Archive for the 'Old Man McCain' Category
John McCain wouldn’t even have had the opportunity to lose the election (KEEPIN’ MAHH FINGAZ CRAWSST) if the press hadn’t been his base for the past decade. The origin of the tire swing for McCain metaphor was something I actually hadn’t heard before today, I just thought it was colorful. And let’s not forget McCain knew this himself…
McCain doesn’t believe anything he’s saying about taxes anyway.
“There’s one big difference between me and the others – I won’t take every last
dime of the surplus and spend it on tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy.”
[McCain campaign commercial, January 2000]
“I am disappointed that the Senate Finance Committee preferred instead to cut
the top tax rate of 39.6% to 36%, thereby granting generous tax relief to the
wealthiest individuals of our country at the expense of lower- and
middle-income American taxpayers.” [McCain Senate floor statement, May 21,
“But when you look at the percentage of the tax cuts that – as the previous tax
cuts – that go to the wealthiest Americans, you will find that the bulk of it,
again, goes to wealthiest Americans.” [NBC’s “Today,” Jan. 7, 2003]
Stolen from somebody on ISCA…
Somebody, damned if I can remember who, noted that were it not for the instant polls and feedback from voters, our MSM Beltway crowd would be falling all over themselves to award the debates to McCain “on points.” Fortunately, the people have pushed back and forced them to take a more democratic stance on the debates: Obama won all three, resoundingly. McCain attacked…Beltway says, “Ooh, McCain aggressor, good!” People says, “Bullshit distraction, bad.” Obama rebutted, Beltway says, “Ooh, McCain aggressor, good!” People says, “That response answered my concern.” They were paying attention to the points.
1. Again, if you agree with Obama on the issues, he outscored McCain on substance, and if you agree with McCain on the issues, you’re likely to say he won on points but concede that he was an angry, testy, attack machine who couldn’t ruffle Obama. And if you’re a hoppin’ crazy rightwinger, you saw McCain try to make ayers stick and flop like a wet noodle.
But again, independents and swing voters are handing it overwhelmingly to Obama. More people agree with him, more people see his rational temperament as befitting a president in troubled times, not stuntman hothead contempt-monster McCain. We jumped into one war over a president’s manly issues, should we put somebody as angry and impetuous as McCain in charge of the next crisis?
2. Really, where did McCain land a blow? Ayers failed. Acorn failed. Taxes failed. Health care failed. Obama would answer his questions, and McCain would simply repeat his original charges.
3. McCain not acknowledging Palin as an epic fail is an epic fail. Obama didn’t slam her because he didn’t have to state the obvious.
4. McCain mocking the health of the mother as a factor in abortion, bad bad move.
5. “I’m proud of the people who attend my rallies!” wasn’t really an effective response when so many people are screaming insane shit about Obama. And, as others have noted, he’s very responsible for Palin at the least.
6. “If we woulda done my townhalls I wouldn’t be running such despicable ads!” is weak shit and everybody knows it.
7. Obama said “no fine for small businesses” and McCain looked like he was about to fall out of his seat with shock. Then he repeated that Obama would fine small businesses.
8. “I’m not George Bush!” you told us it would be a great idea to elect him twice. You hugged him. You voted for his policies. You’re coming back with the same ideas peppered with a little bit of McCain flavor. You shared the same philosophies that brought us economic ruin. Obama shoulda ran against Bush in 2004 is a comeback? You tried in in 2000, McCain, and he slimeballed you…and you sucked it up like a good Republican. You’ve spent most of your time trying to get George’s fans to like you, and how dare Obama make the election about George W. Bush?
Even Fox News can’t get their focus groups to go for McCain. There is simply something too big and too real here for them to cover up.
We understand, Beltway-ites. You are scared of rightwingers. You were scared of George W. Bush, and to some extent remain so. You see and hear things with have become ingrained within you as Pavlovian cues to slobber for Republicans, but there’s no meat in the bowl. Epic fail for you, epic win for the people.
Joe Klein pals around with terrorists!
Over the weekend, she picked up on an article in The New York Times, which essentially says that Barack Obama and the former terrorist Bill Ayers have crossed paths in Chicago, served on a couple of charitable boards together, but aren’t particularly close. To Palin–or her scriptwriters–this means that Obama has been “palling around” with terrorists. Now, I wish Ayers had done some serious jail time; he certainly needed to pay some penance for his youthful criminality–even if most people in Chicago, including the mayor, have decided that he has something of value to say about education. But I can also understand how Obama, who was a child when Ayers was cutting his idiot swath, would not quite understand the enormity of the professor’s background. (I got to know Alger Hiss twenty years after the fact–he was a printing salesman then, a friend of my father’s–and thought of him as a sweet old man, if a good deal more liberal than dad’s other friends.)
Joe Klein is tired of enabling John McCain. There is no more parity, no more half-dozen/six-of-the-other, no false balance. Nobody can respect him anymore. And nobody can be fooled by a campaign out of ideas, out of inspiration, out of purpose beyond senseless vanity. If John McCain had any honor left, he’d spend his last month puttering around the country being nice and hoping there was a softening of hearts towards his pitiful self. Instead, he hardens them with scurrilous and baseless charges. In politics, your darkest instincts are often the most counter-productive.
The Dimmocrat Librul Pinkos have put up a wiki site tracking the obvious, provable McCain lies. Count so far, 52. Jesus, Sarah Palin is still lying about the teleprompter breaking, the Bridge to Nowhere, going to Iraq…and to top it off, she being, according to McCain a person who “knows more about energy than anybody in America” doesn’t know shit about energy. She claimed Alaska generated 20% of America’s energy…it’s not even close to that.
