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October 22, 2008

Mr. McCain’s State of the Union
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 02:54 PM * 25 comments

Through the miracle of modern advance-research, we have obtained a copy of Mr. McCain’s State of the Union Address for the year 2010:

Mr. Speaker, Vice President Palin, members of Congress, distinguished citizens and fellow citizens: Every year, by law and by ACORN, we meet here to consider the Hamas of the Iran. This Rezko, we gather in this Ayers deeply aware of Rev. Wright that lies ahead.

ACORN and Ayers serve Wright in a time of great socialism. During this Arab of Muslim, we have the Rezko to reform domestic real-America vital to our socialist; we have the Odinga to save millions of birth certificates from a terrible ACORN. We will work for a Wright that is broadly shared, and we will answer every ACORN and every Rashid Khalidi that threatens the Kenya Ayers. (Applause.)

In all these days of ACORN and days of Bill Ayers, we can be Rezko. In a whirlwind of Kenya and socialist and vote-fraud, our sex-ed for kindergarten is sure, our Ayers is firm, and our Wright is flag-pin. (Applause.)

Here Mr. McCain clutched his chest and fell to the floor. After a brief whispered oath-taking with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Ms. Palin took the podium.
President Palin: Gosh-darnit, real America, you betcha. Into the boxcars, all of you!
At this point the cameras went dark.
Comments on Mr. McCain's State of the Union:
#1 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 03:24 PM:

Thanks. I'll just hurl on the keyboard. (I linked to Teresa's earlier post.)

This is the sort of situation that even publishers of bad sf wouldn't touch ten years ago.

#2 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 03:28 PM:

Didn't you forget Prisoner of War for five years? That's got to be engraved pretty deeply on his synapses.

#3 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 03:37 PM:

It's a fake. He didn't once use the phrase "my friends".

#4 ::: Daniel Klein ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 03:38 PM:

See? It is a funny election after all!

#5 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 04:12 PM:

I have a hard time believing any the following forecasts for a future McCain administration:

A) that John McCain will be able to maintain the appearance of retaining his physical and mental capacity to serve as President all the way through his full term.

B) in the event of John McCain not being able to serve his full term, that Sara Palin would resign from the office of President after appointing a successor to the office of the Vice President.

C) that Sarah Palin will not order nuclear strikes on somebody (Iran? Pakistan? North Korea?) once she succeeds John McCain as President of the United States.

D) that Sarah Palin will not be faced with a military coup proceeding from her disastrous orders to launch a nuclear strike against someone and her refusing to resign from office after a public demonstration that the military has lost confidence in her.

D) that Sarah Palin will not be removed from office in the event of a military coup.

Of course, I can imagine worse outcomes, but I don't think they're as likely to happen.

Funny you should ask... yes I do have a professional helping me with treatment for my psychological disorder.

#6 ::: Zak ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 04:16 PM:

I think there's another word that Mr. McCain is a touch overfond of:

#7 ::: jdparadise ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 04:18 PM:

You know, it reads like there should be some sort of ROT-13 button to turn it into something sensible...

#8 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 04:19 PM:

and then, to save the day, in rode:

Robocop on a Unicorn!

#9 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 04:47 PM:

D. Potter #1: Thanks. I'll just hurl on the keyboard.

You might want to invest in a keyboard cover, for safety's sake.

Hmmm, a more extensive sample size for the Racter AI would likely have included "my friends".

#10 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 05:38 PM:

Earl Cooley III @ 9

You mean you think McCain is capable of passing a Turing Test?

#11 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 06:11 PM:

Harry Turtledove's Nazi on a unicorn confronts Robocop's unicorn. Roll for initiative.

#12 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 07:09 PM:


I dunno, that first debate transcript[1] looks pretty questionable to me....

Lehrer: Are you going to vote for the plan, Senator McCain?

McCain: What do you think?

Lehrer: you're going to vote for the plan?

McCain: Why do you say I am going to vote for the plan?


Lehrer: So, Senator McCain, do you agree with what Senator Obama just said?

McCain: What makes you believe that?

Lehrer: And, if you don't, tell him what you disagree with.

McCain: Maybe your plans have something to do with this.

Lehrer: Are there fundamental differences between your approach and
Senator Obama's approach to what you would do as president to lead
this country out of the financial crisis?

McCain: I'll ask the questions, if you don't mind!

Obama: John, you want to give oil companies another $4 billion.

McCain: billion what ?
Are you sure that I might want to give oil companies another $4 what?

Lehrer: What priorities would you adjust, as president, Senator McCain, because of the -- because of the financial bailout cost?

McCain: Are you sure that is the real reason?


Lehrer: Do you agree with that, the lesson of Iraq?

McCain: I could ask the same thing myself.

Lehrer: Well, let's go at some of these things...

McCain: Earlier you said I would like to give oil companies another $4 what?

Lehrer: Afghanistan, Senator McCain?

