Thursday, August 05, 2004

McCain Bitch Slaps BC04 Over Kerry... Again

Top political news in Arizona today is Senator John McCain's excoriation of Bush and the RNC for airing a new ad attacking John Kerry's war service. BC04, of course, disclaims any knowledge or involvement with the ad. McCain said, "I think the Bush campaign should specifically condemn the ad." He added, "I can't believe the president would pull such a cheap stunt."

Clearly, McCain is using a politic phrasing to tell the Resident that he's gone too far. I strongly suspect that ad will never see air again.

It is reassuring, and odd, that the Senator seems determined to continue to effectively play the role of poltical umpire in this extremely rancorous election. The reason he can do it, of course, is that McCain commands a great deal of loyalty among the 20-30% of the Republican base who might be termed Republican Progressives. His constituency are the same folks who voted for Perot and Buchanan in past Presidential races. This is currently an uneasy part of the GOP base. Many would surely bolt the Party based on Bush's deficits, invasions of civil liberties, the rapid growth of non-defense spending, job losses to free trade, and Bush's shameless pandering to the religious Right. All that would be required is encouragement and a Kerry endorsement by someone they respect more than Bush: namely, McCain. The Resident knows this all too well, as does Kerry. Hence, the rumour floated, almost certainly by Kerry's operatives, regarding McCain's VP courtship, and Bush's genuine reluctance to really piss McCain off.

Recall that Kerry and McCain are close personal friends, and the odd alchemy of this little menage a trois becomes one of the oddest tug-of-wars over loyalty and honor in recent political history. McCain is devoted to his Party and his principles, even though those principles are not shared by the current representatives of his Party. And McCain is also personally loyal to fellow Veteran, Sentor Kerry. He seems determined to ensure that his personal sense of honor, fair-play, and political propriety are not violated by BC04 in their zeal for victory at any cost.

McCain's attitude seems especially strict regarding Kerry's service in Vietnam. McCain has clearly tolerated a lot of low blows on Kerry; he understands the normal rough and tumble of politics quite well. But McCain has considerable respect for Kerry's principled opposition to the war upon his return. He is more than a little disgusted by the Swift Boat Captains for Truth's attacks on Kerry, as they clearly originate in resentment of Kerry's harsh criticism of American policy in Vietnam, as well as his assertions about war crimes committed by American troops in that conflict. Regardless of their deep political differences, McCain won't stand for anyone denegrating Kerry, or, I suspect, any Vietnam veteran for speaking out against the war.

Vietnam is still a vicious thorn in the psyche of America. In many ways the Baby Boom generation can be mapped politically by their current opinion of that war. If there are valid parallels between Vietnam and Iraq (and I believe there are several), one of the strongest is that Iraq will also forever mark a political divide in those generations now living.

1 Comments:

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Arizonans:

Write to the media and Senator McCain about this. Tell them you're proud of the Senator for standing up for Kerry, but that he should also put his money where his mouth is and refuse to speak at the Republican convention.

 

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