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After a worrying string of nearly statesmanlike actions that included co-sponsoring new banking regulations with Elizabeth Warren and shepherding through a compromise on presidential appointments, Sen. John McCain returned to his more characteristic "testy little douchecanoe" persona Thursday, vowing to hold up confirmation of General Martin Dempsey's reappointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. McCain was furious because Dempsey repeatedly refused to express his personal preferences on potential military action in Syria, instead saying that such policy decisions can only be made by the President of the United States. Senator McCain, a Navy veteran, was not impressed by that dumb "chain of command" argument, and became increasingly irate with Dempsey's refusal to tell him what he'd do if it he didn't have to run it by the Commander In Chief first.


McCain really, REALLY wants the U.S. to drop a lot of bombs in Syria, since that is just how you get things done, after all. During yesterday's hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he kept asking Dempsey if he too wanted to drop some bombs, assuming that since Dempsey wears a uniform, he just has to be a bomb guy just like John McCain. Please, can we bomb something in Syria please?

McCain expressed frustration with the general's testimony regarding the possibility of launching airstrikes to bolster beleaguered rebel forces in the Syrian civil war. The general acknowledged that the Pentagon had drafted plans for "direct kinetic strikes" and that President Obama was weighing the military options. But he refused to offer his personal views, saying the president would make the final decision on use of force.

McCain unsuccessfully pushed the general to give his opinion, asking, "Do you think we ought to see how we could stop the war by intervening and stopping the massacre?"

Strangely, Dempsey was not willing to go all Douglas MacArthur and tell McCain what he's do if it weren't for That Man In The White House:

"The question whether to support it with direct kinetic strikes is … a decision for our elected officials, not for the senior military leader of the nation," Dempsey said. "That issue is under deliberation inside of our agencies of government, and it would be inappropriate for me to try to influence the decision with me rendering an opinion in public about what kind of force we should use."

This reminder that the military is not actually allowed to set policy for foreign wars caused McCain to sulk and complain that Dempsey was a big meanie jerk. Within days of having been the Hero of the Senate for helping end a backlog of stalled nominations, McCain immediately announced that he would launch direct kinetic strikes on Dempsey's nomination "until he gets answers to the legitimate questions he asked of Gen. Dempsey on Syria."

Observers who had been wondered what had gotten into McCain in the last week speculated that shortly before the Dempsey hearings, McCain had resumed his usual regimen of wearing starched burlap underpants and chanting "I should have been President. I should have been President."

[LAT]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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