When Senator Barack Obama took a break in his campaign to stop in at his day-job yesterday, little did he know that he was on the verge of receiving one of the most strident scoldings of his adult life. Obama had returned to Washington DC in order to vote for the 21st century GI Bill, which was opposed by both President Bush and his doppelganger John McCain, who believes that the bill gives members of the military 'too much hope and opportunity for the good of our country'.
During the floor vote, Obama rose to once again offer lavish praise on McCain, whose service he endlessly respects, and once again called the old man a great American hero blah blah blah. Then Obama went on and raised the question on everyone's minds - namely, why doesn't this ancient windbag want to extend to the current military the same benefits that GIs had received since World War II?
McCain had skipped the Senate session so that nobody could accuse him of voting against the military, but this was too much for the cranky septuagenarian to take from a young half-black whippersnapper like Barack Obama.
McCain unloaded the big guns, saying "I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did." Oblivious to the fact that he had just hurt the feelings of the entire Bush administration, McCain rambled on.
"Perhaps, if Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully," McCain declared, in spite of the fact that he would rather spend a month in Cleveland than to actually debate the topic.
"But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent, and exploiting a thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own ambitions," McCain continued, impugning Obama's motives, and exploiting his thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own senile ambitions, before delivering the coup de grāce. "If that is how he would behave as President, the country would regret his election."
"Wow, that really hurt," Obama responded, nursing his wounds and beer in a Capitol Hill tavern where the jukebox played weepy old George Jones ballads. "I know I've got a lot to learn. Maybe Senator McCain is right, the military really is like a tube of toothpaste that you squeeze until it's all used up and then toss aside. I guess you can always buy another tube of toothpaste, but all the money in the world won't buy back my self-esteem."
©2008, Mark Hoback