So in the end they’re a pretty good pair…both are bald-faced liars, and she compliments his rustiness with a good old-fashioned lack of knowledge about much of anything.
So I’ve been walking around D.C., and I’ve noticed something I’ve heard about,
but which is really pretty impactful when you’re here…
This place is covered in Greek columns.
Yet the presence of Greek columns at the Dem convention was supposed to be more
evidence of Obama’s God complex. When I actually saw it, they seemed pretty
small and receded, and they really weren’t apparent when there was a close-up
on anybody speaking.
But yeah, damn near any building related to the federal government has massive,
beautiful Greek columns. so the answer to “Who does Obama think he is?” seems
to be, “Um, a candidate for the highest federal office?”
And now I see a new McCain ad, and the first image is Obama and his Greek
columns, which Palin also mocked, and then it goes on about how Obama is being
so terrible to her by accusing her of lying, etc. “HOW DISRESPECTFUL.”
The Lynn Westmoreland incident considered, I’d say the McCain’s “uppity nigger”
strategy seems to be popular yet sufficiently under the radar, no?
“If I were given a free pass to stretch the truth to the breaking point, I could run a pretty good campaign, too.”
I really like Steve Benen taking over at The Washington Monthly.
My friend asked me what Atwater/Rove/Schmidt would do if they worked for Obama. What kind of attacks would they make against McCain? It got me thinking.
My first ad would probably be pretty straightforward: John McCain wants to cut off all U.S. aid to Israel.
Well, no, actually he doesn’t, but I think I could probably make a good ad that says he does. In April, McCain argued that he could cut $65 billion in earmarks from the federal budget. Asked where the number came from, the McCain campaign cited a Congressional Research Service’s report that identifies $65 billion in “earmarks.”
Except, the CRS’s report also included all U.S. financial support for Israel. The aid budget, for the purpose of CRS accounting, is an “earmark.”
Soon after, the McCain campaign scrambled, said it no longer liked the CRS report, and assured voters that aid to Israel wouldn’t be affected. But that doesn’t change the fact that, in April, McCain (inadvertently) vowed to voters that he wouldn’t hesitate to cut off all U.S. financial support to Israel, starting in 2009.
Now, I know McCain doesn’t really want to cut off aid to Israel, just as McCain knows Obama doesn’t want to give sex-ed lessons to kindergarteners. The difference is, McCain approves disgusting ads he knows to be false. The Israel ad is, by most measures, even more honest and accurate than McCain’s, even though I know it’s completely misleading.
So, what kind of ads would you run if you wanted to be like the McCain campaign? Remember, there has to be some kind of basis for the claim. You can’t just say, “McCain sells heroin to school children.” You have to be support the ridiculous attack with something, just as I can back up the claim that McCain wants to cut off aid to Israel.
Of course, one doesn’t have to look further back than 2000, when Bush had Karl Rove et al. sliming McCain as a Manchurian candidate, a “Fag candidate,” the father of an illegitimate black child with a prostitute, etc. McCain has now hired one of the masterminds of sleaze, Tusker Eskew, that did him in. That sums up McCain’s degradation, doesn’t it? To quote Two-Face Harvey Dent, “You either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain.” Either/or scenarios often don’t work, but in Two-Face McCain’s example it manifests fully.
Barack Obama supports a bill that educates kids on how to beware of sexual predators. John McCain runs an ad accusing Obama of wanting to teach kids about sex before teaching them how to read.
There is no ambiguity here. McCain is not only lying, but he’s sacrificing children to sexual predators to do it. If this works against Barack, will anybody else support such a bill again? Does John McCain think kids should just take the molesting and raping and then figure out later on their own that it was wrong?
I just don’t see how anybody can read about this and not feel a wave of revulsion towards the McCain campaign.
I’m just sitting here waiting for the media to introduce McCain’s continuous, dishonorable lies into the narrative about his campaign. I suspect we’re just going to keep hearing how “mavericky” he is.
If this doesn’t do it, then absolutely nothing will. McCain will have the green light to say anything he wants from now on. Oh, wait…he’s already had that. We’re just having fun exploring the endless parameters!
“Sarah Palin, a commercial fisherman from Wasilla, told her husband on Tuesday she was driving to Anchorage to shop at Costco. Instead, she headed straight for Ivana. And there, at J.C. Penney’s cosmetic department, was Ivana, the former Mrs. Donald Trump, sitting at a table next to a photograph of herself. She wore a light-colored pantsuit and pink fingernail polish. Her blonde hair was coiffed in a bouffant French twist. ‘We want to see Ivana,’ said Palin, who admittedly smells like salmon for a large part of the summer, ‘because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.’ Ivana Trump, the former Czechoslovakian Olympic skier who found fame and wealth as the wife of the New York tycoon, came to Anchorage Tuesday to push her line of perfume.”
Then there is this from New York Magazine:
After Rudy Giuliani cartoonishly suggested that Wasilla, Alaska, wasn’t “cosmopolitan” enough for Barack Obama, we did some digging into his archives. Despite the air quotes and funny voice he used when saying the word, there was a time when a city’s “cosmopolitan” nature inspired him. From a 1995 address to the U.N.: “After several days of being confronted with New York City’s diversity, any resident or visitor will conclude that our many differences are vastly outweighed by our similarities. That’s why New York is not only the world’s most diverse city, but also the world’s most cosmopolitan and tolerant city.”
