A Night at the Movies with John McCain

09/29/2008 11:20 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

While I was watching the debates last Friday I kept seeing movies flash before my eyes.
It hit me that I've been getting John McCain all wrong: He isn't Tom Cruise's Maverick in Top Gun.

No, John McCain can be compared to many movie characters, but not Maverick. First of all, he's Robert Loggia's Byron Mayo in An Officer and a Gentleman. For those of you who don't remember, Byron Mayo was Richard Gere's (aka Zach Mayo's) dad. A whoring, foul-mouthed Navy man who may or may not have been milk brothers with his son (in the movie of course). Byron Mayo. Classic movie asshole.

John McCain is Dustin Hoffman's Louis Dega in Papillon. An institutionalized human rodent who survived and even thrived in prison because he could be everything to everybody. A rat. A mole. A troll. Louis Dega, creepy incarcerated movie asshole.

John McCain is Jack Nicholson's Col. Nathan R. Jessep in A Few Good Men. Obstinate. Proud. Profane. Immoral. Driven by a moral code only those select few in the service have a right to horde over us civvies. We're all pussies and we can't handle his truth. Colonel Nathan R. Jessep. Sadistic, tone deaf arrogant movie asshole.

John McCain is Sam Kinison's Professor Turgeson in Back to School. The seemingly calm, yet quick to explode pissed off Vietnam vet who thinks we were actually winning Vietnam until the pussies in Congress called off the war. SAY IT! SAY IT!!!! Professor Turgeson. Hilariously out of touch movie asshole.

John McCain is John Goodman's Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski. A surreal and somewhat funny self-righteous verbal bully who gets everything wrong and causes painful complications to those nearest to him. Walter Sobchak. Pompous, myopic movie asshole.

Lastly, John McCain is not Maverick. No. He's not Tom Cruise's Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. He's Maverick's dad. Duke Mitchell, Pete "Maverick" Mitchell's fighter pilot father who was shot down in Vietnam. In Top Gun Duke was reckless and brave. Duke Mitchell. Father of a self-possessed, narcissistic movie asshole.

These are the movie characters that kept emerging in my cranium during the debate when I saw John McCain. While Barack Obama was Atticus Finch.