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The Real McCain, and Other Stories…


Reader kristinejoy says: From that picture you’d think McCain has W’s shirt on a hanger that he sniffs for memories. 

— I swear that I will have this picture made into postcards at some point, so that I can send them out in the mail.  Bob Geiger has a fantastic look at McCain on AlterNet today that everyone ought to read:

…But there was McCain recently on Larry King Live, proclaiming his loyalty to the very same people and declaring his admiration, saying, "I admire the Religious Right for the dedication and zeal they put into the political process."

And speaking of that, who among political observers have not been left scratching their heads and wondering how a man who exhibited such a steel backbone as a POW in his younger days could literally and figuratively embrace the same people who so viciously attacked him — and his family — in 2000?

Even cynical political operatives were left aghast at the slime that Bush and his campaign team threw at McCain after the Arizona Republican whipped them 49 percent to 30 percent in the 2000 New Hampshire primary.

Many political analysts believed that a subsequent McCain victory in South Carolina would provide him with overwhelming momentum, and it was obvious that the Karl Rove smear machine would have to go into full production to keep that from happening.

This was where most of the country was first introduced to the political tactic of "push polling" where, in that race, Republican voters were called by the Bush-Cheney camp and asked, "Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?" It was disgusting enough to use such a race-baiting tactic to begin with, but to use McCain’s daughter Bridget — whom he and his wife had adopted from Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh — because they thought her dark skin might fool a bunch of ignorant, right-wing types, shocked even hardened political pros….

Really puts that hug in context, doesn’t it? Take a good, long look at that picture for a moment.  There’s forgiveness…and then there is pimping yourself out for some party lovin’. Bob has so much more. It’s worth a reminder, again and again, that the Straight Talk Express has run off the rails and is far into the weeds.

— Oh, and before I forget, welcome to Wedge Issue June…the Rubber Stamp Republican Congress thinks the nation needs to be saved from homosexuals in committed, loving relationships and people who choose unpopular means of exercising their legal right to freedom of speech and to courting the NRA. 

Because, you know, real problems that face real people like the rising cost of gas and utilities, the ever-increasing home mortgage and credit card interest rates, a crumbling education infrastructure and lagging mathematics and science education compared to the rest of the world, the war in Iraq and our fight in Afghanistan which are increasingly looking like hell in a hand basket, and the fact that the bulk of cargo containers still have little to no inspection as they enter this nation…not to mention that it’s hurricane season again, and people all over the gulf coast are still making do with blue plastic tarp for a roof shelter…well, who needs the Congress to actually give a shit about real people’s problems and actually govern for a change?  It’s not like we’re expecting oversight or accountability or anything…not from this Rubber Stamp Republican Congress that is interested solely in maintaing GOP power, via divide and conquer or whatever means necessary.

Newsweek has a disturbing look at Haditha.  (h/t to reader cbl for the link.  warning: not for the weak of stomach or for the already overly disgusted with Rumsfeld — why is he still on the job as SecDef, anyway?  Ret. Maj. Gen. Batiste, who led the 1st Infantry Div. in Iraq in 2004-2005 asked that very question yesterday.  I can’t tell you how unusual it is for someone so newly retired to be speaking out so forcefully — this is usually left to elder statesmen in the officers corps.  Something is up, and it’s getting hotter by the day.)

— There’s a review of a new war documentary on Majikthise that is worth a read.  Readers in the NYC area take note: you’re the only ones getting a screening at the moment.  (found this via Swopa, and reader John Casper)

— Reader TeddySanFran sent me a note this morning that the WaPo had a real, live populist viewpoint in its pages.  And, lo and behold, ’tis true.  Sebastian Mallaby has another op-ed, this time on the myths surrounding the estate tax, and why the government oughtn’t be in the business of propping up the bazillionaire trust fund crowd when fiscal responsibility is so much more sexy. 

— Speaking of the Rubber Stamp Republican Congress, the phrase made its way into the Dem Response this weekend.  (hat tip to reader mc)

— There’s an interesting interview with Sen. Russ Feingold in the WaPo today — both for the questions asked and answers given.  Am wondering what everyone’s response to this one will be.  Do share in the comments.  Salon has even more about the Warner and Feingold speeches to the NH state Democratic party conventions.  Good stuff.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com