Now McCain Tells Us: How Convenient!

Now McCain Tells Us: How Convenient!

Now McCain Tells Us: How Convenient!

Political commentary and more.
April 19 2000 9:33 PM

Now McCain Tells Us: How Convenient!

There's something deeply annoying about John McCain's "extraordinary act of contrition" in going to South Carolina to announce that he had lied, before that state's primary, when he took a waffly position on the Confederate flag issue. (He actually opposes flying the flag from the state capitol, he now says.) McCain's confession would have been considerably more heroic if it hadn't come at a time--a media lull in the presidential race--when it reliably gained him another round of fawning national publicity. To advance his political career, he lied. Now, to advance his political career, he's apologized for lying to advance his political career! When he apologizes in a way that hurts his political career--maybe giving us his real views on abortion!-- then it will be "an extraordinary act," and time to join the McCain cult. ...

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Since McCain got beaten in South Carolina, Wednesday's trip was also a bit like a failed suitor going back to tell the girl who rejected him that he'd lied when he said he admired her views on art. I never loved you anyway, South Carolina! ...

Finally, in yesterday's conscience-clearing performance, McCain gave the false, self-serving impression that the Confederate flag incident was the only time he had lied. ("Only once, I believe, did I act in an unprincipled way.") In fact, McCain told an equally consequential and arguably less defensible lie--saying he "didn't have anything to do with" a nasty anti-Bush phone message directed at Catholics--on the day of the Michigan primary. (See Jacob Weisberg's "The Good Guy Lies") ...