McCain and the Right versus McCain and the Right

Michael Goldfarb currently a water carrier for the McCain campaign and formerly a right-wing propagandist with the French champagne crowd at The Weekly Standard writes on Mccain’s web site,

Posted at 5:08 PM on 8/18/2008 by Michael Goldfarb
Smears the Left Can Fight For

In the least credible and most vicious corner of the internet, liberal bloggers at the Daily Kos are accusing John McCain of plagiarizing from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The story Solzhenitsyn told was of a prisoner who drew a cross in the dirt in a Soviet Gulag. McCain’s story is of a guard who drew a cross in the dirt in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. (emphasis mine)

The problem with Mikey as usual is the absense of facts. As DailyKos has pointed out liberals didn’t start the questioning of McCain’s verasity of the “cross” story to sell himself to Evangelical voters, it was those good Republicans at The Free Republic,

In Part Four of his new book, “Character is Destiny,” McCain writes about his role as chaplain for Christmas service in his Vietnamese prison, and about a guard who snuck in at night to loosen the ropes that bound McCain, and then snuck in in the morning to tighten them before other guards could notice.

The guard said nothing while performing this kindness, but one time, in the yard, “I became aware of him as he walked near me and then, for a moment, stood very close to me. He did not speak or smile or look at me. He just stared at the ground and then, very casually, he used his foot to draw a cross in the dirt. We both stood looking at his work for a minute until he rubbed it out and walked away.”

The Free Republic comments on that passage included,

* Perhaps McCain is making obvious Christian statements to gain support for 2008.

* <sarcasm>What a great story. Christians should forget everything they know about him and vote for him.</sarcasm>

* This guy is so full of $hit his eyes are brown. He is a sellout RINO. I would not believe a word he says.

In another post about McCain  and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in 2005 the Free Republic Republicans had this to say,

He betrayed the POWs left behind in VN.

His blaming of the Christian Coalition for his loss in the primaries, and various other backstabbing of our President does not give him the high moral ground.

Maybe McCain has unconsciously, rather then maliciously adopted this cross story as his own. The problem is that McCain has a history of exaggerating, embellishing and lying. The Evidence That McCain Stole Solzhenitsyn’s Story

In a recent speech on Georgia, McCain plagiarized at least three passages from Wikipedia’s history of the country.
According to McCain’s 1973 retelling of his experience, there was only one guard who he considered human, and that guard befriended him in 1969. (kos diarist Calouste made this connection, which extends into the next two points.)
This means that McCain’s Christmas story would have taken place in 1969.
Between when he met that guard and Christmas of 1969, McCain changed prisons. Unless the guard followed him to the new prison, McCain’s story is not true.

update: It seems as though the “cross” story started with right-wing Watergate alumni Charles Colson who spun it into one of those Rightie urban myths. Attributing the story to Solzhenitsen. McCain appears to have heard the story and adopted it as his own.

Obsidian Wings notes that in a book written about some grauates of the Naval Academy includes accounts of the Christmases McCain spent in captivity written in 1995 and contains no mention of the cross incident. OW makes a good point. The least we should expect is the press to stand up and ask some questions about a story that doesn’t add up. McCain can always claim what some have called another “senior moment”, but then that undercuts his claim that he has the mental and physical capacity to be president. Maybe this is all another mission accomplished. Everyone is talking about the cross story rather then the fact that McCain cheated on the Saddleback Q&A.

McCain has been known to trash other former Vietnam POWs, POW mate calls McCain ‘liar’ over ‘turncoat’ charge

Former Orange County Supervisor Edison Miller is lashing out at John McCain, saying the presidential candidate falsely fingered him as a turncoat who was “actively aiding the enemy” while the two were imprisoned during the Vietnam War.

“He lied about me,” said the Irvine resident, who retired as a Marine Corps colonel shortly after the war. “The attacks on my character and integrity are totally without merit or justification. I did stand up and say the war was wrong. I would speak against the war, but I never spoke against my country. And I gave up no secrets.”

This former POW goes out of his way to respect McCain’s service, but thinks he’d be an awful president, Why I Will Not Vote for John McCain

Odd how McCain has had public health-care his most of his adult life. First through the military and then as a politician yet is so self-righteous about being against it for everyone else, McCain Embraces Government-Run Health Care  But Only For Veterans

– We’ve got to have incentives for people to make their own decisions about their own health care. Families should be making the decisions and not government. [Town Hall in Denver, 7/7/2008]

Republicans have become so mired in and comfortable with their constant stream of hypocrisy that what seems outrageous to normal folks is just another day at the office for them.

Something that could be said of Conservatives in general, McCain: Grow up!

Sen. McCain, on the 22nd of May, 2003, you said, of Iraq, on the Senate floor, “We won a massive victory in a few weeks, and we did so with very limited loss of American and allied lives. We were able to end aggression with minimum overall loss of life, and we were even able to greatly reduce the civilian casualties of Afghani and Iraqi citizens.”

Senator, you declared victory in Iraq, five years and nearly three months ago.

Today you say, “victory in Iraq is finally in sight?”

The victory you already proclaimed five years ago?

Are we going back in time Sir?

the invasion of Iraq was a “war” based on lies and fear which were in turn used purely for the promotion of the Right-wing Republican Party cannot be won or lost. They can only be disengaged from as soon as possible. In the mean time it would be real commander-and-chiefy of McCain to keep track of who is fighting who and that us mortals tend to travel exclusively forward in time.