Sorry, no.

1. Adoption should not be an act of charity.  I wince every time I hear about John McCain’s adopted daughter.  Because

2. It must really suck to be that poor orphan whom somebody took in out of the kindness of his or her heart.  Especially when

3. You also had a birth defect which obviously makes it even more wonderful and amazing that somebody adopted you!  (Note how your dad slipped in the word “adopted” before “daughter.”)

If we’re going to leave candidate’s children out of the discussion, doesn’t that also mean that the candidates have to do likewise?

I’m so tired of hearing about McCain’s daughter as a testament to his and his wife’s saintliness.  Here’s an example from the Tribune:

I know we’ve heard a lot of other things about McCain, but that she adopted a child in need speaks volumes about her. That she adopted a brown child (long before Angelina and Madonna made it trendy and hip), and didn’t let that child’s skin color obscure her need, rounds McCain out even more.

Everybody knows Cindy McCain is loaded. But this isn’t about money. Such an adoption asks your family, including your children, to extend themselves in a way that lends more than lip service to the idea of colorblindness.

“Didn’t let that child’s skin color obscure her need?” I guess that would be amazing and saintly, if it weren’t for the fact that is the RIGHT thing to do, not the NOBLE thing to do. But as Americans, we ignore need based on skin color all the time. Because those people are so unworthy. As a result, if somebody (it has to be a “white somebody”) “overlooks” color and does something human, we heap praise upon them.

And a transracial adoption of a child of color by a white family is not, and definitely should not, include a requirement of “colorblindness.” Quite the opposite. Suggesting that you need to be “colorblind” in order to adopt a child of color suggests that there’s something wrong with the color. So you have to keep closing your eyes.

Such an adoption asks your family to extend themselves to the idea of seeing color. In a way that lends more than lip service. In a way that doesn’t make the child an object. In a way that doesn’t use the kid as evidence of how wonderful you are because you adopted her, the poor little orphan.

So no, I don’t admire Cindy McCain for adopting a brown daughter. I don’t admire John McCain for using the word “g*ok” unrepentantly while having that same brown daughter in his house. (Guess he was colorblind and just didn’t notice.) I don’t admire them for using her to prove their character and their charity.


OMFG here’s what was said at the RNC.  And the McCains trotted out their daughter while Cindy held her hand and had tears in her eyes.

Good evening. I’m Wes Gullett and this is my daughter Nikki. We’re here together because of a compassionate, remarkable woman, Cindy McCain.

And we’d like to say hello to Cindy and her daughter Bridget, and tell you our story.

For more than 20 years I have heard my friend John McCain say “Serve a cause greater than your self-interest!!”

Those words inspire me and I know that they’re inspiring Americans all across our country.

John McCain knows about service.

His entire life has been about service to our country and America is a better place because of it.

But, our story starts in a far away land: Bangladesh.

This is a story about Cindy McCain, and two baby girls she rescued and brought home to me and to John McCain.

Cindy spends much of her time working throughout the world in places most of us only see on the news.

She works with the poor, bringing them medical care, food and hope.

She has done this for years and still does it today.

On one of these trips she found two infant girls in desperate need. Actually, Cindy says they found her.

The babies were in an orphanage run by Mother Teresa.

One baby had a cleft pallet [PALATE!  IT’S P-A-L-A-T-E !]  so severe that she most certainly would not have survived.

The other baby was dangerously malnourished and barely hanging on to life.

These babies faced short lives, without hope.

So Cindy decided that she would bring them home, give them hope and save their lives.

I remember the day we first saw the girls — wrapped in orphan’s swaddling cloth and t-shirts — bought on the first airport stop in Bangkok — so big they were like blankets on their tiny bodies.

Cindy had just flown more than half way around the world with an infant in each arm. She was exhausted, totally spent, but she had brought home our future daughter and, to us, she looked like an angel.

I remember John’s face when he first met his daughter, Bridget.

That day he was not the tough war hero Senator.

He was like every other new father, full of love and emotion.

That day my friend John McCain and his wife answered a call for help with love. I know they will always answer the call of those in need – because they have done so time and again, throughout their lives.

Cindy McCain saved those little babies 17 years ago and those girls have grown into beautiful young women.

Let me close by reading some of Nikki’s own words from an award-winning essay she wrote a couple of years ago:

“I was born in Bangladesh a malnourished, abandoned girl child… But I was a lucky one, adopted by parents in America and naturalized as a U.S. citizen… I am so glad I am an American girl.”

Nikki, we’re proud you

And we’re proud of Cindy McCain who brought you and Bridget home to this great country.

I think America will be an even better place with Cindy, and her husband, John, in the White House.

7 thoughts on “Sorry, no.

  1. OMFG is right. But what do you expect from a party that’s willing to throw a pregnant seventeen year old under the bus in the name of political gain?

    I posted yesterday about the availability of blog space on the Obama website; I’m not sure if it’s on the McCain site or not, but I would guess it is. Everyone who wants these attitudes to change should be there making the point, but if you read my post you’ll see what kinds of attitudes I found. In mainstream America, adoption is charity and an alternative to abortion, period. These attitudes won’t change until a whole lot of people start making the point that we do a disservice to both adoption and abortion when we view them as two sides of the same coin.

    You absolutely get the prize for best posts of the day, and it’s only 7:51 where I am!

  2. Seriously. Margie is right. Best post of the day. 9:35 here.

    It’s sickening and disgusting. I fear for all of the work adoption reformists have done if McCain is elected.

  3. Oh no, I missed this speech cuz I was more or less focussed on the top dogs last night.

    resistance – I disagree somewhat with your assessment of the Sarah Palin situation because the ugliness of the fake pregnancy rumor already put her daughter in the spotlight, so I can understand them just trying to get all the ugly news out in one day (including her husband’s DUI).

    This on the other hand – totally hits me hard. I just feel awful for those kids – and they are still kids. To be propped up on stage and where remarks are given indicating that you should be grateful for your adoption. Ick.

    This line is fine: “On one of these trips she found two infant girls in desperate need. Actually, Cindy says they found her.”

    But then this: “So Cindy decided that she would bring them home, give them hope and save their lives.”

    I’m just speechless though that this girls father actually quoted her…
    “But I was a lucky one”

    Jenna be encouraged because I can tell you that many agencies these days discourage this attitude and actually train AP’s out of it.

  4. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    I’m really over this entire party using their children to their potential advantage. REALLY over it.

  5. Amen. But I’m not sure the text alone does the speech justice. You’ve just gotta hear the delivery and see the visuals to get the full effect. Almost as good as Ipecac…

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