Thursday, February 21, 2008

Funny Thing About Senator John McCain

McCain believes that if he says it, it makes it true. Sounds like the guy he wants to replace in the White House. An article in the New York Times this morning (“For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk”) chronicles a few of McCain’s more arrogant forays into ethically troubling and/or downright shady actions while he's been in political office. However, even in the face of proof to the contrary, McCain says, “I have never violated public trust or done favors for lobbyists”. Not true, Dishonest John...not true. The NYT reports that eight years ago McCain’s personal and political relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman was so worrying to his advisors they blocked her access to McCain and to his office. This was ten years after McCain had done a favor for a friend that involved McCain in the Charles Keating savings and loan scandal. In about a half hour, John McCain is going to hold a press conference in order to say he’s Mr. Integrity and that he’s never done a thing during his career as a public servant that has not been Simon Pure. And yet, we know he wrote letters to government regulators on behalf of Iseman’s clients who often had business before a Senate committee led by John McCain. And the NYT reports “Mr. McCain promised, for example, never to fly directly from Washington to Phoenix, his hometown, to avoid the impression of self-interest.” However, McCain often flew on corporate jets of business executives who sought his support. A small thing? Yes...but not in a man who claims he is the very model of the highest moral standards it is possible for a human being to hold. I particularly like this little rat-out from the NYT: “Mr. McCain helped found a nonprofit group to promote his personal battle for tighter campaign finance rules. But he later resigned as its chairman after news reports disclosed that the group was tapping the same kinds of unlimited corporate contributions he opposed, including those from companies seeking his favor.” John McCain is 73 years old and has come to believe his own press releases that equate him with a living saint. He likes that image and I don’t blame him. But he is not the man he wants to think he is. He has made mistakes, told lies, and committed improprieties. All of which is not a terrible legacy because it’s very typical and normal of men who have had a career in politics. But don’t tell me you’ve never violated public trust, John McCain. You have violated public trust. You violated public trust in Iraq with your shameful little charade when you denied that you had monumental protection from hundreds of US soldiers. And you’ve violated public trust by giving special access to lobbyists. As the NYT said, “When the Senate overhauled lobbying and ethics rules last year, Mr. McCain stayed in the background.” And don’t get in high dudgeon when people tell the truth about you and call it “a smear”--that's just childish and silly.


Barry Schwartz said...

Quick googling says John McCain was born August 29, 1936. It also turns up that he has a MySpace, which indicates a fairly uninteresting set of interests, big surprise.

pilgrimchick said...

McCain was lining himself up to get bitten in the ass for his commentary about his non-involvement with lobbyists and his "plain spoken, no-nonsense-ness" persona. OF COURSE he was involved with lobbyists over his career--name me a Congressman or Senator who isn't. And now that he is emerging as the Republican front-runner, no surprise that he is being called out on his claims.