Posted by: Randy Allgaier | July 14, 2008

Going through the Change: McCain’s new brand


Okay, maybe it is a bad joke- “going through the change” and McCain’s age. I know- GROAN. But really it is amazing to me what John McCain is able to get away with as far as “shifting views” but if Barack Obama sneezes and turns his head a little to the right, he is accused of running to the center and “flip-flopping”.

In my last post, No one is perfect, I address some of the problems Obama faces on this issue- with accusations from both the right and the left who apparently haven’t been paying attention and live on some cloud where a politician isn’t a politician.

But Mr. McCain- his “Straight Talk Express” has derailed so many times- it looks like the train scene in the beginning of the movie “The Fugitive”.

Let’s look at the Iraq War. True McCain criticized the Bushies for their management of the war- a little too late of course. But McCain supported this inanity in the beginning and seems to forget that he agreed with the administration that this war would take a matter of weeks maybe a few months and we would be greeted by Iraqis throwing rose petals not IEDs. But McCain does get confused. Poor guy seems to get the Sunni and Shi’a mixed up all the time and only gets it right when his whispering lap dog- Joe Lieberman whispers the correction into his ear. But heck why would we expect him to get this right? The schism between the two sects of Islam only happened one and a half millennia ago. McCain says he is best qualified to handle this conflict because he understands the region. Maybe he was around about 1500 years ago and forgot the little split caused by which of the caliphs were the heirs to Mohammed and forgot that little kerfulfle

He talks about the mismanagement of the administration’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina. On June 3rd he held a press conference in Baton Rouge in which he claimed to have voted for all investigations of Hurricane Katrina. McCain indeed voted twice against empowering an independent commission to investigate the levee failures that caused the inundation of the city of New Orleans. McCain actually voted twice, in 2005 and 2006, to defeat a Democratic amendment that would have set up an independent commission along the lines of the 9/11 Commission. At the time of the second vote, members of both parties were complaining that the White House was refusing requests by Senate investigators for information. The McCain campaign accused the Obama campaign of “tired negative attacks” for pointing out and documenting McCain’s gaffe. Is this voting for it after voting against it? Is it spin? Is it dotage?

The Bush tax cuts. McCain rightly opposed the Bush tax cuts originally. His reasoning was sound- one doesn’t cut taxes when one waging a war. But now McCain says his reasoning was because federal spending was out of control. Yeah sure,

And what about other economic issues. McCain for months has been saying pisshaw about the economy spiraling down the drain. He has pretty much been aligned with the rather stunning remarks by Phil Gramm- that our economy is really good, but people are really scared so its in our heads. But once Phil Gramm’s comments were seen for the out of touch idiocy that they are, McCain threw him under the bus making a bad joke about being Ambassador to Belarus. But Gramm has been the architect of McCain’s economic policy. McCain admitted, before he denied it, that he doesn’t have a very strong grasp of economic issues so it seems likely that Gramm was the architect and McCain the not so articulate messenger. That was until anyone who buys something to eat realized that the price of goods was a problem and we weren’t any better off in this world where, as Gramm says, we have never had the tools for a better economy.

Oh really? Reliance on foreign oil and oil in general, jobs in the United States being shipped abroad as fast as the dollar is plummeting; the pesky mortgage catastrophe and a national debt that is equal to 20% of the entire planet’s annual GDP are just minor issues.

McCain is now trying to feel out pain- while his wife racks up credit card bills of three quarter of a million dollars in one month.

And then there was McCain’s tacky pandering about his own POW story. In his autobiography he talks about using the names of the starting line up of the Green Bay Packers as the names of his platoon in order to avoid torture. But when he visits Pittsburg- the story somehow changes from the Packers to the Steelers. Either the man’s memory is completely gone or he is the most shameless panderer on earth. McCain is always given a pass because of his military service and his heroism as a POW in Hanoi. But somehow there is this myth that McCain avoids using this experience for political expedience because it would be- well- unseemly. But the truth is he uses it all the time and no one in the media is strong enough to call him out on it for fear of being labeled a sleazebag. When he comes to San Francisco will his story include the 49ers? When he is in Miami will it be the Dolphins?

The list goes on and on and on.

If Barack Obama made a fraction of these gaffes and “flip flops” he would be raked over the coals. But McCain gets a pass. I don’t get it. I guess McCain is the candidate of change- his own mind.

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