Stanton: McCain’s metamorphosisby Billie Stanton on Jul. 16, 2008, under Opinion
‘Little old lady librarian’ has it right: McCain = Bush
Poor John McCain. No matter where he goes or what he tries, he’s still seen as a clone of President Bush.
Their mirrored identity is irrevocably embedded in the American psyche.
So the idea of busting a “little old lady librarian” for a “McCain = Bush” sign seems ludicrous.
It happened, though, on July 7 in downtown Denver.
Carol Kreck – a diminutive, deaf, 60-year-old, part-time librarian – was escorted by police out of a courtyard at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts complex.
A McCain town hall there wasn’t to start for another two hours and Kreck wasn’t going to attend. She can’t hear.
She was there only because Progress Now e-mailed requests for “bodies” to support a press conference before the event.
“I figured that’s something even a deaf person can do,” Kreck told me.
Now the media are having a field day over the little old lady librarian.
That’s not the best description of Carol Kreck, however.
During 34 years as a Denver Post reporter, she was better known as a bit of a bulldog.
Kreck didn’t rest till she had her facts – and until her editors, including me, had kept her facts straight.
She had the qualities you want in a reporter: earnest, hardworking, determined, thorough, fair-minded and ethical.
Plus, she’s fun. “Mostly, I’ve been laughing for a week,” Kreck admits.
In an unattributed claim, The Denver Post initially blamed Kreck’s ouster from the DCPA on McCain’s staff. The senator’s staff disputed that.
A security guard who helped remove Kreck said, while being filmed by MSNBC, that U.S. Secret Service agents had ordered Kreck’s removal.
The Secret Service denied it.
And a DCPA spokeswoman told the Post that the security guard was “mistaken. . . . He is not a trained speaker in any way. It was the height (sic) of the moment.”
Said an amused Kreck, “She made it sound like some variation of Tourette’s syndrome. . . . I often get nervous, too, but it doesn’t cause me to blurt out ‘Secret Service.’ ”
Kreck isn’t laughing about the serious issues, though.
She questions the relationship between federal officials and police in Denver, where the Democratic National Convention will be held Aug. 25-28.
She wonders whether an institution built largely by taxpayer money – the DCPA – qualifies as private property.
Kreck also asks, “If you advertise a public town hall, open to the public, can you then cherry-pick the people you let inside?
“And if the Secret Service is so undiscriminating that they’re threatened by a little old lady with a McCain = Bush sign, how in hell are they going to deal with Recreate ’68, Code Pink, anarchists, immigrants and, no doubt, more little old ladies?”
The Secret Service already is being sued by Denver attorney David Lane on behalf of Steven Howards, who was arrested in a Beaver Creek, Colo., mall where he told Dick Cheney that the vice president’s policies in the Middle East are reprehensible.
Charges against Howards were dropped, but Lane’s suit to protect Howards’ First and Fourth Amendment rights continues.
Lane also will represent Kreck in a civil lawsuit after defense lawyer Pete Hedeen handles her trespassing charge.
“I will not pay a fine, I will not accept diversion,” Kreck says in a blog on The Huffington Post Web site (www.huffington post.com). “That leaves two options: dropped charges or going to trial.”
McCain, meanwhile, has left Denver far behind. He met Monday with the National Council of La Raza and held a town hall Tuesday in New Mexico.
But while no more “McCain = Bush” signs have been reported, the men’s resemblance remains.
For that, McCain has only himself to blame.
He sucked up shamelessly during Bush’s re-election four years ago, trying to capitalize on their shared ideology.
McCain’s been trying to distance himself, though, ever since the president’s popularity took its long-overdue nose dive.
In truth, though, McCain is more Bush-like than ever.
The Arizona senator now says Roe v. Wade, which he once supported, “should be overturned.”
He and Bush both oppose abortion and support parental notification for minors seeking abortions.
McCain now would make permanent the Bush tax cuts that he voted against in 2001 and in 2003.
Indeed, he would add more corporate tax cuts on top of those Bush pushed through to benefit the richest Americans.
Best-known among McCain’s Bushite tendencies, of course, is his avid support of the Iraq invasion of 2003 and of the 2007 “surge” of increased troops.
Add it all up, and it boils down to one simple equation. McCain = Bush.
Billie Stanton may be reached at email@example.com and 573-4664.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
• Read Carol Kreck’s blog on The Huffington Post:
• See librarian Carol Kreck booted from Sen. John McCain’s town hall in Denver:
• See MSNBC’s full take on Kreck’s ouster from the Denver Performing Arts Complex: