If you’re like most Americans, probably just one. Maybe two, if you have a little extra money to burn or live in New York City and have lots of money to burn. If you bought using a subprime loan in the last five years you probably live in your car. And if you’re like me, you rent an apartment and are wondering if the Baby Boomers are ever going to release their stranglehold on the housing market so you can finally afford to buy a house before you retire.
But if you’re regular guy, non-arugula eating, definitely NOT elitist Senator John Sidney McCain, who does NOT wear $520 Italian loafers, you probably own… well… erm…….
“I think — I’ll have my staff get to you,” McCain said. “It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.”
So said Senator McCain in response to an interview question from Politico.com today. As it happens, the McCains own, or at least presumptive first c**t Cindy McCain owns, no fewer than ten houses valued at over $13,000,000. And that’s U.S. dollars, not the scraps of wallpaper they use in Zimbabwe now.
If you’re seriously interested, you can take a tour:
Unbelievable. In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, when millions of Americans are losing their homes in a massive credit and housing crash, when the economy shows all the signs of recession if not depression, the Republican presidential candidate can’t recall how many properties his own wife owns. And this guy claims he understands what the average American is going through. Talk about out of touch with reality.
Interestingly enough, the McCain campaign seemed to think this was an appropriate time to use the POW card in a rather pathetic attempt to simultaneously diffuse the criticism and scorn now being heaped on Johnny boy and to justify his ownership of, shall we say, an excessive amount of real estate. As reported by the Washington Post, McCain staffer Brian Rogers had this to say:
“This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years — in prison,” referring to the prisoner of war camp that McCain was in during the Vietnam War.
Okay, we get it. He was a Prisoner of War during one of the worst, most unnecessary and least popular wars in American history. And he suffered greatly. And he’s a veteran. Enough already. This endless, now mindless repetition of the McCain POW mythology is getting both tiresome and dangerously approaching self-parody. It cheapens the entire POW experience when you use it to justify something as ridiculous as this.
After all, if being a POW somehow justifies McCain owning ten condos, mansions, and other properties around the country, what does that say about what the rest of our veterans deserve? After all, there are now thousands of honorably discharged veterans around the country who have lost their homes in the housing crisis, or are unable to find work because of the lousy economy, or are unable to afford to buy a home because of the credit crunch. Don’t they ALL deserve at least one home to call their own?
Maybe the McCains would like to sell off bits of their properties to a few disabled veterans. It might (and I emphasize might) go a little way toward making resitution for having a direct hand in creating their disability in the first place. McCain, you will recall, was one of the earliest and loudest voices in Congress suggesting we needed to invade Iraq after 9/11.
I suppose that’s not going to happen any time soon. But this relentless, repetitive playing of the POW card in response to any criticism leveled against him is cheapening McCain’s own military history. It’s self-parody and non sequitur. He’s fast becoming another Rudy Giuliani, who was famous for using three parts of speech in every sentence – a noun, a verb, and 9/11. Only for McCain the stakes are much more serious.
Instead of merely looking like an opportunistic jackass, by invoking his POW experiences any time he is criticized, he and his staff are cheapening and degrading not only his own experiences but those of all POWs and veterans.
Five years in Hanoi justifies ten mansions, condos and beachfront properties? It’s madness. It’s utterly ridiculous. It’s stupid beyond belief. And it’s unworthy of a presidential candidate.