The Republican party of George W. Bush was ecstatic last night, once again over fictions that tell them what they already want to believe. Politicians stood up in front of them and freely made things up (or had somebody else make things up for them) and the Bush base went nuts. If you’re a know-nothing with an attitude and can put on some swagger, the Bush base is ready to hand the keys to the country over.
It’s important to keep in mind that without the support of people who still think George W. Bush did a great job, John McCain would have infinitesimal support. Among the ranks of the sane, he has been profoundly rejected.
One can take some potshots at Obama, but he’s an honest individual who is more interested in solving problems than satisfying anybody’s particular ideology. He takes a pragmatic, realistic approach to issues, which means looking at them square on. He doesn’t need to invent long lists of fictions in order to make the case for his election. He is more in tune with the facts than John McCain and, we can now safely say, Sarah Palin. He is more in tune with what Americans want and what they need. McCain has nothing but soundbites and bullet points crafted to mask a package of Bush policies. His best defense is that he took on most of his positions recently, so he’s unlikely to be trusted to enact any of them, expecially with a massively Democratic Congress, with an exception of the policies he’s cribbed from Obama.
It is telling that he’s been forced to mimic Obama’s campaign, an establishment candidate trying to talk about “change” because he tested which way the wind was blowing. His ultimate rudder is whatever it takes to become president. People who want power that badly must be kept from it, and if this nation didn’t learn that lesson from Bush II, we’re going to be stuck with more ineffective leadership and a Republican Party that gave us eight years of the worst president in history, and got rewarded with four more.
Obama raised money 8-to-1 over McCain after last night’s cheap piece of hackery from Sarah Palin. Keep it up. I’m making one more donation in October, and it just got doubled.
1. After a CNN anchor conducts an objective inquiry into Sarah Palin’s experience and a McCain hack can’t defend her, McCain relies on the fact that the right will take any complaint about the librul media seriously. A Larry King interview is scrapped and the McCamp sends a strong message: they only play tee ball.
2. After Barack Obama comments that Palin was mayor of a tiny town and Biden makes a self-deprecating joke that Palin is better looking than him, McCain’s camp screams sexism. World scratches head.
3. Another McCain hack admits, “This election is not about issues.” You’d better hope so, buddy.
4. The McCain camp is trying to push back investigations into Sarah Palin’s abuse of power. She fired Alaska’s top cop for following procedure instead of being sucked into her family drama.
5. Phil Gramm is trying the new improved version of calling Americans whiners. See, you’re not a whiner if you’re a McCain supporter!
6. McCain hires the political hit man who took him out for Bush in 2000. McCain blamed Eskew for vicious smears that derailed his campaign in South Carolina, including the whisper campaign that Bridgett McCain was John McCain’s illegitimate black daughter.
7. The McCain camp decided that, while it would deny that it hadn’t thoroughly vetted Sarah Palin, it would send a team of investigative folks to Alaska…to vet her.
8. The GOP is sweating anvils over talk of Palin withdrawing from the nomination.
The Republican ‘Omerta’ strategy is, as one lonely GOP source noted to the Huffington Post, not credible. “Of course people talk about it [pulling Palin off the ticket] over a drink or at breakfast. Everyone agrees that it’s not in the cards now, but it’s crazy to tell you animals [reporters] that there is a total vacuum of thought.”
That note of realism does not, however, prevent the cadre of strategists and operatives here from toeing the line. “There has not been any talk that I’ve heard,” one well-connected player here contended. “Everyone is locking in on her.” This source did not declare that a change in the number two spot is forever off the table, however. “He [McCain] is not going to do it unless something that is completely off the radar now comes up.”
Off the radar? Obama’s opened up a significant lead on McCain in the polls. The persistence of low poll numbers had ought be on McCain’s radar, as well as the principle that it’s better to chop off the gangrenous leg before you end up six feet under.
My favorite come back so far:
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said in response: â€œDoes a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people â€˜clingâ€™ to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about whoâ€™s in touch with regular Americans?â€
ZING! See how loud they scream when you have the audacity to punch back?
Hawaii is now the destination of the ultra-rich elite and arugula, produce that can be found in even the shabbiest mixed bag of salad greens, graces the palates of kings!
Of course, air-headed, snark-meister Sharon and the Righteous Indignation Brigade are predictably clutching their collective pearls and decrying “LIBRUL HIPPOCRISY!!!” as if the damage hasn’t already been done. The amen corner can wave their arms about Rezko (a sound bite that the networks are already tired of “reporting” on) and try to muddy the waters but the one key bullet-point that voters are going to walk away with is that Obama owns one house and McCain owns enough houses that he doesn’t have the right to lecture anybody on being an out of touch elitist. He’s also a man who isn’t above hiding behind his wife’s skirt when he’s caught in a pinch.
PS – I don’t know whether you folks are aware of this but McCain was a POW! Who knew?
â€œYesterday, I heard Sen. McCain say, â€˜We are all Georgians now,â€™â€ Saakashvili said on CNNâ€™s American Morning. â€œWell, very nice, you know, very cheering for us to hear that, but OK, itâ€™s time to pass from this. From words to deeds.â€
McCain told a crowd in Pennsylvania yesterday that he had called Saakashvili to express solidarity with the people of Georgia, saying: â€œToday, we are all Georgians.â€
McCain was strutting around in front of a wall of flags yesterday talking tough about Russian aggression in what I would call a very presumptuous fashion. The fact that McCain has been trying to act presidential has certianly garnered him a great deal of attention in the press especially in light of his recent badgering of Barack Obama for his “presumptuous” travels through Europe. What McCain plans on DOING besides making speeches is a point beautifully highlighted by the above comment made by Saakashvili. While the press is more interested in whether or not it is good politics to be making empty gestures it needs to be mentioned that this is a real countries that are fighting and John McCain’s hypothetical sabre-rattling is an insult to those that are caught in the middle and struggling to survive.
