“Dear John” McCain …

Posted on February 20, 2010

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So, it’s re-election time in Arizona and, as usual (but dreaded), the foul stench of partisan lies and deception has turned the desert skies more brown than usual.

My alarm went off at 6 a.m., and the first thing I heard on my trusty clock radio was John McCain’s new campaign ad.

The ad goes like this:  “We know what he endured; gave up a chance to go home early. It was against the prisoner’s code. John McCain has spent his life representing Arizona; fighting for the little guy; standing up to titans. Afraid of no man; saying yes to jobs and small business, no to big government. John McCain is leading the fight against President Obama every day; standing tall and outspoken; helping Arizona families. [McCain speaks] My lot in life has been to wage war against wrong, like today’s massive spending at the worst possible time. Send me back to the Senate and we’ll win that fight for Arizona. [Narrator speaks] John McCain is Arizona’s last line of defense. Character! Matters!

We’ll skip the rehash of McCain’s “war hero” phenomenon for now. Suffice to say that I, as a combat veteran, have SEVERE doubts about McCain’s “heroism” given his own admission to passing critical information to his Vietnamese captors in exchange for special treatment for himself (see for yourself here).

What really rang my bell in the ad is that second point: “John McCain is leading the fight against President Obama every day.”  This is McCain’s idea of bipartisan work for a better America?

In his concession speech on Nov. 4, 2008 McCain said, “Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt, many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us in the many challenges we face. I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger and better country than we inherited. Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans, and please believe me when I say that no association has ever meant more to me than that.

Then, on November 5th, McCain began his relentless campaign to oppose anything Obama attempted, and to be a central figure in all obstruction efforts in the Senate from then until now. So, clearly by his ACTIONS instead of his words, McCain’s association with his lifelong political career means more to him than America.

So that got me wondering who is in McCain’s camp this time around?  He’s been a U.S. Senator for 25 years (you know, one of those “career politicians who’s never held a real job” as the right-wing always said about Ted Kennedy).  Surely, McCain has picked up some credible backers in almost three decades.  So who’s on “Team McCain” in 2010?

JOHN FIFE SYMINGTON III — This former (and now talking about again being) Arizona governor was not just accused, but *CONVICTED* in 1997 of SEVEN FELONY COUNTS of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud, obstruction of justice, and real estate embezzlement.  Nothing speaks better of McCain’s ability to represent Arizona’s finances in Washington than having the guy who EMBEZZLED Arizona’s finances tell you that he’s your guy.

JANE DEE HULL — former Arizona Governor and Symington’s successor, says McCain’s commitment to Arizona is “unmatched.”  Funny how she didn’t seem to think so when she was governor, though. In 1999, Hull endorsed George W. Bush as the Republican party’s presidential candidate because, as she said at the time, “John McCain is not the man to lead this nation. He just doesn’t have any ideas worth listening to.”  So, apparently, Hull now feels that McCain’s bad ideas are exactly what Arizona needs more of.

GROVER NORQUIST — What can I say about this guy that the most acid-tongued, foot-stamping “arch-patriot” teabagger hasn’t said (about Barack Obama)?  Norquist and his protégé David Safavian started the lobby firm called The Merritt Group (later changed to Janus-Merritt) and went on to run the White House Procurement Office for George W. Bush. Safavian was soon-after convicted of lying about dealings with convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff while in that position. Norquist’s clients included Abdurahman Alamoudi, head of the American Muslim Council (AMC), who was convicted in 2005 of financing massive anti-American terror operations. In 1998, Norquist started the Islamic Free Market Institute Foundation (a.k.a. “The Islamic Institute”) to … are you sitting down … brace yourself … Norquist headed the efforts to BRING MUSLIMS INTO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!  Isn’t even *saying* the word “Muslim” a hanging offense these days?  Norquist’s partner in the Islamic Institute was Talat Othman, formerly the director for the Saudi bankers who bailed out all three of George W. Bush’s business failures (Harken Energy, Arbusto and Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation) in the ’80s. Another of Norquist’s clients was Sami al-Arian, co-leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Both Alamoudi and Al-Arian were arrested on a total of 51 terror-related charges in 2003.

So McCain is backed by … well … not *a* terrorist. But *THE* guy who sets up financial foundations *FOR* terrorists. There’s nothing even remotely questionable or suspicious about that, now is there?

BILL BENNETT — The voice of the nationally syndicated “Morning in America” talk show has an amazing rapport with his callers (even though he seems to have a remarkably high instance of “technical difficulties on the phones” whenever someone calls in to disagree with him).  Bennett said that even though he agrees more with the positions of McCain’s chief rival, fellow fork-tongue and former radio talk-show host J.D. Hayworth, Bennett had to endorse McCain because of McCain’s “strong stand to uphold the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.  The problem is that McCain’s “stand” is literally nothing more than an election-year flip-flop.

On Tuesday, following Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ testimony before the Joint Chiefs of Staff that he seeks to repeal the 15-year-old policy, McCain said, “At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. It’s imperfect, but it’s effective.” But in 2006, to an audience of Iowa State University students, McCain said, “The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, ‘Senator, we ought to change this policy,’ then I think we ought to seriously consider changing it.

So during one election campaign, McCain is a hardcore supporter of DA/DT.  In this election campaign, he’s all about reversing it. So which face is Senator McCain talking out of today?

And, of course, SARAH PALIN. Now, to anyone with functioning grey matter, McCain asking the world’s most recognizable Alaska beauty pageant contestant for another dance would seem to be the penultimate nail not only in his re-election bid, but pretty much his career as a two-faced, self-serving, money-grubbing old codg … uhhh … I mean “Congressman.”   But Arizona has a *LOT* of old people living here. Really old people.  I mean old, as in, “Methuselah sat behind them in the third grade” kind of old.  Old people like McCain.  I can only assume it’s because he reminds them of their grandfather.  And Palin … well … I can only guess that she reminds them of the stuffed doll they played with as children; sweet and precious and dressed so pretty, with a plastic empty head.

So, as his latest ad says, “McCain refused to go home early.”  Well, after 25 years of faux campaign finance reform, and amnesty masked as “a path to citizenship,” and two years of babble about a border fence that still isn’t even six percent built five years and $28 Billion later … after all that double-talk and hypocrisy and professional politicking for the sake of politicking, and all the sleight of hand and “listen to what I say, not what I said” requests from the grinning anger-management dropout, the man clearly isn’t going home early.

But since we know from experience what the differences are between campaign-McCain and post-election McCain, maybe he should go home … before it’s too late.

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