Why McCain Deserves Our Contempt

Dan Petegorsky

This man deserves no respect.

Of all the sickening performances John McCain has given this campaign, the most nauseating for me was his appearance at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church last Monday Saturday. While alluding to his earlier adultery indirectly (he spoke about the “failure” of his first marriage), his megachurch presence seemed unable to inspire him either to even mention Jesus Christ (his own putative savior) or to adhere more strictly to God’s commandments by, say, telling the truth or not stealing.

The stealing part’s has been written about more widely, as commentators have discovered that McCain’s story about a Vietnamese prison guard drawing a cross in the dirt may well have been lifted from the late Alexander Solzenitsyn. But the lying part hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves – except now in a remarkable post over at Mother Jones.

The height of McCain’s dishonesty came right off the bat, as Rick Warren asked, “who are the three wisest people that you know that you would rely on heavily in an administration?” McCain’s reply: “I think [U.S. Rep. from Georgia] John Lewis. John Lewis was at the Edmund Pettis Bridge, had his skull fractured, continued to serve, continues to have the most optimistic outlook about America.” Now, McCain actually put in a campaign appearance at the fabled bridge (the site of Bloody Sunday in 1965), but as the MoJo piece notes, he “has not established a relationship with the Georgia Democrat in the 22 years they have served in Congress together….Lewis was not told about McCain's speech in Selma in advance, nor was he invited to attend.”

Or, in Lewis’ own tart response, "Sen. McCain and I are colleagues in the US Congress, not confidantes. He does not consult me. And I do not consult him." What’s more, as many have noted, McCain was a staunch opponent of civil rights legislation – even trying to block recognition of the King holiday as late as 1987, more than 20 years after Lewis’ heroic act.

I’m sorry, but someone willing to distort his relationship to a truly heroic figure like John Lewis in order to steal the moral mantle of a movement he sought to undermine deserves only contempt.

  • anonymous (unverified)

    What's really "nauseating" is you're so shook up you don't even know Saddleback was Saturday night, not Monday. Fact check your work sonny boy or lose an credibilty you've never had.

  • (Show?)

    [corrected; my how time flies when you're having fun...]

  • (Show?)

    Wow, that courageous 'anonymous' really took you to school, Dan. It'll be some time before you post without triple checking the date of any event where John McCain once again shows himself to be a slimy adulterous lying suckup hypocrite jerkwad republican shill. Hell, just use the word 'recently' next time and you should be OK.

  • (Show?)

    I hear you, Glen - but honestly I was feeling pretty good about the "sonny boy" part; made me feel young again!

  • (Show?)

    even easier, Dan, just plagiarize some other blogger. that's in the best McCain campaign tradition. anonymous will have massive respect for you then.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    McCain is great cause for concern, but much worse is the support he gets from so many people. It is tempting to say "from so many people who should know better" but given the fact that they get their political education from the likes of Limpbag, O'LIElly, Coulter and their ilk their enthusiasm for McCain's simple-minded militaristic solutions probably make sense to them. If he gets his trigger finger on the nuclear arsenal he might make Dubya look like a responsible statesman.

  • Gregor (unverified)

    John McCain is no John Lewis.

  • edison (unverified)

    Nice post. Actually, though, McCain earned my contempt long ago.

  • (Show?)

    Funny, Gregor - I was actually thinking as I wrote the post that this should have been a Dan Quayle moment. It's stunning to me that he's gotten a complete pass on this - but it's also an example of just how miserably the Obama campaign has handled the "air war" this summer.

    Look, for example, at Obama's response to McCain's continued questioning of his patriotism at the VFW this week:

    "I have never suggested and never will that Senator McCain picks his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition," Obama said. "I have not suggested it because I believe that he genuinely wants to serve America s national interest. Now, it s time for him to acknowledge that I want to do the same...Let me be clear: I will let no one question my love of this country," Obama added. "I love America, so do you, and so does John McCain."

    Good grief - he's essentially saying, "Not fair! Not fair! I'm not calling him names, he shouldn't call me names." Does he want a Merit Badge or does he want to be President? The evidence is all rolling in that Obama has now blown his lead over the summer, and that McCain's attacks are working.

    Having shut down funding for groups that might have been working to define McCain and force the media to really take a look at him, the Obama campaign has not taken on the task itself. Deja vu, anyone?

  • (Show?)

    Nice post, Dan. That both these candidates had to pander at Saddleback blows my mind. I understand McCain admires John Lewis, but not enough to allow MLK day to be a holiday. Didn't he realize that connection? Like someone said before, there are so many reasons for contempt.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)

    Dan asked, "Does [Obama] want a Merit Badge or does he want to be President?"

    He wants to carve out a tiny sliver of a tiny sliver of the international political spectrum that exists at the midpoint between the rightwing of the DP and the rightwing of the RP.

    Karol said, "That both these candidates had to pander at Saddleback blows my mind."

    Pandering to power is what both of these candidates do best. When will Democrats and Republicans say, "Enough"?

  • Mike Schryver (unverified)

    Has everyone noticed the tactic that trolls like "anonymous" at the top of the thread have been using lately? Everything is now about citing facts. They'll latch on to some insignificant fact in the post and talk about credibility, or demand that our sources of info be "peer-reviewed". We know damn well that right-wingers aren't interested in any of those things from their own candidates. I think they've realized that facts are important to our side (sane people, in other words), and figure that if they accuse us of not being factual, it'll bother us in some way. It's a calculated tactic.

  • (Show?)

    I’m sorry, but someone willing to distort his relationship to a truly heroic figure like John Lewis in order to steal the moral mantle of a movement he sought to undermine deserves only contempt.

    I think McCain is probably aware that Lefties and African Americans find his behavior contemptuous, and we are going to show him but good.

    I'll bet that after that remark none of us are going to vote for him.

    It's a nice little Dog Whistle for the alleged center though....

  • RuthAlice (unverified)

    You are all missing anonymous' point which is that Dan's inadvertent and minor error is enough to invalidate McCain's deliberate and premeditated lies about his relationship to John Lewis, his own personal history as a crusader against civil rights and his theft of a story from Solzenitsyn. McCain and lie and steal with impunity now. If I had known you were so powerful, Dan, I would certainly suck up more.

  • Peace Out (unverified)
    <h2>Explain to me why Obama deserves respect and McCain doesn't ? You mention John McCain's performance at the Civil Forum and just curious,but how do you stay in a church for twenty years and be disingenous about your minister running for president ? Ain't no chickens roosting here !The best and most qualified with experience walked off the stage last night.Roll call it all the way and we'll all pray for divine intervention and for the best. This isn't a fairy tale,it's the twilight zone !Can you cash in my hope coupons for change cause she walked off the stage last night and wants us to hire an unexperienced Jr. Senator to run the country.At least McSame has experience.Guess what ? As independents,elephants and donkey's,we'll all find unity and keep a close eye who wins this election either way it goes. wecansolveit.org and call T. Boone Pickins !Tune in America and don't believe the bias news either ! The news needs name tags on who they're pulling for.Now they tell us to accept half votes in America for democracy? What is half credit for a vote in America ? Sounds like a leadership issue we the people need to straighten out as all parties together concerned. Team up America as we are one the people !Majority rules !</h2>

connect with blueoregon