When I posted the recounting of the interaction between John McCain and Dr. Ana Dubey yesterday, I believed it. I still do. However, what ensued was a a rather interesting discussion of what essentially amount to journalistic ethics and what level of proof is needed to post such information on Blue Oregon.
As a result of that discussion, and because I believe ultimately this was a pretty close call, I have removed the prior post.
The information, as they said on the X Files, is out there. It's on DailyKos, among other blogs. Dr. Dubey is not, as some suggested, a fictional person -- a quick google shows she worked at the Bar Association of San Francisco while getting her Ph.D., and was interviewed on graduate student issues for a profession magazine in 2005 (still not yet graduated). Her friend who is, as I mentioned, a tenured professor at a major university, strikes me as credible, and as someone who would not risk their career on a false rumor. Lawsuits are frequently determined by various forms of hearsay and even murder cases determined on inference and logic, and it is up to the jury to determine the credibility of the evidence. As I noted in response to Jack Roberts -- who is one GOPer who always rises above the "troll" level on this blog -- his own agency, the Bureau of Labor and Industries, accepted such evidence in contested case hearing and he himself has signed orders based on such evidence.
That having been said, there is no clear line for what should be a required amount of "proof" for a posting. Can I confirm beyond a reasonable doubt that Dr. Dubey wrote this? No, I can not. I do not believe that is the Blue Oregon standard (in fact, BO notes we are even a place for "gossip"), but if there are this many doubts -- and clearly they have not all come from trolls -- I respect the level of self-policing the true progressives on this blog are requesting. So down comes the post.
That having been said, however, character does matter in a President, not merely some multi-page resume of their experiences, and there is abundant evidence that John McCain lacks the character to be President. His reference to Chelsea Clinton as being ugly because Janet Reno is her father was far more offensive than the inquiries about Bristol Palin McCain's campaign said were out of bounds. Even friends of his such as Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina remark on his amazingly combustible temper, a temper that likely could flare out of control in a moment of national crisis. His flip flops on offshore drilling, tax cuts and other major issues are far beyond even the normal prevarication politicians of both sides engage in. His choice of Sarah Palin -- in stark contrast to Obama's selection of Joe Biden -- was a stunning triumph of political expediency and calculation over even the pretense that Palin is qualified to be "a heartbeat away." All of these are demonstrable. All of these show a lack of character currently, whatever character he may have had 40 years ago in Viet Nam.
Certainly there are myriad reasons to vote against McCain on the issues. But character matters. His is deficient. And, based on that evidence (and so much more -- add your own!), I'll stand by that assertion.