Question: Is there anybody who’s missed out on the fact that John McCain is fully on board with the same brand of Rovian Republican bullshit that brought us two terms of George W. Bush?
You know, Hillary was seen as having found her stride and making gains against Obama in the latter half of the primary battle, but after it was already too late. Obviously Obama cannot afford a bad second half with McCain as the only “too late” here is after Election Day.
Unfortunately for McCain, though, everything he’s doing stinks of 2004. Swiftboating, now recognized as thoroughly debunked. Karl Rove, one of the biggest scumbags in politics and a criminal deftly avoiding jail like a mob boss. George W. Bush, the man-child incompetent reckless fool who has damaged the country so profoundly. A flood of negative ads, nearly all false, misleading, or criminally stupid, but wowing the press with their ability to stack shit so high.
The people didn’t vote for George W. Bush in 2000, they chose Al Gore. So arguably Bush has only fooled them once. Will McCain fool them twice? Fortunately for Obama, McCain’s negative ads are a smokescreen for his own incompetence and incoherence, and they detract from the “honorable” meme McCain had going for him. No, he isn’t, and that’s coming from Joe Klein of all people. No, he’s not substantial as opposed to the “celebrity” Obama. Ask John McCain about the economy and he’d barely scrape past Paris Hilton in the quality of his answer. Not to mention that Paris and Britney are the kind of taxpayers John McCain’s economic plan is crafted for. And while some are wondering if the promiscuous young white women in McCain’s ads are subtle racism, who doesn’t know who Michelle Obama is, stunningly attractive chocolate goddess that she is? Like I said before, the fear that Obama is coming after your white daughters is pretty well neutralized.
What 2008 boils down to is a weak failure of a candidate who can’t compete honestly, who is sacrificing everything he once stood for and everything about who he was in the quest for power. He has no vision, he has no plan. McCain just knows he wants to be president, and he has now spelled it out for America that he will say anything, no matter how low, and that he will truck with the same vermin that the country is already sick of because he can’t figure out any other way to do it.
It isn’t Obama acting like the election is over. It’s America and the world wishing the election were over and we could turn the page on Bush. We want to move on, we want to get started trying to right the ship again. The election is a referendum on whether or not we are capable of innovating and adapting to the challenges of the world, or if we’re permanently stuck in a rut we have no idea how to escape. Obama isn’t the Messiah, but after 8 years of Bush and the threat of McCain, he’s as close as one gets in the world of politics. Talk of Obama-worship is the sound of somebody else trying to push an utterly depraved candidate, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is John McCain.
And to McCain, you did it to yourself, asshole. Knock off the whining and be the goddamn man you claim to be.
A study was done recently, and what did they find? The press, while covering Obama more because he’s the only one generating any actual news, talks way more shit about Obama than McCain. They defend McCain reflexively. McCain has to be 100% wrong before they defend Obama, although McCain’s been 100% wrong quite a lot lately…
Today’s GOP has one policy when it comes to telling the truth: Don’t interfere with the agenda. McCain has clearly gone into “Say whatever it takes, anything, absolutely anything at all,” mode and does so because he still knows he has enough pull with the press to get away with most of it (and because lying is what his party expects of him). Sure, he’s eating up his “honorable man” credentials, but it seems as if the press reacts to politicians who go into this mode with fear. The press remains terrified of displeasing the right, but they should learn already: it doesn’t matter. You can fawn over McCain and dis Obama and they’ll still complain, because it’s not balance they seek. Fox News is what it takes to please them, nothing less and nothing more. Anybody who fashions themselves a journalist should know the choice is clear.
Is there another conclusion? Too bad this doesn’t fit the MSM narrative yet!
Conservatives, to use the term loosely in describing America’s rightwingers, have seen most of their essential arguments against Barack Obama widely yawned upon and ignored. Very little gets their juices flowing anymore, except one thing nowadays: OMIGOD OBAWMA WILL TAX YOU INTO THE POORHOUSE! If you visit our friends over at Common Sense Political Thought, it’s the only topic they can muster any excitement over.
Now, first of all, it should be a matter of common sense at this point that McCain talks about Barack being all “tax and spend” while his plan is “borrow yet even more and boy I got me some spending plans you wouldn’t believe!” But specifics can help illuminate the scale of this difference.
Hilzoy, my favorite policy wonkster, dives into the Center for Tax Policy analysis of the tax and spend plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama.
The short version: over ten years, the proposals McCain actually makes on the stump would cost $2.7 trillion more than the policies his campaign describes, for a total cost of nearly $7 trillion over ten years. Over the same ten years, the proposals Obama makes on the stump would cost $367 billion less than the policies his campaign describes, for a total cost of a little under $2.5 trillion. (The main difference between what Obama says on the stump and what his campaign describes is his proposal to levy Social Security taxes on income over $250,000/year.)
Here’s a chart showing the effects of both candidates’ tax proposals (the ones they describe on the stump) on people in various income brackets, from p. 46 of the report. Note that while this graph shows taxes going up for people in the top quintile under Obama’s plan, a more detailed breakdown (p. 45) shows that taxes only go up for the top 5% (incomes over $226,918/year.) People in the 95th-99th percentiles ($226,918-$603,402/year) would pay $799 more a year, on average.
