Friday, April 25, 2008

McCain and Katrina

Yesterday, John McCain popped down to New Orleans, to show his sympathy for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. More hypocrisy. On the day that Katrina struck, as the always sharp David Corn reminds us, McCain was in Arizona celebrating his birthday with you know who:

Where was McCain during the horrible weeks and days after Katrina? What did he do then to express his outrage? Nothing. For him, as for Bush, Cheney, and the rest of the Republican-corporate-military machine, the people of New Orleans whose lives were wrecked by Katrina, mostly poor and African-American, are no more than photo opportunities. When not needed for a public-relations event, they are ignored and cast aside.

McCain and his wife possess a fortune of over $100 million. His political career has never displayed the slightest concern for ordinary people. Why in the world should we believe, now that he's the certain Republican nominee, that he suddenly cares about the poor, the dispossessed, or even those losing their homes to foreclosure? It's all transparent political theater.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

McCain and the Real World

The other day, John McCain stopped by Selma, Alabama, as part of a tour of America's "forgotten places." This is a piece of public-relations hypocrisy that defies reasonable description. He says he cares about our country's poor, the economic outcasts, those whom the American dream has abandoned. He talks pretty, about justice and fairness, but he offers not one word about policy, the actual steps that he might take to address the incredible gap between rich and poor in the United States. His plan to improve our economic health is nothing more than rehashed bushism: tax cuts for the rich and impossible claims about cutting government spending. See this excellent assessment of "McCainomics" by Marie Cocco at Truthdig .

For another detailed analysis of where John McCain actually stands on the issues that matter to American families, go here, where the AFL-CIO has assembled McCain's own words to reveal what he will do for us. McCain monotonously promotes himself as different from the current administration, and the media so far have more or less given him a free pass on this bit of carefully crafted fiction. Whoever gets the Democratic nomination can win in November only if she or he can effectively make this point: McCain is in all meaningful respects merely Bush with an older face. McCain is just another right-wing, corporate friendly Republican. The bit about straight shooting is empty rhetoric, and, as Robert Scheer cogently outlines in this piece at Truthdig, if McCain's elected, he will give us nothing other than the third term of Bush-Cheney.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Last Friday, John McCain was a guest on a right-wing radio talk show, The Mike Gallagher Show.

Here's a verbatim quote: “no one has supported President Bush on Iraq more than I have.” Here's a link where you can hear it yourself (h/t jj).

What else do we need to know?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Is McCain a Maverick?

The key to John McCain's candidacy, the thing that appears to appeal to a wide range of voters, is his reputation for being his own man, for not adhering to a party line. He claims to be a straight shooter, a no-nonsense, independent thinker, not tied to special interests or bound to any ideology.

The truth is so distant from this narrative that one has to admire its brazen, shameless construction, abetted at every turn by a compliant press. McCain and his handlers have so fooled so many voters and, far more important, have so bedazzled so much of the press with this fiction that they might just lie their way into the White House with it.

In fact, McCain is a boringly conventional right-wing Republican. He doesn't look as baffled or talk as mindlessly as the current president, but in terms of policies, values, and utter obeisance to big business and the military-industrial complex, he'll give us the third term of the Bush administration.

If he's such an independent thinker, why did he vote against a ban on waterboarding?

Why has he voted with the Bush administration 89% of the time, supporting disastrous policies on Social Security and children's health care?

Most important, why has he consistently supported the debacle in Iraq? McCain repeats all the administration lies about defeating al Qaeda in Iraq. He's either hopelessly confused about the civil war in Iraq or he's knowingly pandering to media-induced ignorance.

McCain is no maverick. He's an old guy who wants to cut taxes for the rich, gut Social Security, and send more of our sons and daughters to Iraq (don't take my word for it; got to his web site, where the first thing we see is his relentless determination to send more troops to Iraq). He is Bush lite, and he's bad for us and our country.