While I disagree with his politics, I have to admit that I admire John McCain's flexibility. Despite his being 30 years my senior, he has demonstrated yoga master-like aptitude for contorting himself into positions that I can't hope to emulate despite my relative youth. Try as I might, I simply can't do what McCain does on a weekly basis. I have tried, but no matter what I do I find myself unable to put my entire foot in my mouth in the effortlessly nimble manner in which Senator McCain does it.
Not only can he do it, he does it better and better every time he tries. The bit where he taunted Obama about not visiting American troops overseas and then villified him for doing it was a terrific bit of political yogasana, and his concerns about Czechoslovakia's future and the troubles along the Iraq/Afghanistan border will surely be included as examples of the foot-meets-uvula stance should a Yoga Hall of Fame ever be built. Still, this week he has surpassed himself in skill.
Everybody's heard about the latest campaign ad juxtaposing Obama with Paris Hilton. I've seen it and yes, I see the racial undertones of the ad, too, but that's pretty clumsy stuff. The true yogic mastery of that ad doesn't become clear until one realizes that Paris Hilton's father, hotel magnate Rick Hilton, has been an active McCain supporter and a major donor to McCain's efforts. You see, anyone can make a commercial that plays on prejudices about ethnicity, but it takes a master of the Goat Swallows Hoof yoga position to do that at the same time as one casts aspersions on the daughter of one's own allies.
Paris Hilton's dad: He's on record as a John McCain contributorWow, did you see that? He did that Goat Swallows Hoof stance while flipping and flopping at the same time!
Contributors to McCain's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination included Rick Hilton. In fact, Hilton was so enthusiastic about his candidate of choice that, The Times' Tina Daunt reports, federal records show he donated twice as much as the law allows (the campaign returned the excess)...
Asked at a town hall meeting (what else) in Racine, Wis., if comparing Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears was a flip-flop on his pledge to conduct a high-minded, respectful campaign, McCain replied: "There are differences and we are drawing those differences."
He continued: "I'm proud of the campaign we have run, I'm proud of the issues we are trying to address with the American people. We're proud of that commercial."
Seriously, this guy is good. If I tried a position like that, I'd be in the hospital with a cracked pelvis.
By the way, lots of celebrities have donated to McCain's campaign, too. For starters, there were Norman Lear, Harrison Ford, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, Michael Douglas and Warren Beatty (source). I guess he doesn't need that support anymore.
The question that occurs to me is, how will McCain top is past performances? It's only August; it's still three months until the election, and he's got to keep building the kind of excitement and momentum that his political yoga has generated to date. He's a tough act to follow in this regard, but I think I see where all of this is heading. Look for a spectacular act of self-immolation in coming weeks. I don't think any Yoga Master in history has ever managed to put his foot in his mouth, flip and flop, and self-cremate in one unified movement, but I have faith. McCain-ji is building up to this.
You know, I'm still not one of the people whose excited about Barack Obama's candidacy. Still, I know I'm going to end up voting for him for the simple reason that he isn't John McCain. The senator from Arizona is making me rethink my notion that nobody could have worse judgment than George "Dubya" Bush. Dubya's eight years of chimp-fu have been impressive, no doubt, but this McCain... he's a force to be reckoned with.