Mr. McCain goes to Washington


Just like the famous movie about Mr. Smith, you get the impression John McCain has just been elected and will be going to Washington for the first time. He also tells us that he cannot wait to introduce Sarah Palin to Washington implying that she will transform the capital overnight. It seems it is part of the new strategy of running against Washington and portraying the Republican ticket as mavericks out to force change on a reluctant and obstinate government.

Granted, the Palin nomination has energized the ticket and polls indicate a tighter race. In the meantime, she refuses interviews and we are still left with a lot of unanswered questions about the person who could one day be a heartbeat away from the presidency. She has brought rock star status to a rather dull campaign. So no time for the first amendment.

McCain seems to expect voters will not realize that he has been a senator for 26 years and that in the last eight years has voted over 90 per cent with the unpopular George W.Bush. He takes credit for the recent surge in Iraq and its success but we should not forget that he supported a war based on false information. The economy is in a precarious situation with unemployment at 6.1 percent and energy prices still high and all on Bush’s watch. He talks about change and a do nothing government when the Republicans have occupied the White House for 20 of the last 28 years. Energy dependence has grown from 24 percent in the ’70’s to 70 percent in 2008. And lest we forget the eight most prosperous years were under Democrat Bill Clinton!

I know, I know, this is just strategy but with a bad economy, a war fought on false premises, and still 45 million Americans without healthcare insurance, McCain cannot pretend that he is an outsider and new to Washington.

I have great respect for McCain but his campaign’s negative advertising, his reluctance to allow Palin to be interviewed, and the overall Obama bashing at his convention hopefully will not convince voters that he is just about to fix Washington or that he is the real change agent.

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Mr. McCain goes to Washington

  1. My thoughts as well. The Grand Old Party, Washington outsiders? How goofy can this Presidential election get.

    “There’s an old saying in Tennessee… I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee… that says, fool me once, shame on… shame on you. Fool me… you can’t get fooled again.”
    – President Bush

  2. Actually, Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin are mavericks within their own party and have taken on their own respective party establishments. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’d know that maverick is McCain’s middle name.

    Palin started her career and made her reputation running as an anti-establishment republican. The press hasn’t covered that political fact because they’re curiously obsessed with the baseless allegation that Palin’s fifth child is really her daughter’s. Our own CBC was reporting this as fact two days after even the most scurrilous of the democratic blogs were giving up on the story – yup that would be our oh-so-objective agenda-less public news broadcaster. What an arrogant, shameless, ideological bunch.

    So McCain-Palin can credibly position themselves as reformers. What about Obama-Biden. Well, it’s true that if one means by change, a change from Republican to Democrat, then that’s change. But is anyone going to say that Biden is a change agent? Nope. What about Obama? The guy is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal democratic, a throw-back to the ’60’s. You name a classic left-wing nostrum, Obama’s for it, having had the most left-of-centre voting record in the Senate. Maybe Obama took on the Democratic establishment in Chicago? Nope, he climbed the greasy poll there and is as establisment a democrat as can be.

  3. Jarrid

    It is nice to see that not everyone has been bamboozled by Obama’s vacuous comments. I am embarrassed for everyone who’s been hoodwinked by ‘change we can believe in’, ‘we are the change that we seek’ or, my personal favourite, ‘we are the ones we’ve been waiting for’.

    John P

    It might not make sense to Obama fans but many conservatives don’t think Bush has been very conservative at all and that’s why his ratings are so low. Evangelicals are the only ones who support him any more and many conservatives are ‘all fired up’, as your man would say, because there are actual conservatives who dislike the establishment running for President/Vice President.

    Polling numbers for congress are even lower than Bush’ ratings and Obama has voted 97% of the time with his colleagues who are in charge of Congress. So focusing on 90% voting record of McCain shows that he’s willing to be his own man more than Barry is and he’s not as out of touch as the mainstream as his opponent is.

    The only change Obama is going to bring to Washington is too add more layers of lobbyists and regulations after he’s raised taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars to pay for his programs.

    And I think it’s funny that you don’t like Obama bashing. Were your feelings hurt when Palin put the shiv in by pointing out that Barry talks one way to people in scranton but quite another to those in san fran. I can see why you think Obama is a real man of the people when he talks about them clinging to guns and god.

