McCain Was Dishonest Flip-Flopper on Martin Luther King Day

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) - A crook and liar

As we mark the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” address, it’s not surprising to find that John McCain opposed making Martin Luther King day a federal holiday.

It’s even less of a surprise that McCain lied and weaseled about his stance in a pathetic display of dishonesty that even McCain must have blushed. Well, let’s not go too far.

But John McCain’s fetid political career does manage to offend on multiple levels, spanning decades.

See Jeff Gates’ 15-part series illustrating who and what John McCain is at: A closer look at evil.

From the April 03, 2008 Crooks and Liars, two words that aptly describe John McCain.

By John Amato

Check out John McCain trying to wiggle his way out of the fact that he voted against MLK day back in 1983.

John McCain was born in 1936. He was how old, how old—hmmmm—let’s see…maybe 47 years old I think. He was almost 50 years old and he voted against MLK day!

You see he needed just a few more years to figure out the impact MLK had on our society. He certainly can’t say in this statement that he was young and inexperienced. Nope, he has to give the impression that he was young and inexperienced since it was his first year in Congress—so he studied and learned and studied and learned until it dawned on him. And then he suddenly realized he made a big mistake.

McCain: 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.

MLK - A fighter for social justice to the end

And what else did he say?

“I had not been involved in the issue. I had come from being in the military to running for Congress in a state that did not have a very large African American population and it had not been in issue. It just simply had not been.”

In a February 2000 interview with ABC News, McCain said his initial opposition to a holiday was based on his belief that “it was not necessary to have another federal holiday, that it cost too much money, that other presidents were not recognized.”

He didn’t follow the Blacks all that much because they didn’t really exist in Arizona.

The not usually very good Jack Tapper makes the same points on McCain and MLK day.

Tomorrow Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by speaking in Memphis on the 40th anniversary of King’s assassination.

He will no doubt sound a bit different than he did in April 1987, when McCain was interviewed by USA Today about his five and a half years as a P.O.W. “They never gave us any meaningful news,” McCain said. “They told us the day that Martin Luther King was shot, they told us the day that Bobby Kennedy was shot, but they never bothered to tell us about the moon shot. So it was certainly selected news.”

Surely the John McCain of 2008 would not hold that the assassinations of King and Kennedy were not “meaningful.” (UDATE: McCain’s top aide Mark Salter says McCain didn’t mean “meaningful” in that interview, arguing that what McCain was trying to say was that the Vietnamese always gave the prisoners bad news from home, not good news.)

In fact earlier this year, McCain told a different version of the story of how he heard of King’s assassination

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