Friday, July 11, 2008

McCain’s Free Pass: IOKIYAR

Over at Huffington Post, Max Bergmann has an excellent post up called The Week That Should Have Ended McCain's Presidential Hopes.

Bergmann points to 10 major McCain fuck-ups this week, only one of which elicited more than a passing nod from the mainstream press. In fact, other than Phil Gramm’s “whiner” remarks, I’m not sure any of these stories percolated beyond the blogosphere. Yet every single one of them would have put our media punditry into fits of apoplexy had they come from a Democrat. Every one of them would have dominated the news cycle for days and days, causing massive pearl-clutching and calls for the smelling salts.

So go read about them now, because I guarantee you won’t find out about them on the Nightly News. That teflon suit that George W. Bush has worn for the past seven years has been handed down to John McCain 100% intact.

Writes Bergmann:
This Sunday expect the ten incidents above to get short shrift from pundit after pundit, because after all Jesse Jackson said he wanted to cut Obama's nuts off.

Well, it’s worse than that, Mr. Bergmann. I found a few other stories that have been ignored by the mainstream media. True, most of them were reported in a mainstream outlet, but they never got “traction” -- they didn’t dominate the 24 hour news cycles, they were not picked up beyond where they originally appeared. But had any one of these happened to the Democratic nominee, I assure you a media firestorm would have errupted.

• John McCain changes his POW story to pander to Pittsburgh voters :

Asked what first comes to his mind when he thinks of Pittsburgh, McCain chuckled, "the Steelers.  I was a mediocre high school athlete but I loved and adored the sports but the Steelers really made a huge impression on me particularly in my early years."

And then McCain told a rather moving story about his time as a P.O.W. "When I was first interrogated and really had to give some information because of the pressures, physical pressures on me, I named the starting lineup, defensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers as my squadron mates."

Except he didn’t. He named the Green Bay Packers--that’s what’s in his autobiography, and that’s what he’s said every single time he’s told that story. So why did he pick the Steelers this time? The McCain campaign says he “made a mistake.”

Oh my gosh, imagine if John Kerry had done that. When McCain does it?


McCain's sticky divorce from his first wife. In his autobiography, John McCain fudged the facts a bit on his divorce from first wife Carol and his marriage to Cindy. In fact, according to public records:

In his 2002 memoir, "Worth the Fighting For," McCain wrote that he had separated from Carol before he began dating Hensley.


An examination of court documents tells a different story. McCain did not sue his wife for divorce until Feb. 19, 1980, and he wrote in his court petition that he and his wife had "cohabited" until Jan. 7 of that year -- or for the first nine months of his relationship with Hensley.

Although McCain suggested in his autobiography that months passed between his divorce and remarriage, the divorce was granted April 2, 1980, and he wed Hensley in a private ceremony five weeks later. McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.

I am remembering some conservative tongue-cluckers attacking John Kerry for his divorce; Kevin McCullough over at WorldNet Daily was a particularly sharp scold, noting: “Voter's [sic] have the right to know what kind of decision process Kerry goes through before making such important moves.” Uh-huh. I’m sure McCullough will get right on the McCain divorce story, but in the meantime ....


* Constitutional scholars say McCain is not eligible to be president because he wasn’t born in the US. There’s a 1937 law conferring citizenship on children of American parents born in Canal Zone, but it was passed a year after McCain was born. John McCain is not a “natural born citizen,” as the constitution requires. Oh, oops! Hey, this is a minor issue. No one cared that the vice president and president weren’t supposed to come from the same state seven years ago, either. And that worked out so well.

Anyway, while wingnuts pour over their loops checking the kerning on Barack Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate, their response to McCain’s citizenship issue?