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 June, 2009


 John McCain, You Lost. Get Over it!

John McCain: The Curmudgeon-in-Chief

I’m convinced now, more than ever, that Democracy is the greatest system of government ever devised.

For one thing, America’s voters have chosen our presidents wisely three out of the past five elections. (We chose wisely in 2000, too, but that meddling Supreme Court got in the way)

Further clear proof our Democracy is alive and thriving, can be found in the words of John McCain. That’s any of John McCain’s words.

Every time he flops in front a microphone, my faith in the wisdom of the American voter is greatly enhanced.

McCain has become The Curmudgeon-in-Chief. He’s an irascible old coot with a 1950’s view about this country’s place in the world. His recent comic stylings regarding President Obama’s response to the Iranian presidential election and subsequent upheaval have generated a cheap, self-manufactured controversy – that has led some of his fellow Republicans to question his motives.

To them, it’s pure politics. It’s not, as McCain would lead us to believe, about “tough talking” the Mullahs of Iran.

McCain has made the TV talk-show rounds, implying that Obama hasn’t been “tough enough” in letting the people of Iran know the American people, are standing arm-and-arm with them.

He’s probably vexed because Obama didn’t hand him a copy of his statements about American values and the rights of all people to peacefully assemble – so he could pre-approve them.

McCain was left out of the loop. I’m sure glad he was.

So, apparently, are some of his fellow conservatives.

In fact, George Will, no shrinking liberal, is among the rightwingers who’ve seen through McCain’s bluster.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Will declared, “The President’s being roundly criticized for insufficient rhetorical support for what's going on over there. It seems to me a foolish criticism.”

Did he just say “Foolish criticism?” Ouch.

Will wasn’t only chiding McCain. He was including McCain’s Vice-Curmudgeon-in-Chief – Sen Lindsey Graham (R – S.C.).

Graham has called Obama’s response “timid,” and “passive.” He prefers a president who knows how to start a war for reasons unknown. Obama won’t win
Graham’s favor until he drops the occasional nuke on Tehran.

But Graham wasn’t as silly as Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Ca.).

Rohrabacher appeared on MSNBC’s The Ed Show last week, after Obama’s strongest condemnation of the bloodshed in streets of Tehran. The president said he was “appalled and outraged” by it.

That didn’t satisfy Rohrabacher. He blamed the violence on Obama. “If he would have been talking, maybe a little bit a few days ago - we might not have been seeing the violence and bloodshed of this repressive regime in Tehran in the last two days,” he claimed, without a much-needed laugh track.

Who are these people who elected this guy? Rohrabacher had come up with the bizarre calculus that an American president can offer a few harsh words and magically calm the engrained viciousness of a regime that frequently (and proudly) proclaims “Death to America.”

The Republicans who’ve applauded Obama’s firm, but measured responses are the ones who realize the historical complexities that define Iran.
Whenever McCain uses the word “history” in a sentence, run for your history books.

“When Ronald Reagan stood up for the people of Czechoslovakia in Prague Spring and America did, and some good Democrats did too, we were on the right side of history,” he told Sean Hannity last week.

Ronald Reagan didn’t “stand up for” Czechoslovakia during Prague Spring in 1968 - because Reagan wasn’t even elected president until 1980. There is no record that the, then, Governor of California had even mentioned Prague Spring back then.

But McCain’s political intentions were even more obvious after Obama’s strongest words directed at Iran.

When asked if McCain thought there was any doubt whether Obama was on the side of current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or the reformers in the streets, he refused to answer the question.

No wonder Obama has publicly reasserted his responsibilities as a policy maker, while claiming that McCain has no such responsibility.

Obama was too “measured,” but I’ll say it. McCain needs to stay in his place.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net