Friday, April 04, 2008

Slow Learner

Oh dear, I fear I may wear out this graphic header very soon.

Today McCain spoke at the spot where Dr. King was killed, and he admitted that he was wrong about opposing a holiday in King's honor. Kudos for that admission. However....

McCain: I voted in my first year in congress against it. Then I began to learn. And I studied. And people talked to me. And I not only supported it, but I fought very hard in my own state of Arizona for recognition against a governor who was of my own party. ...
As Markos Moulitsas notes:
McCain was 32 when King died. He was 47 when he voted against the holiday. He claims he didn't know about MLK that entire time? That it was merely "an issue"? The reporter is right, this wasn't an issue, it was basic knowledge of American history.
And Steve Benen comments:
If McCain "began to learn" and "studied" after his opposition to the King holiday in ‘83, he was a very slow learner. Four years later, he didn’t fight against a governor or his own party; he endorsed the governor’s move to eliminate a King holiday.

Six years after his House vote he began supporting a state holiday, but still opposed a federal King holiday. Eleven years after his vote, he tried to strip federal funding from the MLK Federal Holiday Commission. Seventeen years after his vote, McCain publicly endorsed South Carolina’s right to fly the confederate flag over its statehouse.

Now, in the interest of fairness, it’s worth noting that McCain ended up, years after the fact, in the right place, and reversed himself on practically all of his previous positions. Better late than never, I suppose.
Jake Tapper of ABC News:
In Arizona, a bill to recognize a holiday honoring MLK failed in the legislature, so then-Gov. Bruce Babbitt, a Democrat, declared one through executive order.

In January 1987, the first act of Arizona's new governor, Republican Evan Mecham, was to rescind the executive order by his predecessor to create an MLK holiday. Arizona's stance became a national controversy.

McCain backed the decision at the time.
The story does not add up well. If McCain came to the right place in the end, that's a good thing. But his story of how he got there is, shall we say, questionable. Let's go back to this bit: "McCain was 32 when King died. He was 47 when he voted against the holiday. " Where the hell was he all those years? What on earth did he not know about issues of civil rights in 1983?

How out of it was he then? How out of it is he now? Or is it all a tissue of lies?

This man should not be president.
--the BB


skittlesboy said...

Isn't it beautiful that we can write things we think about government officials on blogs like these? I think it is wonderful that in our country we have the freedom to say what we want and we won't be punished. Granted, that freedom hasn't always been extended to everyone in our country, but look at how much freedom of expression we have compared to the people of the middle east. I am so glad you want to share your opinion, whether I agree with it or not, because you can. America is a beautiful place!

Paul said...

Yes, skittlesboy, the freedom to speak our opinions freely is one of the biggest reasons why America is a great country. I love this nation very much and am grateful to have been born here. I care about our Constitution, passionately, even though studying it bored me when I was a student. I love the dream of what this country aspires to be and want to help us grow into and live into that dream.

Being able to blog is pretty cool.

I'm glad you share your thoughts and poems on yours.

FranIAm said...

McCain had to learn about MLK after he voted against the holiday? Fascinating explanation.

Um- like color me crazy, but wouldn't a public servant (oh Fran how you gest!) actually learn before they took a strong stand on a controversial matter?

Shush- don't answer that. I was just being a little idealistic. Sorry. It happens every now and then; a throwback to my growing up years.

Snark moment over- I am truly disgusted.

Senor ten piedad. Por favor.

Jane R said...

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!


Ten piedad, indeed. Verdad.

Cat blogs pix are up. Come visit. A little distraction from the evils of the world.

And yes, we give thanks for our freedoms.

Skittlesboy, it's not so great in China these days either, and a lot of other places too. I am so grateful that Paul brings us news from around the world almost every day.