Posts Tagged ‘mccain’

John McCarthy

October 10, 2008

It is a sad commentary on McCain’s desperation and hunger for power that he allows his staff and his running mate to accuse Obama of being a terrorist. Is that how adled McCain has become that he honestly cannot separate someone that he disagrees with from an enemy of our nation?

I think that, if a candidate doesn’t deserve leading our nation as president, it is the one who’s willing to call his fellow senator an enemy of America, so that he can achieve a selfish political end.

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McCain’s Gotcha Politics

September 30, 2008

Listening to John and Sarah try to explain how she didn’t contradict McCain on Pakistan is, well, just painful to those of us who are used to honesty and sense.

For the record of Palin’s response in context, read this record of the discussion, which is essentially the same as her response to a Charles Gibson question.

“So we do cross-border, like from Afghanistan to Pakistan, you think?” Rovito asked.

“If that’s what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should,” Palin said.

The fact is that McCain attacked Obama for a deliberate misreading of his statement last year:

Obama said there was “misreporting” of his comments, that “I never called for an invasion of Pakistan or Afghanistan.” He said rather than a surge in the number of troops in Iraq, there needs to be a “diplomatic surge” and that U.S. troops should be withdrawn within a year.

Further, the U.S. senator from Illinois said, if there were “actionable intelligence reports” showing al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the U.S. troops as a last resort should enter and try to capture terrorists. That would happen, he added, only if “the Pakistani government was unable or unwilling” to go after the terrorists.

If anything, Obama’s answer was far more mature than Palin’s unqualified plan to cross the Pakistani border because he put a very specific qualification to it: the Pakistani government was unable or unwilling” to pursue the terrorists.

Yet, not so long ago, conservatives criticized Clinton for not attacking bin Laden in foreign countries, even if it meant taking out innocents or non-al Qaeda political leaders with him. [See the Fox interview starting at the 4:00 mark.]

The fact is that Palin says nothing substantively different than what Obama said. Instead, McCain and Palin try to divert us from that inescapable fact with some wildass claim about “gotcha” journalism, which is generally understood as taking advantage of a simple or ambiguous question to highlight some apparent contradiction. That wasn’t what happened with Palin: she was asked a rather clear question and answered it with some specificity.

But I have a question for McCain who criticized Obama for his statement to protect America: what exactly did he mean when he said the following:

If he truly meant what he said, then, without a doubt, countries like Pakistan understand what he’s saying. To that end, he doesn’t differ from what Obama said.

The only “gotcha” here is McCain’s pathetic “gotcha politics” for trying to make Obama sound naive when, in fact, he’s not saying anything different than what an “experienced” senator like McCain himself has said: he will do what is necessary.

McCain’s False Claims

September 27, 2008

John McCain made several false claims in tonight’s debate.

Claim: By the way, my friend, Dr. Kissinger, who’s been my friend for 35 years, would be interested to hear this conversation and Senator Obama’s depiction of his — of his positions on the issue. I’ve known him for 35 years. And I guarantee you he would not — he would not say that presidential top level.

Fact: Kissinger does support talking to Iran “without conditions” and a high, presidential level. He may have known Kissinger for 35 years, but he apparently doesn’t know what he says.

Claim: “I have voted for alternate fuel all of my time.”

Fact: According to Project Vote Smart, John McCain has not voted to support alternative energy since at least 1996. He voted did vote for or voted against the following alternative energy bills:

  • Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Amendment HR 6 on 06/16/2005
  • 06/16/2005 Reduction in Dependence on Foreign Oil HR 6
  • 06/28/2005 Energy Policy Act of 2005 HR 6
  • 06/21/2007 Alternative Energy Subsidies S Amdt 1704
  • 06/21/2007 Energy Act of 2007 HR 6
  • 06/17/2008 Alternative Energy Tax Incentives HR 6049

Claim: “I know the veterans. I know them well. And I know that they know that I’ll take care of them.”

Fact: According to Project Vote Smart, John McCain has not voted for a bill for veterans benefits since at least 2005.

