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John McCain regrets now opposing Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

Three of the toughest words in politics: "I was wrong." And John McCain uttered them again today in Memphis, conceding that he erred in once opposing a national holiday in honor of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

McCain had made a similar concession in South Carolina after his 2000 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, saying that he believed the Confederate flag should be removed from atop the state Capitol but that he didn't have the guts to say so when it mattered.

Democrat John Edwards also embraced those three words in regretting his 2002 Senate vote authorizing the war in Iraq. That Hillary Clinton hasn't made a similar remark for her identical vote remains one of the simmering issues in this campaign, though voters' attention to the war has been overwhelmed by economic concerns.

"We can be slow as well to give greatness its due, a mistake I made myself long ago when I voted against a federal holiday in memory of Dr. King," McCain said today in Memphis. "I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona... We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans. But he knew as well that in the long term, confidence in the reasonability and good heart of America is always well placed."

-- Mark Silva

Mark Silva writes for The Swamp of the Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau.

 
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So McCain gets a pass opposing MLK holiday, and Obama gets vilified for Rev. Wright??..

Make no mistake about it: McCain is a slippery and dishonest dude who would disavow his mother, if necessary, to get to the Big Job.
Honest John? Yeah, right -- if it serves his purpose, but easily dishonest when it serves him. This man is a fraud!
Also, having renounced his first wife to marry the multi-millionairess Cindy, he lives like a king on her dough.
Some guy, this pseudo-war hero.

"We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing"

You are way too late on Iraq Mr. McCain, and we can't let you be any later. You and GWB need to go "clear some brush" together and let the U.S. move on from your medeival thinking.

I think Senator McCain was brave to say what he did today. Not necessarily what he said, but where he said it. It took alot of guts to stand there and say he was wrong.

John McCain was, and is, a disgusting racist pig.

This guy clearly doesn't deserve to be president. Does that mean he'll be defeated? Not necessarily. There are legions of brainwashed idiots and troglodytes out there who'll pull the lever just like they do every four years.

I read the other day where 60% of the country wanted us to go to war in 2002. Aren't our senators suppose to be representing the people? I was duped. The media did a terrible job correctly informing us. We now are allowing the media to select our president. It's pretty easy to tell where each network stands on the two democratic candidates. NBC, MSNBC, CBS are absolutely for Senator Obama. Chris Matthews apparently tinkles down his leg when Senator Obama speaks. That Keith Overman looks like a bull dog everytime he says the Clinton's names. Russert, Schuester, Chris, Keith and Brian looked giddy after the NBC debate. These aren't news anchors, they try to be news makers. They're Rush Limbaughs.

Instead of saying "I was wrong," McCain should have said, "I was a racist and a bigot." He might still be, as it wasn't long ago when he called the Vietnamese "gooks," a racist, derogatory term used by US troops.

McCain is a good ol' boy, and his make-up changes for the purpose of the presidential campaign, are no more than that. If elected, he will be worse than the Cheney/Bush gang.

Sun Tzu

never take candy from insidiously mad strange old people? especially candy that doesn't even belong to them.

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Rev MLK, Jr.

Maybe McCain should apologize for his continual efforts to hasten the spiritual death of America. McCain cannot pretend to be a supporter now of King or the movement when he still opposes almost everything that King stood for - racial reconciliation, social uplift, workers’ rights, corporate responsibility, and the defeat of militarism.

"I think Senator McCain was brave to say what he did today. Not necessarily what he said, but where he said it. It took alot of guts to stand there and say he was wrong."

Actually, it would have taken a whole lot more guts to say, I stand by my opposition to the holiday. Reversing his position now just makes it look like he
A) Was a racist who opposed honoring a man
dedicated to erasing discrimination in
America and
B) Is willing to say whatever he needs to in order
to smooth over problems in his past and get
elected

Instead of saying "I was wrong," McCain should have said, "I was a racist and a bigot." He might still be, as it wasn't long ago when he called the Vietnamese "gooks," a racist, derogatory term used by US troops.

Actually Sun Tzu, I would probably be forgiving of McCain for calling the Vietnamese "gooks". If anyone deserves the right to use racist terms to show dislike and contempt, a guy who was held as a POW by the North Vietnamese for years probably has that right. I imagine if the Vietnamese had tortured and abused me for years, I would definitely hate them all, and be far less forgiving about it then McCain has been.

Of course, that doesn't preclude him from being a racist cracker...

(I'm white, so I'm allowed to call people "crackers")

well its only a vote for a holiday, mind ya the more holidays for the average Joe the better, while were voting lets do one for Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969, Moon landing day or Albert Einstein day, shit lets have one for Sept 11 too.

