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A Question of Character

A-List conservative wingnut columnist Charles Krauthammer in today’s Washington Post [www.washingtonpost.com]:

“Convicted felon Tony Rezko. Unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. And the race-baiting Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It is hard to think of any presidential candidate before Barack Obama sporting associations with three more execrable characters. Yet let the McCain campaign raise the issue, and the mainstream media begin fulminating about dirty campaigning tinged with racism and McCarthyite guilt by association.

But associations are important. They provide a significant insight into character.”

It’s hard to think of any candidate besides Obama associating with three more execrable characters, huh?

Alright, Chuckles, let’s do this thing.

Convicted Felon Charles Keating, responsible for the collapse of Lincoln Savings and Loan in 1989, and a major component of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 80’s/early 90’s. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? He was the starring player in the “Keating 5” scandal, the donation of $1.3 million to five U.S. senators to keep federal regulators off his back, including one Sen. John McCain. Ring a bell? McCain listed his good friend and financial supporter Keating as part of McCain’s Senate campaign finance committee when he first ran for the office in Arizona. McCain wrote Keating an apology (on official U.S. House of Representatives stationary), to which Keating wrote back, telling McCain not to worry. “I’m yours ‘til death do us part.” [washingtontimes.com] (Ed. note – I thought McCain was opposed to gay marriage?) The Lincoln S&L debacle cost the federal government, i.e. American taxpayers, over $3 billion. 23,000 people were defrauded, and many lost their entire life savings. In contrast, Tony Rezko, whose illegal activity was in no way connected to Barack Obama, was a piker compared to John McCain’s good friend Charles Keating.

G. Gordon Liddy, mastermind of the Watergate burglaries that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, is another good friend of John McCain. McCain has appeared on Liddy’s rightwing talk radio show [www.chicagotribune.com], where he gushed, “”I’m proud of you, I’m proud of your family. It’s always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great.” Given that this was long after Liddy had, on that very same radio show, talked about how excited listening to Hitler’s speeches made him, and advised listeners on how best to kill federal agents (body shots would be ineffective against bullet-proof vests, so aim for the head), it’s hard to imagine what principles and philosophies McCain was referring to.

The Rev. John Hagee [www.cjr.org], of whose endorsement McCain said he was “honored,” is a virulent anti-Catholic, blames the Jews for their own persecution, said Hitler was merely “doing God’s will,” and blamed Hurricane Katrina on homosexuals. Then there’s the preacher McCain claims is his “spiritual guide,” the Rev. Rod Parsley [www.motherjones.com], who claims Islam is “the greatest religious enemy of our civilization and the world,” and says it’s America’s historic mission to see “this false religion destroyed.” Far from repudiating this religious fruit loop, McCain has praised and campaigned with him. And you don’t even wanna go into Sarah Palin’s religious associates. But since we’re here, maybe you should check out this video of Palin accepting the laying-of-hands blessing of Pastor Thomas Muthee, who asks Jesus to fund her political campaigns, and protect her from witchcraft. [www.youtube.com]

The difference between all of these people and Obama’s “associations,” is that Obama has renounced, shunned, thrown under the bus and otherwise disassociated whatever tenuous links he’s had with any of them. John McCain, on the other hand, has embraced his “execrable characters” and blamed the media for bringing any of them up.

You say it’s hard to imagine another politician associating with repugnant people, and that should reflect on their character? You’re just not trying hard enough, Chuck.

– Michael Turner