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 February, 2008


 Watching John McCain Grovel For Votes

Tale of Two Parties
By Al Owens

The heroism shown by John McCain during his 5 and a half years in a North Vietnamese POW camp – should never be questioned.

McCain had been captured and, at times, been beaten brutally at two hour intervals by his captors, without giving them much more than his name, rank and serial number.

Only after he had endured one four day period in which he was bound and his teeth and bones were broken, did he give in and agree to sign and tape an anti-American propaganda message.

Although he should never have had to, he would later confess that he felt as if that message had somehow dishonored his country. “Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine," he would later write. This man, who had only reached his “breaking point” after he had been confronted by the kind of brutality no one should ever have to face, is now reaching his “breaking point” at the hands of – Ann Coulter.

My how things have changed.

All it took was for Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and that shrill talk show host, Laura Ingraham to cry McCain doesn’t suit their ultra-conservative mold for a presidential candidate, and McCain yells, “I give.”

For the better part of a month, McCain has desperately tried to convince a few loud mouthed conservatives that he’s conservative enough to be THEIR president.

That’s right. McCain is no longer running to be anything more than the President of the United Conservatives of America. The rest of the country, I suppose, will have to elect some other person.

Shortly after it was clear that McCain would become the Republican candidate for president, the attacks from the daffy rightwing of the Republican Party began.

Since then, McCain has decided that the interests of the American people will have to wait. He’s too busy trying to serve the interests of Ann, Rush and Laura.

He’s even pulled George H.W. Bush, Jack Kemp, Gary Bauer and Tom Ridge out of their mothballs to proclaim McCain isn’t a liberal. That he’s a true conservative who can meet the challenges of, er, the Republican Party.

All of this should tell the American voters something. That McCain’s stands on the issues aren’t as important, to some conservative hot heads, as is the political label he must wear. Is he, or is he not a conservative, a moderate, or even a liberal?

At the same time, the two Democratic combatants are engaged in issue oriented campaigns.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are battling over the scant differences between them in the areas of health care, the war in Iraq, taxes, education and the environment.

If you’re a Republican you may certainly disagree with either of their stands on the issues, but you can’t argue with the fact that they’re not cowering under the weight of extreme factions of their own political party.

In other words, they’re talking about how they can best serve the American people. John McCain is talking about how to best serve Rush Limbaugh. (If I was a Republican, I’d suggest he send him a couple dozen donuts)

This is a man who has shown such strength in the face of evil in that POW camp, who is now kowtowing to the will of a few ideologues who are so out of sorts they just may openly campaign for Hillary Clinton to make their point.

McCain has shown the independence that a statesman might show in the past. He’s actually sided with a few Democrats. He didn’t spit on them at the time, and that’s Ann Coulter’s rub.

The Republican hierarchy must be a bit concerned about all of this. McCain has managed to stay in the race for president with the help of many voters who’ve seen him as being an independent. Now he’s telling those same voters they’ve really put their faith in a guy who toes the line.
Those independent voters could look elsewhere in the general election.

Even more troubling is the fact that the Democrats are collecting new voters at a record pace. You only have to look at the most recent primary elections to see the Republicans are in trouble.

In Minnesota, for instance, Obama got more votes than all of the other candidates (Clinton, McCain, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Uncommitted) combined. And he’s enjoyed similar numbers in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Kansas.

So it’s a delight watching McCain grovel for a few votes, while the Democrats fill stadiums with eager new voters and aren’t trying to convince them about how liberal or moderate they are.

The McCain we once honored for his true heroism has now being folded, spindled and mutilated by the Ann Coulters of the world.