Is John McCain still confused about MLK?

today marks the 40th anniversary of MLK’s death, and as mccain spoke about it, he was booed by the crowd.

the reason? maybe it was because back in 1983, the freshman maverick voted against arizona celebrating the holiday. he then opposed the holiday again in 1987 and he opposed it as a federal holiday in 1989, and in 1994 he voted to cut funding for the promotion of the holiday.

more after the jump.

in 1990, john mccain gave this excuse:

I voted in my first, I think it was my first year in congress against then… I began to learn and I studied and people talked to me and I not supported it but I fought very hard in my home state of Arizona for recognition against a Governor who was against my own party.

he explains his decision further:

“it was not necessary to have another federal holiday, that it cost too much money, that other presidents were not recognized.”

(did he just say that MLK was a president?)

fortunately though, mccain reversed his decision. but unfortunately, he still either misunderstood, got confused, or neglected to learn about other civil rights issues:

…among other issues critics raise are McCain’s vote against the 1990 Civil Rights Act, which sought to curb discrimination in the workplace (and eventually passed as the 1991 act), as well as his short-lived support for South Carolina’s right to fly the confederate flag over the statehouse during the 2000 primary. He later reversed his position on the flag and called for its removal, referring his initial position an “act of cowardice.”

read the entire article here.

as john mccain thinks about these initial acts of cowardice, perhaps he should also heed these words of MLK:

Now what are some of the domestic consequences of the war in Vietnam? It has made the Great Society a myth and replaced it with a troubled and confused society…It has given the extreme right, the anti-labor, anti-Negro, and anti-humanistic forces a weapon of spurious patriotism to galvanize its supporters into reaching for power, right up to the White House. It hopes to use national frustration to take control and restore the America of social insecurity and power for the privileged.

…It is disgraceful that a Congress that can vote upwards of $35 billion a year for a senseless immoral war in Vietnam cannot vote a weak $2 billion dollars to carry on our all too feeble efforts to bind up the wound of our nations 35 million poor. This is nothing short of a Congress engaging in political guerilla warfare against the defenseless poor of our nation.

When I first decided to take a firm stand against the war in Vietnam, I was subjected to the most bitter criticism, by the press, by individuals, and even by some fellow civil rights leaders. There were those who said that I should stay in my place, that these two issues did not mix and I should stick with civil rights. Well I had only one answer for that and it was simply the fact that I have struggled too long and too hard now to get rid of segregation in public accommodations to end up at this point in my life segregating my moral concerns.

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4 Comments

Filed under MLK, Racism

4 responses to “Is John McCain still confused about MLK?

  1. Deek

    I have a question. Can you name any other martyr who gets a national holiday?

    Correct, there’s just one. And these days he has to share it with George Washington. Their combined birthdays are just called “President’s Day.”

    If you had to create a national holiday for every American who did amazing things in their life to make the world a better place for all people, you’d end up having a national holiday every week of the year. Heck, even MLK wouldn’t have wanted an MLK day. In his mind he saw a tomorrow where all men were equal. He certainly wouldn’t have wanted himself exalted in that future.

    Anyway, McCain is a professional politician. By its very definition that means at some point he’s held both sides of every position that’s ever existed in the last 40 years. As we’ve seen time and time again, this is not endemic to one side of the aisle or another.

    If you want to truly watch “the maverick” (McCain is as unworthy of this nickname as Obama is of “agent of change”) then watch him fairly, and without a jaundiced eye looking for ways to skew or poorly represent the facts.

  2. “I have a question. Can you name any other martyr who gets a national holiday?”

    Jesus Christ!

    Did I get it right?

    What do I win?

  3. Pingback: John Mccain » Is John McCain still confused about MLK?

  4. mccainwatch

    well deek, a few things: first, can you name any other non-presidential martyr as influential as MLK?

    i can’t think of anyone. and if there is, maybe they should get a holiday as well.

    and secondly, and more importantly, i wasn’t just criticizing mccain for voting against MLK’s holiday several times (even after he apologized for doing so), i also said that mccain failed to understand and appreciate MLK’s legacy both as a civil rights and anti-war activist.

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