How highly does John McCain esteem women?  It’s a fair question now that Sarah “Quayle” Palin is on the ticket.  Johnny M. might even say, “That’s an excellent question.”

The answer is as simple as “A-B-C.”

“A” stands for adultery, or possibly polygamy, depending on how you interpret the facts, and don’t care that the “A” comes near the end of polygamy.  McCain has made several statements that contradict the facts on record regarding his divorce from first wife Carol and marriage to beer heiress Cindy Hensley.

From the LATimes:

In his 2002 memoir, “Worth the Fighting For,” McCain wrote that he had separated from Carol before he began dating Hensley.

“I spent as much time with Cindy in Washington and Arizona as our jobs would allow,” McCain wrote. “I was separated from Carol, but our divorce would not become final until February of 1980.”

An examination of court documents tells a different story. McCain did not sue his wife for divorce until Feb. 19, 1980, and he wrote in his court petition that he and his wife had “cohabited” until Jan. 7 of that year — or for the first nine months of his relationship with Hensley.

Although McCain suggested in his autobiography that months passed between his divorce and remarriage, the divorce was granted April 2, 1980, and he wed Hensley in a private ceremony five weeks later. McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.

Just for fun, let’s go back to November 2007.  Johnny McCain had fallen all over himself apologizing for his mother when she slammed Mormons on Hardball with Chris Matthews:

Matthews: “…You don’t think Romney’s done much heavy lifting for America then?”

R. McCain: “No, I don’t. I think being Senator – uh a Congressman, uh, a Senator – whatever it was, a Governor for four years. And as far as the Salt Lake City thing, he’s a Mormon and the Mormons of Salt Lake City caused that scandal and to clean that up, I – it’s, it’s not even again, it’s not a subject.”

J. McCain: “The views of my mother are not necessarily the views of mine.”

(nervous laughter from Sen. McCain and Matthews)

R. McCain: “Well that’s my opinion and you asked me.”

Yup. Mommy ripped a big one on national TV, and Johnny M. had to disavow that one.

But Johnny wasn’t nearly as concerned when one of his supporters called Hillary Clinton the B-word:

At a campaign event in South Carolina, a McCain backer stood up to ask the senator, “How do we beat the bitch?”

In response, McCain said, “We have our differences with our Democratic rivals, but I believe in treating people with respect. It’s why I don’t refer to women as ‘bitches,’ even when I disagree with them. I’m sure all of us believe we can debate the serious issues of the day without name-calling and degrading language.”

No, no, I’m just kidding. He actually responded, “That’s an excellent question.”

What about the “C” word?  The Real McCain by Cliff Schecter reports an angry exchange between McCain and his wife in full view of aides and reporters during a 1992 campaign stop:

Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain’s intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain’s hair and said, “You’re getting a little thin up there.” McCain’s face reddened, and he responded, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.” McCain’s excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.

Yes, many long days indeed. And this time with a woman at his side.