I don't have a dog in this race because all three candidates are just about alike as peas in a pod! I will say a couple of things in McCain's defense, seems as if he is the only candidate who cared enough to even visit and pay homage to Dr. King, doesn't seem to be that bid a deal to Obama, at least McCain, has the strength of character to admit his being wrong, Obama seems not to have that same strength of character as McCain has, maybe it comes with age who knows. One other thing to Sun Tzu, I guess McCain earned the right for a slip of the tongue with the Vietnamese, seeing as he was tortured by them for 5 yrs, as I am sure you have also been a bigot and a racist at one time or another in your life, if you say no, then I say, you are lying!

["Actually Sun Tzu, I would probably be forgiving of McCain for calling the Vietnamese "gooks". If anyone deserves the right to use racist terms to show dislike and contempt, a guy who was held as a POW by the North Vietnamese for years probably has that right. I imagine if the Vietnamese had tortured and abused me for years, I would definitely hate them all, and be far less forgiving about it then McCain has been."]

I don't think you understand the implications of the term, which justifies your subscription to its use. The term "gook" is for ALL Asians, what the term "nigger" is for ALL blacks; therefore, McCain didn't only only insult "his captors," as he pretended to justify it afterwards, he insulted all Asians.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/hongop.shtml

All racism and bigotry are based on ignorance, i.e., those who see/perceive others as LESS THAN HUMAN, regardless their racial make-up (though Caucasians are guilty of exercising racism wholesale nowaday, they are not, by far, the only ones, as ignorance, racism and bigotry have not been copyrighted, yet:), a view based on self-projecting a dehumanization, both of the racist and the victims.

Wrongly, you give McCain the right to call his captors racial slurs, ignoring what McCain was doing in Viet Nam: dropping bombs, MOSTLY on innocent people. He was a POW in a country that could have killed him with impunity, as there was no declaration of war between the US and VN; therefore, Vietnamese were no subjects to the Geneva Convention. The US aggression on Viet Nam was a blatant violation of international law, and a complete disregard for the rules of war. That's how the US ended up killing 3 million of them, a figure they are actively working to achieve in Iraq, where they are about 2 million short.

["Of course, that doesn't preclude him from being a racist cracker..."]

It doesn't preclude you either.....

[" (I'm white, so I'm allowed to call people "crackers"]

And other things, it seems. People are people, and their essence is the same: we are all human beings. We are all spirits in the material world, and our blood, i s red.

I am a citizen of th e world, therefore, I belong to humanity, and all races are just a reflection of myself, put here by the Great Spirit for my eyes' delight, to ponder on the complexity of Creation.

No human being is less than me, and I am no less than any human being.

We are all ONE.

Sun Tzu

I suspect Iran is going to have a complete melt down of their nuclear weapons program and the aggressive action towards the U.S.A. and will significantly reduce the BS its been putting out because that’s exactly what they did the day Ronald Reagan took office. I remember sitting on an aircraft carrier with a significant number of marines anxiously waiting for Ronnie’s ok to have us introduce ourselves to them. I believe that John Mc Cain is the man that will besides driving the fear of god back into the Iranians will reestablish our Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt foreign policy of do not tread on us or our friends please.

I look at all the crap wriiten on this board and what a bunch of losers-McCain will be better for the country then the 2 liars Hillary Rotten Clinton and Obama now theres a racist and an "oh what do i do next "kinda guy if elected will destroy this county-still your freedom, liberty and rights you all want that? hand outs is all you low lifes want and you'll lose your freedom in exchange to get it.

It's very apparent that John McCain was told by his advisers he should show up in Memphis on the anniversary of Dr. King's death and apologize for not voting for the holiday. It's very strange it took him over 20 years to realize he was wrong....oh and right when he is trying to be President of the United States. Coincidence? I don't think so. Also, he never gives an explaination for why he didn't vote for the holiday. Hmmmm. I wonder what the reason was?

I really dont believe John McCain, and Im a black republican but it did hurt me to hear that he didnt think that Dr. Kings holiday was important. I really wanted Micheal Bloomberg to run.

Obama doesn't even know who he is.

He opposed wire tapping and swore against it at the start of his campagin, but he voted for last month's bill to permit wire tapping.

Two months ago, he spoke out and opposed offshore drilling.

This monday, he changed his mind in support of it.

Obama is trying to play the race card and get pity for his different color skin. He was quoted saying "That guy doesn't look like the guys on the dollar bills", referring to himself.

McCain, at least, has the balls to admit his mistakes. Obama? He just changes his mind like it was what he hoped for from the beginning.

Obama won't win.

The LA Times sucks.

So does the NY Times.

Fox News all the way.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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