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View Full Version : Elections WaPo Columnist jumps off McCain's ship


NewChief
09-16-2008, 05:23 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/15/AR2008091502406_pf.html
The Ugly New McCain

By Richard Cohen
Wednesday, September 17, 2008;

Following his loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 South Carolina primary, John McCain did something extraordinary: He confessed to lying about how he felt about the Confederate battle flag, which he actually abhorred. "I broke my promise to always tell the truth," McCain said. Now he has broken that promise so completely that the John McCain of old is unrecognizable. He has become the sort of politician he once despised.

The precise moment of McCain's abasement came, would you believe, not at some news conference or on one of the Sunday shows but on "The View," the daytime TV show created by Barbara Walters. Last week, one of the co-hosts, Joy Behar, took McCain to task for some of the ads his campaign has been running. One deliberately mischaracterized what Barack Obama had said about putting lipstick on a pig -- an Americanism that McCain himself has used. The other asserted that Obama supported teaching sex education to kindergarteners.

"We know that those two ads are untrue," Behar said. "They are lies."

Freeze. Close in on McCain. This was the moment. He has largely been avoiding the press. The Straight Talk Express is now just a brand, an ad slogan like "Home Cooking" or "We Will Not Be Undersold." Until then, it was possible for McCain to say that he had not really known about the ads, that the formulation "I approve this message" was just boilerplate. But he didn't.

"Actually, they are not lies," he said.

Actually, they are.

McCain has turned ugly. His dishonesty would be unacceptable in any politician, but McCain has always set his own bar higher than most. He has contempt for most of his colleagues for that very reason: They lie. He tells the truth. He internalizes the code of the McCains -- his grandfather, his father: both admirals of the shining sea. He serves his country differently, that's all -- but just as honorably. No more, though.

I am one of the journalists accused over the years of being in the tank for McCain. Guilty. Those doing the accusing usually attributed my feelings to McCain being accessible. This is the journalist-as-puppy school of thought: Give us a treat, and we will leap into a politician's lap.

Not so. What impressed me most about McCain was the effect he had on his audiences, particularly young people. When he talked about service to a cause greater than oneself, he struck a chord. He expressed his message in words, but he packaged it in the McCain story -- that man, beaten to a pulp, who chose honor over freedom. This had nothing to do with access. It had to do with integrity.

McCain has soiled all that. His opportunistic and irresponsible choice of Sarah Palin as his political heir -- the person in whose hands he would leave the country -- is a form of personal treason, a betrayal of all he once stood for. Palin, no matter what her other attributes, is shockingly unprepared to become president. McCain knows that. He means to win, which is all right; he means to win at all costs, which is not.

At a forum last week at Columbia University, McCain said, "But right now we have to restore trust and confidence in government." This was always the promise of John McCain, the single best reason to vote for him. America has been cheated on too many times -- the lies of Vietnam and Watergate and Iraq. So many lies. Who believes that in Afghanistan last month, only five civilians were killed by the American military in an airstrike, instead of the approximately 90 claimed by the Afghan government? Not me. I first gave up on the military during Vietnam and then again when it covered up the death of Pat Tillman, the Army Ranger and former NFL player who was killed in 2004 by friendly fire.

McCain was going to fix all that. He was going to look the American people in the eyes and say, not me. I will not lie to you. I am John McCain, son and grandson of admirals. I tell the truth.

But Joy Behar knew better. And so McCain lied about his lying and maybe thinks that if he wins the election, he can -- as he did in South Carolina -- renounce who he was and what he did and resume his old persona. It won't work. Karl Marx got one thing right -- what he said about history repeating itself. Once is tragedy, a second time is farce. John McCain is both.

NewChief
09-16-2008, 05:26 AM
According to my wife, who watched a lot of cable news last night while I was busy doing productive things like posting here, a new McCain theme is emerging.

McCain is, evidently, expressing small amounts of remorse and regret with the more dishonest of his ads. The theory is that he's lets his campaign get away from him and it no longer represents the kind of campaign he wants to run.

I'll be curious if they try to move forward with that "brand": McCain's camp started to get nasty, but honorable McCain has seized back control and won't let it happen again. It might be effective, but we'll see.

Friendo
09-16-2008, 05:29 AM
damn shame that Joy Behar has to show the Dems how to fight the culture war.