Now this is the complete destruction of everything McCain has to say about the economy. Well, as Hilzoy notes, what McCain has to say about his plans vs. the reality is quite a disparity…McCain underrepresents his spending by the total amount of Obama’s spending. That should be front page news, repeated over and over until it registers with our lovely swing voters. There is a choice between McCain’s $7 trillion in extra spending vs. Obama’s $2.5 trillion. What’s the conservative choice there? That should also be constantly repeated until November. And you see that it isn’t until the top 25% of earners where McCain’s plans start to benefit incomes more than Obama. When it comes to the top 1%, of course, we see who McCain is really interested in helping: the same people George W. Bush and his GOP have been about helping all along. Keep lowering taxes on them, keep spending like a drunken trophy wife (or one hopped up on prescription meds, ZING!), and hope that the public never asks, “Who, besides our grandchildren, will be the ones paying for all this?”
Now the problem is that if this analysis actually became mainstream information, the election would skew so far for Obama that McCain would have to shoot somebody to get the public’s attention. No amount of screaming “Wealth redistribution” would cut it, as McCain is continuing Bush’s policy of distributing the wealth of future generations to our fat asses today. People recognize more than ever I think that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, something you learn on your first day in Economics 101. Bush’s policies have a price tag, and McCain’s have an even bigger one. Somebody has to pay for it. And if your remind people they were doing better in the 90’s paying Clinton’s tax rates, it’s a complete no-brainer.
The Republican Party simply has no case for John McCain as president. The best argument for him is that he’s only slightly less insane than the average rightwinger, but from foreign policy to economic policy, he is at odds with the public and all reason. With our nation facing some hard times ahead, putting McCain in office is by far the riskier choice.
p.s. It’s a little known fact that a paper copy of the analysis will actually burn the skin of Grover Norquist.
p.s.s. Despite my poor phrasing, these numbers are about net cost once spending and tax revenue are figured in….those numbers are basically what would be added to the deficit.
Is this some kind of weird Phoenix strategy the Arizona Senator is pursuing, where he must first completely self-combust before rising out of the ashes? That Katie Couric interview was a humdinger, man…right after McCain’s campaign resorts to whining about the press following the hot story Obama:
Asked whether he believes he’d had unfair media coverage, McCain replied: “I don’t think so. I think …it is what it is. I’m a big boy. And I’m enjoying every minute of the campaigning. And I’m certainly not complaining. And, in fact, I think it’s fun to watch.”
Look, I know there’s frustration in the McCain camp over Obama’s hugely successful world tour, and Obama’s pwnership of the foreign policy debate, but keep it together, folks!
Piling on, Tom Tomorrow addresses the McCain phenomenon. Can railing against the New York Times keep you excited until November, Republicans?
…another nugget about McCain that would be a fatal deal-breaker ultimate gaffe for Obama. From his autobiography:
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.
And it got only worse, since McCain abandoned virtually every position he held before then to be a good and proper George W. Bush Republican candidate to keep the dittoheads calm.
Every day of his campaign, that is…for Democrats…and all sane people who are tired of Bush and his party. I am so happy not to be a Republican right now:
McCain: I don’t know how you respond to something that is as — such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarlane [phonetic] was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar Awakening. I mean, that’s just a matter of history.
History disagrees, vehemently:
The Awakening began in Anbar Province more than a year before the surge and took off in the summer and fall of 2006 in Ramadi and elsewhere, long before extra U.S. forces started flowing into Iraq in February and March of 2007.
More historical record here (PDF format).
Now for another game of “McCain: Lying, Stupid or Really Old?” How is this guy getting over 40% in the polls again?
UPDATE: CBS kindly edits out McCain’s blunder. They’re really sorry about Dan Rather.
Feel free to take this with a grain of salt, but, to double down on my idioms, this is a lot of smoke for there to be no fire:
Here’s a list of issues that Obama has a page on and McCain doesn’t: Civil Rights, Disabilities, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, Poverty, Service, Seniors and Social Security, Technology, Urban Policy, Women. That’s a pretty striking list. Moreover, he has a page called ‘Additional Issues’ with links to plans on Arts, Child Advocacy, Katrina, Science, Sportsmen, and Transportation. Of these, only Sportsmen has a counterpart on McCain’s site. Finally, under ‘People’, you can find separate policy pages on issues relevant to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (one-pagers in six languages, a longer version in English), First Americans, Labor, Latinos, and LGBT.
That’s twenty five issues that Obama gives a page to and McCain does not. And some of them are pretty striking: Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, and Poverty are surprising absences in one way; Faith, Family, and Service in another.
McCain has three pages that Obama doesn’t, and no, one of them isn’t, “Did I mention I was in Vietnam?” One is “Judicial Philosophy,” which doesn’t really count since the only judicial philosophy on the right is that the 9th amendment doesn’t exist (so that if it isn’t explicitly listed in the Constitution then you don’t have the right to do it) and that any ruling they don’t like is to be called “judicial activism.”
Moreover, Obama’s pages are a lot more detailed than McCain’s, and they usually contain links to both to pdfs that are even more detailed and to speeches Obama has given on the topic in question. Almost none of McCain’s do. This is a pity: McCain’s speeches often contain more detailed expositions of his policy than you can find on his Issues page, and on issues like foreign policy, they are the only source of information about what he thinks. But there is no systematic way to find them.
