Saturday, November 8, 2008

Max Cleland's Chance for Revenge

Max Cleland’s Chance for Revenge

“Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats”

-Carrie Underwood

It’s certain now. Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss did not get a majority for re-election.
If he wants to hold on to his Senate seat, he will have to defeat challenger Jim Martin in a run off election on December 2.

It will be a day for patriotic Americans to even the score. Chambliss does not deserve to sit in the United States Senate.

The Senate seat previously belonged to Max Cleland. Six years ago, Chambliss got in the gutter to steal it from him.

I’m stunned to see that John McCain is planning to campaign for Chambliss. Cleland ,
(ironically, like John McCain) is a bona fide American hero. His valor during the Vietnam war resulted in his becoming a triple amputee. After a life in public service, he was elected a United States Senator from Georgia.

In the Senate, Cleland served honorably and well. And in 2002, Max was the victim one of the most disgusting smear campaigns in American history.

When the country was recovering from the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center,
Saxby Chambliss ran a campaign that claimed that Max Cleland was somehow helping Osama Bin Laden. He based his convoluted “evidence” on some Senate procedural vote that wasn’t the slightest bit relevant.

In the 2002 climate of fear, Chambliss’s lies and distortion worked. Now it is 2008, it is time for Chambliss to face the music.

I want to hear Chambliss’s explanation now. What he did in 2002 doesn’t work six years later.

It is time for Chambliss to atone for his sins.

One of the biblical 10 commandants is not to bear false witness. Chambliss will have to answer to God someday but on December 2nd, he needs to answer to the people of Georgia.

I’m hoping the rest of the country pitches in to defeat Chambliss. I also hope that John McCain starts to act like the John McCain of 2000 instead of the one we saw this year and puts patriotism over party.

Having a Vietnam War hero like McCain campaign against the man who smeared Max Cleland is an outrage.

I don’t know much about the challenger Martin. I really don’t need to. I would vote for Larry the Cable Guy or Homer Simpson if they were running against Saxby Chambliss.

Chambliss got in the Senate with a dirty trick and he needs to go home.

Cleland’s loss was a low point in American politics. How you can question the patriotism of a man who left several body parts in Southeast Asia? Why did voters go for it?

It inspired candidates in other states to pick out phony charges and run negative ads. If you can get away with smearing Max Cleland’s patriotism, you could get away with anything.

2008 is the time to make it stop. Once and for all.

Cleland is a real hero, with real accomplishments, who dedicated his life to serving his country. He was brought down by a guy who smudged the truth.

Actually he wasn’t brought down, he just had to leave the Senate. It takes more than Saxby Chambliss to bring Max Cleland down. I met Cleland after his Senate career, when he was traveling the country, helping like minded candidates. It can't be easy for a triple amputee to be barnstorming the country. It would be simple for Max Cleland to sit home and let others lead the charge.

That is not Max Cleland’s style.

Chambliss cheated to get his Senate seat.

I want Chambliss, and every other politician, to think before the next time they cheat.

Don McNay is the founder of McNay Settlement Group in Richmond, Ky. He is the author of the Unbridled World of Ernie Fletcher. You can read his award winning column at or write to him at He is Treasurer of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

No comments: