Barry Eisler

Friday, June 27, 2008

John McCain: The Communist Choice?

Hmmm... earlier today, John McCain's former North Vietnamese communist jailer went on the record with his support for McCain, saying he considers McCain an "old friend" and asserting that he would vote for McCain for president if he could. Isn't McCain's communist support something we should consider in determining his fitness for office? Might not his communist support be evidence that he's some kind of fifth columnist?

Obviously (I hope obviously) the title of this piece and the argument above are intended to be ridiculous. But by the bizarre inferences the right has trotted out about Hamas and Obama, my title and argument are entirely coherent. If I'm correct in thinking McCain's communist support isn't going to be a major play on Fox news, it's reasonable to ask why.

Of course, we know why: Fox's purpose isn't journalism; it's support of a political party. Fair enough. But for people with integrity, questioning these inconsistencies is a useful way to expose bias -- not just in others, but in ourselves. So if you're someone who believed a purportedly kind word from a Hamas member was damning to Obama, you should ask yourself why a similar comment by a Vietnamese communist about McCain would be irrelevant.

And if you loathe what President Bush has done to the Fourth Amendment with his illegal, warrantless surveillance program, ask how you can give Obama a pass for breaking previous campaign promises and capitulating to Republican efforts to legalize warrantless surveillance and offer amnesty to telecoms that have previously broken the law. Do you adhere to party, or to principle? Questions like these are a decent way to start finding out.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point well taken - my view is it doesn't reflect on McCain, and Obama sure dissapointed me (but what am I going to do, vote for McCain?)

However, what's really bothering me is that, although this guy may be repeating himself, I heard his interview (in which he said if he were here he'd vote for McCain) on Tuesday (maybe Wed) on the BBC.

Time warp or repetitive interviews?

Friday, June 27, 2008 7:39:00 PM  
Blogger Joshua James said...

I called Obama's headquarters in Chicago to complain . . . I explain his swore and oath when he took office to protect and defend the constitution and I expected him to continue to do so as a candidate . . . and allowing FISA to go through as is was a failure in that regard.

She said she would pass it on. She also said they'd been getting a LOT of calls, all about the same thing.

Friday, June 27, 2008 8:17:00 PM  
Blogger David Terrenoire said...

I'm angry about Obabama's cave on FISA, too.

I called before the vote and I'll call now to express my disappointment. I'm happy to report my Congressman, David Price, voted against the compromise and that my first choice for president, Chris Dodd, is filibustering the bill in the Senate.

I sent Dodd some money to help pay his campaign debt and say thanks.

But as anonymous said, "What am I going to do, vote for McCain?" Not bloody likely.

Saturday, June 28, 2008 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Barry said...

Don't forget, support for a candidate involves a lot more than just voting. So while it's true that Obama's flip-flop on warrantless surveillance and telecom amnesty is unlikely to drive a material number of his supporters into the arms of McCain, it will certainly dampen the enthusiasm with which some of his supporters back him. That dampened enthusiasm is likely to manifest itself in reduced campaign contributions, a different kind of word of mouth, etc. "John McCain is worse" isn't a great slogan to get people to whip out their wallets, make phone calls, take part in get-out-the vote drives, etc., and in fact while I will certainly vote for Obama in November, I'm reconsidering the campaign donation I previously planned to make. I doubt I'm alone, and the more people who make Obama acutely aware of this dynamic, the better we can hold him to account.


Saturday, June 28, 2008 6:38:00 PM  
Blogger PBI said...


Looks like a lot of us have the same thing on our minds! I contacted Obama's campaign last week, passed along my thoughts to a good friend who has been working for Obama, and added a post of my own on the topic. Here's hoping he gets the message and doesn't cave to concerns over "flip-flopping on national security."

Sensen No Sen

Sunday, June 29, 2008 2:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Feng said...

lol... Makes it sound that either way, America's gonna end up with critically flawed Presidents. Wonderful isn't it?

In fact, screw capitalism, let's just move towards socialism and communism, hell at least it's a good theory lol...

Saturday, July 12, 2008 11:40:00 AM  

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