Monday, September 08, 2008

Confronting John McCain

Speaking at the Republican National Convention last week at a breakfast meeting for his state party's delegation, global warming- denying, right-wing Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said of Barack Obama

Do you really want to have a guy as commander in chief of this country when you can question whether or not he really loves his country? That's the big question.

When it came time to "apologize" in writing later in the week (9/6), Infhofe merely clarified his inflammatory, obnoxious statement:

Let me be clear. I am not questioning Sen. Obama's patriotism, but you have to question why at times he seems so obviously opposed to public displays of patriotism and national pride, like wearing an American flag lapel pin.'

A spokesman for the Democratic nominee issued a cookie-cutter response, maintaining

Sen. Obama won't let anyone question his love of this country. Challenging your opponent's patriotism to win an election is the type of cynical partisan politics Americans are tired of — and won't bring the change we need in Washington.

Senator Inhofe's comment would be less outrageous if it weren't so calculated. The Repub presidential nominee finds it advantageous to take the high road. Asked by Bob Schieffer yesterday on CBS' Face The Nation (transcript as pdf) whether he will have "Democrats in your cabinet," John McCain characteristically claimed "yeah, of course" and a moment later added "well, I don't know how many, but I can tell you, in all due respect to previous administrations, it's not going to be a single, you know, "well, we have a Democrat."

Meanwhile, inspired by Governor Earmark of Alaska, he has his surrogates taking the low road. No one outside of Oklahoma cares about Jim Inhofe, yet the Obama camp criticized him for "challenging (Obama's) patriotism to win an election." McCain himself has to be challenged, with Democratic surrogates everywhere demanding to know whether the Arizona senator agrees with Inhofe or anyone else who questions the patriotism of the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

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