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McCain, me, and the Little Engine that Could

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Message Ed Tubbs
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“I think I can. I think I can.”

Nope. It turns out, I can’t.

Unless, and until, folks define their terms, I really can’t know with any level of certainty what they’re really saying, or what they’re really trying to accomplish.

Take the word “character” for example. On C-SPAN’s Washington Journal viewer morning call-in program, I’ve heard many McCain vocalize the senator’s “character” as a foundation for their support.

Recently I submitted evidence (with URL, his own book, and court records attributions) of his lifetime of philandering, of cheating on his first spouse, cheating John McCain does not deny, and of his flat-out lying concerning the when and the circumstances in which his cheating occurred.

Regardless, significant portions of the electorate continue to tout the Arizona senator’s “moral character,” and I’m bewildered just how low the bar must be for these people, or perhaps, how extraordinarily resilient must their racial bigotry be, for them to call on “character” as a source of their political position. (Senator Obama is sufficiently vulnerable on any number of issues that it would seem endorsing his opponent on the issue of moral character would be wholly unnecessary.)

Let the record show that Senator John McCain is a rank panderer and contortionist of the first rank. To wit I offer the following in evidence.

By the speech Senator McCain delivered at the NAACP convention this week in Cincinnati one might be fooled into believing John McCain marched hand in hand with Martin Luther King, and that no minority ever had a more out-front, stalwart ally than him. Follows is the link to the full test of his speech.


But then, what about how John McCain twice voted against civil rights legislation? ([1990 Senate Vote #276, 10/16/1990; 1990 Senate Vote #304, 10/24/1990; 1990 CQ Almanac, p. 60-S])

Or, how John McCain voted against Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday? ([Vote 289, HR 3706, Motion agreed to 89-77, D 249-13, 8/2/83; CQ 1983])

When I recall how, during his 2000 campaign for the presidency, McCain called the country’s most prevalent far-Right evangelical personalities “agents of intolerance,” and then of a sudden how he couldn’t hug them closer to his bosom during this present effort, and when I cull the gathering tide of increasing evidence of his convenient position reversals, will anyone suggest I am somehow so terribly biased I cannot locate in the man the true strength of moral character that is there?

When I recall how, in a Baton Rouge town hall meeting this year, Senator McCain expounded on how he had been extremely concerned for the plight of the citizens of Louisiana, as Katrina was bearing down, this White House photograph (, as the storm was in full onslaught of New Orleans, tells a rather different tale, I am forced once again to ask, am I so terribly biased . . . ?

If only I could try harder. (Or, if only Senator McCain could learn — at least for a little while — to tell the truth.)

— Ed Tubbs

Thousand Oaks, CA

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An "Old Army Vet" and liberal, qua liberal, with a passion for open inquiry in a neverending quest for truth unpoisoned by religious superstitions. Per Voltaire: "He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity."
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