Monday, October 06, 2008

The trouble with the high road

John McCain divorced his wife of 15 years who saw him through prison and recovery, for a 25-year-old he was seeing before his divorce. In the early 1980s he worked in public relations for the beer-distribution business belonging to the family of his new wife. Only public claim to faith is prison cross-in-the-sand anecdote, with only the vaguest of church connections. Running mate’s 17-year-old daughter pregnant by boyfriend.

None of this makes McCain unfit for office. (His running mate is ludicrously unfit for office by any measure.) But it does make the GOP’s attempt to monopolize what they call “family values” laughable. Don’t take the high road if you keep falling off it.

Yet when skeptics point out this lapse between what the GOP says it stands for and the facts of their nominees’ lives, “family-values” Republicans tell us to stop savaging people and invading their privacy. Wish same-sex couples and pregnant women and Americans under unprecedented government surveillance could have a slice of that privacy.