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Steve Schmidt’s ‘Warning’ Is A Kill Shot To The McCain Mythology

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Late Sunday evening,  Steve Schmidt let loose his Big Secret. The secret that is a kill shot to the late Republican Senator John McCain’s myth, which yesterday was still as steeped in the feverish patriotism we afford certain war heroes  as it was when he was alive. John McCain got special treatment from the press; they upheld this myth for him in return for his company.

The Big Secret revealed in Schmidt’s “The Warning” newsletter is that John McCain was a hero, but also a coward. A coward who put the national security of this country behind his own ambitions and reputation. A man who met with Sarah Palin privately and determined that she was indeed ready to be President and thus his Vice Presidential pick for his doomed 2008 run. A man who had an alleged affair for years with a lobbyist and lied about it when the New York Times spilled the beans. A man who lied to Steve Schmidt about this affair, making Schmidt complicit in lying to the press, and then later told Schmidt the truth.

In Schmidt’s telling,  McCain turned a blind eye to the Russian involvement of his top advisor, Rick Davis, who “who was making millions of dollars with his partner, Paul Manafort. Manafort was advancing the interests of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and across Eastern Europe.” They worked for Oleg Deripaska and Victor Yanukovych. John McCain wasn’t exactly distanced from this Russian propaganda laundry factory, Schmidt writes, as he spent his 70th birthday on a Russian yacht.

Why did McCain tolerate this? Schmidt writes that the Republican myth did so because of a longstanding affair he had had with a lobbyist, first publicized in this New York Times article from February 21, 2008. A lobbyist “to whom he was credibly accused of providing special favors,” who at one point, according to Schmidt, called  McCain’s Senate Chief of Staff from the front seat of her parked and running car in her closed garage  “to pass along the message that she wanted to say goodbye to John McCain, and that she loved him.”

At this point, you might be thinking but it seems like everyone has affairs. How is this a kill shot? The NYT piece reported: “Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity. It had been just a decade since an official favor for a friend with regulatory problems had nearly ended Mr. McCain’s political career by ensnaring him in the Keating Five scandal. In the years that followed, he reinvented himself as the scourge of special interests, a crusader for stricter ethics and campaign finance rules, a man of honor chastened by a brush with shame.”

Our media by and large fell for McCain’s reinvention. It was seen as impolite and beneath decent people to reference his past.

Schmidt writes, “For 14 years, I have been accused of being disloyal for speaking out against Sarah Palin by the people who both failed to vet her and who know what had transpired with the lobbyist.”  So we can see how he got to this place of finally unloading – no one deserves to be saddled with the inaccurate accusation that they “vetted” Sarah Palin and found her competent.

Schmidt writes that it was Rick Davis who “vetted” Sarah Palin, whom Steve admits he pushed as a Hail Mary for the struggling campaign. Schmidt reports he was very busy managing the distraught lobbyist during this time. All of this work went unpaid as well, according to Schmidt. (You can see how his resentment would be bursting by now, to be publicly smeared as a pedophile by the family for whom he worked for free and then took the brunt of the Palin blame.)

“It took less than three minutes for me to absorb the magnitude of the disaster. Should this have happened earlier, the selection of her would never have happened. This was a lapse in John’s judgment, not mine. My mistake was leaving John McCain alone in a room with her,” Schmidt writes.

“The bravest man that I had ever met turned out to be terrified of the creature that he had created. His refusal to be honest about his mistake of picking her – and his unwillingness to confront the furies she unleashed – allowed an ember to grow into a conflagration that is foundational to our current catastrophic denial of reality and profound dishonesty of the far right…. He said so many other things that he didn’t truly believe because they were politically expedient.”

That is not John McCain, the legend, the myth, the brave war hero. That is John McCain, a flawed human being who was allowed by our media to hide the truth of his personal flaws and ties to Russia because of his myth. Yes, he was a war hero. He also chose Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential nominee and allegedly lied to the American people and smeared journalists who reported his close relationship with the lobbyist.

The “maverick” you were sold is, in fact, a bit of a coward.

It’s worth asking why for so long the media has somehow pretended the Palin choice wasn’t John McCain’s responsibility.

Because the broader point of Schmidt’s weekend of unburdening is not about himself or even John McCain or Sarah Palin or even the Russians. The broader point is how we, as Americans, don’t like to be told the truth and how our media so loves mythology that they work to deliver lies to us instead of holding the powerful accountable.

