Thursday, February 21, 2008


Is John McCain a Womanizer?

The conventional news media and the bloggers are busy today writing about the New York Times article that deals with a relationship between John McCain and a female lobbyist a few years ago. The implication is that McCain was:

  1. having an affair with the woman;
  2. granting special favors to her clients;
  3. risking his image as a squeaky clean legislator and not like the rest of the womanizing crooks that infest our national legislature.

Senator McCain has denied these implications with a simple response: "NO."

Some McCain partisans imply that the New York Times, a liberal newspaper, made up the story just to embarras McCain. They see a liberal plot to "swift boat" McCain.

The "swift boat" charge uses a poor analogy. John Kerry presented himself as having done something heroic during his service in Viet Nam. The swift boaters attacked and tried to disprove and discredit his claim as a war hero. The implication of the NYT story has no bearing of McCain's service during the Viet Nam war. A better analogy would be to liken the story to stories published during Bill Clinton's Presidency of his dalliances with various ladies.

My own reactions to the story are:

  1. It probably is factually correct.
  2. McCain is correct in denying an intimate sexual relationship with the woman.
  3. Even if he had such a relationship, it has no bearing on his ability to handle the job of President. We have had many Presidents who had relations with women. These relationships did not detract from their abilities to lead this great country.

Regarding item 3, we must remember that it requires a person of extreme ambition and desire, as well as ability, to get as close to the Presidency as John McCain, Hillary Rodham Clinton, or Barack Obama. Persons with these extreme characteristics are apt to have very strong sexual desires as well. We should not be surprised or shocked or even put off by stories of sexual adventures by those with the ambition and ability to lead us. We should not put a President on a pedestal and worship him or her as a role model for our children. Next November we will elect a President, not a saint.

I defend and excuse John McCain for any affairs he may have had or may be having. I admire his short answers to the reporters who quizzed him about the implications of the story. I still won't vote for him. If he becomes President, he will almost certainly continue Mr. Bush's program of loading the federal courts with ultra-conservative judges and justices. If McCain becomes President, Roe v. Wade will be overturned after he appoints a successor to John Paul Stevens, the oldest member of the present Supreme Court.

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Oh geez, not you too? When are we Americans going to understand that this whole issue goes to integrity and character? If you make a covenant with your wife and then regularly break for personal gain or pleasure, what's going to stop you from making a covenant with your country and then regularly breaking it for personal gain or pleasure?

If a guy's own wife can't trust him to be honest and faithfu, why should the rest of us?
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