"Repeat after me, Bud- 'They're not really all terrorists.'"
It can be plausibly posited that a candidate seeking any office can be defined up to a point by the people with whom they choose to surround themselves.
Nowadays it seems as if both Barack Obama and John McCain are taking more potshots at their own surrogates and supporters than they are at eachother. In short order, we've seen Obama publicly repudiate the Reverends Jeremiah Wright and Jesse Jackson, Bernie Mac, The New Yorker Magazine and a whole host of people whose comments should not be connected to the Obama campaign.
Unfortunately for John McCain, he seems to be spending even more time deploring statements and misstatements by his surrogates than he does advancing his out-of-touch economic and foreign policy agenda. Never mind the Reverends John Hagee and Rod Parsley. In just the past few days, he's had to repudiate comments made by his own (former) economic advisor Phil Gramm and now Colonel Bud Day, a Vietnam running buddy of McCain and fellow POW who'd recently synonymized Muslims with terrorists by saying in a conference call to reporters, "The Muslims have said either we kneel or they're going to kill us."
Later on, a GOP flak said that Day had "misspoken" and meant to say "terrorists" instead of "Muslims." Of course, that doesn't explain why Day, in his own addled mind, had synonymized Muslims in general with terrorists.
And it can't be said that having this doddering fool on board his Straight Talk Express is helping McCain considering that said doddering fool belonged to the now-disgraced Swiftboat Veterans for Truth.
Obviously, there's no apparatus in place within the McCain campaign that trains these surrogates to not say colossally stupid things like Muslims being terrorists and vice versa and that the recession is all in our minds and we're a bunch of whiners because predatory corporations are sucking us dry at the pumps and practically crammed down our throats home lending loans that proved to be a Ponzi pyramid scheme on a Biblical scale that could result in two and a half million foreclosures this year alone.
If all the presidential campaigns in the current cycle had one thing in common, it's that surroagtes and supporters have said at least a few stupid or controversial things from each camp. It really started February last year in the nascent phase of John Edwards' campaign when Melissa McEwen and Amanda Marcotte both took the Catholic Church to task on their respective blogs. Not to say that their statements weren't correct. But the hysteria whipped up by Bill Donahue's own surrogates restarted this infantile trend that all candidates, at all times, are personally responsible for all statements made by anyone and everybody who'd even looked at them twice.
The furor over Marcotte's and McEwen's statements was, of course, a tempest in a teapot but it can't be said that Gentleman John exactly gave them his full, unconditional support or even that he told their critics to lay off, that what those two women said on their private blogs was not germane to his campaign.
We're seeing the same kind of cowardice on the part of Barack Obama, a man who actually fired Wright as his pastor (after the man had essentially nailed our red, white and blue caracass to the wall by saying, rightly, that our nation is founded on terrorism and genocide) and 86'd the same church in which he'd been married, had his children baptized and in which he'd worshipped for two decades. Not exactly a profile in courage.
However, the heartless, bigoted statements that have been coming out of the McCain camp are of a different brand of stupidity entirely. When Phil Gramm claimed we were a nation of whiners just for asking for the government's help, we can be reasonably sure, after looking at McCain's idiotic economic policy, that he speaks for McCain. When Colonel Bud Day says that Muslims want us to convert or kill us (which, ironically, is what Ann Coulter wants to do to them), we can be just as reasonably sure that he's also speaking for a man who casually jokes again and again about killing Iranians.
So, yes, all campaigns are beset with bigmouths and idiots. Some can be connected to the candidate, some cannot. These racists, cold-blooded capitalists, foaming-at-the-mouth evangelicals, lobbyists and other sundry and assorted psychopaths in Camp McCain are classic examples of people who truly do represent their man. You want to see what a McCain presidency would be like? Sneak a peek on the Straight Talk Express.
McCain repudiates them not because they're wrong, but because they're not bothering to couch their hateful sentiments as lighthearted jokes and in political euphemisms as McCain would and has.