That pesky John McCain. Actually, I’m really angry with him. Here’s this guy who says he puts country first. So he chooses the Mayor of Hooterville to be his running mate, a female Neanderthal that only 19 people have ever heard of. IfÂ you want to get a local opinion of her, check out Mudflats, a genuinely well-written and not overly partisan blog from Alaska. The VP selection looks more like putting self first and not country first.
The flip-flops. Lots and lots of them.
Then there are the outright lies. Yes, lies. Not spin — actual prevarication. McCain’s kindergarten ad. Yesterday, this editorial was printed in The New York Times who, by the way, endorsed McCain in the New York primary.
The kindergarten ad flat-out lies: telling voters that Mr. Obamaâ€™s â€œone accomplishmentâ€ in education was to favor â€œcomprehensiveâ€ sex education for 5-year-olds. â€œLearning about sex before learning to read?â€ intones the voice-over, as a blur of respected sources are cited â€” none of them accurately, as they have proclaimed.
But wait, there’s more!
The truth is that as an Illinois legislator, Mr. Obama favored a sensible bill supported by many mainline organizations â€” including the Illinois Parent Teacher Association, the Illinois State Medical Society and the Illinois Public Health Association â€” to provide an â€œage and developmentally appropriateâ€ sex education curriculum for older students. At most, kindergarteners were to be taught the dangers of sexual predators. And parents of children of all ages had the right to withdraw their children from the classes.
How does this ad compare with the famous Willie Horton ad from 1988? Will it help McCain or boomerang? Best guess is it’s too soon to tell. But there is one seriously significant difference. Floyd Brown produced and ran the Willie Horton ad. No one’s going to fess up as to whether Poppy Bush’s campaign truly was in cahoots with this third-party ad. McCain’s ad closes with, “I’m John McCain and I approved this ad.” To be clear, the McCain kindergarten ad came directly from McCain’s campaign and not a 527 or other independent expenditure group. This is a seismic shift. And a sad one. This is from someone who said, as I recall, several times last year (I wish I could find the quote) that he wanted an issue-oriented campaign and whose campaign manager now says it’s really about personality.
But what really set me off was yesterday at the Service Forum at Columbia University.
McCain was asked about disparaging remarks that his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, made about Obamaâ€™s work as a community organizerâ€”an experience Obama later called the best education he had ever received. McCain responded by blaming Obama for the negative timbre of the campaign.
â€œThe tone of this … whole campaign would have been very different if Senator Obama had accepted my request for us to appear in town hall meetings all over America, the same way Jack Kennedy and Barry Goldwater had agreed to do so,â€ McCain said.
According to Barry Goldwater, Jr., his father and JFK had discussed the idea and both liked it but they had reached no decision about the meetings.
Regardless, my immediate reaction was WTF! This is a grown man, no less than a combat veteran, sitting in an Ivy League College auditorium speaking on national television and having a major league pout about not getting his way. Essentially he said he decided to punish Obama for not accepting the invitation by reaching lower than any candidate in recent memory.
This is pure crap from a man who claims character as a core element to his qualifications for being president.
Inexcusable. Shameful. Pitiful.
Unfit for command.