Ore Republican Party owes Kerry, Oregonians an apology

Kevin Kamberg

McCain made his experience as a veteran a central reason for electing him. On the stump and in his speech to the Republican National Convention last Thursday he and his fellow Republicans talked it up at length. Indeed, his own campaign website has a section entitled "why McCain" that relies exclusively on his service in Vietnam to answer that rhetorical question before getting to any other additional reasons.

So, it came as a sharp surprise when I was perusing my old hometown newspaper, The Medford Mail Tribune, and read this past Friday's post on the MT's "Delegate Diary" blog written by Oregon delegate (and Jackson County resident) Donna Cain gushing about McCain's speech. Ms. Cain noted a text message from an Oregonian serving in Iraq to his Delegate wife about how McCain's speech had moved him to tears.

I'll get to why it surprised me, but first, Donna Cain's creds: Secretary of Oregon Republican Party, RNC 2008 Platform subcommittee member, 2008 RNC Delegate from Oregon and 2004 RNC Delegate from Oregon.


Notice the "purple heart" bandaged wrist in the bottom right corner of that graphic? That's Donna Cain's arm.

Cain defended her wearing of the "purple heart" band-aid to a CNN reporter.

Kerry, she said, "has made the war that he served in far more important than his recent records of the last 18 to 20 years."

Challenged as to whether the bandage mocked veterans who were injured in the line of duty Ms. Cain responded with,

"It is not in any way defaming of them, because I know people who have received Purple Hearts and I know that they're not boasting about their war record.

McCain is ignoring his own "recent record of the last 18 to 20 years" about being one of the Keating Five... his steadfast opposition to any holiday honoring MLK Jr.... the lobbyists who are running his campaign and advising him. Did anyone at the convention mention his extraordinary record of policy and issue flip-flops? No! But both he and the RNC spent more than a little time talking up McCain's war record, including the fact that he too was awarded a Purple Heart. In fact, I would say that it forms the corner stone of his much-vaunted qualification to be Commander in Chief.

And how does Donna Cain's delegate diary characterize how she feels about having listened to all the talk and watching the video presentations about McCain's war record and his Purple Heart at the convention?

"Intense excitement," "great speech by John McCain," "feeling really good."

Dick Armey addressed the Oregon Delegates to this year's convention over breakfast saying that "When we’re like us, we win. When we’re not like us, we lose".

I'm a little confused. Was Oregon Republican Party secretary, RNC 2008 Platform subcommittee member and Oregon GOP Delegate Donna Cain being "like us" in 2004 when she objected to any mention of wartime heroism? Or in 2008 when she seems peachy keen with it?

  • LT (unverified)

    The top picture is of Marilyn Shannon--who as I recall said the purple heart bandages were "funny" (although the Order of the Purple Heart didn't think so) and objected when the convention organizers told them to stop it.

    Disgraceful episode, but give credit to the convention organizers who had a clue that it was a terrible counterpoint to the "support the troops" bumper stickers and told them to cease and desist.

    This year the GOP chosen enemy was "community organizers". Women with names like Hillary and Sarah could never have run for office were it not for "community organizers" like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Abigail Scott Duniway campaigning and organizing for women's suffrage.

    And as someone who worked in an afterschool program at an elementary school, what do Republicans have against such programs---apparently that was the sort of thing Obama did in Chicago: organize job training, child care, etc.

  • Gregor (unverified)

    It may be that the efforts to mock Kerry's purple heart was suppressed before they used all the band-aids. Who can we ask to see if they saved any.

  • Ron Hager (unverified)

    Don't expect an apology. The Republicans here in Oregon and across the nation don't mind talking out of both sides of their mouth. They will say anything, truth or lie, to achieve their goal of winning. Winning, that is all that matters to them. Morality, ethics, truthfulness, honesty and decency are all discarded in their battle to win at all costs. Those costs have been borne largely by the very young, the old, the poor, and the vast middle class. Many of these same people have voted Republican because they have been deceived by the vast lies and criminal actions of Republican operatives. No, don't expect an apology. Instead expect more of the same and then some. It worked for them before and they have every expectation that it will work for them again.

