Will the Real John McCain Please Stand Up?

Media pundits warned that John McCain mustn't come across as "peevish" in the presidential debate Tuesday night. Afterward, the same pundits lambasted him for looking old, tired, boring, and lacking passion. Sen. McCain, it's time for a new strategy -- a surge, if you will.

You're a war hero whose fighting spirit and sacrificial service endears you to grateful Americans. You drew poignantly upon your service in your nomination acceptance speech. You used "fought" and "fight" 35 times as you promised to fight for America. You implored Americans to "Stand up, stand up, stand up, and fight." We're ready to roll.

For starters, Senator, please replace your media-intimidated handlers who don't know the difference between "peevish" and powerful. Maybe you need to think of Obama as one of those Republicans you're famous for roughing up.

Reminding us that Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold helped you with legislation that most of us opposed isn't motivating. None of the hands that built the Fannie and Freddie fiasco will lend a bi-partisan hand to hold the buck that stops in the Oval Office.

You've said that Barack Obama's leadership and policies will be disastrous for this country. His past is prologue. It's time for you to expose his alliances and financial dealings with some very bad characters.

The Obama camp will play the race-card no matter what you or Sarah Palin say. You used the phrase "that one" and the response was "racism." Palin referred to Obama's relationship with William Ayers, a white guy, and it was "racism." Most people are fed-up with it. Follow the Gipper's advice, "ignore it."

Character matters whether good or bad. You credit the goodness, courage and encouragement of your fellow POWs in the infamous Hanoi Hilton with restoring your hope and faith. You said your captors worked you over "harder than they ever had before, for a long time, and they broke me." A fellow POW through taps on a wall told you "to get back up and fight again for my country and for the men I had the honor to serve with, because every day they fought for me." And you did.

You've turned Palin somewhat loose to call attention to Obama's character and poor judgment. It's wise to let a woman do a woman's job. We've got a God-given early warning system about guys who can't be trusted. Palin has a track record for taking on big boys playing badly in Alaska, and bringing them down. Sarah the "the barracuda" is drawing crowds bigger than the venues can hold-bigger crowds than you're drawing.

But here's a hitch. Greta Van Susteren asked Palin about Bill Ayers On the Record last week: "And you've been going after Senator Obama pretty aggressively recently. Is that your job?" Palin said it was. Van Susteren then asked: "How about Rev. [Jeremiah] Wright and Father [Michael] Pfleger?" Palin took a pass saying, "That's John McCain's call on that one."

What's your call, Senator? Are you going to tell the American people that Barack Obama's alliances with bad guys prove that he lacks the character, judgment, integrity, honesty, leadership and experience to be trusted as President of the United States. You need to name names and connect the dots. The mainstream media won't do it for you.

Obama has implied that you're not man enough. He told ABC's Charlie Gibson the day after the debate that "we've been seeing some pretty over-the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days, that he wasn't willing to say it to my face."

Obama wants Americans to believe that focusing on the character and judgment of a presidential nominee is an "attempt to "change the subject." He's big on audacity.

You need to drive your "straight talk express" right through it while the American people are watching. You've started to do it in campaign ads. Hard-hitting ads are effective, but you need to lose the voice-overs who sound like whispering rumor mongers. The truth will march on, but "if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?"

Your campaign announced that the gloves were coming off Tuesday night. The problem is you had another pair underneath.

The Good Book doesn't pull punches. It warns in Psalm 1 that consorting with bad company is courting disaster: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers."

Note the progression. Standing with the wicked-walking with the wicked-sitting with the wicked. It sounds like Obama's resume:

  • The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright: Obama called him his mentor, and titled his book after one of Wright's sermons, but he now denies that Wright was his mentor. Obama sat in Wright's church for almost 20 years, but denies ever hearing any of Wright's mocking, racist rants, his damning of America, and his perversion of Christian theology. Obama shamed his grandmother before a national audience in order to cover for Wright. Even Obama admits that his relationship with Wright is a legitimate issue.
  • The Rev. Michael Pfleger: Pfleger's race-baiting was exposed as he preached in Obama's church, berating white people who had nothing to do with slavery, and mocking Sen. Hillary Clinton' presidential aspirations. Obama directed $225,000 in Illinois taxpayer funds to Pfleger's church.
  • Louis Farrakhan: Obama and Wright helped organize Farrakhan's Million Man March in Washington, D.C. in 1995. Farrakhan is an anti-Semite and America-hating racist. Farrakhan has endorsed Obama, but he refused to renounce the support until Hillary Clinton confronted him about it. Imagine if a war hero confronts him about it.
  • William Ayers: Obama is still misleading the American people about his significant alliance with this admitted and unrepentant terrorist leader of the radical Weatherman Underground. The only thing Ayers regrets is that he didn't do enough despite bombing several government buildings, including the Pentagon, killing civilians and police officers. Even CNN has finally connected the dots between Obama and Ayers as a result of Stanley Kurtz's extensive research. Obama and Ayers worked together for several years wasting $100 million dollars promoting Ayers' leftist educational strategy and policies at the expense of Chicago public school kids. But then, Obama has a history of redistributing other people's money.
  • ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations For Reform Now: Obama was their trainer-in-chief in Chicago. ACORN organizers intimidated "banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit." ACORN is currently being investigated for voter fraud in at least 10 states. Stanley Kurtz, Michelle Malkin and others have documented Obama's involvement with ACORN, and ACORN's involvement with the Obama campaign.
  • Obama earmarks to friends and political allies: According to records obtained by Judicial Watch, Obama directed: "Twenty-five thousand dollars to his wife's cousin, $100,000 to a garden project in Illinois that went nowhere and was wasted, $100,000 to the radical Catholic Priest Father Pfleger, $75,000 to an organization called FORUM, which is run by a group of people that, after they got the grant, gave him thousands of dollars in campaign contributions."

It's no surprise that Obama is willing to sit down as president without preconditions, and talk with world-class scoundrels such as Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il, Hugo Chavez, and the Castro brothers who are committed to destroying us and Israel. He's proven to be a poor judge of character. He has the audacity to think that he can tame terrorists with rhetoric and charm.

Senator, a man is known by the company he keeps. The last thing Obama wants you to do is confront him before the American people about the company he has kept. 

Americans won't knowingly elect a president who sat in the counsel of evil. We need a president who sat with heroes and received strength to stand against it.

May these American school kids inspire you to stand once more.

Jan LaRue is an attorney, author and public speaker, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.
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