The questioner noted that he had been educated at Princeton and Harvard and made more than $300,000 a year.
"How can I be proud of my country?" he asked.
Get it — he was mocking Michelle Obama and her statement earlier this year that her husband had for the first time in her life made her proud of her country.
Hardy har har har. Because, you know, getting a good education means that any discrimination one has felt due to being black, or a woman, or a black woman -- that magically disappears!
To his credit, McCain either missed or ignored the fever-swamp joke, and instead gave a decent answer:
"I’ll admit to you that it’s tough, it’s tough in some respects," McCain said, seeming to lend credence to Michelle Obama's observation.
McCain said America needed to be "more humble, more inclusive."
zOMG! Old Man Surge hates America!!!!eleventyone!!!
Look, I take a number of shots at McSame, and on policy, he deserves them: On Iraq, he's proposing a third Bush term, whether he wants to admit it or not. On economics, he's proposing to follow the Bush plan, only with less attention to detail. He has flip-flopped repeatedly, and unfortunately, usually in the wrong direction. He's far from perfect.
But he's also not completely disconnected from reality, unlike most Republicans these days. And if you have any connection to reality whatsoever, it's impossible to miss the clear fact that yeah, it is hard to be proud of our country these days. We're engaged in a couple wars that aren't going so well, one of which didn't need to be fought in the first place. Our economy is in a tailspin, and seems to work to the benefit of the plutocracy at the expense of everyone else. It's less than four years since we let New Orleans drown. Racism and sexism are endemic, and let's not get started on homophobia. And those things that we used to be able to take pride in as a nation despite it all -- our commitment to free speech, the rule of law, and personal privacy -- are under a concerted assault by the very man sworn to uphold them.
When Michelle Obama said she was proud of her country for the first time in her adult life, she was being hyperbolic -- but not by much, and not unjustifiably. There are things about America that I am proud of, but for most of the sixteen years of my adult life, the things that I am proud of have been outweighed by the things that shame me about my country. I hope that we are finally starting to turn the corner, to start moving towards the kind of country we can be, the one that we can, in fact, be proud of. But that will take being more humble, and more tolerant -- and admitting that fact is not a sign one hates America, whether one is John McCain or Michelle Obama. If you love something, you don't ignore its faults. You work to change them.