Political chatter from DC and NYC, the amNewYork way

McCain dodging sideshow antics ... for now

(Credit: Politirazzi)


By Matt

In response to this week’s talker, I was tempted to rant about the ridiculous amount of attention paid to Jeremiah Wright (close to 20,000 hits on Google News). Although I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed seeing the otherwise superbly composed Barack Obama squirm as of late, I and I hope most other Americans find it pretty hard to believe that such a smart guy would let his politics be influenced by such a hateful, ignorant one. I don’t support Barack Obama, but I feel comfortable giving him the benefit of the doubt in this case. Maybe Obama could have nipped this story in the bud with a stronger denunciation the first time around, but how could he have anticipated last week’s turn of events?

(continued) I also thought about writing on the absurdity of Hillary Clinton pretending to be a normal American by hitting the bottle and pumping her own gas. I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt too, but she just doesn’t seem to me to come off as sincere. Another of her circus moments was the misremembering of her hellacious entrée to Bosnia. That too has received a lot of attention, probably a bit too much.

Fortunately for John McCain, the extended Democratic primary has given him the opportunity to bask in the glow of the nomination while ceding a fair portion of the media’s attention to the Democrats. He has yet to have a sideshow moment of the magnitude of the Democratic candidates. I would like to point out one recent story, though, that I hope does not develop into such a distraction. I’m not sure what level of disability one has to have to qualify for the benefits which McCain receives from the Navy, but I am certain of a couple of things: those who spent 5½ years in a POW camp arguably deserve more than what McCain currently receives. Further, because one is disabled does not mean that they can’t work or that they can’t be president — indeed the point of laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act is precisely to integrate those who are not fully capable of functioning in some major life activity. Nor does being “disabled” mean one can’t hike the Grand Canyon. Blind people are disabled, but no one should begrudge them participating in every day activities like working (or extraordinary ones, like climbing Mt. Everest). McCain deserves better than to have a three-ring circus with the main attractions being his disability from wartime service and his experience as a prisoner of war. This probably won’t become a big story because Clinton and Obama have better taste than the L.A. Times, and because the American people do, too.

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