It’s Awful Hard To Run From Bush When…

I know that I’ve never been a big fan of the whole “paint McCain as another Bush” strategy; I remain concerned that such a strategy fails if McCain manages to worm his way out from under Bush’s shadow.  Still, you have to admit, it’s real difficult for McCain to claim he’s not another Bush when the parts of his campaign not ran by lobbyists are being run by former Bush campaign staffers (note: please allow that some of the former Bush staffers could ALSO serve as lobbyists).

Full disclosure; you can count me as one of those liberals who at one point thought of John McCain as a fundamentally decent guy, even if he was far too conservative for my tastes.  While I may never actually have ever been able to convince myself to vote for him, I would have to admit that I was as taken in by the Maverick persona as anyone else.

I flip-flopped on that; and thankfully I’m not a politician where flip-flops can be held against me.  I regret to say that I went from respectable disagreement to utter disdain, and no, the reason why is not primarily because of the current election, though it does play a part in a roundabout way.

Simple research into the man got the ball rollilng.  McCain had been painted as a Maverick, a Straight-Talker, a moderate, and even on occasion a “liberal” Republican (no such thing).  But even a cursory check into his record reveals a different story; one in which he broke with party orthodoxy only in a few high profile instances, the rest of the time the so called Maverick was as conservative as any other Republican.

In other words, this great moderate/liberal Republican was fictional, a character played by a run-of-the-mill partisan like the rest of his party.

My fallout with the idea of John McCain continued with something I would never forgive him for; something I have written about frequently over the course of the last year; his flip-flop on the use of torture.  Of course, only now, do we see just how bad his flip-flop really is:

McCain served four years in the House and has been in the Senate almost 22 so far. But he, too, has authored fewer than a half-dozen major laws. Trying to fix immigration counts for something, but nothing passed. So while McCain deserves credit for the landmark 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform bill, the only other major law on which his office says his “name appears” (Palin’s standard) is the “McCain Amendment” prohibiting torture in the armed forces. But that has little meaning because of a bill this year, supported by McCain, that allows torture by the CIA. Under longstanding government practice, military intelligence officers can be temporarily designated as CIA officers (“sheep-dipped” is the bureaucratic lingo) when they want to go off the Army field manual. In other words, the government can still torture anyone, any time. McCain caved on an issue he insists is a matter of principle.

(Incidentally, you should read the full article which compares Obama and McCain side by side and really casts their competing levels of experience in a surprising light)

So, while John McCain once claimed to take a principled stand against torture, his support for torture performed by the CIA actually managed to negate his vote to ban torture from the military.

The last straw came from campaigning principles.  Back in 2000, John McCain was the test subject for George W. Bush’s campaign machine, a vicious weapon that employed everything from 527’s to push polls.  McCain eight years ago, was the victim of one of the sleaziest campaigns of the time and one would hope that being a victim, he would learn from the experience, like he did from being a POW, and take a principled stand against that style of campaigning.

But just as McCain flip-flopped on torture despite it being employed against him, he flip-flopped on dirty campaigning despite it being employed against him.  While I secretly hoped he would help Obama raise the level of presidential debate, McCain instead hired the old Bush team subsequently flushed that debate standard down the toilet.

What’s worse, he actually tried to blame Obama for it all.

So here’s my one hope.  Eventually the country came to learn that emperor had no clothes.  While Bush was able to keep things up long enough to win reelection, his approval numbers no longer even creep over the 20% mark.  It took longer than some of us hoped, but Bush finally did fail.  I can only hope that his old campaign, now in the service of John McCain, will also fail.

One Response to “It’s Awful Hard To Run From Bush When…”

  1. Angellight says:

    “In 2007, Wall Street’s five biggest firms– Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley – paid a record $39 billion in bonuses to themselves.” ABC’s Political Punch — I say no Bail Out!
    AND
    Sen. John McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/22/us/politics/22mccain.html?ref=politics

    More McCain Hypocrisy! – And for those who think we will not have another Bush/Cheney Whitehouse if McCain gets elected, please be advised that McCain has 10 former Bush strategists and operatives working and advising him now. They are: Steve Schmitt, Tucker Eskew, Tracey Schmitt, Nicole Wallace, Mark Wallace, Stephen E. Biegun, W. Taylor Griffin, Matthew Scully, Greg Jenkins and Matt McDonald, which spells McCain-Bush all over again!

    McCain who has been Chairman of the Commerce Committee for years says he knows very little about the economy, the one truth he has been honest about, because it has always been about Corporations first, only and last! It is our turn now and no more corporate bail outs who are in fear of losing their luxurious way of life on the back of the American people.

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