I don’t often use this space to provide free political consultations to politicians running for office.
Today I will make a rare exception.
I have noticed that Sen. John McCain, in his desperate effort to remain in office against a worthy challenge by former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, has been playing the vicious “birther” card against his opponent.
Yes, it is true that Hayworth has showed courage in publicly questioning why Barack Obama has steadfastly and stubbornly refused to document his constitutional eligibility for the office he has assumed.
Hayworth, like me and millions of other Americans, believes the Constitution actually means what it says and is to be honored, revered and upheld as the law of the land.
He hasn’t suggested Obama is not eligible. He has merely pointed out factually that there is no evidence on the table to draw an intelligent and informed conclusion. He explained how suspicious it is when politicians purposely withhold documentation that can put issues like this to rest.
In other words, Hayworth has taken a principled stand – one that has hardly endeared himself to the media establishment or the political establishment.
For this position, McCain has resorted to name-calling.
Now here’s where my advice comes in.
Hayworth should turn the tables on McCain.
You see, aside from Obama, no one is more to blame for the continuing controversy over the missing birth certificate and the eligibility issue than is … John McCain.
In fact, you could easily call John McCain “the father of the birther movement,” or “the author of the birther movement.”
Because McCain did something very strange during the 2008 campaign.
When the press and obviously partisan groups like FactCheck.org and even McCain’s colleagues in Congress raised questions about his constitutional eligibility to become president as a “natural born citizen,” McCain quietly provided the long-form birth certificate and other supporting material to the U.S. Senate for its investigation. He did so without ever once demanding his opponent get the same treatment.
Obama got a free ride – not only from all 50 states that never investigated his eligibility requirements, not only from the Electoral College, not only from all other controlling legal authorities, but also from the press and the partisan watchdogs posing as non-partisan watchdogs.
So, who would you rather have representing you in the U.S. Senate – a compliant lapdog like McCain who never dared even to demand equal treatment between the two major presidential candidates, or, a principled opponent like Hayworth who stands up without fear in pointing out the emperor has no birth certificate?
I don’t know about you, but I like J.D.
The next time McCain runs one of those “birther” ads, or the next time some reporter questions Hayworth about his “birther” record, J.D. needs to point out the obvious: We are still debating this issue because McCain didn’t have the wisdom, the foresight, the courage or the constitutional convictions to force Obama to reveal the truth when he had the chance.
McCain’s presidential campaign was so inept it’s hard to resist speculating he intentionally threw the race for some unknown reason. And one striking example was how he yielded to the pressure to establish his constitutional eligibility – even though it was not his first bid for the presidency! Yet, he never as much as suggested his opponent should face the same test.
So there’s my advice to Hayworth: Turn the tables on McCain. Point out that he is nearly as culpable as Obama for the stonewalling on the eligibility issue. He let Obama off the hook. And that’s why McCain is “the father of the birther movement.” It would not exist if he did the right thing in 2008. There would be no need for it. Either the outcome of the election would have been different, or all eligibility questions would have been answered.
Once again, John McCain failed America.
And J.D. Hayworth has a chance to make that point.