Hilzoy says that if you squint really hard, you can discern McCain’s energy policy. Yep, and it’s called “Talking about moving forward while still beholden to Big Oil.” Krusty McClown simply isn’t up to the job, folks, and we’ve already suffered for giving a pass to the last guy who thought he could breeze through a couple terms. McCain’s only defense is that he’s unlikely to make it through two terms anyhow.
After 8 years of arguing if Bush is lying or just stupid, and now we have the chance to wonder if McCain is stupid or just really old. Just what the country needs, right?
What happens when a politician slips up and does something so foul and odious that the media is actually afraid to cover it?
THIS IS NOT EVEN REMOTELY SAFE FOR WORK!!!
Ah, I’m just kidding. If Barack Obama had called Michelle that name publicly, or if it were even rumored to have happened privately, it’d be outrage 24/7. And every rightwinger on the internets would be talking about how liberals are disrespectful of their wives and conservative men come home with flowers every day, and it’s all the fault of the dirty fucking hippies and women who use the pill. And, of course, it would be certifiable “proof that Barack Obama is unfit for the presidency!” Just close your eyes, and you can hear Sean Hannity yelling and crying about it, and see a hundred talking heads ganging up on sucker liberals trying to defend it. But the only thing you’ll really hear is silence.
I’m totally digging Balloon Juice nowadays. John lays the fuckin’ facts out on the table:
Forcefully and confidently defining yourself and what you believe in, while defining your opponent and his ideas is not â€œdirty politics,â€ it is politics. Obama did not launch into numerous attacks on John McCain the person, he didnâ€™t raise questions as to whether McCain is in league with the terrorists, he attacked McCain on the issues, over his ideas and his policies. Again, that is not dirty politics, although it is a â€œnew kindâ€ of politics for a party that too often has let the opponent frame the debate with the esoteric hope that â€œthe people are smarter than thatâ€ and â€œwill see through the Republican attacks.â€ Rather than worrying about the Obama campaign, Democrats should be cheering what happened yesterday. It was the first time I remember a Democrat forcefully engaging Republican ideas, explaining why they are wrong, and providing an alternate vision.
Exactly. Exactly. EXACTLY. “A new kind of politics” doesn’t mean Barack Obama has to nod his head and agree with everything John McCain says, triangulate, or timidly demur. It means sticking to the arguments, premises, conclusion and all. It means being unafraid to point the finger, say, “You’re wrong, and here’s why.” Barack Obama pays John McCain the personal respect that he’s due, if not more. And then he goes toe to toe and argues without blinking why McCain isn’t right for the country. John McCain is happy to mutter shit about Hamas loving Obama, or blather about Obama not signing up for the Armed Forces (when there was no war!), or keep calling him inexperienced. All that gets shredded to shit when Obama repeatedly makes the case that McCain has no case. Substance and style vs. no substance and tired, worn out style.
Go watch some UFC, folks. Everybody talks their shit outside of the ring, talks about how fuckin’ badass they are, how they’re going to deconstruct the other guy and become his worst nightmare, etc. etc. But none of that matters once the ref says, “Fight!” And nobody roots for the guy who spent three rounds getting his face pounded to a bloody pulp to win the decision.
I welcome John McCain to try fighting back on the issues, point for counterpoint. I welcome people sitting down, ignoring all the flash, and keeping score. Because I’ve always seen that when liberal/progressive/libertarian types go up against somebody trying to please the rightwinger crowd and don’t back down, the opponent crumbles and runs. McCain can’t stand up in a fight because he’s stuck to Bush, and if he tries dumping Bush his corner will throw in the towel. His argument is fundamentally handicapped, and Barack Obama should use every day from here til November taking McCain on directly, diligently, and fearlessly. McCain will start to whine, the wingers will start to whine, the media will echo the rightwing talking points (“Is Obama unfairly attacking John McCain?”), and some new personal smears will be attempted before the election, but if Obama persists, the crowd will see who is winning, and the media, smelling McCain’s weakness, will go into a blood-frenzy.
This is the simple message I’ve wanted Democrats to get for a long time. When you fight, you win. When you react out of fear, back off and triangulate, you lose. If you think wingers don’t seize on the moment and go for the kill the second they smell blood, you haven’t been paying attention for fifteen years.
You know, I can’t say I don’t understand McCain leaving his first wife. It’s easy to understand: the beauty queen he married turned by car accident crippled and overweight, and turned by Mother Nature forty years old when twenty-five year old hot mama and multi-million dollar heiress Cindy McCain (who, let’s face it, is still pretty smokin’), came waltzing along…I mean, the logic is there. Anybody could understand it.
Approve of it, though? I dunno, I’m just a dirty liberal, although I’m getting married next year with the understanding that it is to be until the day I drop dead. I’m just not sure how it gets sanctioned by the Republican Party, a group of charming folks who love to pontificate endlessly about “defending marriage.”
But that hypocrisy isn’t exactly new, is it? Straights get to shit on marriage vows however they like without question, and, of course, elites are to virtually expected to ditch the “starter wife” when they gain sufficient status.
Republicans really are stuck with a turd with John McCain. They’re faced with a Democratic candidate who, the popular narrative suggests, is a master of style and presentation, while their man, John McCain, is a wheedling, stilted eyesore feeding off his opponent’s best lines. What to do?
First instincts kick in, and immediately it is concluded that they must turn it into a style vs. substance debate. Every yin must have a yang, no? It must be so. It needs to be so. Rightwingers tell themselves, this is what we want, what we need, what we will do. Initiate action.