  4. It is good to see Republican supporters calling for CHANGE and embracing inexperience!

    “By a 52% to 33% margin, people say they would rather see this year’s voting produce a Congress controlled by Democrats, rather than one controlled by Republicans. That 19-point margin favoring Democrats is the largest recorded for either party since the question was first asked in 1994.”
    – Gerald F. Seib
    The Wall Street Journal
    – June 17, 2008

  5. BC – Obama’s 47 or will be 47 this year, his resume is as thin as a reed, his accomplishments are as modest as they come. Oh, and he’s written two autobiographies. Think about it.

    I guess he’s an impressive self-promoter, impresive if self-promotion is your kind of thing.

  6. I’m not going to argue with you Jarrid, Obama is obviously a pretty unaccomplished feller.

    Think about it,

    Change is coming!

    “In America, we change things that need to be changed.”
    – Senator John McCain

  7. I’m happy we’ve reached common ground so early in the day.

  8. Palin’s maverick career extends back nearly two years now – and includes only one ongoing ethics investigation against her. I’m always disappointed when people suggest this is a lightweight candidate with no real experience and no commitment to national politics. After all, she has given a speech at a Republican convention. But everybody gets all hung up on the fact that she refuses to give interviews, cooperate with the ethics investigation against her or to meet the general public.


    Like Jarrid, I would like everybody to return their attention to the ridiculous rumour the McCain is promoting over the parentage of one of the Governor’s children.

  9. Palin will be ready from day one… but not quite ready for interviews. Give her some time folks, to prepare.

  10. I guess this means no interviews until McCain gives her the lowdown on the difference between Sunni and Shia. He’ll then follow that up by giving her a grand lesson in foreign affairs, particularly focussing on the trouble spots of Czechoslovakia, Siam, Prussia, Yugoslavia, Kingdom of Two Sicilies and Abysinnia.

  11. “BC – Obama’s 47 or will be 47 this year, his resume is as thin as a reed, his accomplishments are as modest as they come. Oh, and he’s written two autobiographies. Think about it.”

    It might behoove you to inquire about the truth of claims you’re taking directly from the McCain campaign. Only one of Obama’s books is an autobiography.

    Besides, how many best selling books has Sarah Palin published? Oh right, I forgot, she’s got “My daughter is a knocked-up teenage slut” coming out in December.

  12. Gentry – I think that’s a bit unfair. Palin’s daughter will probably be married by December, which will make everything okay.

    And I would love to see more politicians adopt Palin’s approach to campaigning. Like BC says, they should take the time during the campaign to stay home and study. Remember the point is to be ready by inauguration, not now. Wait until you get the nomination, then start preparing…

    Giving interviews and meeting the voting public is just a distraction from more important work like practicing speeches for partisan crowds. I actually expect we’ll see the Harper conservatives adopt this approach in the upcoming Canadian election.

  13. Gentry, Style and Blues Clair

    The point is that while Barry was navel gazing and writing about himself, even though he has no real accomplishments except for being able to stop the oceans from rising, Palin was actually doing something useful.

    I think McCain campaign is over the moon with all these arguments about who’s got less experience, Obama or Palin, because people vote for president and no one is arguing Palin is better qualified than McCain.

    Here’s something from Howard Kurtz, a reporter who is sympathetic to Barry:

    “All traveling campaigns have a bubble-like quality, but Obama seems unusually insulated. One moment of absurdity came Tuesday, when reporters on the press bus were asked to dial into a conference call in which Obama announced a congressman’s endorsement—even though the candidate was nearby and just as easily could have delivered the news in person to the bus captives. Obama answered a few questions, but reporters are generally placed on mute after they speak so there can be no follow-up.”

  14. “Gentry – I think that’s a bit unfair. Palin’s daughter will probably be married by December, which will make everything okay.”

    Yup – Bristol Palin made a choice, and it’s admirable. Or wait, was it a choice? I mean, according to her mom’s wacko beliefs, she didn’t have a choice, not even if Track had been the father or if she’d been raped. So, why emphasise the *choice* she made?

    It’s so wonderful that the Palin family can talk about the same kind of choice they’d like to deny other families.

    Levi, on the other hand, seems to have made a choice with a shotgun firmly pointed at his back.

  15. Great points, jwl! It was foolish of Obama to base his campaign so much on the need to have experienced people in the White House.

  16. “…that in the last eight years has voted over 90 per cent with the unpopular George W.Bush.”

    Just curious Mr. Parisella, but I’d like to know where this statistic comes from. Last time I checked, the President didn’t vote in congress. Please state your source.

