The Evolution of Captain Underpants

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Senator John McCain likes to present himself as the candidate of the “Straight Talk Express” who does not pander to voters or change his positions with the political breeze. But the fine print of his record in the Senate indicates that he has been a lot less consistent on some of his signature issues than he has presented himself to be so far in his presidential campaign.

Mr. McCain, who derided his onetime Republican competitor Mitt Romney for his political mutability, has himself meandered over the years from position to position on some topics, particularly as he has tried to court the conservatives who have long distrusted him. His most striking turnaround has been on the Bush tax cuts, which he voted against twice but now wants to make permanent. Mr. McCain has also expressed varying positions on immigration, torture, abortion and Donald H. Rumsfeld, the former defense secretary.

Original DVD cover

Another production from JSM Studios

Mr. McCain’s advisers say that he has evolved rather than switched positions in his 25-year career in the House and Senate and that he has been remarkably consistent on his support for the war in Iraq and the American troop escalation there.

Evolved? I thought those to whom Captain Underpants is pandering doesn’t believe in evolution! Someone get John Hagee and the evangelical fundies on the phone!!

Mr. McCain’s varying positions speak to the balancing act he is trying to do as he heads into the general election as his party’s likely nominee. To the degree that he is shifting to the right, he is shoring up his standing among conservatives. Yet he is also trying to retain his ability to defy neat ideological labels and hang onto the streak of unpredictability that has fueled his appeal to the moderates and independents he might need in November.

NiteThe risk, Republicans acknowledge, is that Mr. McCain may no longer be seen as above pandering and will be increasingly vulnerable to criticism from both sides.

Criticism? Big deal! He’s 71 years old. He probably won’t hear most of it.

In May 2001, Mr. McCain was one of only two Republicans — the other was Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island — to vote against President Bush’s $1.35 trillion 10-year tax cut.


Two years later, Mr. McCain was one of three Republicans to vote against additional Bush tax cuts — he and Mr. Chafee were joined by Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine — because, he said then, the costs of the Iraq war were not yet known.


Later, he said he also opposed the 2003 tax cut because it, too, disproportionately benefited the rich.


These days, Mr. McCain says at almost every campaign stop that he wants to make those tax cuts permanent rather than have them expire, as the law stipulates, because getting rid of them would have the effect of a tax hike. He rarely mentions that he originally opposed them or that he did so in large part because he thought they were too tilted to the rich — an objection that conservatives consider heresy.


Mr. McCain has also moved from his original position on immigration. In 2005, he joined forces with Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, to co-sponsor an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. Although the legislation included toughening border security, its center was a provision that would have provided a pathway to citizenship for many of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

Conservatives immediately branded the bill as amnesty and fired steadily at Mr. McCain. […] These days he speaks almost exclusively about border security, although he does say that it is not possible to deport 12 million illegal immigrants and that he would never deport the mother of a soldier serving in Iraq.

Even so, Mr. McCain went so far at a debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in January to say that if his original proposal came to a vote on the Senate floor, he would not vote for it.


On abortion, Mr. McCain has long been an opponent, but he has been dogged over the years by differing statements on the issue. In August 1999, in an often-cited interview with The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board, Mr. McCain surprised conservatives when he made comments about whether he supported overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

“I’d love to see a point where it is irrelevant and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary,” Mr. McCain told The Chronicle. “But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America” to undergo “illegal and dangerous operations.”

Since then, Mr. McCain has hardened his position. “I do not support Roe v. Wade — it should be overturned,” Mr. McCain told about 800 people in February 2007 in South Carolina, a crucial primary state with large numbers of conservative voters.


More recently, Mr. McCain has overstated his original position on Mr. Rumsfeld. In 2004, Mr. McCain said repeatedly that he had no confidence in the defense secretary, whose management of the Iraq war was under increasing fire.


But unlike a group of retired generals who called for Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation in the spring of 2006, Mr. McCain never did. He said it was the president’s prerogative to keep him.


Mr. McCain offered a different story to voters as he campaigned across the country in recent months. “I’m the only one that said that Rumsfeld had to go,” Mr. McCain said at the Reagan Library debate on Jan. 30, in typical comments.


