Given that the most well-known fact about Senator John McCain is his war record of courageous endurance in a prisoner camp, why do some commentators suddenly seem to want the Arizona Senator to start being a coward now? I only ask because people are saying that McCain could have just kept his mouth shut instead of challenging the not-so-subtle name-smearing of Senator Obama by Bill Cunningham. They think this would have been easy to do since McCain had the convenient cover of not actually hearing the comments himself. This would make it easier for conservative talk radio hosts to continue to persuade their frustrated “red-meat” listeners to swallow the less bitter pill of the McCain Presidency. But that explanation sounds a lot like cowardice to me.
Instead of being ashamed of a man who has, for whatever other faults of his we might agree about, led the way on honorable campaigning, this should be one of the great rallying points for moral conservatives. Cunningham played the fool, and McCain rightly and properly rebuked him for it. I hope I’m wrong, but it seems like the talk radio wing of the Republican Party has suddenly decided that a key platform point for conservatives is the right to imply slander through the highly witty second grade tactic of name abuse.
“It’s his name. His mamma gave it to him. I’m just honoring him the same way we would honor John Fitzgerald Kennedy or Franklin Delano Roosevelt or William Jefferson Clinton.” Oh, yes, Mr. Cunningham, I’m quite sure that, in a speech which also referred to, “CBS, the Clinton Broadcasting System; NBC, the Nobody But Clinton network; [and] the All Bill Clinton channel ABC,” your references to Barack Hussein Obama were meant as a display of profound and sincere respect. Of course, I suppose it’s possible that some people believe you, but I’m hard pressed to believe that you actually believe your own explanations on this one.
Let’s be clear and say out loud what everyone knows about this particular middle name. The only reason to use it in referring to Senator Obama is because doing so panders to a noxious combination of anti-Arab/anti-Muslim sentiment and gives life to the ongoing slew of false allegations concerning Obama’s upbringing or secret religious affiliations. “See, he’s really just one of them … just look at his name.” I wonder if you would be so bold if the name happened to be Adolf or Aidid, although given your willingness to lie to America’s face about your motives, I have to figure you’d find that equally entertaining.