Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Something Ridiculous Someone Else Said

"The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous," -the McCain campaign, responding to supposed allegations, virtually impossible to prove either way, that McCain might not have followed the rules during their recent campaign event.

For those who haven't been following the race closely, this past weekend Barack Obama and John McCain agreed to televised, hour long interviews by mega-pastor Rick Warren on faith and other issues. Personally, I have a big problem with the first real, substantive discussions with the two presidential candidates being held in a church with a preacher but I realize that this is the direction of the prevailing political winds so, c'est la vie. The interviews were conducted one at a time (order decided by a coin flip) with the agreement that whoever went second would be secluded in a "cone of silence" (just a supervised room without radios or TVs) so that they would not have advance knowledge of the questions that were to be asked (each candidate was asked the same questions). When questioned about whether McCain might have been able to hear Obama's interview and therefore gain an advantage, Warren assured everyone that he was within the "cone" and that he was sure that McCain could not have done so.

The problem? McCain spent the first half of Obama's interview en route to the station in a motorcade replete with radios and cell phones (the event was broadcast live). Now, am I insinuating that McCain cheated, as his campaign is blatantly accusing the Obama camp of doing? No, I have absolutely no evidence to back up that claim and, absent that evidence, McCain deserves the benefit of the doubt. Did McCain have the opportunity to cheat? Absolutely; which is exactly why the rules were agreed upon before the event, to prevent any appearance of impropriety. But again, I'm neither accusing nor even intimating that he did anything wrong.

My incredulity results from the implication that because McCain was a prisoner of war he is automatically immune from ever lying, cheating or stealing for the rest of his life and that if someone makes any kind of allegation even hinting at this they are denigrating his character and his service to his country. Yeah, we know he was a former POW; it's in every one of his goddamn campaign speeches and many of his commercials (the ones not attacking Obama for being *gasp* popular)!

I heard this same line of bullshit the other day on Hannity and Colmes; they were discussing John Edward's recent marital infidelities (actually, all of FOX News was discussing it for days) and Alan Colmes brought up John McCain's own cheating on his first wife. If you haven't heard (relatively few have), while McCain was in the Hanoi Hilton, his first wife was a former model who was in a tragic car accident that left her crippled and deformed, hobbling around on crutches for the rest of her life. Upon returning to the states, he cheated on her and divorced her only to marry a former beauty pageant queen who also just happened to be the heiress to a multi-multi-million dollar brewery fortune a month later. Anyway, after Sean Hannity had hammered away on Edwards for his own stupid behavior Colmes brought up McCain's cheating ways, only to be yelled at repeatedly by Hannity, "He spent five years in a POW camp! Five years in a POW camp!"

Again, I'm not trying to disparage John McCain or his service to his country but hypocrisy is hypocrisy. You can't slam Edwards for cheating on his cancer-ridden wife and than completely absolve McCain of any wrongdoing for his philandering by merely stating that he was a prisoner of war. I realize that being captured and tortured for several years is a horrible thing for a human being to be subjected to (this is why I am so vehemently opposed to the actions of the Bush administration in their supposed "war on terror") but it neither absolves nor precludes anyone from ever doing anything wrong afterwards. McCain knows this, his campaign staff knows this and for them to act like his war time incarceration makes him some kind of super-moral human being is not just disingenuous, it's extremely deceitful and blatantly untrue. Is this who you want to vote for this November?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know, Phil Jackson treated Dennis Rodman different than Horace Grant. I'm just saying... ;)