Reverse and retreat, MY FRIENDS. Code Red: McCain is the style vs. Obama’s substance.
…in any contest between Obama and McCain, Obama is the substantive, policy-oriented candidate, while McCain is the one offering mostly pious bromides about victory, service and being American. If style often beats substance, Obama is in trouble because, as his supporters tirelessly remind us, Obama does have a substantive policy agenda (even if he doesnâ€™t spend as much time talking about it and a lot of his boosters donâ€™t care what it is) and McCainâ€™s entire campaign has been even more driven by biography and character than Obamaâ€™s.
Daniel Larison feels free to joke about Obama fearing McCain on style. The mis-match is indeed near farcical.
It’s going to be great watching the opposition get buried this coming November. Numbers like this must make the RNC weep:
A review of campaign finance data offers not one ounce of good news and barely any hope for the McCain campaignâ€™s ability to compete with Obamaâ€™s fund raising prowess.
To make matters worse, Obamaâ€™s campaign, which raised $272 million through April for the primary, now is reaching out to Clintonâ€™s fund raisers, who raised another $200 million through April, in an effort to unite forces and bury the historically deep-pocketed Republicans.
Take a look at some of the numbers:
â€¢ If each of Obamaâ€™s donors gave him a modest $250, heâ€™d have $375 million to spend during the two-month general election sprint. Thatâ€™s $186 million a month, $47 million a week.
â€¢ During the same September to Nov. 4 period, McCain will have about $85 million to spend since he has decided to take taxpayer money to help finance his campaign activities.
â€¢ The Republican National Committee, which is charged with closing the gap between McCain and Obama, has $40 million in cash. Obama raised almost as much â€” $31 million â€” from just his small donors in the month of February. His total for the month, $57 million, exceeded the RNCâ€™s cash balance.
Old Man McCain: no momentum, no message and more critically, no money.
May 21, 2008 in Old Man McCain
Having endured horrible torture for five years, John McCain’s perseverance is not to be questioned. And certainly in comparison, his recent troubles are nothing. Being hung from your wrists is nothing compared to being strung on a rack pulled between the GOP Bush Loyalist base and the other 70-80% of the country still sane…hell, you can throw him on a rack between the “maverick” and being slathered up to your gills in lobbyists who expect good returns on their investments.
â€œMcCainâ€™s self-righteous [expletive] has caught up with him. Now heâ€™s got himself in a jam,â€ said another Republican lobbyist who asked to remain anonymous because he is a campaign volunteer. â€œHeâ€™s got to change the subject back to economic growth and taxation and the war on terror.â€
And thereâ€™s this thought from another McCain supporter: â€œI find it a little offensive. It was good enough to get my $2,300 donation. If weâ€™re not good enough, then send my check back. It pisses me off.â€
Five years of torture! Six months til November has to sound like a piece of cake. Go go McCain!
May 21, 2008 in Old Man McCain
Truth be told, the level of McCain’s ignorance about the Middle East has surprised me lately. I think we’ve learned that it takes more than a hard nose and a soft head to be effective at foreign policy, haven’t we?
McCain blunders on who’s in charge in Iran. It’s important because he claims Barack Obama wants to talk to Ahmadinejad, but Barack has only talked about Iran’s leaders. Top dawg in Iran is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which is fairly common knowledge among people who follow the Middle East. But then again, so is the difference between Shias and Sunnis.
On the bright side, his economic policies are almost universally seen as incoherent!
I sure hate to veer outside the narrative of John McCain as The Man Of Integrity, but sooner or later won’t it kind of be inescapable that every time the man is caught saying something stupid, he simply claims he never said it? And that most of the time he’s being filmed or says things in front of numerous witnesses?
Arianna Huffington wrote a post recently about how John McCain told her at a party after the 2000 election that he didn’t vote for Bush. Apparently Cindy McCain said the same thing.
I mean, first thing’s first, people: How could you possibly blame them? These were two people who were still washing off Karl Rove’s slime at the time. How do you walk into the voting booth months and vote for the guy whose campaign spread rumors about your Bengali daughter being an illegitimate black child, and your wife being addicted to painkillers, and you being a little crazy after being tortured for 5 years by the Viet Cong?
But now John McCain says he was A Good Republican who marched right in that booth and voted for Bush. In fact, his people started with some classic Rovian maneuvers and started blasting Arianna personally, saying, “Consider the source.”
Arianna responded with a humiliating smackdown:
My sentiments exactly — because John McCain has a long history of issuing heartfelt denials of things that were actually true. He denied ever talking with John Kerry about his leaving the GOP to be Kerry’s ’04 running mate — then later admitted he had, insisting: “Everybody knows that I had a conversation.” He denied admitting that he didn’t know much about economics, even though he’d said exactly that to the Wall Street Journal. And the Boston Globe. And the Baltimore Sun. He denied ever having asked for a budget earmark for Arizona, even though he had. On the record. He denied that he’d ever had a meeting with comely lobbyist Vicki Iseman and her client Lowell Paxon, even though he had. And had admitted it in a legal deposition.
And those are just the outright denials. He’s also repeatedly tried to spin away statements he regretted making (see: 100-year war, Iraq was a war for oil, etc.).
So, yes, by all means, “consider the source.”