BigChiefFan
09-16-2008, 07:16 AM
What a great leader, lie to the public and blame the other guy.

patteeu
09-16-2008, 07:23 AM
The lipstick thing was trivial at worst, IMO, and the kindergarten thing wasn't a lie so I suspect that Cohen was looking for an excuse to jump off McCain's ship.

Mecca
09-16-2008, 07:24 AM
The lipstick thing was trivial at worst, IMO, and the kindergarten thing wasn't a lie so I suspect that Cohen was looking for an excuse to jump off McCain's ship.

It wasn't a lie? Are you kidding really?

Oh wait, it's you, nevermind.

jettio
09-16-2008, 07:29 AM
It wasn't a lie? Are you kidding really?

Oh wait, it's you, nevermind.

patteeu is the same situational ethics retard that thinks that B*sh dishonestly sold the war but did not technically "lie" while doing it.

Mecca
09-16-2008, 07:30 AM
patteeu is the same situational ethics retard that thinks that B*sh dishonestly sold the war but did not technically "lie" while doing it.

He's one of those guys that a drooling retard could run for president if he had the R next to his name he's got patteeu's vote.

jettio
09-16-2008, 07:38 AM
He's one of those guys that a drooling retard could run for president if he had the R next to his name he's got patteeu's vote.

He used to call himself a Libertarian until Bin Laden scared that out of him and B*sh picked up that megaphone at ground zero.

B*sh has had him under his spell since that moment. Just totally locked up his brain.

Mecca
09-16-2008, 07:40 AM
He used to call himself a Libertarian until Bin Laden scared that out of him and B*sh picked up that megaphone at ground zero.

B*sh has had him under his spell since that moment. Just totally locked up his brain.

So he's a complete tool in the Dennis Miller mold?

jettio
09-16-2008, 07:43 AM
So he's a complete tool in the Dennis Miller mold?

pretty much, except that Dennis Miller thinks he smart.

patteeu
09-16-2008, 08:18 AM
It wasn't a lie? Are you kidding really?

Oh wait, it's you, nevermind.

What was it that he said that was actually a lie? Do you even know?

RINGLEADER
09-16-2008, 09:37 AM
For those who actually care to know the facts about the Sex Education bill that Obama supported there is a detailed article on the subject here: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NzI3ZDUzOTE0ZThlMTU3MTY0MDI4ZTY0MTZhY2I2MGY=

Basic conclusion? That the focus of the legislation was to teach sexual education to grades K-12.

Personally, if it's age appropriate (which would go to Obama's point of teaching young ones to alert an adult if they are touched inappropriately) I don't know that I'd be against it. Unfortunately, the legislation doesn't say that.

irishjayhawk
09-16-2008, 10:19 AM
The lipstick thing was trivial at worst, IMO, and the kindergarten thing wasn't a lie so I suspect that Cohen was looking for an excuse to jump off McCain's ship.

Pat the Rat makes an appearance.

I agree with the lipstick thing being trivial. If anything, it just shows how utterly stupid the media is in covering the election or, if they're just showing viewers what they want, how stupid the electorate is. Neither is a good option.

However, you and I both know that the kindergarten thing was not a lie because of what it implied. Hell, I don't even think it implied Obama was a pedo or anything like that. But it did lie, IIRC, about what he passed and how it was phrased.

patteeu
09-16-2008, 11:06 AM
Pat the Rat makes an appearance.

I agree with the lipstick thing being trivial. If anything, it just shows how utterly stupid the media is in covering the election or, if they're just showing viewers what they want, how stupid the electorate is. Neither is a good option.

However, you and I both know that the kindergarten thing was not a lie because of what it implied. Hell, I don't even think it implied Obama was a pedo or anything like that. But it did lie, IIRC, about what he passed and how it was phrased.

In what way?

Ultra Peanut
09-16-2008, 11:35 AM
McCain is, evidently, expressing small amounts of remorse and regret with the more dishonest of his ads. The theory is that he's lets his campaign get away from him and it no longer represents the kind of campaign he wants to run.That is a very, um... RETARDED plan.

It does, however, seem to be where they're going; the Rove thing, in particular, makes it seem likely.

