Sex, Lies and John McCain

(8:30PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

CNN’s explosive interview with John McCain last night, where he talks about his first marriage:

Okay, fine, grannyhelen. You got me. Put “sex” in the title and have McCain squirm on CNN while trying to defend cheating on a sick woman who faithfully waited for him the entire time he was in Vietnam, and I’ll take a peek.

But what does this have to do with policy?

Follow me, young grasshopper…

…to John McCain’s website. Here’s what he says about marriage:

The family represents the foundation of Western Civilization and civil society and John McCain believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It is only this definition that sufficiently recognizes the vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation.


This section where McCain talks about marriage uses all the familiar dogwhistles, talking about judicial activism, “preserving the traditional family”, etc. etc.

In other words: homosexuals need not apply.

The McCain campaign obviously feels that this strategy benefits their candidate, as the following article posted on their website gushes in its praise of the “new” McCain:

As many as one in four U.S. adults count themselves as evangelical Christians, giving the movement serious electoral clout in a country where faith and politics often merge.

Conservative evangelicals have become a vital element of the Republican Party with a strong focus in the past on opposition to abortion and gay rights…

…But there are signs McCain is winning over a group that has regarded him with suspicion on grounds including his past criticism of Religious Right leaders and his support for stem cell research.

A nationwide poll of registered voters by the Pew Research Center from July 31 to August 10 found McCain had the support of 68 percent of the white evangelical Protestants surveyed, up from 61 percent in June.


So, the politics are right, and heck, if he really believes this stuff why not highlight it?

Well, first of all it just encourages bizarre beliefs like this one:

The slavery analogy is apt when it comes to the marriage issue. America’s families — and the culture at large — cannot survive as a union of states with half embracing “same-sex marriage” and half accepting only traditional marriage. The U.S. government will not disintegrate, but eventually the nation will have one definition of marriage binding us all…

…Forbidding same-sex couples from marrying may be a constriction of their liberty, but more importantly, it is an expansion of the people’s liberty to define what constitutes marriage.


And then, of course, is the sticky question of What Did You Do In Your Marriage, Senator? The question would not need to be asked, but for the fact that there are so many folks opposed to gay marriage who maintain that this – not adultery, not divorce – is the single biggest threat to the institution of marriage overall.

So, let’s walk through McCain’s first marriage and see where the threat of gay marriage actually impacted it. The following comes from the timeline established in CNN’s documentary on John McCain that aired Wednesday night:…

KING: The Jacksonville command was a one-year rotation and McCain’s reviews were glowing. But his transition was not as smooth as he made it appear. He had a secret. He had begun to cheat on Carol and in early 1977, he carried that secret with him to his next assignment, Navy liaison to the Senate in Washington, D.C.

So, he started cheating on his wife in 1977. Did the threat of gay marriage force him to do that? Nope.

Moving on…

This is how McCain’s first wife, Carol, sums up the breakup of their marriage: “John McCain came back and I needed him to be 40 and he wanted to be 25.”

This is how McCain responds when John King asks him about Carol’s comment:

MCCAIN: I take full responsibility for the break-up of my first marriage. And I’m very grateful for the fact that Carol and I have a good relationship.

KING: Was it the war? Were you — felt cheated on time?

MCCAIN: I don’t know. I don’t know, John, except the responsibility is mine.

KING (voice-over): For John McCain, it was, again, time to move on.

So, no mention of the insidious threat of gay marriage here, either.

Moving on…

KING (voice-over): McCain wrote in his memoir that he began dating Cindy after he separated from his wife Carol. In fact, his own divorce filing shows they dated for nine months while he was still living with Carol. And records show he applied for a marriage license in Arizona before his divorce was final.

KING (on camera): The chronology that has presented publicly doesn’t necessarily match the chronology of the documents, that you had applied for a marriage license in Arizona at a time when your divorce wasn’t final yet.

Did the threat of gay marriage force the Senator to cheat on his wife while he was still living with her? And then lie about it? Doesn’t seem to even have been on his mind.

But, certainly, he and Cindy were open and honest with each other by the time they got married? Well, not entirely…

The celebrity magazine of note, People, had this little ditty (and yes, the McCains are celebrities, too…):

Cindy McCain says when she first met John McCain, the two dodged one important thing: their real ages.

“He made himself younger, and I made myself older, of course,” the 54-year-old wife of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told Ryan Seacrest during on his KIIS-FM radio show.

But, as McCain explained, the truth about their 17-year age gap – John is 71 – eventually came out … and just in time for the couple’s 1980 wedding.

“In Arizona when you apply for a marriage license, it’s published in the newspaper,” she told Seacrest. “Of course when they published the application, we both found out together our true ages.”


A small thing taken by itself, but honestly…after lying to one wife for so long you start out with a white lie to your new wife?

Oh, and apparently the threat of gay marriage wasn’t the lurking behind the corner of this lie, either.

Gay marriage isn’t the large and looming threat to the institution of marriage – and, indeed, Western Civilization – that John McCain and his ilk like to claim it is. What are the real threats to marriage?

As McCain’s own experience points out: adultery, lies and a lack of commitment when the going gets tough.

So, Senator, enough of the moralizing. Enough of the lies. You want to take positions that will endear you to your base? Fair enough.

But don’t trot out the “I’m saving Western Civilization” canard. Just tell the truth: you’re being a politician.


Skip to comment form

  1. …the lies, the hypocracy, the odd justifications…

  2. I am glad you read this stuff so I didn’t have to! Thanks.

  3. above the religious dictates… all the while enforcing both on the peons…

    yep, sounds like a politician to me.

    SADLY enough.

    Hypocritical monster.

  4. Nice to see you!

    Speaking of McCain and all of his wonderful attributes, here is yet another that may not be very well known:

    I Spent Years as a POW with John McCain, and His Finger Should Not Be Near the Red Button

    — August 21, 2008

    A fellow Vietnam POW of McCain’s warns of the candidate’s “quick and explosive temper” and suggests McCain is exaggerating his imprisonment.

    John McCain is a long-time acquaintance of mine that goes way back to our time together at the U.S. Naval Academy and as Prisoners of War in Vietnam. He is a man I respect and admire in some ways. But there are a number of reasons why I will not vote for him for President of the United States. . . .

    • RUKind on August 22, 2008 at 09:02

    He’s a hero.

    I love the Vicky Iseman affair denials. Whoever found that woman to lobby John McCain knew exactly what they were doing. For him to deny having an affair with her is ridiculous. If Cindy is so clueless on that one it’s because she wants to be or she just wants to redecorate 1600 more than she cares about being made a public fool.

    This is 10:07 from KO, a bit long but good analysis included:

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