  • Ben (unverified)

    "This year the GOP chosen enemy was "community organizers". ? How did you come to that conclusion?

    Was it? Was there a GOP meeting and community organizers topped their list? Did you just declare on your own that the GOP chooses an enemy of the year? Seems you're making up things daily while at the same time claiming the GOP will say anything.

  • (Show?)

    It depends on how much you think the RNC delegates represent the RNC. Led by Rudy Giuliani, they were openly mocking Community organizers.

    In the DNC, the people who go to the convention are the most influential local party activists. I doubt very much it's different in the RNC.

    Your deliberate ignorance is grating, Ben.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    The Swiftboat Veterans' campaign in 2004 was a great example of the Big Lie technique: repeat a big lie so often that it becomes conventional wisdom. Sort of like John McCain's maverickiness and Sarah Palin opposing the Bridge to Nowhere and shaking up Alaska state government....Meanwhile a Republican who actually has done a semi-decent job--the Governator of California--is now anathema to most of his party for failing to toe the Christofascist ideological line.

  • Ben (unverified)

    Oh brother do you folks make it up as you go.

    "they were openly mocking Community organizers"?

    Not really. They were openly mocking Obama's experience, as community organizer compared to more subtantial experience.

    But somehow that morphs into "This year the GOP chosen enemy was "community organizers"?

    Yeah OK.

    Now you're back debating the swiftboating? Marvelous.

    The Swiftboat campaign was nothing compared to your MoveOn blitz.

    And what lie? That Kerry wasn't what he pretended?

    Even the left leaning media aknowledges John McCain's maverickiness. There's no denying it. But you tried to Bush him. No you're Bushing Palin.

    Talk about telling lies over and over again. Sarah Palin did ultimately oppose and stop the Bridge and she certainly did shake up Alaska state government. You're soaking up too much blue propaganda.

    The Governator of California is now anathema to most of his party for failing to stay Republican as he campaigned. The fact that you now like him says it all.

    What the heck is the "Christofascist ideological line"? And how would one tow it?

    I don't know any Rs who ever heard of your imaginary line.
    But I guess it's somewhat creative of you.

    Unfortuantely for you all, you'll need much more creativity to turn the tide back to Obama.

    Perhaps you should pick up the pace trashing Palin. That seems to have worked real well.

    And how is it that you Oregon Blues are such astute lie detectors on the national scene but are oblivious on the Oregon home front?

  • LiberalIncarnate (unverified)

    Ben, The media IS NOT "liberal". It is corporate. Why are conservative so uneducated and mentally ill? Any basic media literacy class would teach you this. The media supports war and big business.

    I get really and truly tired of conservatives acting utterly stupid. Are you all a bunch of closet cases?

  • springfielder (unverified)

    McCain may be a maverick. Let him play that up.

    It's great to be a maverick in a peer group of decision makers. Such behavior helps keep debates fresh and may avoid group think.

    However, when you're the one making decisions, being a maverick is a very dangerous thing. "Let's do things differently because I said so and t'hell with the consequences," is not a good characteristic for the leader of the free world. We've seen a bit of that over the past eight years. And we've seen a bit of it from McCain's campaign in the past two months. It's not pretty.

  • (Show?)

    They were openly mocking Obama's experience, as community organizer compared to more subtantial experience.

    Substantial experience like taking over the Mayorship of a tiny town that had no debts and leaving the township with $millions in debt?

    Sarah Palin did ultimately oppose and stop the Bridge

    Yes, AFTER it was being openly derided across the nation as epitomizing the very worst in pork-barrel politics. For as long as it was off the radar screen Palin was a staunch supporter of it.

    What the heck is the "Christofascist ideological line"?

    Um... telling school kids that the Iraq War is God's will? Or maybe telling those same school kids that God's will is that a specific natural gas pipeline - which Palin just happened to favor - is also God's will?

  • (Show?)

    The most important decision a President makes is who he or she selects to be their Vice-President. With both our national and domestic security at risk, "McCain More of the Same" decided to roll the dice. Gambling that a "is anyone in there?" rookie would not put our nation at risk.

