Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

America at our best: John McCain. America at our worst: Michele Bachmann and her four Congressional lap dogs

July 18, 2012

Americans welcome people who are different. They enrich our culture. They bring new energy to our society. They do us proud as a melting pot of cultures.

Americans shun people who are different. They debase our culture. They take our jobs. They seduce our children. They talk like foreigners.

So it was with Germans and Irish in the early 1800s. So it was with Jews and Chinese in the late 1800s. Italians in the early 1900s. Africans forever. And so it is with Muslims today.

At our best we befriend the stranger and his children, we treat them kindly, we hire them, and we defend them. At our worst we demean them, discriminate against them, exploit them, and attack them.

America at our worst is five House Republicans, led by Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who have accused countless American Muslims who work for the U.S. government of being secret agents (more…)


Santorum explains his craven response to supporter calling Obama “avowed Muslim” and foreigner

January 24, 2012


Rick Santorum explained today why he didn’t challenge the woman who, at a Santorum town hall yesterday, pronounced President Obama a foreigner and a Muslim.

“I’ve said repeatedly that President Obama is not a Muslim and he’s qualified. It’s not my responsibility to defend the President. I’m not here to defend the President against scurrilous attacks. It’s not my job, it’s yours [referring to the media]. It’s your responsibility to defend the president, not mine. When the media and others say lies about me and call me names and do things … it’s OK and, in fact, it’s promoted and encouraged and made fun of when we do it. Stop it.”

Santorum was being questioned on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program by political writer John Heilemann, who then pointed out that John McCain had responded honorably in a similar episode during the 2008 campaign. Santorum responded indignantly.

“It’s very clear. I am not John McCain. I’ve never been like John McCain. I’m not running as a candidate who’s anything like John McCain.”



Santorum just smiles as supporter calls Obama “avowed Muslim” and foreigner

January 23, 2012


Rick Santorum is no John McCain. I can’t imagine the right word for Santorum—spineless? craven? sleazy? When a woman at a McCain rally in 2008 started to go off on Obama, saying,

“I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him and he’s, uh . . ., he’s an Arab.”

 McCain shook his head and scolded her

“No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man and citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign’s all about. He’s not [an Arab].”

McCain’s rejoinder drew some boos and “C’mon, John” from the crowd, but McCain had done the ethical thing.

Today at a Santorum town hall in Florida one of his fans raised her hand in the Q&A period:

“I never refer to Obama as President Obama because legally he is not.”

Laughter and cheers from the crowd, and a smile from the candidate. The woman went on.

“He constantly says that our Constitution is passé and he totally ignores it. He does what he damn well pleases. He’s an avowed Muslim.”

Applause from the crowd, a continued smile from Santorum. (more…)

Reflections on Martin Luther King, Jr., and on heroism

January 15, 2012


Tomorrow is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It’s been a holiday in all fifty states only since 2000, when Utah finally adopted it. MLK was a hero, and the holiday dedicated to him is a good time to reflect on his life and on the meaning—and especially the limits—of being a hero.

If we venerate some of our Presidents for their accomplishments, then we surely should venerate King. He arguably did more to make America a better nation than anyone since Lincoln. He dreamt that “my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

America is not that nation yet—not quite—but we’ve progressed awfully close to it since King’s 1963 speech at the Lincoln Memorial. And the progress has been largely inspired by King. His insistence on non-violence sealed the commitment of African-Americans to it, and his description of what justice meant captured the conscience and then the heart of much of white America.

Yet when his birthday was first proposed as a national holiday in 1979—just eleven years after his death—it was so controversial that it failed to win a majority vote in the House of Representatives, and it took another twenty-one years for the fiftieth state to recognize it. Many reasons have been cited for the resistance, but surely a major reason (more…)

The ethics of Sarah Palin…or of being on the same planet as Sarah Palin or of choosing her as a running mate

August 27, 2010

It’s often hard to distinguish between Fox News commentator Sarah Palin and comedian Tina Fey. I try to distinguish because Fey is supposed to be funny and Palin is not. Palin is now seriously arguing that real Americans won’t have any truck with Democrats, or collaborate in any way in governing.

She ripped Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown when asked on Fox Business network whether Brown should be on notice for siding with Democrats on the financial reform bill. She explained that real Americans wouldn’t stand for that, but Massachusetts was, perhaps, different.

“Perhaps they’re not going to look for such a hard-core constitutional conservative there, and they’re going to put up with Scott Brown and some of the antics there. But up here in Alaska, and so many places in the U.S. where we have a pioneering, independent spirit, and we have an expectation that our representatives in D.C. will respect the will of the people and the intelligence of the people. Well, up here, we wouldn’t stand for that.”

It’s difficult to decide whether Palin is unethical or just moronic. I don’t think she’s moronic—she couldn’t have gotten elected governor or made some sensible comments if she were a moron. Rather she’s a mixture of uninformed and hostile to the very idea of government actually governing. So I suppose that leaves unethical. The one thing I’m certain of is that John McCain was profoundly unethical when he picked such an unqualified running mate.