Actually a great movie. But that’s totally irrelevant.
Watched Rick Warren’s faith forum thing the other day and came out about as impressed as an atheist was supposed to be. The Cone of Silence became a kerfluffle on a slow news day, but something else was weirder — McCain cited John Lewis as one of the three people he would “rely heavily on” to advise him as President. Wait, that John Lewis?
John Lewis, Congressman John Lewis, was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965. John Lewis was Chairman of SNCC. John Lewis opposed the war in Iraq. John Lewis has called for the impeachment of the President. John Lewis is a liberal Democrat. John Lewis has nothing the fuck to do with John McCain, telling Mother Jones magazine:
“Sen. McCain and I are colleagues in the US Congress, not confidantes. He does not consult me. And I do not consult him.”
But that’s not the best part. Thing is, McCain has used Lewis for political reasons before, saying in a speech in Selma:
“In America, we have always believed that if the day was a disappointment, we would win tomorrow. That’s what John Lewis believed when he marched across this bridge. That’s what he still believes; what he still fights to achieve: a better country than the one he inherited. “
Lewis was not consulted about this, nor any of McCain’s other references to him in the speech, nor was he so much as invited to the event. The Congressman’s office did not comment following press reports on the speech at the time.
So is John Lewis McCain’s special black friend? Could McCain truly admire Lewis despite working consistently against his preferred policies? I tend to think it’s the latter, that McCain just doesn’t see the cognitive dissonance because he’s convinced himself of Lewis’ importance to his own narrative of American national greatness. In McCain’s country, John Lewis is a legitimate hero because he helped Americans end racism in 1964. He’s the Magic Negro who absolves our sins. Thankfully, this means Lewis’ council is no longer needed, so that the civil rights policy differences of both of these men’s entire Goddamn careers don’t count any more.
Senator McCain, you sir are no John Lewis.