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John McCain - The Straight-Talking Maverick Can Sure Ride A Fence

July 27th, 2008 | by Daniel DiRito |

John McCain, a former critic of Christian extremists, has suddenly become a seemingly born-again evangelical in conjunction with his 2008 presidential bid. Sadly, his run to the right is hardly evidence of a man who has made a career of portraying himself as a straight-talking maverick.

Those who contend that a McCain presidency won’t be a third term of the policies of George Bush need look no further than the fence upon which slick John is perilously perched. If it isn’t embracing the Bush administration’s simplistic cowboy diplomacy, it will undoubtedly be the sleight of hand that comes with a carefully crafted claim of compassionate conservatism…couched, of course, as a commitment to the constitutional construct of states rights.

Truth be told, with regard to gay adoption, John McCain continues to sound like a man who has yet to realize that the fence he’s riding has a limited number of sides. Perhaps the Senator believes he can finesse the fence…but from my vantage point, it looks more like he’s a trick rider whose too clever by half. In fact, I don’t think McCain has the political dexterity to simultaneously succeed at being both a pole jumper and a pole sitter. In the end, he’s apt to find himself painfully impaled by the inconsistency his campaign continues to impart.

The Arizona Senator’s latest attempt took place during today’s appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

From ABC News:

STEPHANOPOULOS: What is your position on gay adoption? You told the “New York Times” you were against it, even in cases where the children couldn’t find another home. But then your staff backtracked a bit.

What is your position?

MCCAIN: My position is, it’s not the reason why I’m running for president of the United States. And I think that two parent families are best for America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, what do you mean by that, it’s not the reason you’re running for president of the United States?

MCCAIN: Because I think — well, I think that it’s — it is important for us to emphasize family values. But I think it’s very important that we understand that we have other challenges, too.

I’m running for president of the United States, because I want to help with family values. And I think that family values are important, when we have two parent — families that are of parents that are the traditional family.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But there are several hundred thousand children in the country who don’t have a home. And if a gay couple wants to adopt them, what’s wrong with that?

MCCAIN: I am for the values that two parent families, the traditional family represents.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, you’re against gay adoption.

MCCAIN: I am for the values and principles that two parent families represent. And I also do point out that many of these decisions are made by the states, as we all know.

And I will do everything I can to encourage adoption, to encourage all of the things that keeps families together, including educational opportunities, including a better economy, job creation.

And I’m running for president, because I want to help families in America. And one of my positions is that I believe that family values and family traditions are preserved.

Huh!? So he’s for the values that traditional two parent families represent? Well, I’m for the commitment to excellence the Oakland Raiders espouse…but I’ve also seen how the Raiders play football these days. In other words, just where does McCain think these orphans come from…the anti-family values stork?

Shouldn’t our political leaders be focused upon finding stable and loving homes for these children regardless of the sexuality of the adoptive parents? Just what does the Senator know about the experiences of children reared in families consisting of two same-sex parents? Has he bothered to explore the number of children that are orphaned from same-sex couples? I suspect he’d have to reconsider his definition of family values if he took the time to step beyond his efforts to insure the votes of his biased and bigoted base.

So McCain’s position on gay adoption is “to encourage all of the things that keep families together, including educational opportunities, including a better economy, job growth. Yep, that will undoubtedly encourage family values and convince straight couples to stay married, to stop cheating, to stop getting divorced, and to stop viewing children as possessions and parenthood as little more than a rite of passage.

Then again, the goal of many on the religious right has little to do with insuring happy children. They view anything that prevents the substantiation of homosexuality to be worthwhile…even if that means a few hundred thousand children have to remain the wards of the state. Shifting orphaned children from one foster home to another like chattel is beneficial if it supports the anti-gay agenda. How compassionate and how Christian is that?

The only claim John McCain can make to straight talk is that he’s learned the talk needed to win the votes of those who favor a world that is exclusively straight. John McCain may see himself as a maverick…but I suspect his maverick status is more like the role James Garner played in the television series with the same name…an unintentional hero presented with fanciful aplomb that is little more than the guise for a man who, when push came to shove, elected to avoid any of the risks associated with actually being a straight talking maverick and a political hero.

In the meantime, I hope the good senator is enjoying his ascendency to the pinnacle of political expediency. Come to think of it, he’s simply mastered the metaphorical equivalent of riding a horse side-saddle…he knows that if you’re going to ride the fence, you need to be a skilled side-stepper. Senator McBush, you’re ability to parse words is an inspiration to orphans everywhere.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

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  1. 19 Responses to “John McCain - The Straight-Talking Maverick Can Sure Ride A Fence”

  2. By Lisa on Jul 27, 2008 | Reply

    So because McCain may be against gay adoption it doesn’t mean he will or can stop it from happening.
    They know more than likely he won’t advocate for it so we all know why Stephanopoulus asked the question just so everyone can see him as homophobic.
    You know the saying,damnd if you do,damned if you don’t answer the question. The only other option is to avoid asking,but I guess that depends on who’s doing the asking and to who.

  3. By Paul Watson on Jul 28, 2008 | Reply

    So, what? Gay people should just shut up and not ask questions? Go back to your closets and prepare to be governed? If McCain can’t answer that question, how’s he going to handle one that’s actually difficult?

    It is a have you stopped beating your wife question, but only if your supporters include a large number of homophobes. It’s hardly the interviewer’s fault if one of McCain’s constituencies comprises people with a rather limited view of acceptable sexuality.