Finally, Mr. McCain has been under fire from human rights advocates for his vote last month against a bill that would require the Central Intelligence Agency to abide by the restrictions on interrogating prisoners outlined in the Army Field Manual.

Mr. McCain has said he opposed the bill, which the Senate passed last month with a vote of 51 to 45, because he believes that C.I.A. interrogators should have the flexibility to use additional tactics not listed in the field manual. Mr. McCain has argued that none of those tactics would include torture because “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” is banned in the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

But human rights advocates say there is disagreement over what tactics are actually prohibited. Although Mr. McCain calls waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique, an illegal form of torture and the C.I.A. says it no longer uses it, the Bush administration has not ruled it out.

Note: Kids, I apologize. My bathroom is being remodeled (well, actually being finished. The work was started in August–long story, I will tell you all about it someday.), and the contractor’s helper seemed to have knocked out the electricity that powers my internets connection, my computer, and the televisions. After several hours, they finally got the power back on, and I only had less than an hour to slap together a movie poster and a diary.


Filed under 2008 election, abortion, Chimpy, CIA, Donald Rumsfeld, Edward Kennedy, Evangelicals, Evolution, George W. Bush, humor, Immigration, Iraq War, John McCain, Mitt Romney, movies, Olympia Snowe, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Torture, waterboarding, Wordpress Political Blogs

17 responses to “The Evolution of Captain Underpants

  1. Friend of the court

    Hey, nonnie! I’m so glad that your job is, finally, getting finished. Since August, is a long time to live with construction disruption. I was wondering if your son had taken you to dinner at an outback resturant in Australia. Good to see that you are powered up, again.
    Hopefully, the primary battles will end soon and the Dems can open a new front against Captain Underpants. I didn’t think that the Repubs could come up with a worse guy than Chimpy but, they never fail to surpass my lowest expectations.

  2. nonnie9999

    you have no idea how excited i am over the prospect of brushing my teeth in my bathroom instead of the kitchen!! 😀 i have not had a light, shower door, sink, vanity top, fan (important in a bathroom without a window), or a/c vent since august! dealing with contractors down here is a nightmare. oh, the stories i could tell!
    i am kinda disappointed that captain underpants is the last rethug to make fun of. then again, there are always the veep possibilities! 🙂 captain underpants is not conservative enough for them, so i wonder who will be.

  3. nightowl724

    No need to apologize, nonnie! You do better work in one hour, blindfolded, with no electricity, and one hand tied behind your back than I can do in a week…

    McCain hasn’t so much E-volved as DE-volved or flat out MUTATED from someone I could have found at least an ounce of respect for to someone I view with fear and loathing.

  4. nightowl724

    fotc, this was a great line: “they never fail to surpass my lowest expectations.” It will apply to the Dems in Congress, too, if they cave on retro-immunity.

    nonnie, six months without a proper loo? Oy! I’m thrilled that you’re finally back in the 21st century! Why did it take so long?

  5. nonnie9999

    you are too kind. 🙂 like i always say, i might not be very good, but i’m fast!
    yep, actually more than 7 months without a proper loo. i had a toilet and a bathtub and a vanity (but that was not much good without a top or a sink). i washed my hands in the bathroom last night, and i wept a little with happiness. now i have a shower door, so my joy will have no bounds! and the shower doesn’t leak anymore! 😀 😀 😀 why does it take so long? because, in floriduhhhh, contractors disappear before they finish jobs.
    now, i just have to worry about the thousands of bees that seem to have made a home in my roof. bathroom guy called me outside to tell me to look up. gah!!! 😯 i called the condo and mr. bee (that’s what the lady said that’s what they call the guy) is supposed to come out today. the other day, i was puzzled when i found 3 almost dead bees in the living room. yesterday, my son found another one. now i know where they came from. i have my fingers crossed (which makes it very difficult to type) that they have not invaded the attic.

  6. nightowl724

    Oh, my gosh! I hope they aren’t in your attic, because that would (wait for it…) BEE terrible!

