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 April, 2008


 John McCain's Apology is Questioned

McCain’s Deceit
By Al Owens

John McCain should publicly denounce his ties to an extremely controversial preacher. He is a man who once boldly declared, “God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment. And it seems as if I can hear God saying to America, YOU’RE TOO ARROGANT. If you don’t change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I’ll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn’t even know my name.”

McCain’s allegiance to this man is quite troubling. Why would McCain go out of his way to pay tribute to a man with such questionable patriotism as to state, “If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God's children to have the basic necessities of life she, too, will go to hell?”

A more thoughtful McCain had, at one time, separated himself from this man. He had even shown disdain for his provocative philosophy. But now, with McCain running for the presidency, he’s no longer standing apart from that angry preacher – he’s embracing him.

The preacher’s name is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Those were the sharp words he used during the period when he had decried America’s involvement in Vietnam. King’s words in 1967 were as angry then as Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s words are today.

The irony is that Republicans now honor King, while they’re preparing to use Barack Obama’s relationship to Wright as a battle cry.
“The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today (is) my own government,” weren’t Wright’s words, they were King’s.

No wonder John McCain was at odds with King, back then. It’s just rather curious, to me, why he’s made him so praiseworthy today.

In fact, if King were still alive, it would be reasonable to assume he’d infuse his messages with the same logic about the war in Iraq – this week.

I seriously doubt John McCain would embrace a man who would proclaim, as King once did, “It is time for all people of conscience to call upon America to come back home. Come home America.”

To the contrary, because they are nearly the same sentiments offered by both of the two remaining Democrats in the race for president – and McCain derides their every mention of ending the war.

McCain only embraces Martin Luther King’s memory to get votes - PERIOD. McCain has clumsily re-written his own disinterest in King’s legacy, and he’s ignoring the fact that Dr. King’s later anti-war agenda would anger McCain if he bothered to dig deeper than the soaring oratory of the “I have a dream,” speech.

The boos McCain got while pandering for black votes at the Lorraine Hotel last Friday during the 40th anniversary of King’s assassination were well-deserved.

McCain claims he made a mistake in 1983 by voting against the national holiday that would honor Dr. King. McCain, as a young congressman, was one of a distinct minority who voted against a law that had been proposed by McCain’s supposed hero Ronald Reagan. (So much for McCain living up to his self-described role as a “foot soldier in the Reagan revolution”)

McCain must have gone AWOL the day of that vote.

Not only that, while McCain admitted he made a mistake when he stood in the rain in Memphis, he failed to admit he’d made several of them.
That original vote took place in 1983. He’d later join his Arizona Governor, Evan Mecham, when he led the charge to rescind the law in his state. McCain publicly said the governor was right. And that left Arizona as one of only two states not to honor King at the time.

Of course, McCain would later offer support for a state King holiday, but still voice his opposition to the national legislation.

That was another sleight-of-hand played by the deceitful McCain. Arizona had lost millions of tourism dollars and a Super Bowl, while it had faced national finger pointing for not honoring Dr. King.

McCain’s support for a statewide holiday – wasn’t part of some new understand of King’s legacy. It was designed to avoid further national embarrassment.

Even in 1994, McCain voted to cut-off funding for the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. It had been organized to further engage public officials in promoting a King Holiday.

So, McCain who is running on a war platform shows up at an event to honor man who had fought against such platforms, and we’re supposed to believe he’s sincere?

This is the very kind of thing that prevents most black voters from taking Republicans seriously.

Yet, some Republicans are now running around talking about how “brave” McCain was for going to Memphis and throwing himself on the mercy of the crowd by claiming he’s a born-again King groupie. That’s bunk.

On the night of the Memphis spectacle, Charles Krauthammer appeared on Fox News and allowed as to how, when King had been assassinated, McCain knew little about it. That he was being shot down by the enemy and he was lodged in a POW camp, so that’s why he was late in joining the rest of the world in celebrating the life of this “great man.”

That’s more bunk.

When McCain left that POW camp, he didn’t live in a cave for 40 years. He knew, or should have known, that King’s anti-war message would have caused his conservative “base” to question King’s allegiance to this country.

After all, it was Dr. King who noted, “It’s a dark day in our nation, when high level authorities will seek to use any method to silence dissent.”

McCain is in the precarious position of trying to satisfy his conservative base, while at the same time, attempting to pay lip service to get black voters with hollow apologies.

He should not be judged for “the color of his skin, or the content of his character,” but for the transparency of his stump speeches.