference” on the bill which, in translation, was typical McCainese for “this is settled, we aren’t going to allow any discussion on it and we are going to shove this through as fast as possible”? If she had, then maybe she’d rethink her “push back” line.

    McCain doesn’t like to be challenged…he knows what’s right for everyone else and he will punish – through words or even legislation – people who p*ss him off. [see the McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection bill that bans political speech 60 days out from an election].

    He is as qualified to be Prez as Ron Paul.

    Darleen (187edc)

  2. As one of the most vulgar people I know (Dice Clay ain’t got nothin’ on me), I have to say that what McCain did ensures I’d not vote for him.

    Show some god damn self disciplin and decency, asshole. Cornyn showed decency and restrain when McCain snapped. Johnny should be ashamed…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  3. It would be helpful to have firsthand accounts rather than quoting sources who are quoting people who are quoting McCain, but if true, this reflects badly.

    Obscenity usage rarely offends me, and I think even in dignified professions, private use of obscenity in discussions doesn’t necessarily show poor judgment. Heck, in some cases, even “F— you,” can be a friendly retort met by laughter. That’s not what it sounds like here; there’s a time and place for these things, and a policy debate isn’t one of them.

    It’s unfortunate. I’m a fan of McCain’s, but he does make me nervous with things like this.


    JRM (de6363)

  4. Well said, Patterico.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  5. It’s the arrogance of the statement AFTER the profanity that I find most disturbing: “I know more about this than anyone else in the room”

    Really? I have found over the last 40 or so years of my adult life in and out of the military, that when someone suffers from the delusion that he or she knows “more than anyone else” about any particular subject, that their unbearable arrogance inevitably gets them in serious trouble.

    Not knowing what you don’t know is far more serious than not knowing everything there is to know.

    This incident, unfortunately, illustrates a serious leadership flaw on the part of Sen McCain. That, however, does not in any way suggest that he is unique among various Senators, Representatives, or Executives, of both parties in this regard. Did I fail to mention journalists?

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  6. That’s not profanity-laced, but it is fowl language.

    Michael Llaneza (463eb1)

  7. ‘Chickenshit’ means nothing.

    What does matter is that McCain said it to Cornyn in front of all of the Democrats, and said it in what was his first appearance at one of the immigration bill meetings in months, while Cornyn had been there.

    And what also matters is that McCain, in front of the Democrats, told Cornyn to leave the room so he and Ted and the big boys could wrap it up.

    And all this, maybe, because McCain was in a rush to have the press conference and get to a NY fundraiser. Cornyn was messing up McCain’s schedule!

    To me those things are a much much bigger ‘f you’ to every Republican or conservative who cares about the issue. That’s what should be upsetting us. I was somewhat resigned to McCain being the eventual nominee despite his $ troubles. But if everyone hears the story this way, that is it for McCain.

    tom (e2a989)

  8. Powerline says it has the inside story.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  9. Powerline says it has the back story on the McCain/Cornyn exchange.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  10. Powerline says it has the back story on the McCain/Cornyn exchange:

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  11. Powerline says it has the full story on what happened between Senators McCain and Cornyn:

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  12. Powerline says it has the full story on what happened between Senators McCain and Cornyn. I’m having trouble posting the link so type http:// and then add:

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  13. Ouch DRJ…

    We got it the first three times… :)

    *Note* I know it was the filter that made you do it…

    I just had to poke a lil fun…

    I take it you’re all healed up and stuff?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  14. Scott – the link worked for you the first 2 times? They didn’t work for me. Sorry for the multiple posts.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  15. pfft… LIke I actualy care about the multi-posts… I was just givin’ ya a hard time…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  16. Somebody from the RNC called me last night and told me that McCain gets angry like that because he’s ashamed of his black love-child.

    The Liberal Avenger (b8c7e2)

  17. […] (Hand-picked partially from MemeOrandum’s great blogger roundup): Michelle Malkin (Right); Patterico’s Pontifications (Right); Don Surber (Right); Drudge Retort (Left) Technorati Tags:  Amnesty, Border […]

    The Gun Toting Liberal™ (2711a8)

  18. “Somebody from the RNC called me last night and told me that McCain gets angry like that because he’s ashamed of his black love-child.”

    A better bet is for having to breathe the same air you do, LA.

    nk (cad7e1)

  19. A better bet is for having to breathe the same air you do, LA.

    Is that like second-hand smoke, or something?

    allan (ba7128)

  20. Nope, just me harassing LA for something he allowed Sirkowski to do. I’ll get over it. I could never hold a grudge for long.

    nk (cad7e1)

  21. Man, what a dick. Seriously.

    David N. Scott (71e316)

  22. Me, David?

    Or that rat-bastard McCain?

    The Liberal Avenger (b8c7e2)

  23. I don’t think that’s an either/or proposition, LA.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  24. Hahaha… I meant McCain.

    David N. Scott (71e316)

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