In Defense of John McCain

During President Obama’s first press conference after his re-election, the president quickly went on the offense against Senator John McCain’s questioning of the Benghazi catastrophe. While McCain is doing all he can to bring the questions about the event to the public fore so that such a tragedy will never happen again, President Obama thinks that the Senator has more malicious intentions; chief among them “besmirching” UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s reputation.

Immediately after the president’s chivalrous (or misogynistic depending on who you ask) performance protecting his ambassador who apparently cannot defend herself, pundits and liberal politicians went on the attack against McCain. I wonder if President Obama will step in to accuse these individuals of besmirching McCain’s reputation?

Accusing conservatives of being racist and sexist is not new, but what is troubling is the man that is being singled out as the modern day Jim Crow. Richard Wolffe said that Senator McCain was on a witch-hunt against people of color.  Ohio congresswoman and incoming head of the Congressional Black Caucus Marcia Fudge said, “there is a clear sexism and racism that goes with these comments being made by . . . Sen. McCain and others.” A USA Today column penned by DeWayne Wickham claimed that McCain’s attacks on Susan Rice were a re-launch of conservatives’ war on women.

While it is appropriate to be disappointed with McCain’s performance in the 2008 general election or his policy positions (e.g. his reluctance to initially embrace the Bush tax cuts or his extreme hawkishness on foreign policy), the American people should be appalled at how the chattering class continues to defame an American hero.

Regardless of political affiliation, all Americans must admit that John McCain has served the American people with the utmost class. McCain spent years being tortured as a prisoner of war actually protecting the liberties that the media continually exploits with its libelous accusations against him. He has been a forceful voice when it comes to issues like national security. He has made a concerted effort to work across the aisle on issues including immigration and campaign finance. While his stances rile up both the left and the right, it is fair to say that Senator McCain is a man of conviction who sincerely loves this country and all its citizens.

What is the saddest about this entire fiasco is how the left continually ignores the racism that affected McCain’s presidential bid in 2000.  Push polls implicated McCain’s adopted Bangladeshi daughter in smear attacks. Those attacks had an impact on McCain’s loss in the South Carolina primary. How could a man whose family weathered an unfair barrage of insults directed at them even stoop to racist actions against anybody?

In fact, McCain has historically stood up for Americans of all stripes, including the current occupant of the White House. McCain refused to go negative against Jeremiah Wright when he had the chance to do so because he actually possessed a moral high ground. He profusely apologized for a radio host’s placement of President Obama’s middle name at a rally because he thought it was used to belittle the president. He interrupted a supporter who falsely claimed that the President was an Arab and corrected her while saying that the President is a good and decent family man. He went on the Senate floor to denounce conspiracy theories propagated by some conservatives that said a Muslim-American aide to Hillary Clinton was an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.

McCain has continually told the truth and defended people even when it has not been politically expedient to do so. If a man of his character can be labeled a racist, then there is very little hope for race relations in this country.