Saturday, February 23, 2008

De Profundis

By Capt. Fogg

"These kinds of things are always very unfortunate." said John McCain, referring to the indictment of the latest Republican. Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi now has extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and a few side dishes on his plate. Is anyone keeping score to see which party has the highest body count? I would be curious to know.

These kinds of things are not always so unfortunate. The depths of our planet's oceans may be dark and inaccessible but the political exploits of recent history often seem to have been swallowed up, or covered up by an ocean of forgetfulness. Of course John McCain wasn't convicted of taking, along with four other congressional crustaceans, large amounts of "campaign" money and expensive vacations from convicted racketeer Charles Keating, the man who eventually cost taxpayers $3,400,000,000. McCain vigorously intervened on Keating's part and Keating's conviction was overturned on a technicality.

Depending upon which side of the political species divide you live, it's either one of the skeletons in McCain's closet or ancient history from which we must "move on" but as far as the general public knows or cares, it might as well have been dumped into the depths of the Mariana's trench. McCain, who once sent constituent Joe Bananas a birthday card is once again, like Brutus, an honorable man. An honorable man who has never done anything like making friends with lobbyists to betray the public trust. An honorable man and a Baptist, or at least the lifelong Episcopalian became one when he started sucking up to the religious right in South Carolina. Of course he has never been baptized in that church, but that's all in the past - or not in the past, to be more accurate.

With a man who campaigns on his honesty, is it fair to address his evasions and misstatements? I'll leave that to you, but although McCain's talk may be straight, his facts aren't. He may not have slept with Vicki Iseman and she may never have used his friendship to further her clients' interest, but he has certainly had less savory bedfellows and when he says: "At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust," I don't trust him.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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