I'm sure he'll feel VERY SORRY about his WRIGHT AYERS REZKO REZKO AYERS WRIGHT ads come October, too.

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-16-2008, 11:52 AM
What makes people think that McCain was ever an honorable politician? Can't we please do away with this myth? What screams integrity about the Keating Five, or running out on your invalid wife to marry a beer heiress?

I'm sorry the guy got tortured, but that doesn't mean that he's a good person. Bad things don't always happen to good people, they happen to bad people too.

jidar
09-16-2008, 11:57 AM
What makes people think that McCain was ever an honorable politician? Can't we please do away with this myth? What screams integrity about the Keating Five, or running out on your invalid wife to marry a beer heiress?

I'm sorry the guy got tortured, but that doesn't mean that he's a good person. Bad things don't always happen to good people, they happen to bad people too.

I got that impression years ago when he was probably further split from the neocon base. I'm generally liberal in my politics, and I once said that Mccain was a republican I could vote for (2003ish I believe).
These days he doesn't seem like the same guy, and I find myself wondering if it's an act or if he changed.

Cannibal
09-16-2008, 11:59 AM
Oh wait, it's you, nevermind.

:D True.

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-16-2008, 11:59 AM
I got that impression years ago when he was probably further split from the neocon base. I'm generally liberal in my politics, and I once said that Mccain was a republican I could vote for (2003ish I believe).
These days he doesn't seem like the same guy, and I find myself wondering if it's an act or if he changed.

I don't really think he ever changed. If you are willing to forego your integrity and own political beliefs to pass things like Bush's tax cuts and saddle up next to him after the shit his campaign pulled in South Carolina, what respect do you really have for yourself, or what gumption do you have in your own beliefs?

The man has gotten a free ride from the press his entire career.

Friendo
09-16-2008, 12:06 PM
I got that impression years ago when he was probably further split from the neocon base. I'm generally liberal in my politics, and I once said that Mccain was a republican I could vote for (2003ish I believe).
These days he doesn't seem like the same guy, and I find myself wondering if it's an act or if he changed.

after the initial anger over being "Roved" in SC, and the Goal was in sight, he signed over the soul.

Ultra Peanut
09-16-2008, 12:10 PM
I agree with the lipstick thing being trivial. If anything, it just shows how utterly stupid the media is in covering the election or, if they're just showing viewers what they want, how stupid the electorate is. Neither is a good option.Actually, I think the media did a pretty good job of eventually shutting down the shrill whining about the lipstick comment from Camp McCain. They're ridiculous, but that was a bit too ridiculous even for them. I hope McCain keeps pushing stupid shit like that, because the backlash has been boiling for some time now.

Until the bounce fades and Obama goes ahead in the polls again. Then it's SOME PEOPLE SAY BARACK OBAMA IS A RADICAL JIHADIST. SHOULD WE DISCUSS THIS?

irishjayhawk
09-16-2008, 12:18 PM
In what way?

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/off_base_on_sex_ed.html

tiptap
09-16-2008, 12:31 PM
According to form if you are ahead in the polls you run positive and negative ads. You only run negative and more negative ad when you are behind.

Ultra Peanut
09-16-2008, 12:45 PM
I don't really think he ever changed. If you are willing to forego your integrity and own political beliefs to pass things like Bush's tax cuts and saddle up next to him after the shit his campaign pulled in South Carolina, what respect do you really have for yourself, or what gumption do you have in your own beliefs?

The man has gotten a free ride from the press his entire career.Amy Silverman has some great stories about McCain here (http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2008-08-07/news/postmodern-mccain-the-john-mccain-some-arizonans-know-and-loathe/1), and this article (http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1997-05-15/news/the-pampered-politician/) (from 1997, no less) does a great job of explaining how he's cultivated his maverick image and gotten into the good graces of the media. He's a calculating guy, I'll give him that.

From the first:

In the spring of 1988, things were a mess. Governor Evan Mecham had just been impeached, and everyone was busy licking wounds.
. . .
In Arizona, when a governor leaves office early, the secretary of state ascends. In this case, that was Rose Mofford, an old-school Democrat from the small mining town of Globe, a lady with a bright white beehive that Arizona Republic cartoonist Steve Benson once famously drew as a cone-full of Dairy Queen.

