Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Drag on the Ticket

Pity the Republican party ticket. When has such a tandem ever been burdened like this by a candidate so ignorant of economics, confused about foreign affairs and tainted by ethical misconduct?

And then there is Sarah Palin!


  • In 26 years in Congress, few have been as strident in favor of de-regulation as John McCain. He was chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, which has a large portfolio, and kowtowed to the lobbyists for the broadcasting industry in getting enacted a bill deregulating broadcasting. When you hear crap on radio from the same couple of gigantic corporations, including the ones who banned the Dixie Chicks, thank John McCain. When you call your cable operator to complain and get put on hold by someone in Bangalore, thank John McCain.
  • Just this week, McCain is a convert to regulating the financial industry (which pointedly was excluded from the Commerce Committee’s jurisdiction) and imposing socialism on the banking industry, which was allowed to run wild by Phil Gramm, his former colleague, now bank lobbyist and chief McCain economic adviser. And Gramm’s wife, too, who was head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
  • The last such scandal was in the late 1970s and early 1980s involving unscrupulous savings and loan operators, one of whom contributed huge amounts to McCain’s campaigns in exchange for the senator’s help in gaining favorable treatment from government regulators.
  • McCain’s health plan would result in you paying taxes on your employer-paid benefits. Sure, you get a $5,000 check from the government so you can buy your own health care, which would mean a) you would have no idea which plan or medical services are a best buy because the health industry hides that information and b) if you leave your company plan rather than pay higher taxes, you are likely young and healthy, which means the only ones left are the older and sicker employees who no one wants to insure.
  • He most recently said he would fire the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, not realizing that by statute and a 1935 Supreme Court decision the president cannot fire the head of an independent regulatory commission.
Now for foreign affairs:

  • McCain would take actions that would legally, by treaty, bind the United States to going to war with Russia if Russia attacks Georgia again. (Personally, they could take Alabama and I wouldn’t care.)

  • He thought Iraq bordered Afghanistan, thought Al-Qaeda was in Iraq before we invaded, needed Joe Lieberman’s help to distinguish between Sunni and Shia’a, confused Sudan with Somalia and most recently had no idea who the prime minister of Spain is and, after hearing his name, thought he was some Latin American dictator.
  • The “surge” in Iraq “succeeded,” analysts say, only partially because there were more U.S. troops there. But McCain never talks about the wads of cash the U.S. paid to neighborhood warlords to switch sides, about the hundreds of thousands of potential enemies already killed in the war (reducing the volume of the pool somewhat) or about the masses who already had fled Iraq for neighboring countries. Remember, every single general and admiral except David Petraeus, strongly opposed the surge.

Now for personal honor:

Aside from running the most disreputable campaign in memory and not having the balls to choose one of his two most reliable friends and political sages as his running mate, McCain has been on both sides of every major issue, most specifically on the economy.

While a public figure, like any of us, can screw up, McCain is a serial apologizer.

  • He apologized for what he himself called a sickening decision to support flying the Confederate flag over the South Carolina capitol.
  • He apologized for opposing the Martin Luther King holiday.
  • He apologized for having been one of the “Keating Five” in that previously mention S&L scandal.
  • He apologized for cheating on and dumping his first wife.
  • While a purveyor of the glory of private enterprise, McCain has spent all but one of his 72 years on the government payroll (or as a government dependent.)

    All of a sudden, Sarah Palin seems to be the candidate of rectitude. At least she knows what she doesn’t know and it will be McCain who will hate himself in the morning -- after Election Day.

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