  • 10/05/2005 Health Care for Veterans Amendment HR 2863
  • 11/17/2005 Additional Funding For Veterans Amendment S 2020
  • 02/02/2006 Tax Rate Extension Amendment HR 4297
  • 05/22/2008 GI Bill and Other Domestic Provisions S Amdt 4803

John McCain told several stories about his visiting foreign countries and past foreign policy debates, but the point remains that, for all of his vast experience, why did he vote for the unnecessary Iraq War? For all of his experience, why did he say that we could “muddle through” Afghanistan? For all of his vast foreign policy experience, why did he shift focus from those that attacked us on September 11?

McCain on muddling through Afghanistan:

Suspending News on Suspended Campaigns

September 25, 2008

I think the media should take McCain’s campaign suspension seriously and relegate them to the news bin:

  • Do not interview or report anything from the McCain campaign staff and advisors.
  • Do not try to interview Sarah Palin or report on her bogus photo ops.
  • Do not quote, interview, or talk about McCain outside of his legislation on the bailout measures, which would put him behind Senate leaders are already working on resolutions.

You want your media freeze out, John? Well, welcome to it.

Spiraling McCain Wants a Time-Out

September 25, 2008

We’ve known how bad the Palin pick was, but we had idea that it was so bad that John McCain would try to keep her from the press. But now that she has been exposed repeatedly by rather tame interviewers, the McCain campaign is now trying to keep her out of the vice presidential debates by postponing them.

Is it any wonder? She might just make Stockdale look prepared.

By “suspending” his campaign for an issue that two weeks ago he didn’t think was “about to crater,” McCain seems close to just giving up on the election. I’m trying to figure out what exactly he’s going to contribute to this economic issue. Consider his infamous statement a few days ago: After saying the economy was fundamentally strong, he proceeds to list his usual economic plan . . . “robust energy plan . . . low taxes and reduced burden of government.” Folks, government burden, energy, and taxes have zero to do with the current problems. If anything, the lack of government oversight is responsible for this crisis. We don’t need the failure that is his vice presidential candidate (who is not ready to be president today) to know that McCain has no idea what’s going on or what to do. We can listen to him on the topics themselves to know that he’s lost . . . in more ways than one. The current economic issue is so difficult for him that apparently, he can’t focus on anything else. After he’s still trying to figure out if he supports the bailout or not.

Barack Obama, on the other, has shown calm leadership, doing what should always be done–lay out, first, criteria for a good solution for the Wall Street crisis.

With all the controversies surrounding McCain and Palin, it’s no wonder he wants a time-out.

It Could Be Worse

September 19, 2008

As we watch the current economic crisis and failing financial institutions, and as some near retirement see portfolio losses, remember which presidential candidate voted for Bush’s 2006 plan to privatize Social Security and who, in his 2000 presidential campaign, proposed diverting Social Security to private accounts. Imagine how much worse it would be for those depending on Social Security if Bush and McCain had had their way.

When McCain said, “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” believe him.

Update: McCain had the audacity to say the following yesterday:

“While Fannie and Freddie were working to keep Congress away from their house of cards, Senator Obama was taking their money,” the Republican nominee for president says. “He got more, in fact, than any other member of Congress, except for the Democratic chairmen of the committee that oversees them. And while Fannie Mae was betraying the public trust, somehow its former CEO had managed to gain my opponent’s trust to the point that Senator Obama actually put him in charge of his vice presidential search….”

Really, McCain should take a look at his own staff: AIG, Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers lobbyists. And in 2008, Freddie and Fannie directors, lobbyists, and officers have contributed nearly 10 times more to McCain’s campaign than to Obama’s.

The McCain lies and flipflops continue.

Arrogant Ignorance

September 18, 2008

One of the disturbing things about George Bush is that, for a man lacking knowledge and experience in so many areas, he displayed more than just confidence but outright arrogance. It seems that we are seeing that odd combination yet again in Sarah Palin. For example, consider the following exchange with a very GOP-friendly townhall meeting:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor Palin, there has been quite a bit of discussion about your perceived lack of foreign policy experience. And I want to give you your chance. If you could please respond to that criticism and give us specific skills that you think you have to bring to the White House to rebut that or mitigate that concern.