Mofford had served as secretary of state for decades. She'd never aspired to the state's top spot. But she accepted graciously and agreed to serve out the remaining 2 1/2 years of Mecham's term. She never showed interest in running for another term after that, although she was enormously popular.
. . .
At 10 in the morning on April 12, Mofford testified before the Senate Energy and Water Development Subcommittee on Appropriations on the topic of the Central Arizona Project.

Now, Mofford had been governor for only eight days. Before that, her main task had been running the state's elections department. This appearance (there was a similar one, later that day, before the House) had been billed as ceremonial. She was not familiar with the particulars of federal water law. Nor did her staff think she'd be expected to be — just then.

But, apparently, Senator James McClure, a Republican from Idaho, did. After a lot of looking, that librarian and I (actually, it took three librarians) tracked down the testimony from that day. McClure asked Mofford a series of questions that would leave any water expert's mouth dry. Her staff jumped in to try to answer, but even so, ultimately they had to file an addendum to the testimony.

Word spread quickly about what had happened.

Coincidentally, that very same day, Pat Murphy, then publisher of the Arizona Republic, was also in Washington to meet with the delegation. He and his wife had lunch plans with McCain, and as Murphy recalls, they went to the hearing room where Mofford was testifying, to meet up with him. Murphy had written glowingly of McCain and considered him a personal friend.

As Murphy recounted in an e-mail recently (he left the Republic many years ago, and now lives in Idaho), the incident crushed him. He says it was the beginning of the end of his respect for and friendship with McCain.

"We peeked in the room," wrote Murphy. "McCain saw us, excused himself, and we three went to the Senate dining room for lunch.

"During lunch, McCain said, almost with mischievous glee, that he had slipped some highly technical questions to [James McClure] to ask Mofford — questions she wouldn't be prepared to answer or expected to answer.

"Flabbergasted, I asked McCain why would he want to sabotage Mofford's testimony, when in fact the CAP was the nonpartisan pet of Republicans and Democrats — such as far-left Udall and far-right Goldwater — since its inception.

"His reply, as near as I remember, was, 'I'll embarrass a Democrat any time I get the chance.'

"The lunch continued in strained chit-chat. We then walked back to McCain's office, where a few reporters, all of them from Arizona papers, as I recall, were waiting. One said there was a rumor McCain had tried to sabotage Mofford's testimony, to which he said something like, 'I'd never do anything like that.'"
. . .
Rose Mofford started off our phone conversation about John McCain by announcing: "He's certainly no Barry Goldwater or Mo Udall."

You hear that a lot around town these days, mainly because McCain tends to bring up Goldwater and Udall a lot on the campaign trail. It drives some people here nuts. Particularly those who know, or knew, all three men.

From the second:

"Who does the press like?" Starobin asks. "They like this guy who is sort of a maverick who doesn't get along with a lot of his own colleagues. So, in a way, he embodies some attributes--like iconoclasm and irreverence--that journalists themselves pride themselves on."

And McCain is very accommodating to journalists.

Washingtonian's Harry Jaffe: "He is good with the press. By that, he's accessible, he will talk to the press, he will get back to the press, he does not keep the press at bay. Reporters--again, we're human beings; we like that." A television news producer at the D.C. Fox affiliate says no other senator's office returns press calls as promptly as McCain's.

jidar
09-16-2008, 01:00 PM
Amy Silverman has some great stories about McCain here (http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2008-08-07/news/postmodern-mccain-the-john-mccain-some-arizonans-know-and-loathe/1), and this article (http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1997-05-15/news/the-pampered-politician/) (from 1997, no less) does a great job of explaining how he's cultivated his maverick image and gotten into the good graces of the media. He's a calculating guy, I'll give him that.

From the first:



From the second:

That's... disgusting.

patteeu
09-17-2008, 05:17 AM
:D True.

