Will the Real John McCain Please Stand Up?
- John McCain once believed in comprehensive immigration reform–nearly identical to the Bush plan (one of the few good ideas of the Bush era) and that Democrats supported and the Republicans defeated. Now, to try to secure his base, McCain, the one GOP candidate for pres. who was trusted by a % of Latinos, has reversed himself and supported the border fence and no path to citizenship for undocumented aliens currently living in the U.S.
- John McCain once called the Religious Right, “agents of intolerance.” Now, he has been burned by John Hagee and Rod Parsely because he actively sought the support of these same agents of intolerance.
- John McCain once was firmly opposed to all forms of torture, including waterboarding. Since securing the GOP nomination, he voted against the Senate bill to ban all forms of interrogation that do not conform to the Army manual (based on the Geneva Conventions) and, when it passed anyway, urged Bush to veto it (which he did).
- John McCain once called Hamas “the duly elected government of Palestine” and said the U.S. government would have to talk with them. Since then, he has attacked Barack Obama because a member of Hamas endorsed his candidacy (yesterday, this was revoked), even though Obama never urged talking with Hamas before they gave up violence and recognized Israel’s right to exist. (In fact, in 2002, Obama urged the U.S. not to support Palestinian elections with Hamas on the ticket.)
- John McCain has called Obama’s position about talking with enemies, including Iran, “naive,” and even “appeasement,” but McCain’s high ranking staff members have included lobbyists with ties to many dictatorships unfriendly to the U.S.–including Iran. (Why talk to them when you can just lobby for their interests in Congress?) Cindy McCain, who owns most of the family wealth, only recently sold stock from dictatorships with clear conflicts of interest with the U.S.
- John McCain used to believe in clean government, but now his campaign has more lobbyists than any in recent history.
- John McCain once opposed spying on U.S. citizens, without a warrant. Today, he completely reversed himself and supported Bush’s domestic spying program 100%.
- John McCain once opposed the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, but now wants to make them permanent. He has recently claimed that he only opposed them because they weren’t accompanied by spending cuts (pay as you go fiscal conservatism), but that was NOT the reason he gave then. For the first round of tax cuts (2001), McCain complained that they unfairly benefitted the super-rich with little help for the poor or middle class. He was right, so why does he want to make such injustice permanent? For the second round of tax cuts (2002-03), McCain complained that never in our history had we cut taxes in time of war. Wars are expensive and need to be paid for by the generation waging them, not their children and grandchildren. He was right, so why does he now want to make those cuts also permanent?
- John McCain has claimed in Louisiana that he struggled to do right by the people of New Orleans. In fact, he opposed the creation of a Katrina commission twice.
- John McCain has claimed in Washington State and Oregon that he is an environmentalist that wouldn’t wait 8 years (a reference to Bush) to act boldly on climate change and that he supported the Senate bill that would seek to tackle climate change. A week ago, he changed his mind, opposed the bill and announced that he would skip the vote. Today, Obstruction-in-Chief Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Republicans blocked passage of the bill.
- John McCain used to be considered a bi-partisan, “maverick,” independent, straight-talking, moderately conservative Republican who could work with Democrats to get things done. But in 2007, he voted the Bush line 95% of the time and in 2008, he has voted the Bush agenda 100% of the time.
Can America trust John McCain? Has the “Straight-Talk Express” taken a detour through “Baloney Town?” (This is a somewhat cleaner version of a question asked by comic Jon Stewart, who admired the old John McCain.)
These outright reversals do not count the many inconsistencies, errors in fact (such as confusing Sunnis and Shi’a, believing that we are back down to pre-surge levels of troops in Iraq), plagiarized slogans (“Leadership We Can Believe In” combines lines from both Clinton and Obama), confused claims or just outright incompetent statements. It doesn’t include his plans to privatize Social Security (which the American people overwhelmingly rejected in ’05 when Bush tried it) or that his economic advisor is “Foreclosure Phil” Gramm whose work has been a major factor in the housing crisis or that another major advisor (Goldfarb) believes the Constitution gives the president “near dictatorial powers” in time of war (!), or that Karl Rove, who smeared McCain and his family in 2000 is now advising his campaign this year, etc., etc.
America and the world suffered grievously under George W. Bush. Clearly, John McCain would be more of the same. We cannot take even 4 years of a McCain presidency.
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