McCain was indeed transparently angry. I think it goes beyond the debate or even the campaign.
John McCain suffered unimaginably in service to the rest of us. When his sacrifices are denigrated or ignored by those who never endured such treatment, his anger is understandable. I believe this instance is more revealing than the debate.
Deming is definitely on to something here, and I must say that I found myself clicking several YouTube videos that were topically associated with the one he linked to himself, many of them highlighting moments in which McCain exhibited that incandescent temper we've all heard so much about. Such selections are inherently somewhat misleading, given the way they can so easily skew attention to what may well be nonrepresentative behavior (remember the Reverend Wright nontroversy?), so you should take all that stuff with a grain of salt if you start compulsively clicking through the links as I did myself.
But I still think it is important to take questions of temperament into consideration when one is contemplating a President, surely? I personally think that McCain's selection of the dangerously underqualified flabbergastingly undervetted Sarah Palin as his running mate was surreally misguided, clearly driven by idiotically short-term considerations of media coverage rather than the demands of the office -- demands all the more urgent when, face it, the candidate is as old and as ill as McCain seems to be, given his cancers. That should have been a game-ender for all but the most zealous ideologues, it seems to me, but who knows with right-wing types? Anyway, given the prominence of McCain's POW experience to his preferred self-promotional media narrative its relevance to these questions of his temperament is also relevant, as Deming seemed to be pointing out.
To put it bluntly, a President has a lot of work to do. If McCain's going to get spitting mad and petulant every time the "appropriate interval" fails to get set aside to genuflect to his unimaginable suffering, as Deming puts it, as a POW I think that tells us he has no business trying for the job. Honestly. I don't mean disrespect when I suggest that McCain may need to be in a therapist's office more than in the Oval Office if his rage is triggered by what he perceives by inadequate deference to his POW experience. Lots of good people who have suffered trauma could benefit from the help of a therapist before trying their hands at stressful and responsible occupations. McCain would have to do his job as President on behalf of the American people even under those circumstances when deference to his sacrifice is not offered to his satisfaction, circumstances which I would imagine to be commonplace in a world of outright foes and indifferent allies with whom we need to be diplomatic nonetheless.
I for one think the Democrats are far too deferential to and respectful of McCain given his implication in corruption from the Keating Five to Phil Gramm and Rick Davis and his terrifying warmongering and water-carrying for one of the worst Presidents in the history of this Nation, George W. Bush, the last eight years, and given the way such moments of respect get opportunistically taken up by the cynical Killer Clowns of "Movement Republicanism" in its Atwaterian/Rovian mode to prop up their candidate and blunt righteous critique, and given the way it diminishes the ability of Democrats to do the vitally necessary work of framing in a clear and mass-media-friendly way the crimes and errors and thefts of this ruinous Reagan generation of Movement Republican rule.
By the way, it isn't only POWs who suffer unimaginably in the service of the rest of us, but the Republicans who like endlessly to whine that McCain is getting disrespected when he's getting anything less than interminably fellated by the rest of us tend not to give much of a crap about the sacrifice of poor folks dying lingering painful deaths from treatable conditions while raising families and doing menial jobs all because we don't have decent healthcare in this country as McCain would see it to it remains the case, or folks dying because of exposure to toxic substances in underegulated products or underregulated industrial sites or from the dirty coal plants and nuclear waste sites or from the sinister munitions all of which McCain so palpably adores, or the soul-diminishing demands on the lives of truly independent journalists and public school teachers and dedicated social workers and civil rights attorneys working their whole lives without much in the way of pay or support or respect or recognition to keep this civilization going while we celebrate and reward instead the "enterprising spirit" of marauding assholes who appropriate the creativity, effort, energy of others to fill up the bottomless hole where their egos should be while empty-eyed Bush-McCain-Palin conservatives cheer them on.
I can indeed empathize with McCain's suffering -- I'm a liberal after all, not one of the damaged fear-and-hate-deranged ignoramuses who still vote Republican -- and you can be sure that I am eager to educate, agitate, and organize politically to ensure that our veterans are well treated and supported all of their lives for their sacrifice (something McCain pays lip service to but rarely actually votes for), all the while struggling to build a world in which such sacrifices are never demanded again of promising American women and men in the service of the deceptions and greed and ignorance of ruling elites -- as happened once to John McCain and as is happening to countless thousands now because of McCain and warmongers like him.