McCain On Roe v Wade - And His Life In One Sad Sentence

This is getting sad. Really sad. First he embraced the White House that slandered his wife and child. Then he hired the very Swiftboaters he condemned in '04. He also hired a rightwing blogger who once said ""John McCain is a contemptable [sic] human being. He makes my stomach churn and my bowels clench."

Now this:

"I do not support Roe vs. Wade. It should be overturned," the Arizona senator told about 800 people in South Carolina, one of the early voting states.

In 1999 he said somethng very different:

McCain said, "... in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, which would then force women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations." A spokesman said that McCain "has a 17-year voting record of supporting efforts to overturn Roe vs. Wade. He does that currently, and will continue to do that as president."

This is just one of the frantic flip-flops that have come to characterize McCain's current campaign. He has now earned the same characterization Hunter S. Thompson applied to Hubert Humphrey in 1968. He's running for President "like a rat in heat."

And later this month he'll be speaking at the Discovery Institute, an activist group seeking to impose the teaching of creationism on all American schoolchildren. McCain now says he supports teaching "intelligent design" in our schools, although in 1999 he said it was a matter for local school boards.

Apparently there's no limit to the amount of groveling McCain will endure to be President. He's become the kid in high school who'll gladly be the butt of the football team's pranks - or even its mascot - as long as they vote for him when he runs for Student Council. He's the "Kick Me" candidate. "Saint John" has become "Crawlin' John."

I'm not one of those Democrats who had a period of infatuation with John McCain. I always looked at his overall record and considered it too conservative for me, although he broke from conservative orthodoxy in a few unexpected ways.

But I admired his courage in captivity in Hanoi, despite my opposition to the Vietnam War. I also ppreciated his personal decency and his willingness to stand up to the bullying leaders of his own party. (That was a form of "courage in captivity," too.) That's all gone now. His groveling behavior toward people who treat him with contempt is pathetic to watch. His cave-in on torture legislation was particularly disappointing, since it eroded the moral authority he carried as a result of his own experience.

The career of John McCain can now be summed up in one regrettable sentence: Desperate ambition was able to break him in a way that the North Vietnamese could not.

What a mournful end to someone's biography - whatever happens in 2008.

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