PALIN: Well, I think because I’m a Washington outsider that opponents are going to be looking for a whole lot of things that they can criticize and they can kind of try to beat the candidates here, who chose me as his partner, to kind of tear down the ticket. But as for foreign policy, you know, I think that I am prepared and I know that on January 20th, if we are so blessed as to be sworn into office as your president and vice president, certainly we’ll be ready. I’ll be ready. I have that confidence. I have that readiness.

Nowhere does she describe the specific skills that the questionner asked for. Instead, she just gives us this Stewart Smiley belief in herself, as if that is all that is needed. Yet, her interviews continue to reveal someone who really has no idea about anything and displays, like Bush, a penchant for obtuse and incoherent statements.

Through reform, absolutely.  Look at the oversight that has been lack, I believe, here at the 1930s type of regulatory regime overseeing some of these corporations.

It seems that Tina Fey’s portrayal wasn’t an insult: the impersonation may have actually been more intelligible and smarter than the real thing.

It’s important to be confident and to believe that you can do something, but generally that’s what we expect of underachievers, the inexperienced, and the young. But we’re not talking a job learning program: candidates must display some real qualifications, real knowledge about national issues, when running for national office. For example, consider the contrast the Jerusalem Post drew between McCain and Obama:

In March, on his whirlwind visit to Israel, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, one of whose primary strengths is said to be his intimate grasp of foreign affairs, chose to bring along Sen. Joe Lieberman to the interview our diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon and I conducted with him, looked to Lieberman several times for reassurance on his answers and seemed a little flummoxed by a question relating to the nuances of settlement construction.

Several of Obama’s Middle East advisers – including former Clinton special envoy Dennis Ross and ex-ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer – were hovering in the vicinity. But Obama, who was making only his second visit to Israel, knew precisely what he wanted to say about the most intricate issues confronting and concerning Israel, and expressed himself clearly, even stridently on key subjects.

The fact is that with the Republican ticket, voters have no idea what they are getting: Palin doesn’t demonstrate any qualifying knowledge or mental prowess, and John McCain just flips and flops so much that we don’t know what he stands for.

The Last Gasp for Republican Moderates

September 15, 2008

I think Sarah Palin poses a very interesting issue for the GOP, win or lose. Typically, political parties, after losing the presidential election, play the game of blaming the different party factions: “We need to move more to the middle!” and “We didn’t stick with our core (read: extreme) values and policies!”

Without a doubt, Palin has energized the Republican base and religious right, which were less than enthusiastic of McCain (and still are to some degree). If McCain wins, can we expect McCain to roll back on his 75+ flip-flops to appeal to the extreme wing of the GOP? Probably not, because Palin could argue that she was responsible for that win. And who’s to say the self-described pit bull won’t want more meat of the bone to chew on, that she won’t want to have more say in policies? (Maybe then she can finally get her ex-brother-in-law fired.)

But, if McCain loses, it won’t be blamed on Palin but on McCain because he didn’t appeal to the far right until late in the game (regardless of the fact that he started those appeals and flip-flops more than 2 years ago).

Win or lose, I’m predicting that the extreme wing of the GOP will wrest even more party control and that the moderates will have had their day. You might be a Republican who believes in limited government but in freedom from government intrustion in your personal life. And you are about to find yourself even further removed from the GOP, which about to be a beast of cultural war. A party of supposed Christian values that sees fear and war in every corner.

McCain’s Sad Judgement

September 8, 2008

You can say a lot about McCain’s choice of Palin and all the problems she has with ethics and lying, but really it comes down to a simple question:

Is Palin really the best person McCain could find for the job?

She isn’t, which is evidence enough of McCain’s problematic judgement. We know that McCain’s reasons for this “affirmative action” selection is that the religious right base just wasn’t interested in supporting him, so this selection was an attempt to mobilize them, which it has. Yet, if religious conservatives looked at her critically, they would realize she’s not even the best religious candidate.

Oh, and I find this funny: if Palin has more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined, then she also has more executive experience than John McCain.

McCain’s Haig Moment

August 15, 2008

John McCain isn’t the president, but he thinks if he acts like one, people will think he is. The thing is that this is the as close to being president that McCain will get.