Category Archives: John McCain

Schwartzenegger panders to common sense – huh?

Those of you living outside of California (or Kaleeefahneeah) who may not be used to seeing Arnold speak at length about political issues may be surprised to learn something about this former juicer and Hummer enthusiast: he actually gets it.  The Governator is coming out of this presidential election looking better than just about any of his fellow Republicans.

Not only did Arnold conveniently skip the Governor’s Association Conference last week in Florida (he had some real fires to put out) in which solutions were in short supply and grandstanding (see Palin, Sarah) and “message” mumbo jumbo were in full bloom, he made his way to “This Week with George Stephanopolous” and admitted what for Republicans has been the toughest thing to admit in the Bush years: you can’t be a competent party that meets the needs of its people if you keep sticking to the same failed ideology, an ideology that is essentially bankrupt.

Why did it take this long for a national figure in the Republican party to say that building roads, good schools, keeping people in their homes, and saving the environment aren’t “Democratic or Republican” issues but issues that transcend political labels?  Arnold goes on to say that his “core values” are those of the Republican party of Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt — when Republicans weren’t afraid to spend money on programs that invested in the future — and are not the “nonsense” core values of his current party. This is such a stark contrast with the Palin rhetoric that relies on embracing “pro-America values” and prayers to a Christian God to govern at the highest level.  At one point in the interview, George S. tells Schwartzenegger that he’s sounding a lot like Obama.  This particular Republican didn’t disagree. 

Palin supporters may be dissapointed to hear one of the most popular stars of their party (and the most famous — prior to the convention) espouse essentially the same non-ideological rhetoric as the terrorist loving, America hating, Marxist President Elect.  Maybe they’ll want to send Arnold back to Austria when President Palin passes her comprehensive immigration bill after 2012.  But it must be music to the ears of many Republicans who have had to suffer through this past election as their man John McCain turned his back on his own values to embrace the Rovian politics of the Dark Side and crackpot ideology of the far Right.  Better late than never I guess.


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Filed under George W. Bush, John McCain, Republican Party, Sarah Palin, Wordpress Political Blogs

Post Election Exclusive! McCain and Lindsey Graham late night phone call

Lindsey, are you there?

"Lindsey, are you there? I got a new ePhone."

According Newsweek’s just published special “How He Did It, 2008” disclosures re: the campaign  

On the Sunday night before the last debate, McCain’s core group of advisers—Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, adman Fred Davis, strategist Greg Strimple, pollster Bill McInturff and strategy director Sarah Simmons—met to decide whether to tell McCain that the race was effectively over, that he no longer had a chance to win. The consensus in the room was no, not yet, not while he still had “a pulse.”


Here is an excerpt from a phone call made by John McCain three days later – the morning of the big day

When: October 15, 2:00 a.m.  John McCain unable to sleep before his final debate with Obama dials his good ol’ buddy Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator of South Carolina …

J.M.: Lindsey, hey sorry to call so late I couldn’t sleep …

L.G.: No problem buddy.  I’m just watching last season’s Dancin’ with the Stars on the ol’ TIVO.

J.M.: Did you figure out that VIVO thing yourself?  You are good with the ol’ techno my friend.  I’m going to make you my cyber czar.  Look, Cindy helped me go on the Google and she found this interesting clip from an Obama rally: this plumber guy asked Obama how he’d do under his economic plan …

L.G.: He’d do friggen great, what else is new …

J.M.: No – get this, when he asks Obama how’d he do if he earned more than $250K – chicken scratch for us and from the look of this guy, not gonna happen, but anyway – Obama tells this Joe the Plumber that he might pay higher taxes but that it was okay because if he makes more he should “spread the wealth around.”

L.G.: Makes sense.  We’ve supported that progressive tax stance since way before that asshole W. started on his tax cutting spree for those schmucks at Exxon and put the economy in the toilet.

J.M.: Yea, but don’t you see.  Obama said “spread the wealth.” We could use that.  I was thinking of dropping that on him at the debate:  “Senator, why would you want to spread the wealth, sounds like Socialism to me!”

