Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Gamecock's" Despicable Comments on McCain

Recently, I strongly recommended John Hawkins' fine column on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, available at: I'd also like to recommend Christopher Wensley's excellent piece on Hillary Clinton ("Losing It") at: Obama-Clinton remarks end of column.

The following is a line about John McCain in Michael Barone's superb The Almanac of American Politics, 2008: "It appears to be his view that members of Congress, like members of the military, should serve the national interest honorably and without reference to political considerations. Linked to that is his opposition to what he considers pork barrel spending, which provides him plenty of material for his self-deprecating jokes about how unpopular he is with many colleagues." (p. 95)

"Gamecock" on Red State, a Fred Thompson or Mitt Romney supporter, sent me the following yesterday: "704-779-9080 . . . give me your best shot to switch to McCain." (I had told him that it looked as if Thompson would finish fourth in the SC Primary.)

I called "Gamecock" this morning (Thursday), and it was one of the more unsatisfactory "conversations" I've ever had. He wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise. He sang the praises of Fred Thompson (or, alternatively, Mr. Mega-Bucks, Mitt Romney). He denounced McCain at every turn. He said that we should give no credit to McCain's being tortured for five-plus years in a Vietnamese prison.

After all, as he put it, "Some of the men in those prisons might have come back and murdered somebody." I couldn't tell if he was serious, or even might be darkly implying that McCain had "offed" someone. He condemned McCain for comments made in 2000 in the SC Primary.

In that primary, McCain haters sent out many mailing saying, "McCain has a Black illegitimate daughter." McCain does have a dark-skinned daughter. She's not African-American, but is rather an adopted child from Bangla Desh. She appeared this year at a McCain rally, at least in part to dispel the lies told about him Gamecock's beloved SC.

This year, McCain opponents are engaging in "push polling," which refers to people calling voters pretend to be pollsters. Among other things, they're saying that McCain is "pro-abortion."

In fact, McCain has been staunchly pro-life for all his 24 years in public life. He has been the most consistent of all Republican candidates on this issue.

What Gamecock thinks about the lies and innuendos isn't clear. He appears to have the traditional Southern view -- and I lived in the Deep South for many years -- that all's fair in love, war, and politics.

He gave me no reasons for his supporting Thompson and Romney.I asked him what "Fred" and "Mitt" were doing while McCain, an authentic American hero to most of our fellow citizens, was rotting away in a Vietnamese torture chamber. He didn't seem to regard that question as relevant.

He admitted that McCain was "right" on the need for the Iraq Surge. However, he said that McCain had been wrong "five times" on Iraq issues. He didn't note what those five instances had been.

In my view, Gamecock is a classic supporter of Fred Thompson, known far-and-wide as the laziest man in politics. Why he wanted me to waste my time calling him is a question I'll never get answered. My assumption is that Gamecock is deeply embedded in the racialist politics that has dogged South Carolina for generations. He sees McCain's failure to pander to the bigots at Bob Jones University and other fever swamps in the state, and he regards that as a deficit.

He should be ashamed of himself, but shame isn't his strong suit. He condemned McCain for "changing" his position on the Confederate Flag that used to fly above the SC Capital. In fact, McCain has said not opposing the Flag was his worst political decision. On CBS News, he said it was an "act of cowardice" on his part. Somehow, that kind of candor doesn't impress the flag-loving Gamecock.

Anyway, I explained to "Gamecock" that McCain neither wants nor needs the support of people like him. I asked him whether he had any "character." In response, he chuckled. He's all ideology and no sense or decency.

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