  4. By Lisa on Jul 28, 2008 | Reply

    I didn’t say that Gay people should just up and not ask the question Paul. You think
    Stephanopoulus asked the question because it’s such a pressing issue to him?
    I’m not against it so so don’t jump down my throat when I defend people’s rights to be against it.
    But why is it that we have people who aren’t for it yet they are looked upon as bad people for it? So because someone may not be for gay adoption your assessment of that is they have a limited view of one’s sexuality? How about maybe they have other reasons like maybe they feel they think it may be awkward for a child to explain to friends. I know with you it’s all about sex but maybe some people just haven’t accepted some things and maybe never will. What so now everyone is supposed to accept everything you say they should?
    Did you know your huge Muslim community is against homosexuality? You think your PM appeases to them?

  5. By Craig R. Harmon on Jul 28, 2008 | Reply

    Anyone know Obama’s stance on gay adoption? I recall he answered a question during a debate on gay marriage something to the effect that he was uncomfortable with it.

  6. By Craig R. Harmon on Jul 28, 2008 | Reply

    That is, uncomfortable with gay marriage. It would seem likely that Obama would be uncomfortable with gay adoption, too.

  7. By Craig R. Harmon on Jul 28, 2008 | Reply

    Answered my own question: This says that Obama is for equal adoption rights for gays. Good for him.

  8. By Lisa on Jul 28, 2008 | Reply

    How about that Craig. I say both candidates should get the exact same questions then to make it fair.
    I like Obama but not as president but they keep ramming him down everyone’s throat and then if you say anything against him they call you a racist. Although we knew that was going to be the case beforehand.
    It’s like well the rest of the world likes him so there’s your proof.
    Oh but they left out one thing when showing those huge crowds.

  9. By Chris Radulich on Jul 28, 2008 | Reply

    the thing that strikes me about the exchange is that he never directly answers the question. Can we assume the straight talk express has been parked when it comes to social issues?

  10. By Craig R. Harmon on Jul 28, 2008 | Reply

    That struck me, too, Chris. Just answer the question, Maverick!

  11. By Paul Watson on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    In what way am I jumping down your throat about it? If I was jumping down your throat, then will you please stop jumping down everyone else’s here about media bias because what I said is mild compared to some of your criticisms.

    You implied that the question shouldn’t have been asked. I pointed out what message that was sending. You did not like that message. Tough noogies. I argued against your position, you decided to attack me and play the victim card.

    As to Obama, he should be asked the question, and I doubt he’ll answer it any more than McCain. And he should also be hauled over the coals, or not as your preference dictates, for it. But he won’t be.

    Also, are you trying to deny that most opposition to this is based on anything other than “thou shalt not lie with another man as with a woman” rather than any concern for the child? Not all, as some misguided people aren’t aware that in all studies conducted, homosexual parents raise offspring just as well as heterosexuals, but most.

  12. By Lisa on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    Paul you can have studies about anything. It doesn’t mean you can convince everyone.
    Look how many people are religious,does that mean because some don’t believe they should be forced to?
    You are never going to have everyone agree on everything. I am not trying to argue with you about it,I am just trying to see other view points…….other than yours, :)

  13. By Craig R. Harmon on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply


    I can tell you that what opposition I had once had to gay adoption was based upon the thinking that children will develop best in an environment with one male and one female adult parent in the family. Call it pseudo-psychology or what have you but it had no clear connection to the fiat from Leviticus. It had to do with asking the question, how does a little boy see what the end goal of growing up into a man in a family with two female parents, with no adult males to watch and learn from? Likewise, a little girl in a household with two male parents? How does a little girl learn how adult men and women interact in loving relations with either two men or two women as parents?

    Since statistics show that, only about 10% of children will be gay, it seemed to me that about 90% of children in such a family would grow up confused, with no clear image in their mind of what it was they were to grow up to be, how to act and interact. There may be answers to all of these concerns but THESE were my concerns.

    Seems to me, whether those questions are answerable or not, they are, nevertheless, questions and concerns about what is best for the children and not at all about upholding God’s ‘no’.

  14. By Paul Watson on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    All views other than mine are inherently wrong, except when they happen to agree with mine. ;-)

    We’re not going to go into the difference between proper sociological studies and religion as comparitors of fact, either. That would get ugly fast.

  15. By Craig R. Harmon on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    All views other than mine are inherently wrong, except when they happen to agree with mine.

    Funny, that’s always been how I looked at things. I’m always right. I could never understand how it is that other people couldn’t just see that. ;-)

  16. By Chris Radulich on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    I truely do not see how it can be said, as a blanket statement, that a male female parents are better than gay parents. The daughter that was kept in the basement in Austria was from a “typical” family. How many children have been abused in a “typical” family?

  17. By Craig R. Harmon on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    I don’t know anyone making such a blanket statement. My comments are about gender models. Two men or two women might be able to be great parents but they can’t provide gender models for more than one gender of kids in their home no matter how good parents they are. I don’t know who is arguing that male-female couples are better parents than same-gender couples but it ain’t me. I’m arguing that same gender couples are physically incapable of providing gender models to their kids beyond the gender that the parent actually is.

    Of course lots of kids are abused in traditional homes but that forms no basis of my former argument.

  18. By mr bigstuff on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    what about prison parents? msnbc, the only news you can trust, aired lockup:raw last night. the narrater mentioned that marriages involving one incarcerated spouse had lower divorce rates than marriages involving two free spouses. maybe privatized prisons are accomplishing what the neo-conservative evangelical movement sadly cannot. also, steve doocey of fox news proudly reports that unions involving two gay male republican politicians have a higher survivability rate than giant redwood trees or sea anemones.

  19. By Lisa on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    MB you are whacked. In a good way! :)

  20. By mr bigstuff on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    whacked is a prerequisite for citizenship here in state income tax-free east tennessee just as body armor is required for visits to the houses of our lord in these parts. check out the link about the psycho houston brothers, a couple of lunatic gun toters from round here, in my reply to liberal jarheads story about his raliegh, nc visit.

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