L.G.: Wow!  That’s so cool – we’ve been looking for a way to get those corn pones in the “real America”  to vote against their own interests.  We lost guns, we’re losing on God even with Palin’s evident hotness, abortion is a wash.  Maybe we could use this Plumber guy.

J.M.: Hold on.  Let’s not make too big a deal about the guy, I’d rather focus on the words.  Besides, we don’t have time to vet him.  He could be a real nut job.

L.G.: Who cares?  He can’t be worse than anything else we got.  This Ayers thing has got no legs except among the racist wackos showing up at our puny events.  And they probably’ll be too drunk on election day to even cast a vote.

J.M.: You’re right.  I’m making the maverick decision. Let’s put this Joe character on every channel.  Let Sarah tongue kiss him on the stump.  Fuck it!  We got nothing to lose at this point.

L.G.: Damn straight, brother … hey John …

J.M.: Yea, Lin.

L.G.: Between this Palin pick, the racist taunts, the suspension of the campaign so you can go to D.C. with no real economic plan, and you looking like a ghost of your former centrist self  –  it looks like we’re gonna lose this thing aren’t we?

J.M.: Put the fork in it, my friend.  But, at least I got to piss off those Bush and Cheney assholes and sink his fuckin’ party into a shit hole that we probably won’t be able to crawl out of for at least 20 years.

L.G.: Ha! Revenge is sweet, my friend.  Especially when served cold – you ol’ maverick!  I haven’t had this much fun since I led the effort in Congress to impeach Clinton.

J.M.: Speaking of cold – is that Kristi Yamaguchi babe the hottest queen on ice or what!  Forget Palin.  Forget DWTS.  I’d let her skate over me in all 7 of my houses!  I’m gonna have a lot of time for entertaining once I get to cut loose again from the ol’ Cind-erella.


Filed under Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin

McCain and the RNC: from pander to slander when will it stop?

When I started this blog back during the primaries I expected to hear a busload of pandering from both sides of the aisle and tried to comment on the most egregious outbursts from all parties, including Obama, Clinton and McCain — and they didn’t disappoint.

Say "ahhhhhrg"

Say aargh!

 But with just two weeks to go before the general election I can’t even begin to process the out and out lies and misdeeds perpatrated by the RNC and McCain’s oppo guys, including Palin and McCain himself.  The behavior and statements exhibited in the past few weeks go beyond the usual pandering to the base and truth bending and has entered the Twilight Zone.  Some examples:

  • Palin and others claiming that only certain parts of the country (that voted for Bush) are “pro America” or the “real America”
  • Stirring up racist feelings at rallies that turn into calls for violence against Obama (and are reminiscent of similar gatherings officiated by leaders from Hitler to Ahmadinejad)
  • Robocalls inferring that Obama is a Muslim terrorist that are scaring children and giving adults hearburn as they sit around that kitchen table we keep hearing about
  • Attacking Obama for being a “socialist” the same week that a Republican president and both parties in Congress approve a $700 billion bail out package for financial companies and McCain himself promises to buy up mortgages for those that can’t pay their bills
  • Repeated statements on the part of McCain that his attack strategy is part of the “rough and tumble” of campaigning and that Obama’s ads attacking McCain’s positions somehow equate with the race baiting and hate mongering coming from the McCain side
  • Attacking the media or refusing media access whenever they expose or question a particularly damaging comment or event (e.g., the congresswoman from Minnesota’s 6th district calling for a witch hunt to expose “un-American” members of Congress, showing evidence of Palin’s naivite about the position she aspires to, the McCain campaign worker who had the courage to question the motives of racists at the rally he helped organize)
  • Attacking Colin Powell’s recent support of Obama as being based solely on race as he’s been making a passionate argument about why Muslims are “real Americans” too
  • Attacking ACORN for “destroying the fabric of democracy”, even though the “other” John McCain was praising them as recently as 2006.   An obvious ploy to stir up further racist feelings by picking on a grass roots organization (read “minority” and “urban”) that is registering both Democratic and Republican voters and has no proven record of voter fraud (just faulty registration rolls they are required by law to turn in).

