(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
First, let’s all take a page from the Maverick…sometimes you just have to laugh (in this case, to help from crying):
McCain’s policies and how they would affect women are obvious, as the above video illustrates. Not only has he consistently voted against, for instance, requiring insurance companies to provide birth control and against funding for medically accurate sex information, his website proudly states the following:
However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion. Once the question is returned to the states, the fight for life will be one of courage and compassion – the courage of a pregnant mother to bring her child into the world and the compassion of civil society to meet her needs and those of her newborn baby…
…As president, motivated by his personal experience, John McCain will seek ways to promote adoption as a first option for women struggling with a crisis pregnancy.
The personal experience John McCain chooses to highlight here is his choice to adopt a baby with his second wife, Cindy McCain. Adoption is a laudible endeavor, and investing in the future of a child is a lifetime commitment.
That being said…
…there are other “personal experiences” John McCain has had as a young man that call into question whether his commitment to “pro-life” is based on a religious and ethical stance, or (as I have pointed out recently) reflect his disrespect for women and his own need for political expediency.
By his own admission, John McCain had, shall we say, a colorful, even Byronesque, youth. He proudly talks about it here: http://link.brightcove.com/ser…
I enjoyed every single moment of my life here, from learning to fly to blowing my pay at Trader Jon’s.
As Time Magazine notes, “Trader Jon’s” was – as they gingerly put it – a “storied downtown watering hole, which had dancing girls back when McCain served in the area”. (link: http://www.time.com/time/polit… ) Time Magazine goes on to discuss the young McCain’s sexploits:
We learn that when he lived in Virginia Beach, Va., McCain participated in the “most raucous and longest beach parties of any squadron in the Navy.” We learn of the strip club dancers, the toga party and the nights spent sneaking away from school to drink. We read about the “slim and blond” fashion model in Rio, whom he dated on shore leave in 1957, and their final moonlit night when she greeted him on a terrace “not dressed for dinner.” We further learn that his hard-partying habits were genetic. McCain’s father, a submariner-turned admiral named Jack, told stories of drunken nights on shore leave that involved ransacking an officer’s club or throwing a box of bullets on a fire.
We also learn the campaign relishes these stories:
After McCain dropped the line about the strip club in Pensacola, I asked Mark McKinnon, the campaign’s media advisor, if drunken escapades at strip clubs were a good message for a presidential campaign. “That’s why we like him,” McKinnon said with a smile. “That’s why he has potential appeal to young people.”
So, Senator…your message to young people is party your little hearts out. Worry about the consequences later.
Unless, of course, you’re female. If the consequences catch up to you…well…party over. There is no mention in the Senator’s “Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life” section of his website for any responsibilities the male portion of the “takes two to tango” part of heterosexual relations might bear in the event of an unplanned pregnancy.
McCain’s campaign even sees his youthful forays into sex as a message of redemption:
The tumultuous early years are, for McCain and his campaign, the first parts of a story of redemption, of a transformation from irresponsible youth to the wise elder, from selfish child to selfless adult.
Too bad for the women involved in these episodes. Their stories – redemptive or not – are never addressed by the campaign.
All of which may explain his not so terribly long ago flip-flop on the issue of reproductive choice:
Salon covers Cliff Schecter’s observations of McCain’s original stance on abortion as follows:
Schecter quotes an August 1999 speech that McCain delivered to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco:
“I’d love to see a point where [Roe v. Wade] is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force x number of women to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.”
As late as March 2007, McCain seemed befuddled by what his own stance was on contraception in the context of combating AIDS:
Suddenly the straight talk became halting and confused. “We are on the Straight Talk Express,” he admitted, before equivocating. “I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out … I’m sure I have taken a position on it in the past … I have to find out my position on it … I am sure I am opposed to government funding. I am sure I support the president’s policy on it.”…
…”Theoretically, it is like a lot of issues — there is no magic bullet,” said a third reporter, trying to help out the candidate. “Everything will have a marginal effect.”
“The question is not whether I support contraception,” McCain attempted. “The question is whether I support government funding of it.”
But McCain did not have an answer.
Which is sort of reminiscent of this moment:
But I digress…
Many have noted how John McCain “doesn’t lie well”, that his “face betrays him” and he just can’t derail his own “straight talk”. All of this dissembling, and shifting, and uncertainty may indeed be indication of the dichotomy of John McCain’s views about – and personal history of – sex. But the fact that he is willing to sacrifice women’s health at the altar of his own personal ambitions shows such little regard for women themselves as to make the soul shudder upon reflection.
Women – in John McCain’s view – aided his “redemption” by being tantalizing inducements to sin. So what does it matter whether their health or well-being is sacrificed to the cause of gaining him a few more votes from his base?
Who knows – maybe we were just “asking for it”, anyway.