P.J. O’Rourke gets a whirlwind tour of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt–the “Big Stick”– and writes,
I love big, moving machinery. And machinery doesn’t get any bigger, or more moving, than a U.S.-flagged nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that’s longer than the Empire State Building is tall and possesses four acres of flight deck. This four acres, if it were a nation, would have the fifth or sixth largest airforce in the world–86 fixed wing aircraft plus helicopters.
But more to the point, since P.J. took the trip because he wanted to write about John McCain, he says:
I look from John McCain to what the opposition has to offer. There’s Ms. Smarty-Pantsuit, the Bosnia-Under-Sniper-Fire poster gal, former prominent Washington hostess, and now the JV senator from the state that brought you Eliot Spitzer and Bear Stearns. And there’s the happy-talk boy wonder, the plaster Balthazar in the Cook County political crèche, whose policy pronouncements sound like a walk through Greenwich Village in 1968: “Change, man? Got any spare change? Change?”
A strange flight it is–from the hard and fast reality of a floating island to the fantasy world of American solid ground. In this never-never land a couple of tinhorn Second City shysters–who, put together, don’t have the life experience of the lowest ranking gob-with-a-swab cleaning a head on the Big Stick–presume to run for president of the United States. They’re not just running against the hero John McCain, they’re running against heroism itself and against almost everything about America that ought to be conserved.