The list goes on.  Either McCain has willingly given up whatever integrity he has managed to retain from his 26 years in office or he is just too disconnected from what’s going on to make it stop.  Some people are thinking that, despite calls from some of the cooler heads of his party to go positive, McCain will unleash wall to wall Reverand Wright ads in the last days of the campaign so white voters going into the booth on election day will have that image seared in their minds.

Whether he takes this tack or not, and if through some twist of fate he actually becomes President come January, America is going to be in for a very bumpy ride. 

Welcome to Fake America

Welcome to Fake America

And I mean the real America and the fake America I’m sitting in as I write this.  You know the one; it’s the America where you can find that elite French lady in the harbor, the fake America that processed the millions of immigrants who passed its shores and whose descendents make up 40% of the US population; the fake America that suffered the worst attack in the nation’s history right in its backyard.  Oh, did I also mention it’s the fake America that hosted George Washington’s inaugural address, is the birthplace of John McCain’s idol Theodore Roosevelt, and is the final resting place of U.S. Grant — the guy who helped Lincoln save a divided America’s ass when it almost came apart due to ideological differences based on race and class?

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Filed under Barack Obama, John McCain, Politics, Sarah Palin, The Press, Wordpress Political Blogs

Sarah Palin’s debate performance benefits from low expectations — but is that okay?

One of the points that many of the blogerati are missing re: last night’s debate is that Palin is not only just mouthing the words she’s been given, she hasn’t shown any particular views in the past that would support these positions. 

Any way you look it you lose

Here's to you Mrs. Palin: any way you look at it you lose

Although a social conservative, she has said (and probably thought) little re: national policy — the economy, the War — in the past.  And, in her state the majority of voters are Independents – they don’t have the stomach for the kind of hard partisanship that she has been showing on the stump (see excellent NYer article on Palin and Alaska).  Although a Republican in name, she has become a cheerleader leading the cheers of the away team.  I kind of feel sorry for her. 

Someone should rewind to the first Bush vs. Gore debate in 2000. A lot of similarities – Bush starting out with the benefit of low expectations, avoiding direct answers to the questions, using folksy talk and generally sticking to prepared points.   And the pundits saying “nice job.” 

But, why is so much of the country – and many in the MSM – okay with low expectations? Bush partly won the presidency because he managed to overcome his “low expectations” and the press played right along. Given this momentous time can’t we all have high expectations re: ALL of our elected officials? Can’t that be the standard? Instead of constantly quoting FDR, TDR and Harry Truman why can’t we have people who perform to their standards? Don’t we as citizens deserve it?

Biden Wins but …
There is no question that Biden won this debate and he made some great points about McCain’s views, including McCain’s flawed position on Iraq. But I still think both Obama and Biden have not been forceful enough on their Iraq strategy: the candidates are still playing within the Republicans’ frame of “defeat” vs. “victory.” You can’t just keep repeating that McCain was wrong in the PAST about Iraq. Biden should have made the point that Obama is confident of “victory” but that it will only come if we push the Iraqis into a timetable. McCain’s plan is to sit around and wait for the Iraqis to get their act together (Palin expressed this view in her definition of “victory”). Obama and Biden have to explain that this is not leadership. We don’t wait for the other guy, we ACT. Republicans want to WAIT for victory to somehow show up some day in a nice shiny package. But the Iraqis will not have any incentive to make the hard choices necessary to self govern under McCain’s strategy. Stating this difference will change the frame and poke a huge IED sized hole in their “Democrats want to raise the white flag” rhetoric.

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Palin pick shows McCain to be prisoner of the religious right

Caribou Barbie

Caribou Barbie

John McCain has done it once again.  While purporting to be a maverick, he has chosen the greased path of religious convenience with his recent pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. 

Although Republicans are touting his choice as evidence of his bold independence, it is clear that McCain chose the same route as his predecessor George H.W. Bush in his pick of Dan Quale: to pander to the intolerant right wing of his party. 

