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Joe McCain, John's Brother, Fires Off Angry E-Mail

The LA Times reports:

In the e-mail, which was obtained by the Baltimore Sun, Joe McCain uses a naval analogy to make his point. (He is, after all, the son and grandson of four-star Navy admirals. John McCain graduated from the Naval Academy too, but Joe "bilged out" after his first year and ended up a newspaper reporter in San Diego.)
"...as a sailor who sees his ship sailing into shoals while the rest of the officers and warrants are poring over plans and maps and high-minded thoughts, I make one last effort to ring the bell and put a light on these shallows I see as we steam toward destiny with but three weeks left in this long voyage.

He pleads with McCain's managers to let those who know McCain best talk to reporters about him:

And most especially, let those who know him talk to the people about him, through the press. This policy of trying to so tightly 'control the message' by cutting off those who know him from the cacophony of national and local voices -- the reporters and the editors -- is counter-intuitive, counter-experiential, and counter-productive. It creates ligatures and tourniquets that are causing gangrene. It has gradually bled away all the good will that this great man had from the press, for he alone among politicians would talk to them openly, without finesse, without guile. And regardless of the their political lean - and whether we like it or not, reporters think and have opinions - they loved him nonetheless.

Let us talk to these reporters and tell them of the John McCain we know. Some reporters will get it wrong, most will not get it perfectly, but almost all will appreciate the reopening of the gates of information and reward us for it.

For now they are angry and frustrated -- what happened to this John McCain and his legions who would always talk us? Well, they were muzzled by those without the understanding that you cannot control the media by keeping them from information, but you can lose all their good will. They were misled by those who meant well, but who simply don't know the reality of this aspect of a political race. [I pretend no expertise in campaigning, (but) I do understand the press aspect of it, for I was a reporter for several years, and worked in Press in two California campaigns.]

We have to agree with Joe McCain. We were in the last group of reporters who rode with McCain on his "Straight Talk Express" bus on July 15. Since then, he has hosted no more of his freewheeling exchanges with reporters. They were an important part of the "Straight Talk" brand, which evolved during his 2000 presidential run when he spent so much time with reporters that he would often leave them exhausted and bereft of questions.

I don't get it. Why are conservatives so angry? They've run the White House for 8 years and ran Congress up until January, 2007 - and they still have enough clout in Congress to block important legislation like immigration reform, SCHIP health insurance for children, and the Bailout bill (costing Americans billions).

What they heck do they have to be angry about? It's the rest of us everyday Americans who've been screwed by the McCain Bush tax policies in favor of the rich, and it's everyday American families whose lives have been shattered by the tragedy of the unnecessary Iraq War.

It's you and me, not John McCain and Cindy McCain, whose retirement is now in jeopardy as a result of shrinking 401Ks slammed hard by unregulated Wall Street greed.

It's us, and our friends and neighbors who are joining the ranks of the unemployed while the rich get richer and the CEOs line their pockets with millions in golden parachutes.

And they are angry?

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