McCain’s Cousin Explains Why He Won’t Vote for Him

The St. Petersburg Times is running an open letter from John McCain’s cousin, who lives in Tallahassee. In “Cousin John, Where Did You Go? ” Adam Vaulx Boles first explains his history and relationship with McCain, and his family’s pride at their famous member’s accomplishments.

Then pride turns to shame.

Clearly, a lot can change in eight years. Our nation has gone from a time of unparalleled prosperity and peace to one marked by debt in the trillions of dollars, record foreclosures, and a global reputation for warmongering and neo-imperialism.

“America’s working families no longer recognize you, John McCain, nor does your own.”

So, where is the straight-talking, commonsense John McCain of 2000? I’m afraid he is long gone, replaced by a desperate version of himself who seems to contradict nearly everything he once stood for.

What becomes apparent in his ideological about-face is just how out of touch McCain really is with America’s working families.

In a time when the country is facing the worst housing crisis in the memory of most Americans, McCain couldn’t even recall how many homes he owns. When asked how many homes my side of the family owns, I can answer you pretty quickly. Zero.

Just like so many working families in this country, we were nearly ruined by the ongoing mortgage and foreclosure crisis. Our family home of three generations was sold at auction last year. The story is a familiar one: We were suckered into a refinance deal during the real estate boom, and when times got tough, the near criminally deregulated mortgage companies changed the rules on us.

What was John McCain’s response to this? He lumped together all the families who fell victim to the smarmy sales pitches from subprime lenders, calling us “irresponsible,” a move the New York Times described as “mean-spirited and economically naive.”

What contortions has this new John McCain twisted himself into in order to win this election? When asked last year about his stance on abortion, he told a group of supporters, “I do not support Roe vs. Wade. It should be overturned.” This statement not only sharply contrasts with what he said back in the 2000 election cycle, but is also at odds with a majority of American public opinion…

Further, McCain’s decision to put the antichoice, creationist Sarah Palin on his ticket appears to be motivated completely by a political desire to shore up the radical right evangelical base with whom he’s been at odds for so long. This is the same woman who claimed in June “that our national leaders are sending (our soldiers) out on a task that is from God.”

A part of me is made very sad to write this article. As I’ve said, my family has followed John’s life and career with no absence of pride. If there ever were a Republican we might consider voting for, it would have been my cousin John.

But, as he continually demonstrates in this campaign, my cousin John is long gone. “Straight talk” has been replaced with “flip-flop.” Saddest all, this is the same man who, when campaigning in 2000, told a crowd of supporters, “I don’t think Bill Gates needs a tax cut. I think your parents do.”

My parents, John, need some help after the economic destruction Bush has wrought in the last eight years, but it’s clear you’re not the one who’ll give it to us. America’s working families no longer recognize you, nor does your own.


  • chupachup
    September 15, 2008 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    the next family reunion should be a quiet one! maybe they should forget john and cindy, and invite cindys other sisters, the ones she doesn’t acknowledge as existing.
    values voters don’t apply the same standards to the mccains.
    thank goodness his cousin had the courage to let go, he told the truth with style and an obvious sense of reluctance.
    thanks for running this.

  • Diane Chotikul
    September 15, 2008 - 11:34 pm | Permalink

    GOOD for you! Above all else, integrity and honesty should still matter in America (“cherry tree, anyone?”).

    Loyalty and family cohesiveness are important…up to a point.

    Every family has a code of ethics and they vary tremendously (The Godfather vs. Mayberry RFD are examples). Let’s get real, we are all products of our environments.

    However…Communities often vie with other communities regarding what is “right,” but generally come to a point of agreement WITHIN themselves.

    In the past week, the Republican candidates have gone beyond the bounds of their party, and for that they will be punished (when Rove voices concern, you have messed up big time!)

    When it is a BLOOD relative showing disagreement, perhaps it is time to shuffle off to the toolshed!

  • Joe Guckert
    September 16, 2008 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    When they stole 2000, they doomed the entire USA. This country would be so much better today if the election had not been stolen from President Gore.

  • skr
    September 17, 2008 - 6:35 am | Permalink

    I agree with Joe, when the election of 2000 was stolen and George W. Bush was appointed by a crooked $upreme court, that is the day America started dying. When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney orchestrated a false flag attack on the United States and dropped the World Trade Center America began taking her final breaths. Insert two faced John and his Christian fascist sidekick and all that will be left is them pulling the trigger on the ‘end of times.’
    We’ve got a lot to look forward to with John & Sarah; our final breaths.

  • Pantage Pajaso
    September 17, 2008 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    The Rethug tide of divisiveness even is sweeping up candidates’ families. Even more egregious than smarmy and deceptive sales practices among financial reps and mortgage closers are the parent company practices when clients seek help and full information, or to exercise their rights to sell, get statements, account resolutions, etc.. Care to guess how many bank and investment bank execs are scooping up foreclosed homes that were run onto the shaols by the institutions they boss via conveniently anonymous LLCs they have formed for the specific purpose of gleaning the leavings? Where are the Fed Regulators in the face of this? Fed and State Regulation has become like a toothless watchdog, all bark, no bite. McCain promises to be merely McSame and then some! And Palin is just scary— watch the microexpressions on her face when she rants and orates.

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