Purportedly, Palin went through a rigorous vetting process, including a 50 page questionnaire.  Evidently, one of the questions that she got right was “how do you spell po-ta-to?”

Some insiders are saying that lapsed Democrat (and angry nebbish) Joe Lieberman was McCain’s choice but that several groups within the party were planning to boycott the pick on the convention floor (antisemitism anyone?).  Okay, he is a Democrat in the lions’ den but still … The maverick had to back down – wouldn’t want to upset the party regulars by showing his backbone.  If he had chosen Mitt Romney he could have run a decent Center-Right charge and evened out the ticket with an experienced pol from the business world.  But the Mormon Romney is not a “real” Christian.

While McCain basks in the glow of his convention this week (and the new energy eminating from religious conservatives who would just as soon sink the country in order to have someone on the ticket that cares about their faith-based issues), voters should seriously question McCain’s decision making ability. 

Do we want another guy in the White House who makes decisions from his gut in order to appease the worst elements of his party?  Who goes with political expediency over thoughtful analysis? 

The brouhaha over Palin’s family problems is a nice distraction for McCain.  While the country is busy talking about Palin’s daughter’s uterus they are missing the larger issue: McCain would rather make a reckless decision and be overruled by the same elements of his party that have ruined this country for the past 8 years than follow his own instincts and do what he feels is right.  Country First indeed.


Filed under John McCain, Politics, Sarah Palin, Wordpress Political Blogs

McCain’s Indecision 2008: Reject religious intolerance or continue to pander?

It took him awhile but John McCain finally came out to denounce and reject the endorsement of controversial preacher and well known Catholic hater John Hagee. 

Hagee, whose antisemitism is cloaked in the “but I love the state of Israel” rhetoric that is typical of evangelicals, just got too hot for McCain to handle after the public heard his remarks equating the Holocaust with God’s shortcut to leading the Jews into Zion (BTW, if God wanted to return the Jews to Israel couldn’t he have done it in a slightly more direct way, say, by not allowing 2 of every 5 Jews to perish in the process?).

While pundits are comparing McCain’s “preacher problem” to that of Obama’s relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the comparison isn’t really apt: McCain has taken a principled stand against people like Hagee in the past whereas Obama chose not to reject his preacher until forced into a corner.  That leads to the question as to why McCain has continued to embrace — and seek out the endorsement of — outspoken, right wing conservative preachers that he wouldn’t be caught dead associating himself with 8 years ago. 

Here is what the more centrist John McCain said back in 2000:

“Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right,” 

Bravo!  But, Johnny why were you led astray?  The pandering (his word, not ours) seems to have started in earnest a few years ago when McCain began his most recent run for President. 

(McCain and Jerry Falwell make nice in ’06)

In May of 2006 he spoke at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.  And ever since, his campaign has been courting some of the more infamous “intolerance agents” of the extreme religious right, including Hagee and Ohio’s Rod Parsley, who has called upon Christians to wage a “war” against the “false religion” of Islam with the aim of destroying it. 

The answer to McCain’s getting religion as it were lies in the after effects of the simultaneous rise of the New Religious Right and the Reagan “revolution.”  Back in 1980 Reagan recognized an important voting block by making alliances with more activist religious leaders like Falwell (who was just starting the Moral Majority) and others on the religious fringe who could be counted on to get out the vote.  While George Bush senior was able to keep these newly powerful religious leaders at arm’s length to win the presidency back in ’88, Bush II made them a centerpiece of his successful run for president in 2000.  This gave old guard bigots like James Dobson and Falwell unprecedented power in American politics and has helped them make inroads re: many of their pet issues including laws meant to restrict abortion and gay rights, and to promote “intelligent design,” and other means of breaking down the separation of Church and State.

But John McCain was never in that camp.  He was a Republican more along the lines of his conservative mentor and fellow Arizonian Barry Goldwater, who barely tolerated the religious wing of the New Right. In fact

When Sandra Day O’Connor was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1981, some Religious Right leaders suspected she might be too moderate on abortion and other social concerns.  Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell told the news media that “every good Christian should be concerned.”  Replied Goldwater, “Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell’s ass.”