Since Mecca doesn't seem to want to answer my question (post 12), maybe you can stand in for him.

patteeu
09-17-2008, 05:21 AM
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/off_base_on_sex_ed.html

Thank you, irish. So the big whoop-di-do over this is because McCain called a failed bill an Obama "accomplishment" instead of just saying he supported it. Big deal. :rolleyes:

InChiefsHell
09-17-2008, 06:52 AM
http://amyproctor.squarespace.com/blog/2008/9/14/obama-did-vote-to-teach-sex-ed-and-much-more-to-kindergartne.html

Ultra Peanut
09-17-2008, 10:22 AM
http://amyproctor.squarespace.com/blog/2008/9/14/obama-did-vote-to-teach-sex-ed-and-much-more-to-kindergartne.htmlThank you for this informative link. If you were literate, you would understand that the linked bill proves exactly why raising this issue over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again after it's been debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and is a pathetic ****ing ploy which, if you possessed any shred of decency, you would drop.

InChiefsHell
09-17-2008, 11:11 AM
Thank you for this informative link. If you were literate, you would understand that the linked bill proves exactly why raising this issue over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again after it's been debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and debunked and is a pathetic ****ing ploy which, if you possessed any shred of decency, you would drop.

Take a breath sonny. I don't see that it's been debunked. It's still relatively new info to me, because I have a life. So I bring it up because I don't see that it's been debunked. But mostly, I like watching you're head spin around and explode...:clap:

patteeu
09-17-2008, 11:27 AM
Take a breath sonny. I don't see that it's been debunked. It's still relatively new info to me, because I have a life. So I bring it up because I don't see that it's been debunked. But mostly, I like watching you're head spin around and explode...:clap:

You mean the way UP repeated the word "debunked" 40 times wasn't enough to convince you? ;)

irishjayhawk
09-17-2008, 12:38 PM
Thank you, irish. So the big whoop-di-do over this is because McCain called a failed bill an Obama "accomplishment" instead of just saying he supported it. Big deal. :rolleyes:

:spock:

I don't think you read the page. Or if you did, I'll take this as you got nothing.

-Factually inaccurate as it took things out of context (conveniently left out the "age-appropriate" part)
-Factually inaccurate in its claims about this being a) an accomplishment and b) the only accomplishment.
-Cherry picking of quotes of which one person responded with how his quote was used:
Chapman: ... the ad itself doesn't bother explaining how the candidates differ on school vouchers, the subject of my column. Instead, it insults our intelligence by expecting us to believe that Obama thinks kindergarteners should be taught how to use condoms before they're taught to read. Right. And Joe Biden eats puppies for breakfast.

If you want to supplant "dishonest" instead of "lie", that's fine. Let's just not kid anyone here and act like it's a perfectly fine, honest ad.

http://amyproctor.squarespace.com/blog/2008/9/14/obama-did-vote-to-teach-sex-ed-and-much-more-to-kindergartne.html

I don't get the problem.

patteeu
09-17-2008, 04:43 PM
:spock:

I don't think you read the page. Or if you did, I'll take this as you got nothing.

-Factually inaccurate as it took things out of context (conveniently left out the "age-appropriate" part)
-Factually inaccurate in its claims about this being a) an accomplishment and b) the only accomplishment.
-Cherry picking of quotes of which one person responded with how his quote was used:


If you want to supplant "dishonest" instead of "lie", that's fine. Let's just not kid anyone here and act like it's a perfectly fine, honest ad.

No, I think I'll stick with what I said earlier. You're blaming McCain for inferences that his audience *might* draw (e.g. that sex education necessarily has to include things like how to use condoms or that age inappropriate material is mandated). That's no more fair to McCain than it would be to hold Obama accountable for the negative inferences that could be drawn about Sarah Palin based on the way he used the word "lipstick".

The type of lying by omission that you're trying to pin on McCain is the type of arguable dishonesty that is either acceptable practice in American politics or it is so widely practiced that it is not a distinguishing feature in anyone's campaign. No candidate characterizes their opponent's plan or the legislation their opponent voted for in the best possible light for their opponent. That's simply not how things are done. What isn't normally done is outright, affirmative lying. If McCain's ad had said that Obama supported a law that would have required kindergartners to put condoms on bananas, it would have been the kind of lie that sets someone apart in politics. That's the kind of extraordinary lie that Obama told about McCain wanting 100 years of war.

go bowe
09-17-2008, 06:55 PM
100 years of war?

or hockey mom wearing lipstick?

you make the choice...

oh wait, they're on the same ticket...