“John McCain was a complicated man. He was an idealist, who could be transactional and deeply cynical. He was a mirror, who exposed the vanities of so many ‘hangers on’ in the media who sought his favor and companionship, as opposed to delivering the scrutiny a powerful politician deserved.”

The theme here is TRUE BELIEVERS.

John McCain allowed himself to fall for chaos agent Sarah Palin as a capable Vice President because his campaign was falling apart due to his own misdeeds – the Russian connections he allowed in order to cover up his alleged affair with the lobbyist. Sarah Palin herself had long believed that she should be president due to her falling for a far right radical Christian narrative. Steve Schmidt allowed himself to be used by the entire McCain family because he believed in John McCain’s myth.

The NYT touched on this weakness of McCain’s in that 2008 piece, “Even as he has vowed to hold himself to the highest ethical standards, his confidence in his own integrity has sometimes seemed to blind him to potentially embarrassing conflicts of interest.” His confidence in his own integrity.

Most of us have at some point fallen for what we want to see in someone instead of seeing what they are.  Reporters and journalists are also just human beings. They all bring a bias; it might not be a political one, it might be their own career ambitions or their burning idealism.

A blind spot creates a willingness to look the other way, which ultimately has in this case enabled a grave ongoing threat to our national security and brought us to the point where our highest court in the land is majority ruled by chaos agents of unsound mind with no integrity and certainly no legitimacy — installed by a man Russia saw as yet another easy, willing target because just like Sarah Palin, Donald Trump has that ego. That true believer fragile ego that operates under delusions of grandeur easily exploited by a man like Putin.

Here we are again at TRUE BELIEVERS.

“I have always believed that a great nation needs its myths and heroes…. Today, I view loyalty through a prism of duty to my family, country and the truth,” Schmidt wrote in his reckoning.

Schmidt is certainly not perfect, nor the hero of the bigger story. But then, no one is. There are so few real heroes. The real heroes never cast themselves in that light, nor do they seek or demand obedience and compliance. (John Lewis, Martin Luther King, Jr, Rosa Parks are but a few examples of true heroism.)

But he is also not the villain.  The thing is, Schmidt didn’t claim to be a hero. He took the blame all of these years for Sarah Palin, even while admitted her crushing faults and failures. That decision was John McCain’s, who was brought to his knees due to his own cowardice and putting his political ambitions ahead of the country.  Schmidt carried this burden to protect the mythology of John McCain.

Just as we, as a nation, have for so long clung to the mythology of this young country as immune to the failings that brought devastating wars to other nations.  This mythology has led to an electorate that swings from Worshiped Candidate to Worshiped Candidate, stumbling through the attacks on democracy waiting for the Perfect Candidate to save us. We are a nation in need of a hero, and that makes us weak to predators.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine should serve as an opportunity for us to realize that freedom is a constant battle and sometimes the biggest threat to our freedom is our own willing compliance to be silent when we see wrong-doing. This fault is not John McCain’s alone. We see the corruption enabled by this fault in the Republican Party today.

Ultimately, we are all susceptible. To protect our liberty, we must maintain a watch over our own beliefs and never put any politician or person on such a pedestal as to believe they should be given absolute, unchecked power. And that is the larger lesson from the age of Trumpism: We must stop worshiping mere mortals — from Trump to Bernie to Hillary, far too many worshiped the person over the ideas, which is how we ended up with the stunning disaster of Trump in the White House.

Schmidt’s kill shot to McCain’s myth can serve the higher ideal of opening our eyes to the ways in which we have been conditioned to worship the person over the idea. Democracy will not flourish like this. Our nation must grow into one willing to do as France did in their recent election – hold their nose if they must, but vote for democracy. We must put democratic ideals above individuals.

No one is coming to save us. We must save ourselves with our votes, our voices, and our personal courage.

 

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Kellyanne Conway Takes Aim at Everyone But Trump

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Washington Post: “Part personal chronicle and part political journey, Conway’s book is filled with the sorts of barbed one-liners and bon mots that she dispensed on cable news on Trump’s behalf, becoming — depending on one’s perspective — increasingly famous or infamous.”

“Unlike many other Trump-focused tomes in the post-presidency era, Conway has not set out to pen a scathing tell-all, in which she distances herself from the president or administration she once served.”


Here’s the Deal: A Memoir

  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Conway, Kellyanne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 512 Pages – 05/24/2022 (Publication Date) – Threshold Editions (Publisher)

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“You’re Probably as Demented as Biden!… You’re a Brainwashed A$$hole!” – EPIC! Rudy Giuliani Tells Off Stupid Leftist at Israel Day Parade (VIDEO)

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani attended the Israel Day Parade on Sunday.