So what’s a guy to do now?  Although we are no big fan of the man’s policies and think a McCain presidency is the wrong direction for the country, we have a suggestion that could help McCain retain some of his integrity on the issue and prove himself a true leader of his morally corrupt party: make a historic speech, similar to Obama’s, that demonstrates his true thoughts about religion and denounces intolerence of any kind.  McCain needs to go over the heads of these “agents of intolerance” and speak directly to those who embrace the Word of God;  publicly reject their message of hate and prejudice; and scorn their influence on the politics of distrust and division.  Talk instead about Jesus’ message of love for your fellow man and how we all need to appeal to the better angels in our souls.

McCain has an opportunity to turn around almost 30 years of political pandering to the “outer reaches” of America’s religious sphere and redefine his party’s approach re: the role of religion in politics.  With the ascendance of newer, more tolerent voices on the right like Rev. Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals, this message can truly resonate among the country’s 65 million conservative Christians.  He can make history by removing the shackles forced on his party by men (and they are all white men) not worthy of mainstream public attention, let alone a voice in our national government. 

The move may not win him the presidency, but it could make him a hero among the more forward-thinking members of his party for generations to come. 



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McCain’s bright shiny future: Nostradamus on Acid?

In the wake of President Bush’s bizarre attempt to equate Barack Obama and Nazi appeaser Neville Chamberlain in front of the Israeli Knesset (did Obama give away Czechoslovakia — already?), comes another fantasist’s review of events.  This time it’s about the future rather than the past.  John McCain made a speech yesterday in Columbus, Ohio that contained some real whoppers about the state of the world in 2013, four years into a McCain presidency …

“By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom.  The Iraq war has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension. Violence still occurs, but it is spasmodic and much reduced.”

Here are some other predictions put forward by the Republican Nostradamus in that same speech (this is real, no kidding. Just say the word “check” after each as you go down the list)…

  • Osama bin Laden – captured or killed
  • Reduced influence of Taliban in Afghanistan
  • Al Queda, though still alive, will have no “safe haven”
  • The economy will be “fixed,” including several years of “robust economic growth”
  • Improved U.S. public education system
  • More accessible health care
  • The “Southern border” will be secure and illegal immigrants will be arrested and deported

Through an inside source within the McCain camp, we at the PW were able to obtain a copy of some of the notes that were edited out of that speech.  Also, according to McCain, in the year 2013 …

  • Upon his arrest, Osama bin Laden will own up to other “crimes against the United States,” including backing Rudy Guiliani’s failed 2008 and 2012 bids for president and 2011’s upteenth “Rocky” remake.  He takes no responsiblity for Chuck Norris, however.
  • Having been reduced to a few guys with hand-me-down Disney T-shirts given to them by Halliburton workers, the Taliban will reform as a regional soccer team and compete in the World Cup
  • McCain’s healthcare plan, which is heavily dependent on his “apple a day” prescription, will not only provide apple growers with windfall profits the oil companies would be jealous of, all leftover apples will be used as the keystone of McCain’s teacher incentive program in his wildly successful Education initiative
  • McCain’s “chicken in every pot” economic plan will be a boon to both chicken farmers and marijuana growers alike
  • Having secured the Southern border and arrested and deported all 5 million illegal immigrants, there will be huge demand for Canadian nannies, gardeners and Burrito makers resulting in the “10-day Taco War” with our neighbor to the North
  • McCain will be so ecstatic about the successes of his administration, he will choose to voluntarily step down after his re-election, making his VP Mitt Romney president. Upon hearing of this miraculous transition, the angel Maroni will descend from the Heavens once again and prove to the world all of the articles of the Mormon faith are indeed true.  The nation’s capital will move from D.C. to Salt Lake City and Donny Osmond will be named Vice President.
  • Oh, and the presidency of George W. Bush will be held up as a beacon for future presidents.  Plans for carving his face on Mount Rushmore have already begun.

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