Monday, July 31, 2017

My response to the Globe's Geoff Caldwell's attack on John McCain's courage

It occurred to me a couple of years ago that Joplin Globe Editor Carol Stark must subscribe to the Roman Hruska school of thinking, especially when it comes to choosing local contributors to the newspaper's opinion page.

Hruska was a highly capable U. S. Senator from Nebraska, who unfortunately, it not remembered for his skill as a legislator as much as he is for a comment he made in 1970 while defending President Nixon's nomination of Harrold Carswell as a Supreme Court justice.

The nomination was criticized by feminists and by the NAACP and Carswell's judicial career was described as mediocre.

Hruska defended Carswell, noting that mediocre people deserve representation, too.

The Senate voted down Carswell, and another  Nixon nomination Clement Haynsworth was also rejected, forcing Nixon to go with a third choice, Minnesota judge Harry Blackmun, who three years later authored the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

No one has made the argument for mediocrity on the Supreme Court in the 47 years since it was mentioned by Hruska.

There is still one place, however, where mediocrity has its champion- the opinion page of the Joplin Globe, which some reason offers a platform every Sunday for Geoff Caldwell to offer the same viewpoints being offered by Fox News and conservative talk radio, the difference being- give me a second- the difference being- give me another second.

Forget it. There is no difference except the ones who receive the big bucks for expressing those viewpoints usually do so more coherently.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that one of the few times Caldwell ever strayed from writing about national politics was when he told his readers four years ago what an evil person I was and how C. J. Huff had no choice but to fire me. It always seemed peculiar to me that Caldwell and another example of Carol Stark's Roman Hruska complex, Anson Burlingame, both felt this was an issue they desperately needed to speak on and that they both then felt a need to read my novel No Child Left Alive and give it the lowest Amazon review possible. It could just be a case of like minds coming to the same conclusions. Especially on my book, since another person with similar leanings, Martin Lindstedt, also gave No Child Left Alive a low rating.

So I have no use for Caldwell's joyless style of writing.

His column in Sunday's Globe, headlined "McCain a Political Coward" was a typical example of how Caldwell's slavish devotion to following the dictates of the right wing echo chamber often leads him to ignore inconvenient facts and ascribe evil motives to anyone who does not see things the way Caldwell does.

In his column, Caldwell felt compelled to launch an attack on Sen. John McCain for his no vote on the so-called "skinny repeal" bill.

Caldwell made a point of noting McCain's experience as a prisoner of war, but serving as a conservative version of former Vice President Spiro Agnew's alliterative "nattering nabobs of negativism" remark, he felt compelled to note how poor McCain's grades were at the U. S. Naval Academy, cast doubt on the senator's service record prior to his capture, and ripped into McCain-Feingold (Caldwell refers to it as an attack on the First Amendment instead of as an effort to get the influence of money in elections under control.

Caldwell criticized McCain's vote on the skinny repeal and launched into a liberals and big government are evil tirade.

Caldwell noted that the courage McCain had shown at the Hanoi Hilton was nowhere to be found.

It appears Caldwell defines courage as whether someone agrees with his point of view.

Whether I would define what McCain did as an act of courage, I don't know.

What I do know is that McCain flew from Arizona where he had just been diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer that will most likely take his life within the next couple of years to cast his vote. If that is not courage, it certainly shows conviction.

McCain made no pretense that this skinny repeal actually would do anything to improve healthcare for Americans. While most of his Republican colleagues stayed quiet about the bill, McCain was quick to note just how bad it was.

A number of Republicans indicated they would be willing to vote for the skinny repeal, but only with the guarantee that it would never be passed into law. Now that's an act of courage voting for something you don't believe in as long as the vote doesn't end up meaning anything and gets President Trump and Mitch McConnell off your backs.

And while McCain's vote was not necessarily an act of courage, it was a matter of taking one for his team. If he had not cast the third Republican vote against the amendment, joining Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, someone else was going to have to do it and it would have been done.

Those who stayed up well past midnight to watch the vote could see that several GOP senators did not announce their votes until after the first round was completed. They waited to chime in until after McCain had cast the third vote and had taken the pressure off them.

The senators who held back their votes were ones like Dean Heller of Nevada and Rob Portman of Ohio, who have been highly critical of the repeal and replace bills that have been submitted. Thanks to McCain, none of them had to vote their conscience and strike down a bill they knew spelled nothing but problems for their constituents.

Thanks to McCain, they could all go home and say they voted to repeal Obamacare.

