Regular readers of this blog should know by now for whom I will be voting for president come November. In the past, I have refrained from saying anything negative about the GOP nominee, John McCain mostly because my GOP disdain is often reserved for those who truly deserve it--like Tancredo, Bush, Cheney, Helms, Brownback, etc. I've respected McCain and honestly believe he should've been the GOP nominee 8 years ago and not just because the world would've been a better place had Bush not been 'elected' the leader of the free world.
But McCain's behavior as of late has really disappointed me. The Obama as celebrity ad? It's hideous at best (not to mention completely out of touch, seeing as that neither Paris nor Britney have really been up to their antics lately, nor will either of them be hearing their name chanted by a crowd of thousands any time soon). Offering his wife up as a Miss Buffalo Chip contestant? Yeah, I'm sure Mrs. McCain was pleased to know that she would have to appear topless and maybe bottomless if she were to compete.
Regardless of his lack of integrity as of late, let's get down to what matters to me as a voter. As you know, my two issues are HIV/AIDS and a woman's choice.
We all know how McCain feels about a woman's choice. He wants to take it from us. He's received a score of ZERO from Planned Parenthood and if you want to know what he has voted against as Senator that might affect you as a woman, check this out.
But as far as his HIV/AIDS stance, well it's not even on his official website. As far as I can tell, it might not even be on his radar, which is really disturbing seeing as that we recently found out that the estimated rate of AIDS incidence in the US is higher than we thought.
As far as how McCain feels about HIV/AIDS, thankfully I found this little doozy from the NY Times:
Reporter: “Should U.S. taxpayer money go to places like Africa to fund contraception to prevent AIDS?”
Mr. McCain: “Well I think it’s a combination. The guy I really respect on this is Dr. Coburn. He believes – and I was just reading the thing he wrote– that you should do what you can to encourage abstinence where there is going to be sexual activity. Where that doesn’t succeed, than he thinks that we should employ contraceptives as well. But I agree with him that the first priority is on abstinence. I look to people like Dr. Coburn. I’m not very wise on it.”
(Mr. McCain turns to take a question on Iraq, but a moment later looks back to the reporter who asked him about AIDS.)
Mr. McCain: “I haven’t thought about it. Before I give you an answer, let me think about. Let me think about it a little bit because I never got a question about it before. I don’t know if I would use taxpayers’ money for it.”
Q: “What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?”
Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy.”
Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”
Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”
Q: “I mean, I think you’d probably agree it probably does help stop it?”
Mr. McCain: (Laughs) “Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.”
Q: “But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: ‘No, we’re not going to distribute them,’ knowing that?”
Mr. McCain: (Twelve-second pause) “Get me Coburn’s thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn’s paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I’ve never gotten into these issues before.”
You've never gotten into these issues, Senator? Seriously? Not sure if you've heard, but AIDS is this disease that is deadly and has been killing thousands of people each year since it's discovery in 1981. It's been 27 years later and you can't answer whether a condom prevents HIV transmission?
The ignorance sickens me, really. How can I, as someone who is on the front lines of the fight against this disease, how can I expect the people of DC to know how to protect themselves when the potential president of the United States isn't sure?
For more on McCain and AIDS, check this out.
For more on McCain and women, you have to go here.