“I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.”
John McCain was using the g-word unapologetically as late as the 2000 campaign. Then, heading into the California primary, he issued an apology. California, of course, has a large Asian population. Now, some people might be willing to excuse this because McCain was tortured in Vietnam, but many won’t.
His defenders will say that this is old news and that he apologized, but why did it take him so long? And why wait until it’s politically expedient? Imagine a man held hostage and tortured by Africans. Then imagine him using the n-word to describe them right up until, say, the South Carolina primary. It’s unimaginable, and deeply offensive. John McCain has every right to hate his former captors, but it is nothing – nothing – to change the word you use to describe them from one that characterizes their race to one that characterizes their morality. I suggest f**kers.
At any rate, this foolish insensitivity could well indicate an ingrained bias dating back to the less enlightened time in which McCain grew up. Is there a pattern of bigotry here? He didn’t vote for a national holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. And he wouldn’t be the first Republican to have trouble respecting all Americans.
My feeling? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
McCain is going to be burned on this issue come fall. In a demographically and attitudinally changed America, bigotry is the Republican’s Achilles heel.
Read: McCain’s Big Problems