Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I think McCain is an old-school misogynist, a man who has never met a woman who should not help him be more of a man by putting herself aside. These men can truly, at times, seem like gentlemen, but they're not. Such a man as this could not find the true good in Sarah Palin or in any other woman, and that's why he had her deliver the rabid convention attack speech that she did: she is a straw woman, the perfect person to say what McCain cannot say in public, a de facto female misogynist in her fundamentalist and protectionist policies, therefore an unassailable feminine symbol for the hatred of women that is a large part of the base of the Republican ethos. I am so distraught by this grasping and bottomless cynicism and hatred for women.

Liz R. DeChristopher

Atlanta, GA

Sep 14 2008 - 10:38pm

Web Letter

McCain is Kirk. Obama is Spock. C'mon, as a big fan of the original series that's how I see this.

Back in the day, McCain/Kirk was always ready to throw a punch, or jump on the newest alien babe who came his way. And back when he was young, well, he had the looks to pull it off... But now that he's gettin' on and has put on the pounds, he just seems like a well-padded lounge singer tryin to live off his glory years. At his age, the McCain/Kirk/Shatner schtick is no longer charming (if it ever was): his old man lechery just comes off as creepy...

Lean Obama (w/ the ears), on the other hand, is Spock. An exotic hybrid with a strange name and powers beyond those of mere humans. Unfortunately, he's just a little too cerebral to connect with the common folk.

Rui Sousa

San Antonio, TX

Sep 14 2008 - 6:16pm

Web Letter

Yes, the McCain-Palin conjunctionis mysterium is sex, not gender, as Ms. WypiJewski notes. But sex isn't just about porking Miss Piggy, it's about Motherhood and "We are all defective unborns now. Sarah won't abort us."

If you miss that, you miss what this ill-conceived New Republicanism is all about. They can't allow what these 8 years have engendered to be aborted. Where would that leave little Israel?

Sid Thomas

Bighamton, NY

Sep 13 2008 - 5:30pm

Web Letter

The quality of the author's writing is undisputed, but I don't think McCain will be getting anything from Mrs. Palin excepts some votes from the religious right. She does, no doubt, look good on a campaign poster, but her political appeal was the main reason she was selected. The basic problem is, while she may help him win an election, she will not help him govern a nation. But since it is all about winning elections and not about running a country, she may survive on her limited abilities. Look who is attempting to govern now.

Pervis Casey

Riverside, CA

Sep 13 2008 - 2:26pm

Web Letter

I think Carol Shipp McCain said it best: "John was 40 and wanted to be 20 again." Her story is the "American" story.


Caribou, ME

Sep 13 2008 - 12:20pm

Web Letter


Twenty-something years ago, Christopher Hitchens dropped into his column a smirky "off-color" line disparaging the Reagans' sex life; I don't remember the sentence (I think it went along the lines of, "Reagan is doing to us what he should be doing to Nancy" -- hell, it was twenty-something years ago), but what an uproar it caused! (I also remember editors demanding to know who was fact-checking for Hitchens--how I love The Nation!)

Y'all have come a long way, baby. Wypijewski rocks.

Chris Policano

New York, NY

Sep 12 2008 - 6:33pm

Web Letter

That's what I call a penetrating piece of not just journalism but literary and psychological art. Well done. The portrait of John McCain that is presented here is one that pretty much anyone with a modem and a mouse can find plenty of corroboration for. The list of those who have pointedly noted McCain's hotter-than-Hades temperament is a lengthy one.

Of greater fascination to me is the peeling away of the layers of hypocrisy that ultimately make up such a vast slice of the American pie--and we should carefully note that this kind of hypocrisy is not exclusive to a right-wing subset, even if it may predominate there. Part of me would prefer to attribute its quality to poor upbringing and/or poor education, but on another level I sense that it's a sort of psychological bloodstain from which no one is free.

Regardless of one's opinion on the matter of the commonness of American hypocrisy, it's a topic that deserves to be plumbed to a much greater depth than we commonly observe.

JoAnn Wypijewski's wonderful piece may not be palatable to many, but I believe she's just offered up a slice of something that all of us probably need even if it's unacknowledged.

It's a piece of our own minds.

William Kool

Grand Rapids, MI

Sep 12 2008 - 5:17pm