Sunday, July 20, 2008

The John Sydney McCain Memorial Crappie Award

It's time for another tribute to political flip-floppery.

The competition for this week's edition of this dubious yet apparently highly-coveted honor (well, there always seems to be many contenders for the Award, so they must covet it, right?) was fierce. Two old pros and one relative rookie fought tooth and fin over this week's award like it was a minnow on a hook.

First, let's be clear up front - if the award hadn't already been named after McCain, he would have won the award going away for first criticizing Barack Obama for not having visited Iraq (May 2008) but then criticizing Obama for this month's visit to Iraq and Afghanistan (June 2008).

As if that wasn't enough, in his latest campaign ad, McCain also criticized Senator Obama for not holding hearings on Afghanistan in the Senate subcommittee that he chairs (European Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee) while blithely ignoring the fact that McCain, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, hasn't attended any of his own committee's hearings on the same subject.

However hard he strove for the award though, out of fairness to the legion of other contenders, he has been retired from consideration.

Also in the running was John Shadegg, who, in a shamelessly cynical election-year ploy, voted to override the President's veto of a Medicare bill that he originally voted against anyway. However, I already wrote about that move, so I won't add to his embarrassment by awarding him another Crappie.

Have no fear though - he's got plenty of time between now and when he loses his job in November to Bob Lord to earn many more Crappies.

This week's winner is a first-timer, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

The AZ Republic broke a story about how a Thomas staffer at the County Attorney's office, paralegal Phillip Quihuis, is one of the leaders of a group seeking to force a recall election of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, a political adversary of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Thomas' political mentor.

When asked about Quihuis' convenient (for Thomas) side project, Thomas didn't criticize or question it, he simply stated "I'm not involved in it. He has constitutional rights. "

Yes, this Andrew Thomas who is so concerned with civil liberties and constitutional rights is the same one who ordered an investigation into the Phoenix New Times. critics of he and Arpaio, an investigation that led to the false arrests of two of the New Times founders.

For this back one-and-a-half twisting tuck of a flip-flop (lackeys have Constitutional rights, journalists don't), Andrew Thomas is the winner of this week's John Sydney McCain Memorial Crappie Award.

This may be Thomas's first Crappie, but like Shadegg, he has plenty of time to win more before losing his position to either Gerald Richard or Tim Nelson.

Later today, travel over to Nevada's Desert Beacon for her latest edition of the always entertaining, informative, and pointed Sunday Deck Bass Award. And if you're feeling really adventurous and want to take a road trip that won't burn up any of that $4.00+ gas that is the Bush Administration's legacy to the American people, journey up to Minnesota's Extemperaneous Discourse to see if a rare but tasty Sunday Eel Pout Award is on the menu.

Have a good weekend!

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