Although he expects us true conservatives to tolerate his "maverick" behavior, John McCain has become Napoleon-like in his zeal to dictate any sign of political incorrectness out of this presidential campaign. And he may just be sealing his own fate by doing so.
McCain's insistence that effective ads in North Carolina showing the Reverend Wright spewing his racist, anti-American rhetoric be pulled is another indication that he would just as soon have conservatives (that is, those willing to tell the truth about Obama) go into hibernation until this election is over. That way, there would be no impediments to his continued wooing of "independents" who seem to have become the all-important constituency in this campaign.
I applaud the North Carolinian GOP for standing fast on the ads, at least so far. As was pointed out so eloquently by Arnold Ahlert in a recent article, Obama is not running for college president on some lunatic, left-wing campus. He's running for the most powerful office of the world, and no holds should be barred in getting to the truth about him and the company he keeps.
As a liberal friend of mine once said, "politics ain't beanbag." McCain's ridiculous insistence on genteel, look-the-other-way behavior is not only at variance with how politics is played, but conflicts with his own volatile personality as well. As Ahlert so aptly notes, the recent hit piece by the New York Times on McCain's alleged affair with a lobbyist is only a foretaste of how he will be treated this fall, by both the Democrats and their drive-by media allies. Yet McCain essentially glossed over the impact of the Times' story and will undoubtedly continue such subdued reactions unless he has a sudden change of heart.
The rehabilitation of Reverend Wright has already begun. Liberals are playing the moral equivalency game that is such a favorite of theirs-their moral relativism allows for a gigantic blind spot in this area that they of course choose to ignore. How anyone with half a brain could equate the statements made by Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson after the 9/11 attacks, as outrageous-sounding as they were, to Wright's anti-American rants is astounding. It's one thing to claim that America's sinful behavior may have had some connection to the attacks; it's quite another to flat-out state that we had it coming, that our "chickens...were coming home...to roost."
And even if we accepted that faulty premise, there is no way on earth to link what Falwell and Robertson said to any position President Bush has taken. The same cannot be said about Obama's view of our nation, his resulting positions on the issues and how they relate to Wright's rhetorical rants about America. Yet, liberals will press on in their never-ending quest for damage control, an operation that became an art form with the Clintons.
And the operation started in earnest last Thursday as Wright allowed himself to be interviewed by ultra-leftist "journalist" and LBJ-Great Society protÃ©gÃ© Bill Moyers, about as friendly a questioner as Wright could hope to get. They even belong to the same religious denomination. Sure enough, Moyers gave Wright free rein to downplay the controversial statements everyone has heard by now. Wright accused his critics of "looping" a few statements he made over and over again while ignoring the vast body of more reasonable, Christian-like work he has performed in his ministry. Never raising his voice in front of Moyers, Wright had the perfect pitch of one who, like Eddie Haskell in front of June Cleaver, was on his best behavior. The objective of course, being to convince the audience that the man is far from the raving lunatic we've seen all over the Internet and to cast an air of unreality and doubt around that raving lunatic versus the "real" person we saw in front of Moyers.
Against this backdrop, John McCain wants to run an I'm-above-all-this-garbage campaign that will allow Wright, Bill Ayers, and Tony Rezko to become distant and faded memories by November. In other words, he's playing right into his opposition's hands. And in so doing, he's increasingly turning off the conservative base that, like it or not, he desperately needs to win the election. By aiming his fire at conservatives and saying that those who support the anti-Obama ads are "out of touch with reality," he shows how much he in fact is the one out of touch with his own party.
If McCain does not, using Ahlert's words, "man up" for this campaign and go after his opponent, fairly and squarely, then in my opinion he's not worth voting for, period.