McCain: Is it because of the because of the financial bailout cost that you
are going through all this?

Lehrer: Senator McCain, what is your reading on the threat to Iran
right now to the security of the United States?

McCain: I don't understand.

Lehrer: Senator, what about talking?

McCain: You mentioned that I would like to give oil companies another $4 what?

Lehrer: Two minutes on Russia, Senator McCain.

McCain: How do you reconcile the people you hang around with?

Lehrer: What do you think the likelihood is that there would be
another 9/11-type attack on the continental United States?

McCain: Is it because there would be another 9 11 type attack on the
continental united states that you came to me?

[1] Thanks, emacs. I didn't even have to use butterfly mode....

#13 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 07:59 PM:

Hairs of joy stand on end!

#14 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 02:45 AM:

It is at times like this that I put "Anarchy in the UK" on repeat.

Meanwhile, help is on the way!

Oh, what the heck. I have a Tintin DVD. Bye...

#15 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 04:10 AM:

A little-known quirk of the British constitution is that the Prime Minister cannot order the launch of the nuclear deterrent, or for that matter any military action; he or she can only authorise such action. This springs from the doctrine that no civilian can issue a military order, and that the prime minister is not a commander in chief. Even when (as with Winston Churchill in the first world war) a minister is a serving officer, the ministry is a civilian appointment.

Theoretically, if PM Batshit was to decide to nuke Canada, the chief of defence staff could simply declare that in his professional judgment this wasn't necessary to achieve the policy aims the government set him, and ignore it. This would usually involve him resigning, but in the very special circumstances I can imagine it would probably be the PM who came off worse.

#16 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 05:33 AM:

Well, what if PM Batshit declared the Statute of Westminster null and void (of course, with the backing of Parliament) and then decided to accomplish the reunification of Canada into the British Empire through the means of a nuclear police action? Does the UK indulge in the political euphemism of "police actions"?

#17 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 07:23 AM:

Earl Cooley III @13: Does the UK indulge in the political euphemism of "police actions"?

I think they did have troups in Korea. I guess your scenario is pretty much where Alex' "declar[ing] that in his professional judgment this wasn't necessary to achieve the policy aims the government set him" formula might be used.

#18 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 07:57 AM:

Certainly the UK indulges in said euphemism. Malaya, Kenya, Darfur... lots of good examples, although fewer recently until Bosnia, because governments have tended to run down the size and equipment of the army to try to control overall spending (there were said to be cases of soldiers on active service in Bosnia receiving redundancy notices at their posts).

All constitutions I'm aware of deal with the contingency of a batshit head of government by providing for their removal. Of course, this assumes that other branches of government are not also batshit or dumb as bricks, and Godwin forbid that there should be examples where this is shown to fail. But relying on the military (or the monarchy) in the last resort seems like a counsel of despair.

#19 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 08:24 AM:

Alex @15: True, the PM can't issue military orders, but the monarch most certainly can, and serving military officers are oath-bound to obey them. It's a function of the British constitutional system that the monarch must defer to the prime minister, but, technically, the military is subordinate to the Crown, not to the government of the day.

#20 ::: Seth Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 11:21 AM:

Alex: is that true for other ministries as well? E.g., if the PM says "I think so-and-so ought to be prosecuted", and the Minister for Home Affairs (or whoever is in charge of prosecutions) says "I don't", can the PM overrule the other minister?

#21 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 11:58 AM:

Seth, I'm not Alex and I'm not even British, but, judging from Alex' explanation, the point here seems to be that officially the PM can't give orders to the military, so that won't civilian government departments, or even civilians in the MoM.

#22 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 12:13 PM:

He surely can; the precedent is clear that since the mid-19th century, the PM and only the PM can hire-and-fire ministers. Obviously the above issue doesn't arise as everyone involved is a civilian.

However, the decision to prosecute someone is with the crown prosecutions service, so they'd have to get rid of the director first, and probably the Secretary of State for Justice, and then find a prosecutor willing to do it and a judge willing to hear the case.

It's a lot easier for the PM to intervene and *stop* a prosecution, as we all learned from the BAE case.

Things are rather different if a cabinet minister is involved anyway. The cabinet is collectively and individually responsible for its actions, so if you disagree you walk. But more to the point, if PM Batshit tries to have the minister of defence do it, the minister could take it to cabinet. At which point the upshot would be the Eden or Thatcher endgame, just faster. You hope...

#23 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 12:13 PM:

Eps, I meant "won't cover" where I just wrote "won't".

#24 ::: Lylassandra ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 01:42 PM:


What's the matter with you today?
Are you deaf?
Am I dead?
Yes or no?
Is there a choice?
Is there a God?
Foul! No non sequiturs! Three... two, one game all.

#25 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2008, 11:37 PM:

Just because this might be appreciated here: Candidates Dance-Off

I mean, everybody needs some comic relief now and then. Oh, and speakers on.

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