Thursday, October 16, 2008

John McCain Can't Tell The Difference Between Autism And Down Syndrome, And Doesn't Care

John McCain managed yet another confused and angry debate performance on Wednesday night that will give the fact checkers days and days of work sorting out all the confused facts and other nonsense. One of the most silly of which was McCain's claimed new-found passion for autism. McCain claimed that Sarah Palin's young son suffers from autism. The truth is that he has Down Syndrome.

In his 26 years in Washington, McCain has never proven any real commitment to those with special needs. By contrast with his background as a civil rights lawyer, Barack Obama has championed the rights of many persons including those with disabilities and his campaign website features a detailed platform of providing both funds as well as legal reforms to remove educational and employment barriers to the handicapped and disabled.

The fact of the matter is that John McCain doesn't know the difference between autism, Down Syndrome, or any other major disability or challenge that many American families face or has ever proven any great commitment to these persons ever. If anything McCain has often voting with the Republican majority that killed funding to many special needs programs.

In fact, one organization, the Children's Defense Fund Action Council rates McCain as the worst U.S. senator for the needs of American children. McCain couldn't bring bring himself to impose a small tax on the murderous tobacco industry to pay for children's health care when he voted against the SCHIP bill for example. And McCain was often too cowardly to take a position on killing the funding for many other issues involving children and instead "present" on a number of critical issues in his recent senate career. McCain didn't want to go on record hurting the needs of the disabled or other children with special needs, so instead took the coward's way out by an unusually large number of "present" votes because he knew that he was running for president and it would look better on paper than a series of "no" votes, such as McCain's cowardly pandering to the tobacco industry which is directly responsible for causing a number of serious health problems for infants and small children including SIDS, asthma, ear infections, respiratory infections, pneumonia and cancer.

It is no wonder that McCain cannot tell the difference between autism and Down Syndrome. Unlike Mr. Obama who has a clear record of support for those with disabilities and other special needs, McCain simply doesn't care that one disability is any different than any another. Autism only came up in Wednesday night's debate so that McCain could help to obscure his shabby little record in regards to 26 years of neglecting the needs of children and those with disabling conditions in Washington.

McCain's sudden claimed concerned for those with autism was purely political in nature. There was nothing genuine about it. John McCain's 26 years in Washington on children's issues is his real record, not some phony new found concern for children that he suddenly picked up on the way to the debate studio.


At 3:43 PM, Blogger Jay Tea said...

Man, you really have been hanging around Lee Ward too long. "John McCain is a LYING LIAR because of something I inferred he said!"

Here's what he actually said:

And, by the way, she also understands special-needs families. She understands that autism is on the rise, that we've got to find out what's causing it, and we've got to reach out to these families, and help them, and give them the help they need as they raise these very special needs children. She understands that better than almost any American that I know. I'm proud of her."

Fact: Sarah Palin has a child with Down Syndrome.

Fact: Down Syndrome children fall under the category of "special needs."

Fact: Autism diagnoses are on the rise.

Fact: Autistic children are considered "special needs."

(If you need a clue or two, and it is obvious you do, you might want to talk to Kevin at Wizbang about it. He has more than one autistic child.)

What it is obvious to anyone without a hyperpartisan axe to grind (and not much else to go on) is that McCain was saying that Palin understands the needs of families of children with special needs, and that population is growing all the time, especially the as-yet-unexplained surge in autism diagnoses.

Oh, and the CDF is not a good source for this stuff. They have an extremely narrow focus: if a law might benefit a single child somewhere, then it's good -- no matter what the cost or who else might be harmed by it. For example, a law that says "confiscate the wealth of everyone who owns more than $1 million and build top-notch schools" would get their blessing.

And McCain never claimed to be any kind of expert on children's issues. In fact, if you actually listened to what he said, he was saying that he'd rely on Palin to advise him on such matters.

But again, that'd require some things you lack, as I said above.


At 2:06 PM, Blogger Paul Hooson said...

Hello Jay, How are you?

This issue of families struggling with special needs or medical problems is especially close to me because of such a situation in my own family where my own sister required extensive medical care due to some serious birth defects. Much of my childhood was spent in doctor's offices waiting for my sister with my mother and I riding the bus and bringing some toy with me to play with while waiting.

John McCain's comments certainly struck me as a cheap attempt to pander on this issue of families with special needs children, where to McCain autism, Down Syndrome, it didn't matter to him, it's all the same, because it was merely a cheap and offensive political ploy.

If John McCain's heart was in the right place on this issue, then he he's had 26 in Washington to prove it, but instead opposed funding for many children's issues instead according to the Children's Defense Action Fund which gives him the very worst rating of any sitting U.S. senator.

At least I can look with some pride to the Republican senator Gordon Smith from my Oregon who is a very religious man who has a great record on such issues.

So party identification has nothing to do with compassion for children with special needs. It's the measure of a man's heart to prove compassion in this area, and unlike the real action as a civil right attorney by Barack Obama on this issue, John McCain was offensively pandering on this issue in a rather clumsy manner.

In many ways this election has often only shown McCain at his worst, which is unfortunate because he had a pretty positive image in the minds of many persons including myself up until this year when he was often at his very worst and so much bad information has surfaced. Unlike Robert Dole, Ronald Reagan or the first Bush, these fellows had little personal history problems like young Bush or McCain.

Even the younger Bush has a far better record on race relations than John McCain by far.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Paul Hooson said...

Jay, I plum forgot to ask you what kind of car troubles are you having? I'm a real motorhead guy and more than willing to offer you some free friendly advice if you just ask. We can disagree on some political matters, but that doesn't mean that we can't get along otherwise.

I've got a great reputation as a friendly guy, even though many folks think that I'm a wild motorbike guy.

Let's always have this common respect for each other, even if we disagree on politics.


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