***SPRAYER
09-17-2008, 06:57 PM
Debunked. Ha!

Ultra Peanut
09-18-2008, 12:10 AM
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13541.html

How John McCain lost me
By ELIZABETH DREW | 9/17/08 4:57 PM EDT

I have been a longtime admirer of John McCain. During the 2000 Republican presidential primaries I publicly defended McCain against the pro-Bush Republicans’ whisper campaign that he was too unstable to be president (aware though I was that he had a temper). Two years later I published a positive book about him, “Citizen McCain.”

I admired John McCain as a man of principle and honor. He had become emblematic of someone who spoke his mind, voted his conscience, and demonstrated courage in bucking his own party and fighting for what he believed in. He gained a well-deserved reputation as a maverick. He was seen as taking principled positions on such issues as tax equity (opposing the newly elected Bush’s tax cut), fighting political corruption, and, later, taking on the Bush administration on torture. He came off as a man of decency. He took political risks.

Having emerged, ironically, from his bitter 2000 primary fight against Bush as an immensely popular figure, he set out to be a new force in American politics. He decided to form and lead a centrist movement, believing that that was where the country was and needed leadership. He went against the grain of his party on the environment, patients’ bill of rights, and, of course, campaign finance reform.

While McCain’s movement to the center was widely popular (if not on the right) – and he even flirted with becoming a Democrat – there’s now strong reason to question whether it was anything but a temporary, expedient tactic. (In his 2002 memoir, “Worth the Fighting For,” he wrote, revealingly, “I didn’t decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I’d had the ambition for a long time.”)

When he decided to run for president in 2008, he felt he couldn’t win without the support of the right, so he adapted.

In retrospect, other once-hailed McCain efforts – his cultivation of the press (“my base”) and even his fight for campaign finance reform (launched in the wake of his embarrassment over the Keating Five scandal) now seem to have been simply maneuvers. The “Straight Talk Express” – a brilliant p.r. stroke in 2000 – has now been shut down.

When the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, widely opposed by Republicans, began to seem a liability during the 2008 primaries, his reforming zeal gave way to political exigencies, and he ceased mentioning his one-time triumph. Though in 2003 he had introduced a bill to fix some other problems with the campaign finance system, in later years his name was no longer on the bill.

When Bush, issued a “signing statement” in 2006 on McCain’s hard-fought legislation placing prohibitions on torture, saying he would interpret the measure as he chose, McCain barely uttered a peep. And then, in 2006, in one of his most disheartening acts, McCain supported a “compromise” with the administration on trials of Guantanamo detainees, yielding too much of what the administration wanted, and accepted provisions he had originally opposed on principle. Among other things, the bill sharply limited the rights of detainees in military trials, stripped habeas corpus rights from a broad swath of people “suspected” of cooperating with terrorists, and loosened restrictions on the administration’s use of torture. (The Supreme Court later ruled portions of this measure unconstitutional.)

McCain’s caving in to this “compromise” did it for me. This was further evidence that the former free-spirited, supposedly principled, maverick was morphing into just another panderer – to Bush and the Republican Party’s conservative base.

Other aspects of McCain, including his temperament, began to trouble me. He seemed disturbingly bellicose. He gave the Iraq war unflagging support no matter the facts. He still talks about “winning” the war, though George W. Bush gave that up some time ago. As the war became increasingly unpopular, he employed the useful technique of blaming its execution rather than recognizing the misconceptions that had led him to be one of the most enthusiastic champions of the war in the first place.

Similarly, in making a big issue of having backed the surge (and simplifying the reasons for its apparent success), he preempts debate on the very idea of the war. He has talked (and sung) loosely about attacking Iran. More recently, he oversimplified this summer’s events in Georgia and made intemperate remarks about Russia, about which he’s been more belligerent than the administration for some time. (He has his own set of neocons.)

There’s an argument that all this compromise wasn’t necessary: some very smart political analysts believed from the outset that McCain could win the nomination by sticking with his old self. And they still believe that McCain won the nomination not because he gave himself over to the base but as a result of a process of elimination of inferior candidates who divided up the conservative vote, as these observers had predicted. (These people insisted on anonymity because McCain is known in Republican circles to have a long memory and a vindictive streak.)

By then I had already concluded that that there was a disturbingly erratic side of McCain’s nature. There’s a certain lack of seriousness in him. And he does not appear to be a reflective man, or very interested in domestic issues. One cannot imagine him ruminating late into the night about, say, how to educate and train Americans for the new global and technological challenges.

