Thursday, February 21, 2008

The McCain Story; Or Is It Or Who Cares?

John Stewart is unimpressed.

I'm with John on this one. Having said that, I haven't turned on the Old TeeVee since last night as Dan Abrams broke the story for MSNBC, therefore, I don't know much about it. There may be more to it. Who knows? Probably a lot less.

Sometimes it's just damned painful to watch karma whack someone, especially when no one learns a damn thing from it. Poor Cindy McCain got whacked.

Earlier in the day, I had watched Cindy McCain take a swipe at Michelle Obama because Mrs Obama had made a statement about her pride in her country the day before. She said, in the much played clip, that for the first time in her adult life, she was really proud of her country or to be an American; something like that. At some point there was another clip showing Mrs. Obama explaining her prior remark. I don't know where she was at the time. Perhaps she was giving a talk to the learning impaired, or just plain slow.

Mrs. McCain stated that she had always been proud to be an American. She stumbled over her words a wee bit, but I just figured that that was because Mrs. McCain is not a politician nor a public speaker for any other reason. Maybe she's not too good at one-liners. She does seem shy in large crowds, anyway.

I did not immediately jump to the conclusion that she was not telling the truth about her pride or non-pride in being an American. I notice that no one else did either, or if they did, I haven't heard about it and would consider anyone a true whack-job who had had such thoughts.

I have often wondered why people say they are proud to be an American, especially when that fact is due to an accident of birth. I'm not proud to have blue eyes nor that my hair is silver. I'm an American because I was born in Mobile, Alabama and have never left to live in another country, torn up my passport and decided to call that country "home," providing that country would have me as a citizen.

I can feel the building about to fall on me, but it won't be the first time, so here goes, anyway. I never understood why people were proud to be black, back in the day or today. I can see why one might be proud that one had mustered the courage to fight the good fight for civil rights for all Americans, but not because of the color of one's skin. Of course, I was white, at least in the winter months, and I felt no pride in that. I never went through what black people went through. Maybe they were simply proud to have survived. I can come somewhat close to imagining what it must have been like for a black person back then, but no white person can lay full claim to that one.

Funny, though, I knew immediately what Michelle Obama meant without her having to explain it. I'm quite a bit older than she is and have much less energy for things like pride or, even less, enthusiasm. We have lived during a slightly different bit of American history. I could easily be her husband's mother. Nevertheless, I knew what she meant. She wasn't suddenly proud to be an American because her husband might get to be president or, even, that a woman might, if he didn't. She was looking, as she had been for a year, out over ever-growing crowds of Americans; thousands who looked like Americans, white, black, red, yellow, brown, who gave a damn about the political process in this country. This, after years of way less than 50% of the eligible voters in this country getting off their butts to vote, let alone work for a candidate whose vision they shared. (Perhaps that was because no candidate had had a vision that so many could share, or maybe the last 7 years shocked Americans out of their over-work, TeeVee induced semi-comas.

Perhaps it is all a combination of forces coming together and, low and behold, as good fortune would have it, there is a guy who is saying what they had wanted to say and hear for 40 years. The first time I listened to a whole Barack Obama speech, from beginning to end, I sat there, motionless, chills running up my spine and tears running down my cheeks. I didn't want to hope with him. Sometimes, I still don't. It can be painful for me, you see. I have a forty year old wound that his words tear open, again.

She had met unbelievable crowds of people who said, give me something to do...I wanna help Obama because his dream seems much like mine. She felt like a family of strangers had embraced her and her family, not because they were black, but because they stood for something; like justice for all people, like taking care of the least of these and doing so in a way that left everyone's dignity in tact.

There is much more to it; his vision, Americans waking up, seeing what our government has done, in our names and with our blood and treasure, crawling out of the woodwork to take responsibility for it all and to re-build something together; not something built on hate or fear or a feeling of emptiness, no matter how much one has, but on something else.

Then came last night and the McCain story about a possible romantic relationship with a lobbyist for whom he, allegedly, did favors. Isn't that what all politicians do for lobbyist....favors? We all know it. Some of us try to pretend that we don't know it, but we do.

Most of us know that American politics is just a big old fascist game. If you have enough money you too can play. We also know that American institutions we used to trust; banks, the news media, print as well as electronic, real estate brokers, not to mention the institutions of government, are as corrupt as a corpse, homes to worms and maggots.

Just about 24 hours was all it took for the hand of karma to slap Cindy and John, right upside the head. That unkind, wise-crack about Michelle Obama's pride in her country and now this.

Perhaps, candidates and their staffs should learn something from this. It can take thousands of years for karma to roll around. Nevertheless, it can come much, much faster, if it has to, to balance things out and bring the gift of learning this simple but profound proverb: What you do to another you have already done unto yourself, because, you see, there is no difference, that really matters, between you and me. There is no separation. Just as there is none between Michelle and Cindy.

I feel for both of them. It's going to be a long hard summer if people just refuse to learn anything.

Stewart: McCain story 'has tired dusty feel to it'

02/21/2008 @ 9:48 am

Filed by David Edwards and Muriel Kane

News that the New York Times would be reporting on an improper relationship between Sen. John McCain and a female lobbyist broke as CNN's Larry King was doing a live interview with the Daily Show's Jon Stewart Wednesday night.


When asked by King for his thoughts on the matter, Stewart was clearly unprepared, but his first reaction was to say, "I think John McCain is someone who I have great respect for ... It's very unfortunate. ... This has an awfully tired and dusty feel to it."

Stewart went on to reflect, "If this is about lobbying and things like that, certainly that's very much in the public interest. ... But I think the general parasitical nature of lobbying to government is pretty out there for everyone to see."

"I think this sounds like a pretty hurtful personal thing," Stewart concluded. "It's a shame, and I feel badly for him and I feel badly for his family, because they're lovely people."

John McCain has made more appearances on the Daily Show than any other guest, with last September's appearance being his eleventh, and John Stewart has described him as a friend.

Stewart also downplayed King's suggestion that the fact that the story is running in the Times makes it more credible, saying, "There are very few organizations left that have a credibility savings account that they can draw on any more."

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

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