Maybe what John McCain did was not your typical profile in courage, but it certainly showed more courage than a columnist giving lip service to a man's heroism and then condemning him because he had bad grades and did not share his political views.


Anonymous said...

A lot of times these critics are chickenhawks.

So I'm wondering if Caldwell is one of those?

A chickenhawk.

A chickenhawk commonly refers to those who never served in the military but have plenty of piss and vinegar and bile for those who did serve and yet somehow don't measure up to their high standards.

Like if they had been a POW for eight or nine years in North Vietnam they would have done things way better than John McCain.

Like Ted Nugent? He was a real zero in Vietnam. Something about his pants at the draft board? Or was it the plumbing where he lived at that time was out of order?

Rush Limbaugh? Think maybe he sat down wrong or something I can't remember.

Donald Trump?

and so on and so forth.

Since Caldwell seems to fit right in, maybe he's one of the chickenhawk club too?

Anonymous said...

The Northern Vietnamese Candidate. Parts 1-5. Please add this to your research of this vile man. And I DID serve! and I always thought a "chickenhawk" was an older man who lusted after young boys? Senator John still has "miles to go before he sleeps".

Anonymous said...

McCain cast the vote to assure his place in Hall of Inside the Beltway Heros....he deceived the voters who reelected him last year...Sorry he is facing a very difficut health prognosis.HIS COURAGE IN HANOI should never be denigrated. His recent vote was deceit personified.
Randy thanks as usual for your reporting. The glob is "stark"awful.

Anonymous said...

I have always been astonished that the Globe gives Caldwell such a platform. It seems he is nothing more than a local conservative citizen with little world experience or any history of serving the public in any form. A few years back I recall the blogs that he, Anson Burlingame, and R Duane Graham had. Caldwell was extremely abusive to any readers that disagreed with his hatred towards Obama. In fact, the Globe dumped the entire program. Can someone please tell us what qualifies Caldwell to have such a roll with the Globe? I will never buy another copy as long as his like is on the payroll.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Randy! If Caldwell wants to talk about cowards, he need look no further than Stark or himself. I recall him verbally attacking Chelsea Clinton, in her awkward teenage years, as homely, suggesting Hillary had to hide the mirrors at the White House. I don't call grown men attacking teenage girls as a chicken hawk, I would say chicken s**t. Geoff also stated Obama had turned the USA into a banana republic and wanted to know if it was okay to refer to him as a monkey for doing so, knowing full well the racial slur would please many of the Globe readers. Stark knew all this and didn't have the courage to drop Caldwell or Burlingame from the Globe's preferred guest columnists, despite reader's complaints, because they speak for the base of Globe readers. Teachers reading this blog humiliated Burlingame's blog to the point he shut it down to avoid debate with them regarding education. Stark lacks the courage to silence Caldwell, perhaps if enough of your readers complained to her, she might silence him, as Burlingame was silenced. McCain is a war hero that courageously went against party lines on the healthcare vote, Caldwell, Stark, and Burlingame are the cowards.

Anonymous said...

The day Burlingame called a woman "cupcake", my immediate thought was "he's went to far, done!". (I think it was Jennifer
Sure enough, soon after, he was gone. I don't know if that's the actual reason, but seeing his name here brought back that memory and made me smile. Just wanted to share!

Harvey Hutchinson said...

The real problem was 7 years ago when Obsma and his cronies forced the biggest disaster in US history known as Obamacare. Falsely tireless Affordable Healthcare; it actually Unaffordable.
Now President Trump( hopefully with the help of Republican City Congressman and Senators) to fix the mess, Full repeal is warranted, and enough grandstanding ( including Senator McCain)
The Congress special exemption for itself needs to be illuminated TODAY!!
Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

HH, The funny thing about this is that President Obama was able to garner 60 votes to pass the ACA, while the Trump Administration cannot get 51 votes to repeal it. Excluding the zealots, most people want our politicians to dig in and fix the problems within the ACA like adults. Also note, the ACA was not forced as you claim, it took 17 months, with the Republican party choosing to fight it every step of the way instead of trying to form a better plan.

Anonymous said...

The fool has spoken. Your so called president, der Trumpenfuhrer said McCain wasn't a hero because he was captured. Your pathetic salivating behind trumps ass is really sad. You must really hate the trump fools that voted this moron into office because the majority of them are using the ACA and want it fixed not destroyed. But that goes against your party before country National Enquirer mantra. Put your head back where it was. Donny is feeling a draft.

Harvey Hutchinson said...

