Saturday, May 1, 2010

The new John McCain

I’m one of many who would have voted for John McCain for president or renewed his contract with the people of Arizona had I been one of his constituents. I wrote letters of support to him through the Congressional website for years while Bush was in office and before McCain decided to run for president himself. I read Faith of My Fathers twice, wanting to understand the prevailing code which enabled him to exhibit the highest standards of the military Code of Conduct that governed a POW’s behavior while in captivity.

I celebrated his maverick status in the staid, robotic Senate and rooted for him each time he came out with another of his outlandish and contrarian points of view, kicking sand in the faces of his Republican colleagues.

Then came the election of 2008 and a new McCain. He seemed erratic and foolish and out of his element (remember the green screen and the frightening, toothy smile?). He had lost his way. He became a sycophantic and erratic puppet of the far right, bobbing his head and smiling to anything that would grant him applause and followed Palin’s lead at rallies by joining the “drill baby, drill” crowd. The only time the old John McCain appeared during the entire campaign, was when he corrected the proverbial “little ol’ lady” at some GOP rally on steroids, when she accused Barack Obama of being an “A-RAB.” “No Ma’am, he isn’t,” he said quietly and firmly.

But now, I am appalled at what he’s doing to keep his Senate seat in his race against J. D. Hayworth of Arizona. As much as I admired his stoicism while serving his time at the Hanoi Hilton during those tumultuous years of Vietnam, that man is gone. He is backpedaling on many of the issues he once believed in, including now his stance on immigration. This is what he said to Bill O’Reilly on FOX recently:

“. . .it would be regrettable if the legislation, which still needs Gov. Jane Brewer’s signature, led to racial profiling. . ." But, ". . .people whose homes and property are being violated, drivers of cars with illegals in them that are intentionally causing accidents on the freeways.”

Say what?

Unfortunately, it appears he is not alone. Our government officials are taking stands and voicing opinions merely to stay in office instead of saying what they really believe. Have we become so inured to political correctness that we’re all afraid to speak the truth? Have we become so comfortable that we lie in order to hang on to a job for the rest of our lives. It’s a good reason, it seems to me, to enact term limits in the federal system, and not just the presidency. Term limits for the Senate, term limits for the House and while we’re at it, term limits for the Judicial since it has now become an Activist Court. (See my blog on The Activist Court, January, 2010.)

I am wondering who, in the Republican caucus is left who will speak their mind without fear of losing their job. Where is the loyal opposition?

Megan McCain, perhaps it is up to you: please remind your father who he is. Before he completely loses the once impressive dignity and humor that was characteristic of "The Maverick."

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