McCain’s making a big issue of “earmarks” and citing entertaining examples of ridiculous-sounding ones, circumvents discussion of the larger issues of the allocation of funds in the federal budget: according to the Office of Management and Budget, earmarks represent less than one percent of federal spending.

Now he’s back to declaring himself a maverick, but it’s not clear what that means. If he gains the presidency, is he going to rebel against the base he’s now depending on to get him elected? (Hence his selection of running mate Sarah Palin.) Campaigns matter. If he means “shaking up the system” (which is not the same thing), opposing earmarks doesn’t cut it.

McCain’s recent conduct of his campaign – his willingness to lie repeatedly (including in his acceptance speech) and to play Russian roulette with the vice-presidency, in order to fulfill his long-held ambition – has reinforced my earlier, and growing, sense that John McCain is not a principled man.
In fact, it’s not clear who he is.

Elizabeth Drew is author of “Citizen McCain” (Simon & Schuster, 2002; paperback with new introduction, 2008.)

Mecca
09-18-2008, 12:37 AM
All of these people who liked McCain jumping off his wagon and writing articles about him will result in conservatives saying things like "they never liked him anyway" "just a liberal playing conservative"

and a bunch of shit like that.

InChiefsHell
09-18-2008, 05:10 AM
How many people have jumped off the Nobama bandwagon? Suppose y'all will be taking their opinions to heart eh? You libs really are some sanctimonious twats sometimes... :rolleyes:

Mecca
09-18-2008, 05:12 AM
How many people have jumped off the Nobama bandwagon? Suppose y'all will be taking their opinions to heart eh? You libs really are some sanctimonious twats sometimes... :rolleyes:

That's rich coming from the party that panders to the religious to get elected.

InChiefsHell
09-18-2008, 05:17 AM
That's rich coming from the party that panders to the religious to get elected.

As opposed to the party that panders to the minorities, atheists, homosexuals and other "victims" to get elected...

...see, I can do it too...

Mecca
09-18-2008, 05:21 AM
As opposed to the party that panders to the minorities, atheists, homosexuals and other "victims" to get elected...

...see, I can do it too...

Really I'm an atheist so what now? Now I'm sure you'll tell me being an atheist is why I'm liberal too right?

I'm sorry no one has ever annoyed me as much as the wackjob evangelicals that want to tell everyone exactly how to live their life. And to see them become the base of a political party in the country is ridiculous.

InChiefsHell
09-18-2008, 06:56 AM
Really I'm an atheist so what now? Now I'm sure you'll tell me being an atheist is why I'm liberal too right?

I'm sorry no one has ever annoyed me as much as the wackjob evangelicals that want to tell everyone exactly how to live their life. And to see them become the base of a political party in the country is ridiculous.

...and no one has ever annoyed me as much as the whackjob anti-religious zelots who think that if a person is a Christian, they must be a whako. And to see them become the base of a party in this country that was FOUNDED on Christian principals is beyond ridiculous...

...and I'm not even an Evangelical...

Mecca
09-18-2008, 07:03 AM
Explain to how how religion should have a damn thing to do with politics....I think it is fine to be religious I just don't think it should matter or they should expect anyone else to be...

If you want to be religious great more power to ya, I just don't want to see any laws or policies made or people elected due to religious, I find it frankly stupid.

InChiefsHell
09-18-2008, 07:19 AM
Sigh. What you need to understand is religion (or LACK of it) is not just religion, it's WHO PEOPLE ARE! People have beliefs, morals, things they think are important...if you think that you are any different or "better" than they are, you need to think again.

Some religious people expect others to be, but I submit that they are fewer than you think. I don't expect everyone to be a Christian like me, but I expect that they will RESPECT who I am and not hold it against me. Most Americans are like this. But the shrill ones on both sides are the ones who get the attention of the parties. Which is why most of us are sitting in the middle wondering what the hell happened to our party, our government, our nation...

But, if you have a belief that you feel passionately about, you SHOULD fight for it...not to do so makes you a friggin' worthless citizen. If I believe for instance, that abortion is murder, and murder is wrong, then why would I not fight like hell to stop something that I see as murder from happening?? And on and on...it goes both ways.