The Republicans are on record to correct the Meds.
If a building is full of termites, it's better to knock it down and start over.

The Democrats under the leadership of whinny Schummer and corrupt Pelosi are on record to OBSTRUCT everything whether it be bad are the greatest since sliced bread,
I don't see that changing till 2018, and we veto proof the Senate.

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

If you want to see a complete history of The Globes own Geoff Caldwell, search "R Duane Graham-Geoff Caldwell calls Obama a monkey." Graham's blog is called The Erstwhile Conservative. Several pieces have the history of Mr. Caldwells work and tweets from a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

Trump admits he punked his supporters on Mexico paying for the wall

The Post's Greg Miller has obtained transcripts of President Trump's calls with the heads of Mexico and Australia during his first days in office, and they are both doozies.

One big takeaway is that Trump seems to acknowledge exactly what his pledge to make Mexico pay for the border wall was — a hollow promise meant to rile up the base.

At one point in his call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Trump even acknowledges that the wall is “the least important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.”

You hear that, Trump supporters? That applause line that Trump used with such gusto for basically his entire campaign — “Build that wall,” and “Who's going to pay for it? (Crowd response: MEXICO!)"? It was all vote-bait, red meat for voters who didn't know that it was completely impractical and would never happen. And within his first days in office — this call took place on Jan. 27, a week after Trump's inauguration — Trump was already throwing in the towel on it on a call with the Mexican president.

Trump was instead hoping people could be made to forget this “least important” issue and wouldn't punish him politically for it.

[Full transcripts of Trump’s calls with Mexico and Australia]

Trump spent much of his call with Pena Nieto just trying to convince him to stop talking about how Mexico would not pay for the wall. Trump even suggested he would fudge it in the end so that both sides could claim they didn't give in."

Duke L'Orange is Failing SOOOOOO hard.

Anonymous said...

You whinny republitard "party before country" fools have the gall to talk about someone else being obstructionists? You don't like your own playbook being used against you? You fools played that game for 8 years and now that you have control of the Russia House (formerly the White House), the house and senate you still can't get anything done. Your hypocrisy is showing. You will be out in the cold in 2018 along with the rest of the white trash "Trump voters" that will die when their health care is taken away. The law of "Natural Selection" is going to end the republican party.

Anonymous said...

It is so nice to hear Turner whine about CJ Huff again. Pore lil' critter thinks that if it wasn't for CJ Huff that he's still have a teaching job even though most of us knew that Turner would be fired for something eventually.

Anyways, Obamacare was based upon lies and unsustainable. It is imploding as all the insurance companies leave these exchanges and the young people no longer have to pay in.

Geoff Caldwell, with his rah-rah patriotism is going to be published in the Joplin Globe a long time to come. Turner will be stuck having to censor views which are common to this area.

But not to worry. I like to listen to Turner bitch. That old traitor John McCain can't croak off fast enough for me.

Harvey Hutchinson said...

Whoever gave the Washington Post trash reporter those transcripts needs to serve 5 years in the Federal penitentiary; most probably an Obama holdover

That's highly classified, there seems to be no end to the D.C. Cesspool including a lot of Senators and Representatives-/ and I admit on both sides of the aisle

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

Judging from those transcripts the trash is Mr Marmalade in the White House without a clue!

I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]. I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for the people giving us the information from this loser you call a president then we wouldn't know the illegal, immoral and unethical crap this lying white trash is trying to get away with. He is already in trouble with his Russian boss. Going to be interesting to see what information the fool's tax returns show.

Anonymous said...

How come no one mentions that Arizona the state that John McCain represents is drowning in Obamacare that their premiums are through the roof and the deductibles are out of sight. But the thing that gets me is that John McCain just did it as we've seen from some of the Democrats who mentioned it in in their own websites that he said and I quote let's see Donald make America great again now. This was strictly Payback from a person who supposedly represents not only the people of Arizona but the people of the United States of America. He did it for selfish reasons for petty reasons and not everyone has to suffer who can't get health insurance because Obamacare is too expensive. Then he goes back to Arizona and enjoys Healthcare that's only available to Congress and considering he's a millionaire I don't even think he needs to use his health care. Everybody looks at this from different views I look at it from the fact that he wanted to screw one person and in doing so screwed an entire nation.

Harvey Hutchinson said...

