John McCain is not our ‘friend’

by Jim Longworth

What’s wrong with John McCain? Let me count the ways.

First, let’s dispense with a politically incorrect matter that no one in the media is willing to tackle: McCain is not now, nor was he ever, an “American hero.”

The man had the misfortune of having been captured by communists, and subsequently spent several years in a POW camp. I am truly sorry that he was incarcerated, but being captured does not, per se, constitute being a hero.

In fact, just the opposite is true. Men like Sgt. York in World War I, and former Gov. Doug Wilder in Korea were heroes because they distinguished themselves by single-handedly capturing enemy forces. But John McCain is no more a hero than guys like me who faced the Vietnam draft rather than dodging it. Had I been shipped out, I too might have been captured. But being captured requires no particular skill. So please, let’s once and for all stop referring to John McCain as an “American hero.” He is not.

Second, being a POW doesn’t make John McCain a foreign-policy expert. It only makes him a foreign-prison expert. Yes, I’m sure that he endured indignities and discomfort that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. But that doesn’t mean he knows more about foreign relations than Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Third, and similarly, his being a Washington insider for decades also doesn’t make him a foreign-policy expert, nor does it make him any more qualified than the other two candidates who have served less time in the Senate than McCain. McCain has proven time and again that he is willing to throw diplomacy and US troops under the bus in order to advance his own political agenda. That kind of reckless, egotistical disregard for human life doesn’t make him a foreign policy genius – it makes him a warmongering idiot.

Fourth, speaking of disregard for human life, John McCain is second only to Bush/Cheney in that category. McCain is unconcerned by the 4,000 US troops who have died for nothing, and he is unfeeling about the over 600,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children who have lost their lives as a result of an illegal and unethical invasion that he still defends to this day. McCain brags about the surge because fewer US soldiers are being killed now than prior to it. But a reduction in casualties isn’t due to McCain’s strategy. It is because the US government is now paying bribes to over 70,000 sectarian crazies so they won’t shoot at us for awhile. Thus, McCain’s position on the surge is nothing more than a deceptive, sick joke designed to get him elected.

Fifth, McCain is a hypocrite. He is willing to maintain a trading relationship with communist China, but won’t open relations with Cuba. China is responsible for more human-rights violations than Cuba. China has exported deadly products and raw materials to America. And China has helped to destroy our middle class by working with greedy American CEOs to move jobs out of the United States.

In John McCain’s world, China is good and Cuba is bad. Go figure.

Finally, McCain is an arrogant, corrupt politician who cares nothing about ordinary citizens, whom he refers to as “my friends.” Last week, Big John told a group of Hispanic business leaders in Santa Ana, Calif. that he wouldn’t support the rescue of subprime mortgage victims. McCain noted that most homeowners are “doing what’s necessary …working a second job, skipping a vacation, managing their budgets.” He went on to say that if we commit taxpayer dollars to assistance: “[I]t should be accompanied by reform… and central to that reform should be accountability.”

This comes from a man who once accepted money from Charles Keating, then CEO of Lincoln Savings & Loan. Keating invested his depositors’ money in risky real estate deals that caused Lincoln to go bankrupt in 1989. The S&L bailout cost taxpayers more than $3 billion. McCain then tried to persuade regulators to ease up on his buddy Keating. So much for reform and accountability.

McCain is a man who, like Elliot Spitzer, sets himself above the law and above ethics while pretending to be a hard-nosed, holier-than-thou moral beacon for the rest of us. While we struggle, he just sits back and defends the status quo.

He will sit back and let us bail out his corrupt friends.

He will sit back and let us bail out Bear Stearns.

He will sit back and let us lose our homes.

He will sit back and watch us go without health insurance.

He will sit back and tell us the surge is working without regard to the lost lives and revenues.

In fact, the only thing John McCain will stand up for is John McCain, and that makes him one of the most self-centered, egomaniacal, intolerant politicians to ever grace the American political stage. Even worse, it makes him dangerous.

In many regards, Clinton and Obama aren’t much better than McCain but at least they are willing to consider executive action that could improve the human condition.

If John McCain is elected president, this country will continue to suffer as it has under George Bush. And though I once referred to George W. as the worst president in history, I think McCain would be an even greater disgrace to that high office. That’s because Bush may be the village idiot, but he never duplicitously claimed to be an American hero.

In his stump speeches John McCain always refers to us as “my friends,” but with friends like McCain, who needs enemies?