During the event, some witless Jew insulted Mayor Giuliani on his record of fighting crime in the Big Apple.

Rudy was not having it.  He stopped and confronted the uninformed leftist, “I reduced crime, you jackass…  You’re as demented as Biden…  You are a brainwashed a$$hole.”

You can hear someone else screaming, “You’re the best!” to Rudy at the same time.

TRENDING: Name Them and Shame Them: Glenn Greenwald Releases Video on ‘Typhoid Mary of Disinformation’ Nicolle Wallace

It is well known that Rudy Giuliani reduced crime significantly during this time as Mayor of New York City.

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Nuts & Bolts—Inside a Democratic campaign: Don’t let others redefine you

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Redemption and Love stories define our culture

I want you to sit back and think about all the great movies and films you’ve seen over your lifetime. Think about the driving forces within those stories. The majority were built around either the concept of redemption of a character or love for another character. These two forces are so profoundly built into the human experience that we seeing them, even fictionalized, motivates us. 

When we see them in a way we think is not fictionalized, like reality television, we can feel sucked in or emotionally involved with people we barely know. It isn’t that we have any great connection with them on real interpersonal grounds, it is our own understanding of a redemption story or a love story.

I’m now going to present an example in a fictional campaign. Sarah Flowers is running for a city council position in her mid-sized city. Let’s say 100k voters. At a certain point in the story, it becomes known that in the mid-1990s, while in high school, a nude photo of her circulated and is now in the hands of someone else. There will be people around who will tell her how terrible this is, how damaging it is to her campaign and some will ring their hands and say “it’s over”. I want to point out: I have seen exactly this situation happen with almost exactly this type of events, and Democratic support system come up with exactly this conclusion.

What should Sarah do? She has her own story, and her story is the truth. She was young, in love, and unfortunately, that was taken advantage of; she has never regretted falling in love, she learned a lot from her youth, and she feels sorry for those who want to traffick in kiddie pornography photos of her in order to harm her. This is enabling the vengeance of someone else, but she’s just sad that they are doing it. 

She can look at that photo now and say: yes, that’s me. It’s who I was then, and I don’t regret the love I had. I can’t regret the terrible actions taken by someone else, that is on them. We have all done things in our youth we wish we hadn’t done. 

You can own something, ask for redemption and point out that the redemption your asking for has limits. You aren’t asking to be redeemed for something that isn’t your fault. You can tell a love story where one side is broken-hearted. 

In other words: it is perfectly okay to have regrets. Everyone does. Share them with others and people will relate to you. Offer flat affect responses and people will wonder why you aren’t more emotionally in touch with who you were and who you are now.

When others define you, you lose.

One of the greatest failures of a campaign is to just assume that a story will “go away”. It is a Friday story and no one will care is something that was true in the pre-internet era and it is no longer true. Once a story is available, people will speculate, find interest, recirculate and continue to discuss it. They want to choose a side. They want to understand what is going on. People who were committed to vote against you have made up their mind before they read the first sentence. 

For everyone else, though, they are looking for a common ground that defines you. Let’s take another candidate. Billy is running for the state legislature. Billy is pressed by the fact that a few years ago he was divorced from his wife of 8 years and has since moved on. The advice given to Billy is “say as little as possible”. There is some value in that. Saying: “I think it is best to protect my children and my former spouse that I don’t want to speak to harm them, and I’d encourage people to keep them off limits, because I still love and care for what happens next.” Or any similar response. Billy might also respond by saying that he once loved his partner, things changed and they grew apart or whatever reasoning. 

People are OK with simple understandings. What Billy can’t do is get angry about the question, change the narrative to a challenge of his opponent or make demands of someone else as a response. The moment you try to go on the attack when you can shut something down through an answer, people will continue to ask the question. The press is not your enemy. They have inches to fill and columns to write, and if you give them content they will generally run it. If you stonewall instead, or if you let your own anger and dismissiveness take over, you are going to be in trouble. If anyone on your campaign advises you to stonewall the press, unless that press source is one you know specifically is already in the tank against you than that advice is generally bad advice, in my opinion and the opinion of the vast majority of campaign workers who have helped build this series.

In the end, when it comes down to conveying who you are to a voter the reality is simple: be yourself and don’t let others define who you are because you refuse to do so. If you can hold strong to that piece of advice you will already be ahead of a great number of candidates — ask soon to be ex-representative Cawthorn.

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