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McCain a Reformer?

2 posts in this topic

McCain a Reformer? How Hypocritical Can You Get!

By Bill Hare

09/08/2008 01:51:16 PM EST

The first thing Democrats should do is end all this praise toward John McCain as a hero and a great man.

It is undeniable that John McCain as a Vietnam prisoner of war endured great hardship, but so did John Kerry and Max Cleland endure tragedy and lasting injuries there, in Cleland's case losing his limbs.

The record reveals that in each case the same Republican hypocrites who respond to every criticism of McCain with a reminder that he was in a Vietnamese prison camp and have Sarah Palin deliver a stiff dose of same when she introduces him at joint rallies, provided anything but respect for the Vietnam accomplishments of Democrats.

What about what former Dick Cheney operative Mary Matlin said immediately after the 2004 Democratic Convention?

Matlin, articulating Republican strategy, said that Kerry's medals reflecting heroism and the saving of lives of fellow Americans represented only a brief period of his life and it was time to move on to the issues facing the nation in the election.

Republicans moved on in the case of Kerry and before that with the highly decorated Cleland by launching Swift Boat attacks, with Cleland in an add run by his ruthless opponent in the Georgia senate race, Saxby Chambliss, with help from Karl Rove, that likened him to Saddam Hussein. This was the same Chambliss who opted out of the Vietnam War because he had a "bad knee" and whose recent hobby is jogging.

With Republicans responding in such a shabby way to Americans who served heroically in Vietnam and earned military honors superior to John McCain, Democrats should in the last two months abandon obligatory praise for McCain and begin recognizing him for what he has done during his political career and even earlier.

Since Republicans with their strong evangelical Christian base are so quick to criticize any Democrats who dared engage in marital infidelity, seeking to remove one popular Democratic president for a brief consensual affair, it should be noted that John McCain coldly left his first wife after she had been injured in a serious auto accident.

At the time that McCain decided to divorce his wife he had been conducting a long affair with a younger woman who happened to be connected by inheritance to a large brewery distributorship.

McCain married Cindy, the blonde who serves as his apparent minder at virtually every event where he speaks, and fell into some $100 million, which got him launched first toward a seat in the House of Representatives and ultimately his current position as a U.S. Senator from Arizona.

Ann Coulter and other strident members of the Republican attack machine had shouted themselves hoarse over Clinton's infidelities and John Kerry's having married a wealthy woman, but are silent on both fronts regarding John McCain.

Infidelity only appears to be sinful when practiced by Democrats with attacks generated by Karl Rove style thugs well paid by corporate opportunists, when then whip into line Christian fundamentalists.

Rather than being the nice guy portrayed in Republican advertisements, McCain has a reputation as a grumpy man with a hair trigger temper who has exploded often at his Republican colleagues, some of whom lament privately about his temperament and how it would serve the country under a McCain presidency.

Last week on Larry King Live former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis spoke about the time he and ex-Republican Governor Tommy Thompson visited McCain in his Senate office to espouse the cause of a national Amtrak line. McCain rudely threw them out of his office since he opposed a national train rail line.

The meeting with Dukakis and Thompson is indicative of the meaningfulness of McCain's current promise to "work with Democrats" should he be elected. Collegiality has not been a McCain hallmark.

If McCain wanted to demonstrate the brand of courage his operatives claim he possesses he had the opportunity after he was ruthlessly smeared along with his wife and even his Bangladeshi adopted daughter, who was referred to as being "black" as a victim of scurrilous racism, by the campaign of then Texas Governor George Bush and his ruthless campaign manager Karl Rove.

That campaign, one of the most shameful in U.S. history, occurred in the 2000 South Carolina Republican Primary, when Bush needed a win at all costs and was willing to do anything to insure that result. Even though McCain demonstrated anger toward Bush at the time, during one joint debate appearance on Larry King, snarling "Don't you touch me!" to his Texas rival, when the campaign ended it was another story.

McCain proved to be a conciliatory lap dog eager to earn his spurs and shine as a Republican star at a future point as he was seen not only endorsing Bush, albeit with a highly uncomfortable expression, but campaigning vigorously for him both in 2000 and 2004.

If McCain had wanted to demonstrate true courage he could have announced that he was leaving the Republican Party of Bush and Rove since its tactics and philosophy of winning at any cost were heinous as exemplified by campaign tactics of Nixon and McCarthy in the 1950's.

