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Monday, February 04, 2013

McCain’s racist joke called out by fellow Republican


Senator John McCain’s joke comparing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the monkey that Iran claimed it sent into space earned him a scolding from a fellow Republican, Michigan congressman Justin Amash.

“Maybe you should wisen up & not make racist jokes,” Amash, who is of Palestinian and Syrian descent, tweeted at McCain. McCain had sent a tweet in response to the strange news that Ahmadinejad was offering himself up to be Iran’s first astronaut, writing, “So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space - wasn’t he just there last week?” and linking to a story about the monkey.

McCain then told everyone on Twitter who had taken him to task for the tweet to “lighten up.”

Amash, 31, is a libertarian Republican who was endorsed by Ron Paul and who has in a way molded himself in Paul’s image — which includes calling out more senior Republicans.

“Can’t you take a joke?” is an old-school dodge for people trying to shrug off accusations of racism. The newer take is “Oh, don’t be so PC!” As always, McCain’s not quite up with the times.

A McCain spokesperson reiterated the dodge, releasing a statement that told the press, “As Senator McCain said in his follow-up tweet, he was poking fun at Ahmadinejad’s outer space ambitions…” Of course, he was “poking fun” by saying middle easterners look like monkeys.

That McCain can’t see what all the fuss is about speaks volumes about him. And that the vast majority of Republicans didn’t call McCain out like Amash did speak volumes about his party.

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