Sunday, March 18, 2012


Of late, I've deplored the lack of political courage in our election process, especially when it comes to the area of straight talk in our campaigns.

Well, leave it to an American hero known for his straight talk to come to the rescue. None other than Senator John McCain, the GOP presidential candidate defeated by Barack Obama and depicted in the new huge hit movie Game Change on HBO, has set some of the misleading, demagoguing record straight with several recent appearances. Most notably today on Meet The Press, when his 64th appearance surpassed Bob Dole's all-time record.

As expected McCain touted his chosen GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, and urged that the U.S. stay the course in Afghanistan. But he also addressed the current Republican nomination battle, by saying:
"This is the nastiest politics I've ever seen. It's a result of the worst decision the U.S. Supreme Court has made in many years, the Citizens United decision, where out of naiveté and sheer ignorance, the majority of the Supreme Court released these huge blocks of money. There will be scandals and then maybe we'll reform again."
I was surprised by this strong attack, especially since McCain's chosen candidate, Mitt Romney, has had the biggest Super Pac of all pouring by far the most money into the campaign with arguably the nastiest ads.

But then Senator McCain made another stunning statement that is sure to infuriate a lot of fellow Republicans, who have been floundering about trying to deny the truth of it.
Moderator David Gregory asked, "Do you think there is something of a war on women among Republicans?"
McCain jumped right in with no hesitation:

"We have to fix that. I think that there is a perception out there because of the way that this whole contraception issue played out. We need to get off that issue in my view. We ought to respect the right of women to make choices in their lives and make that clear."

This was such a breath of fresh air in a political season filled with such cowardice. And I'm not just talking about Republicans here, but they have had the most opportunity to demonstrate their wussiness in this long season of debates and primary contests. There have been a couple of cartoons depicting the candidates as the main characters from The Wizard of Oz, but the truth is that the persona of The Cowardly Lion would fit almost all of them perfectly. JFK would be hard put to create an updated version of his Profiles in Courage if he were alive today. But I think there might be a good chance John McCain would make the final cut.

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