A real maverick could have been expected to take that position, as Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon had done in the fifties, when he broke with Republicans over Nixon and McCarthy, ultimately becoming an Independent and finally a Democrat.

For all your crowing about courage and being a maverick, John McCain, you are no Wayne Morse!

Then there is the side of McCain that claims to be a maverick reformer. This is the same McCain who proclaims "we are all Georgians" relating to that current international conflict while one of his top campaign aides has been a well paid lobbyist for Georgia who has pocketed some $800,000 for his efforts.

The senator who rides in the campaign bus called the "straight talk express" is in fact surrounded by lobbyists, who run his presidential effort, while he repeatedly promises to "fix the system" and rails against pet local projects known as "earmarks."

On the earmark scene McCain named Alaska's "queen of earmarks" Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. McCain and Palin hypocritically point to her success in securing projects initially for Wasilla, the Fairbanks suburb she once governed as its mayor, and later for Alaska as governor.

Simultaneously, and without missing a hypocritical beat, McCain and Palin proclaim her political service as squarely in the reformer tradition. It is underscored that she, like McCain, opposes earmarks.

If McCain had any real political courage would he be running away from George Bush and Dick Cheney? They were the Republican forces of leadership that gave us the Iraq War and tax cuts geared toward America's wealthiest citizens . Bush received eight minutes and delivered his speech well away from the St. Paul convention site while Cheney was out of the country.

Meanwhile McCain and Palin were campaigning as reformers seeking to radically alter a system that they both have exploited generously. In McCain's case he has voted for Bush proposals 90% of the time. This fact so what is he rebelling about?

If he were really a candidate of principle then McCain would, despite current poll numbers, insist that Bush and Cheney were following the correct path and that is why he had supported them.

How about McCain's tax policy? As a designated "maverick reformer" he denounced and voted against Bush's outrageous tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest citizens of the nation and helped result in an unprecedented national debt that will soon reach a staggering $10 trillion.

To grab the traditional Republican base and secure the nomination from competitors like Mitt Romney, Rudolph Guiliani and Mike Huckabee, the same McCain who now runs away from Bush and Cheney solidly embraced the worst of their policies, beginning with those same irresponsible tax cuts.

So now "reformer" McCain has stated that he favors such tax cuts in the future.

As for the Iraq War, there is nothing said by this "reformer" about how the conflict was launched on a tissue of lies with claims of "weapons of mass destruction" after Cheney and corporate oil divided up spoils of victory in advance of the first shock and awe attacks, with Cheney's company that he headed as CEO, Halliburton, naturally heading the pack.

Not long after the first shock and awe attacks George Bush stood on a Naval carrier and decreed "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, with John McCain echoing those some words. Some one million deaths later and with a strengthened al Qaeda making a strong presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan, McCain takes bows over the Iraq surge and declares that America is on the verge of victory.

McCain lives through the same fantasy regarding Iraq as the man he ardently follows and simultaneously runs away from, George Bush. Is running away from Bush an act of courage?

While McCain lays claim to being a no nonsense economic reformer, his track record in his own state of Arizona belies that claim. McCain was a member of the "Keating Five" who received gusto support and benefactor status from one of America's most corrupt individuals, savings and loan czar Charles Keating, who swindled investors, including numerous seniors who thereby became destitute.

McCain's corporate benefactor Keating was ultimately sent to federal prison for defrauding customers and racketeering.

The record reveals John McCain to be anything but an American hero and reformer. He marches to the corporate tune of the nation's most corrupt political forces, seeking to run away from those with whom he has strongly identified as he opportunistically advanced his selfish career aims.

Rather than a hero, John McCain stacks up as a fraud who seeks to change the dynamics of the presidential campaign in which his record should be very much a factor into a personality conflict where he hides behind the skirts of an equally opportunistic running mate proclaiming a comparable fraudulent "reformer" mantle.


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Matlin, articulating Republican strategy, said that Kerry's medals reflecting heroism and the saving of lives of fellow Americans represented only a brief period of his life and it was time to move on to the issues facing the nation in the election.

The statement might be referring to John Kerry holding hands with Jane Fonda two weeks after he came home. Besides, issues don't really matter with Kerry. If you don't like his stand on something just wait a week or two for him to flip-flop.

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