  17. Ben, Mr. Parisella’s source is, um, John McCain.

  18. JWL – Please explain your references to Obama as ‘Barry’ … are you comparing him to the former mayor of Washington D.C.? Say it ain’t so since that would make you, well, a racist! Yeah I thought so …

  19. Fair enough. Thanks BC.

  20. Slim Joe

    “Barry Obama decided that he didn’t like his nickname. A few of his friends at Occidental College had already begun to call him Barack (his formal name), and he’d come to prefer that.”


  21. Gentry, Palin wouldn’t deny anyone the choice Bristol had (abstinence or marriage). The Palin family are perfectly happy, and indeed would be proud, to see other 17 year-old girls pregnant and married.

    It’s called family values and the sanctity of marriage. And even if this marriage doesn’t last, you can always try again. That’s what McCain did. You keep going, however many marriages it takes, until you find one that outlasts you. That’s maverick.

  22. Blues Clair

    I have been trying for days now to figure out that number and it still makes no sense to me. As Ben Hicks points out, the President doesn’t write legislation nor vote on it and Bush is near the top of the list in presidents who don’t veto legislation.

    The Democrats have been in charge of Congress for the past two years and Bush has vetoed few bills, so does that mean Obama and his Dem colleagues have a high rating for voting with Bush as well? (serious question, not meant to be snarky in any way)

  23. Jwl, it’s a tough number to track down for sure. It was the third link I followed off google that finally cleared it up for me.

    The number is based on a “presidential support” score from Congressional Quarterly, which rates how often lawmakers back or oppose the president. Since 2001, McCain has, in fact, backed the president’s position an average of 90 percent of the time.

  24. jwl, I really have no idea. You would think that if John McCain’s infamous “I voted with the president over 90 percent of the time” quote could be easily explained or spun, it would be, considering it doesn’t help his Maverick image much.


  25. Well, nevermind Style answered that. I must remind myself to refresh the page once and awhile.

  26. Thanks Style, that goes some way to explaining how they reach the number.

    I have half hour before guests arrive and I am going to see if I can track down numbers for how often Obama and Dems voted with Bush for the past 2 years (and god help me if my missus finds out what I am obsessing about at the moment)

  27. This quote from Style is either the sweetest, or the most cynical thing I’ve read all week:

    It’s called family values and the sanctity of marriage. And even if this marriage doesn’t last, you can always try again. That’s what McCain did. You keep going, however many marriages it takes, until you find one that outlasts you. That’s maverick.

  28. Kady

    I was thinking that sounded like something a person on their fourth marriage would write.

    Blues Clair and Style

    Here I am looking around the internets and I should have just looked at same source Style provided earlier:

    “Responding to Obama’s criticisms of Sen. John McCain’s 95 percent presidential support score in 2007, McCain’s campaign on June 3, 2008, sent a mass e-mail noting that Obama’s own presidential support score is higher than one might think.

    The e-mail cited vote studies compiled by Congressional Quarterly to note that Obama voted to support President Bush’s positions between 40 and 50 percent of the time over the past two years. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers also noted that Obama voted with his party more than 95 percent of the time during that period, while McCain was more independent, tallying party unity scores between 70 and 90 percent.

    All of which hardly makes Obama a full-blown Bush supporter. But his record also doesn’t put him near the Senate’s top 10 Bush foes — a list headed in 2007 by Democrats Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Barbara Boxer of California, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont”

  29. Palin appears to have some possible corruption charges against her. Palin represents is anti-choice, yet she is glad to state her daughter made a choice to keep her baby. She pulls the family value card, even when her teen daughter is pregnant. Hmm, change, really? A corrupt politician who talks one way and acts another. Isn’t that just more of the same?

    Oh, and McCain delivered the worst political speech of the year.Uninspired and dull. Once again, isn’t this just more of the same?

    Biden is pretty much the establishment as well, but with Obama, there is a glimmer that things will be different. But more likely, he’ll shift to the centre and flip-flop, as the many many politicians before him. Change indeed.

  30. I think you Americans are the thickest, most stupid, naive and gullible people in the world. Obama pulls more tricks on you than Houdini and you all clap like performing monkeys- but then in fairness he is aided and abetted by a fascist media. He’s all talk and no action and he’ll be as corrupt in the White House as he was in Chicago. The one who has put the country’s interests first is the one being criticized – funny that. It must be like taking candy from a bunch of kids. Thank God I am British and can see what he is and before you criticize me we have don’t have corrupt, bent politicians like him.

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