    McCain's famous impulsivity in his decision making and Palin's ignorance of our national and international affairs 1s a risk I am not willing to take.

    A candidate's judgement on critical, potentially world-endangering decisions must be in the hands of the nominee that at least exercised judgement in selecting a running mate.

    John McCain's father and grandfather both died of heart attacks at the ages of 70 and 61. Think about it.

  • Ben (unverified)

    Talk about stupid. Try this observation.

    http://www.blueoregon.com/2008/08/the-nominee.html Posted by: Unrepentant Liberal | Aug 29, 2008 5:35:14 AM This convention will be an impossible act to follow.

    I'm pretty sure the Republicans were able to "follow" your convention quite handily.

    Make it up as you go. "decision makers"? "The media is not liberal"? "Telling school kids evil things".

    I see you can read Palin's mind on the bridge. How do you do that?

  • (Show?)

    We do it by examining her record:

    "We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that's so negative."

    • Sarah Palin
  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    For your safety and the safety of others: Please do not feed the trolls.

  • (Show?)

    By the way, Ben, what exactly do you think you're going to accomplish by trolling here? I mean, you're about as welcome (and convincing) as a Flat Earther crashing an Astronaut reunion, so while some of us are mildly amused at your ignorance and stupidity, since you validate our worst caricature of Republicans, from your point of view it's entirely a waste of time.

    Don't you have a nice comfy slime encrusted rock to go crawl back under?

  • Gregor (unverified)

    What the difference between Duby and Sarah Pahlin? Lipstick. She swaggers in her skirt and we'll all find out she's all dogs with nothing in the sled.

  • genop (unverified)

    I read both Paulie Brading's thoughtful commentary on the Dems convention and Ms. Cain's cheerleading fluff in support of her party. Unfortunately vast numbers of voters embrace the dumbing down tactics of talking points over the more intellectually challenging contrast of issues. I ascribe the popularity of conservative talking points to laziness rather than lack of intellectual capacity. My hope is that independent voters are less prone to being patronized and will wipe the lipstick off and see the pit bull tactics for what they are. A desperate ploy to perpetuate the status quo.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Ben wrote:

    Even the left leaning media aknowledges John McCain's maverickiness. There's no denying it.

    How many failures of fact, reason, and language can 12 words contain? Not many more than Ben's statement, I think.

  • Leo McDonald (unverified)

    The media is not liberal? Yeah, right.

    Surveys of journalists’ self-reported voting habits show them backing the Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 1964, including landslide losers George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. In 2004, a poll conducted by the University of Connecticut found journalists backed John Kerry over George W. Bush by a greater than two-to-one margin.

  • (Show?)


    You seem to be self-appointed apologist for Republicans so perhaps you can answer my question.

    Was Oregon Republican Party secretary, RNC 2008 Platform subcommittee member and Oregon GOP Delegate Donna Cain being "like us" in 2004 when she objected to any mention of wartime heroism? Or in 2008 when she seems peachy keen with it?

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Leo McDonald,

    The politics of the news media is not determined by how reporters vote, but by media content. That content is largely determined by upper-level editors and publishers who are hardly liberal on economic issues.

  • RW (unverified)

    Tom: Leo labels his King as is possibly the truth, even if he does not know the etiology of the word.

    Leo: Maverick was a cattle-stealing son of a bitch who was anti-branding when that became de rigeur as a way to retain one's rightful chattel on open rangelands. Are you saying the "liberal press" (cf Toms' academically-sound point that journalists do not MAKE the politics of the media, they are hired on the express the views of the managers and above)are calling McCain a maverick in the classic sense? Huzzah for them!

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)

    Kerry made his campaign about his somewhat spurious time in Nam. His service in no way can even approximate McCain's.

  • genop (unverified)

    Fortunately heroism alone does not equate to a free pass to the top. Must admit, I'd rather share a bunker with McCain than Cheney, though.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Journalists may not always report the important truth, but it's difficult for them to not run into it now and again. As wage earners, it is likely clear to the majority that Republicans do not represent the interests of wage earners.

    <h2>Also, journalists are trained in language. How could they not be appalled by the inarticulate Shrub as leader of the "free" world?</h2>

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