    Crossed fingers make showering difficult, too, unless you are using soap on a rope.

    The way you talk about Floriduhhhh – are you a native?

  7. TRM

    Your house is looking good Nonnie, the camera’s I installed with my Haliburton tool kit are transmitting just fine…. you really should clean up a little though 🙂

    I fear the next four years may be pretty quite for me, I really can’t defend McCain much, but of course you know I am a loyal team player.

    I would think you lefty’s would be soiling yourselves to have McCain as the GOP nominee. I mean, if he wins you won’t get the unhinged syphilis ridden socialism of Hussein or the Queen but he’s kinda liberal … not good enough?

    Night owl, it’s your turn for my hug and I am feeling really, really “handsy” 🙂

  8. Got a Grip

    nonnie, you get endless points for putting up with the contractors and no bathroom for so long. I wish I could hug you and celebrate your bathroom liberation.

    As to the bees, contact someone who will try to remove them (as in the queen) without doing them harm. Bees are good people, we need them alive and well, just not in your attic. Don’t exterminate unless that’s the last option.

    You truly are the most talented person I know, nons. And don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of idiot rethugs to skewer, Captain Underpants will have a parade of them trying to get him anointed. I’m sure Boehner will cry many crocodile tears on his behalf.

  9. nonnie9999

    me? a floridiot? no way! i am a new yawker by birth and by choice. i just live in this forsaken state.

    4 years of you remaining quiet? i am almost (but not quite) tempted to vote for captain underpants. by the way, listening to his brilliant remarks on the steps of the white house (you know, the stage on which chimpy did his tap dance. chimpy is so presidential). either captain underpants has s*h*i*t in his mouth, or he has the same grasp of the english language as chimpy does.

    fear not! the condo management called mr. bee to take care of the problem. i had to go to lowe’s to get a new plug for the bathtub drain. when i got back, there was mr. bee on my roof with his beekeeper hat and long rubber gloves. the bees were mightily pissed off! hundreds and hundreds of them! mr. bee got rid of the nest and sprayed something or other to make the place no longer desirable to the critters. they were actually killing themselves by coming into the house. i found 3 almost dead ones the other day in the living room, and my son found another yesterday. i couldn’t figure out where they had come from. now i know. mr. bee said that they look for any opening to get inside and look for food when there is a new nest (that’s how he knew it was new and not an old repopulated one). then they smash themselves against the windows trying to get back outside.
    mr. bee said that there will be a few stragglers for a couple of days, but they won’t bother anyone here after that. i was worried about the little kids who live next door to me on either side.
    so, bottom line, the bees and the humans are all fine.

  10. Got a Grip

    That’s great news. I’m glad you had Mr. Bee to help you and the bees out of your mutual dilemma. And although it was a trauma for you and the bees, it’s good to know that there are healthy wild bees earnestly building new homes, as bees are in serious jeopardy these days. Hopefully they’ll do a better job of selecting a neighborhood next time.

    Now go get some rest, hon. I’ll meet you back at the ranch in due time….

  11. nightowl724

    TRM, it’s OK. I’m wearing my Evangelical-issue chastity bra and belt. So, {{{HUGS}}}!

  12. nightowl724

    The score is:

    The bees: “won”
    The nons: “won”

    Thankfully, it was a “won-won” proposition!

  13. nonnie9999

    thanks, hiijm! 😀 (not quite sure what to call you)
    welcome to the raisin! there are lots of mccain (we call him captain underpants around here) posters. relax and take a look around.
    i love your insanometer at your site! 😆

  14. Great… another site I can bookmark and never come back to

  15. maggiejean

    nonnie, I have always known you are great at these posts, but to do such an incredible job in an hour is unbelievable. Wow and thanks.

    • wow! i had to go back and read the post. i had completely forgotten about the bathroom drama. well, not the entire drama, but that chapter of it. i can’t believe that was almost 4 years ago. i try to keep track of these things, but i never do. i would comment further, but i just noticed the comment from mateo, just above your, maggiejean. 😥 he never did come back!