Anonymous 5:37, you are spot on

Hopefully the leakers, starting with James Comey follow by the traitors who gave presidential transcripts ( this is even agreed to by a lot of Obama people) need to be in Federal prison. You would think the Washington Post, and its fake news operation would be a little bit patriotic, and exercised restraint on something of national security; but no responsibility there

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

537, AZ is not a very good model for healthcare discussions. It has one of the oldest state populations in the country. Older people use more healthcare. AZ also has no state tax, another hit for health care. Under proposed Repub ideas, there would be a cap on medicare payments to states. AZ would be an even bigger loser under that scenario.

Harvey Hutchinson said...

For all you Anonymous critics of Geoff Caldwell; remember one thing: He has the courage to sign his name to columns, and doesn't take the coward's approach

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text

Harvey Hutchinson said...

For all you Trump cheapshot naysayers, you might be surprised to see the tenacious Trump get it done after all; inspire of o obstructionist Democrats and grandstanding Republicans( some who are sour grapes that he kicked their asses in their home states in Presidential primaries)

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

Your definition of patriotism is about as backwards as your little cheer girl cheerleading for the most corrupt administration in history. Dems playing from the republican obstruction playbook has you fools crying foul. Go you party before country hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

8:00am let me correct you on a few things one Arizona does have a state sales tax might be low but they have one. Two depending on where you live in the state it has an older population however in Tucson Phoenix Flagstaff and others it has a younger population mostly Hispanic and mostly living on minimum wage jobs. But the most important thing is Arizona is a blue state the only reason McCain has won so much is because of his name but now people in Arizona which you can look online and see hate him they cannot stand him they want him to stop running for office because right now the only people voting for him are those old people who are stuck in the Rut that if you haven't are next to your name you will get elected. That sounds familiar in several other states does it not including Missouri. I for one think a person should get elected if they can do the job at this point in time none of the Republicans that are in office today except for maybe a few all look out for their own interests with 2018 coming up in a lot of them running for office they're going to say or do anything that will get them both however mr. McCain already one for his next term so he will not be running in 2018. I truly believe that was voter term limit that's what I call it because the government will never agree to term limits because they want their jobs until God takes them home which in McClain's case might be sooner than we think. Two most of these politicians it's a job extremely well-paid job I mean let's be honest who would want a job like there's they make money they you don't have to tell the truth they just have to say whatever they want to get the votes. This is not about Trump this is about Republicans and Democrats and job security in the Senate and in the house. For example you can't make me believe that Billy Long deserves to be in politics.

Anonymous said...

Geoff Caldwell is in tune with this area; Turner is not.

Obamacare is imploding and there isn't any propping it up. The Democrats might have "won" because the Republicans were lying about their willingness to "repeal and replace" once Trump would sign any such bill as presented before which was vetoed. So they "won" a dead horse -- what of it.

McCain is a senile old traitor who will be dead within a year or so and replaced soon enough.

Insofar as most of you Turner supporters endlessly whining about this matter of what you got that is unfunded and unsustainable and now in the crapper, what of it? Maybe you should refugee out to the Clinton Archipelago while you can. You certainly don't like the consensus of the local community.

Anonymous said...

548, AZ is a blue state? Let me see, Trump won, both Senators are repubs as well as 5 of 9 Congressman. The State also holds the same Repub trifecta. Nationally the repubs hold all 3 branches and have yet to offer any form a sensible fixes for Obamacare despite whining about it and threatening it for 7 years. Snow flakes, indeed.

As far as taxes, they have very low property taxes and they do not tax SS benefits which brings many a retired people to the state. An older population equals abnormally high health insurance costs.

Anonymous said...

907, The repubs have been saying for 7 years they had a better plan. Where is it? Most Americans are not in tune with this area. That is, they want Obamacare problems fixed. Most do not want it destroyed.

Anonymous said...

548 have you ever even lived in Arizona it's as Democratic as you can get the only reason Republicans win because the Democrats are so crooked and stupid in that state nobody wants them and yes the federal government takes taxes out of Social Security but they don't do it when they send your check you have to file your taxes and then they will take the money out. However Social Security does take out about $80 a month for Medicare. And you still have to get supplemental insurance because they won't pay everything. Now if we want to talk about Republicans to there that the state wants to get rid of McCain and Flake they're both a bunch of idiots and yes Trump won because the Republicans are in such bad shape nobody wants them and that's proof look what they're doing now.

Anonymous said...

630, so you agree, its not a blue state? McCain and Flake will get reelected.

Anonymous said...

@11:08PM - I think you mis spelled chickensh_t.

Harvey Hutchinson said...

The reporters at the Glob offer hope; the editor is a disappointment

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text