Arianna Huffington is certainly an honest person who wouldn’t fabricate a story out of thin air, but as the founder of The Huffington Post, she’s easy for every rightwinger to blow off. “She’s a liberal!” pretty much wraps it up for them. Oh, but wait, suddenly The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times have sources corroborating Arianna’s story. Two of the sources who were also at the party have come out publicly, with a third remaining anonymous fearing McCain’s scorn (for telling the truth, mind you). The vice is clinched, no?
Ah, but look out! The two named sources are Bradley Whitford and Richard Schiff…LIBERAL HOLLYWOOD ACTORS! If you cup your ear, you can hear millions of rightwingers sighing with relief. It’s wrapped up again! Obviously, Arianna met these liberal actors in a private meeting, they all agreed to make up a story about the night John McCain partied with them (lesson to rightwingers: don’t attend liberal Hollywood parties!), Arianna would break the story and the others would get her back. One other person agreed to the alibi, but chickened out a little and went anonymous. Roll the presses!!!
You gotta give those Hollywood people credit too, they can sure weave wonderful fantasies out of thin air. Check out this hilarious detail from the NYT article:
â€œMcCain was just sort of going off on how much he disliked Bush and the horrible things that the Bush campaign had done to his family in South Carolina, and his exasperation with Bush about his ridiculous tax cuts and he really wanted to talk to him about it, but he said the guy doesnâ€™t have the concentration, and you talk for 10 minutes and then the guy wants to talk about baseball,â€ Mr. Whitford said.
Surely those liberals will sink to anything! Suggesting George W. Bush is an intellectual lightweight who was in over his head and never truly interested in the particulars of doing his job…for shame! Boo!
Man, the right almost escaped having to face reality for a second. McCain can, of course, go repeat his denial to Bill O’Reilly in the safe haven of Faux News.
But that’s beside the point. Of course he can. Any Republican can go on Fox News and be treated adoringly, with every denial or outright lie coddled and nourished lovingly. That’s what Fox News is for. But McCain has also been enjoying a love-fest from the MSM for years. Chris Matthews has admitted that the media is McCain’s real base. The question is, how long can that possibly continue before the media is forced to admit that the John McCain of 2000 is gone, and that what we have now is a man with little if any shame left, a panderer and an outright liar who does it because he thinks nobody will hold him accountable? “Hey, it worked for GWB,” he undoubtedly thinks. George Bush, of course, was able to say, “I never said that!” when confronted with his own words about not caring about Osama bin Laden anymore, and got it waived.
The media made special accommodations for Bush because that’s what you do for the mentally challenged. They’ve felt McCain deserves special accommodations because he talks to them and gives them donuts. But it doesn’t have to stay that way, folks.
The media can be forced to start treating John McCain with the same degree of scrutiny and relentlessness with which they handled Obama over the last couple months. Of course, Obama has managed to take the media beating and throw them off, but the nature of the charges against him were beyond trivial and mostly hyped up.
I don’t think McCain can take the same kind of pressure, because he’s been such a blatant fabricator there’s no way to spin it. He will lose his image as the maverick truth-teller, and it will be long overdue.
But the pressure on the media to do its job will come from one place, and one place only: you.
That is all.
p.s. O’Reilly, the bimbo that he is, claims someone wrote a blog on HuffPost claiming John McCain wasn’t tortured and collaborated with the Viet Cong, then said, “That’s Arianna Huffington.”
Somebody feel free to correct me, but here’s the only thing I found: Jayne Lyn Stahl reporting on the fact that the same group of people who swiftboated Kerry formed a group, Vietnam Vets Against McCain, that was going to peddle that line against McCain about his time in Vietnam. Stahl makes it abundantly clear that the charges are completely false, only that she wouldn’t cry any tears for McCain if the group was as successful as the Swiftboaters were.
Of course, fact-checking O’Reilly is kind of like trying to beat the Guinness Book of World Records for longest fingernails: It will occupy you endlessly, and after you’ve done it, nobody will be particularly impressed because there’s no skill involved.
UPDATE: Arianna notes a Freudian slip on McCain’s part:
O’REILLY: Did you vote for President bush?
MCCAIN: Of course not. I campaigned all over this country for him.
For all the whining McCain’s camp did about Obama saying he was losing his bearings…he sure is losing his bloody bearings. Of course, this is one part age, and one part political pandering. Even a younger McCain could not have thrown his principles out the window and turned into Bush’s butt-boy without tripping over himself daily.
So McCain didn’t vote for Bush. So says Huff, anyway. McCain’s response? He asks us to “consider the source”. Here’s Huff’s rebuttal:
My sentiments exactly — because John McCain has a long history of issuing heartfelt denials of things that were actually true.
He denied ever talking with John Kerry about his leaving the GOP to be Kerry’s ’04 running mate — then later admitted he had, insisting: “Everybody knows that I had a conversation.”
He denied admitting that he didn’t know much about economics, even though he’d said exactly that to the Wall Street Journal. And the Boston Globe. And the Baltimore Sun.
He denied ever having asked for a budget earmark for Arizona, even though he had. On the record.
He denied that he’d ever had a meeting with comely lobbyist Vicki Iseman and her client Lowell Paxon, even though he had. And had admitted it in a legal deposition.
And those are just the outright denials. He’s also repeatedly tried to spin away statements he regretted making (see: 100-year war, Iraq was a war for oil, etc.).
So, yes, by all means, “consider the source.”
I have no doubt that the online devoted are willing to make excuses for any number of verbal blunders that are sure to come out of McCain’s pasty gob during the run-up to his certain defeat in November but how is it going to make them look when the only way out is to tell people that they’re stupid for misunderstanding what he’s saying? Elitist, indeed.