McCain: "Ze votes on ze war are wizzout meaning..."
McCain says the Senate votes on Iraq are meaningless:
McCain: Iraq votes 'meaningless'
For someone building his presidential campaign around national security credentials, John McCain (R-Ariz.) sure has missed a bunch of votes regarding the Iraq war.
During the past six weeks, the Senate has cast seven votes dealing with how President Bush should proceed in the now four-year-old war. And McCain has missed five of them, bypassing what he calls "meaningless" procedural votes in favor of campaign stops in his pursuit of the Republican presidential nomination.
McCain is the only declared presidential candidate to miss any of the Senate's Iraq votes, according to Capitol Briefing's analysis of Senate votes…
On Thursday, when the Senate cast three different votes - on a Democratic plan to reauthorize the war and set a timeline for withdrawal and two non-binding resolutions supporting the troops - McCain was in Ames, Iowa, cracking jokes about his newfound support for the Hawkeye State's home-grown ethanol.
McCain dismissed the relevance of the votes. "In Congress as we speak, in the Senate, we will be debating another meaningless resolution…
(Scene: John McCain’s next press conference. Emerging from the darkness, an expressionless McCain arrives, steps up into the spotlight, to the microphone. He wears a black beret, black sweater. A Gauloise dangles from his lips as he speaks, with heavy French accent:)
McCain: Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from ze home: “Mother deceased. Senate vote tomorrow. Faithfully yours.” Zat doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.
I zay, “the lives of our men in ze war, zey are wasted.” Does zis mean something? No, zis means nothing. Zo I say, we must zend more “soldats.” It is meaningless.
In “le Zenate”, zey say zay are going to have ze resolutions on ze war. Zey want me to take ze position on ze war. Inzide, I feel ze emptiness. I do not want to be een le Zenate, even zo I am ze Zenateur d’Arizone. I want to be in ze I-owa, for ze campaign. Ze photo-op. I do not want le responsibilite. Eet iz meaningless to take ze position on the ze war; ze President, he will veto. Why should one commit oneself in Washington? In ze end, eet is meaningless. C’est l’absurde.
I talk to my press zecretary. She said, “If you vote slowly with zis resolution, you risk getting sunstroke from ze overexpozure on ze right. But if you vote against zis resolution too fast, you work up ze sweat and then catch a chill on ze left.” She was right. Zere was no way out.
Zo I miss cinq votes on ze war. I go to ze Iowa. Ze Iowa, c’est l’absurde. But zere, in Iowa, I do not have to commit. I say, “Zis is a “tar bebe” at ze townhall meeting in Iowa—does zis zignify? No. Zis is nothing. Ze Tony Snow, he sayz ze “tar bebe,” ze Mitt Romney, he too sayz the “tar bebe.” Ze tar bebe means nothing. Less zan nothing; it is only (shrugs) ze tar bebe.
Zen ze reporter she ask me, “Do you support zis resolution?” I told her it didn’t mean anything, but I didn’t zink so. I zed zat people never change their lives, zat in any case one life was as good as another and that I was not dissatisfied with mine here at all.
She look at me in silence, as if she did not understand. Zen ze new polls come out. Zey show me running twenty points behind ze Giuliani! “MERDE!” je cris. “Sacre Bleu!”
As if zat blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in zat night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to ze gentle indifference of the world. Finding it zo much like myself—so like a bruzzer, really—I felt zat I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everyzing to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish zat zere be a large crowd of spectators ze day I concede ze GOP nomination, and zat zey greet me with cries of hate.
(Bongo drums, then applause, which McCain does not acknowledge.)