When the "John McCain for President, 2008" campaign shifts into high gear, we'll be hearing ad nauseum about the candidate's heroism, character and patriotism.
Too bad none of it is true.
When you do a simple analysis of McCain's personal and professional life and lay it out over thirty years, his picture is ugly.
Think of my column as a review of McCain low points that you will be hearing less about—at least from the GOP—as the countdown to the 2008 presidential primaries begins.
McCain is a sore point among other U.S. POWs. Most resent the preferential medical treatment McCain received after he was shot down in 1967 and revealed to the North Vietnamese Army that his father, Admiral John McCain, Jr., commanded all U.S. forces in Europe and was soon-to-be commander of all forces in the Pacific, including Vietnam.
From the moment the NVA knew who the injured McCain's father was, he became a "special patient." The NVA hoped to eventually squeeze valuable information out of McCain.
And his fellow POWs remained angry with McCain when, in 1992 as a member of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, he demanded a U.S. Justice Department investigation into Vietnam veteran activists and their organizations.
McCain called the organized POW's:
"The most craven, most cynical and most despicable human beings to ever run a scam."
McCain got his wish. The DOJ investigated and found no reason to charge the POW/MIA organizations with any wrongdoing. [Sen. McCain Wants To Be President By Ted Sampley, U.S. Veteran Dispatch, January-February 1997 Issue]
In 1980, McCain divorced his wife Carol, who had been disfigured in an automobile accident while he imprisoned. One month later, McCain remarried Cindy Lou Hensley, heiress to Phoenix-based Hensley & Co., the nation's second-largest Anheuser-Busch distributor.
His new trophy wife's family money launched McCain into politics.
Then, ten years after his ugly divorce, McCain was fingered as one of the Keating Five—a group of five Senators investigated on ethics charges. The five met with Federal Home Loan Bank chairman Ed Grey allegedly to influence the FHLB to delay seizing the assets of soon-to-be convicted racketeer Charles Keating's struggling (and eventually bankrupt) Lincoln Savings and Loan.
Although McCain was never indicted, an investigation revealed that his Congressional and Senate campaigns had been financed in part by donations from Keating. Additionally, McCain took a total of nine family trips paid for by Keating including three to the banker's villa in the Bahamas.
The federal bail out of Lincoln cost taxpayers $2.6 billion.
Unable to refrain from insulting Americans worried about the devastating impact of S. 2611, McCain immediately after the vote said:
Amazing—three lies in one sentence: "undocumented workers," "jobs that the rest of us refuse," and "come out of the shadows."
And another McCain lie:
"In poll after poll after poll, Americans support earned citizenship and a comprehensive solution" [Immigration Foreshadows 2008 GOP Contest, by Liz Sidoti, Associated Press, May 25, 2006]
The truth, to which McCain is averse, is that no polls indicate anything of the kind. Given a neutral choice that avoids the words "amnesty" and "illegal alien," voters chose the House approach, HR 4437, to S. 2611 by 2-1.
In all, McCain's record is dismal.
Given McCain's resume, it's fair to ask whom he represents and where we can see evidence of his principles at work.
McCain does not represent:
I asked Henry Lenoir for insight into McCain's real self. Lenoir is the ex-fighter pilot who wrote to VDARE.COM that McCain would be a "disaster" as president.
"McCain's Hanoi experiences provide effective cover for his political ambitions. People don't see that there isn't much behind the image. People also assume, based on his Vietnam service and his party affiliation, that he is a red-blooded American patriot. As for me, I wonder if he and President Bush share a Mexican paymaster."
McCain has consistently and knowingly done the wrong thing to those closest to him…his family, his constituents and his war buddies.
And he has knowingly and without fail acted in the best interests of only one person…Senator John McCain.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.