Saturday, September 06, 2008

Who Is John McCain Trying to Fool?

Frankly I had little intention of watching John McCain's convention speech the other night. I'm not going to vote for John McCain. The aspiring candidate has crafted a presentation aimed directly at the heart of the GOP. I'm not a Republican (I'm not a Democrat either). So why would I spend my time analyzing an event that isn't held for my benefit? Well, my father (who happens to be a lifelong Republican) suggested that if I was going to share my political opinions, then it would be appropriate for me to tune in. While I reject the idea that you have to watch the speeches of the figures that you criticize in order to have the credibility to comment on them, I was indeed curious to see the message he'd deliver. And so I watched it... live.

I feel some obligation to disclose that I believe John McCain is a decent man, and that he genuinely cares about the United States (while his running mate will always consider her own interests first, and Alaskans second). I have no interest in entertaining personal attacks on the man. The reasons I am threatened by a McCain presidency are varied, but they start with my perception that he is too hawkish. He did nothing to dispel that view on Thursday night. He talked about standing up to Iran and Russia, and I fear that he would initiate a military operation before expending all other options. I don't believe the United States should be the "world's policeman", nor do I think that we should get involved in military conflicts over oil.

And while we are on the subject, I abhor the dependency on oil that McCain promotes as the main element of his proposed energy plan. The overwhelming message I heard at the Convention is "Drill. Dril often. Drill now", as if that would solve the problem of dependence. He's name-checked alternative sources of energy (primarily nuclear plants and liquified coal), but he has given us no indication how he would encourage this diversification as president. The same thing applies to creating American jobs- he claims to support the idea, but has provided no substance on the issue. It's the age-old Republican platform we've heard for years... dole out tax cuts to the corporations and the wealthy, and that will create jobs. It hasn't happened yet, despite decades of trying.

John McCain has tried to paint himself as a "maverick" during this campaign. He's talked about change. But what has he been doing for the 21 years he's been in office? He's certainly talked a good game. He used to be against the Bush tax cuts. Now he wants to extend them. He used to talk about the need for experience and qualifications in the executive branch, until he chose a woman with no national experience and limited education. In his speech he says that he supports alternative energy, going so far as to briefly name-drop wind and solar power. But the truth is that he's 0-for-8 on crucial legislation that would support renewable energy (including energy tax credits to wind & solar power industries). And that's only in the past year alone. Now he's chosen a partner that wants to open up the remaining protected land in ANWR to "Big Oil".*

Here we have a guy that's giving every indication that he represents oil interests, the military-industrial complex, and the Christian Right. Still he talks of shaking Washington up. Where's he been the last eight years? Who does he think the entrenched powers have been during the vast majority of that time? He speaks of bipartisanship, and reaching across the aisle. So did Bush in 2000. He talks about ending the political rancor and vitriol plaguing the country. But then who does he choose as a running mate? Sarah Palin, who boasts about being an attack dog (with lipstick!). Why else would he have chosen an extreme right-wing Fundamentalist Christian with little to recommend her other than her smugly naked ambition? Who is he trying to fool?





*For a master list of McCain's Flip-Flops, see this site. Very informative and well-sourced.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Brad said...

Could you recheck your link to the McShame flip flop page? It does not seem to work for me. tahnks

6:25 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Brad,

Thanks a lot for letting me know about the link. I've fixed it.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Dagrims said...

McCain really didn't want Palin. He wanted Lieberman, which honestly would have made for a much, much better ticket. His top aides shot this down because the perception (accurate, I believe) was that this would make a lot of the conservative Christians stay home on election day. This was a purely political selection to give him a shot to win the presidency. He can't enact any change if he can't get elected.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

dagrims,

I agree that McCain likely wanted Lieberman, but he has decided to tailor his campaign to appeal to the Christian Right. They will have influence in a McCain administration. It's not like he can make this compromise, and then proceed as if he didn't make them any promises.

If I thought Palin was just going to provide entertainment value in the VP position, I might feel a bit less threatened by this ticket. But instead McCain has already announced that he plans to make her "Chief of Energy Independence". In my opinion, this is right out of the Bush play-book. She is completely dedicated to the interests of oil drilling in Alaska. Period. Where's the potential for change in that? A McCain/Palin administration will be working for the interests of the oil industry and the military-industrial complex. Doesn't that sound like the last eight years?

Well, from the actual policy portion of his speech, it really doesn't appear that he plans on making any real reforms. His speech was almost identical to the one that George W. Bush delivered in 2000.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again you try as hard as you can to not connect the dots.

"He's name-checked alternative sources of energy (primarily nuclear plants and liquified coal), but he has given us no indication how he would encourage this diversification as president."

This obviously assumes that the government and not the people in these industries and investors who should make these decisions. We must have a government program because all good things come from the "unselfish", experts in the government. It also not so accidentally evades the fact that the Democrats have stood in the way of not only drilling but also one of the next most promising sources of energy-- nucear power. France gets close to 80% of it's power from nuclear and it's been a major contributor to the relatively good enery position of Japan as well.

By the way, Alaska's offshore fields are thought to contain trillions of cubic feet of clean burning natural gas.

So if the government is proposed as the solution-- isn't fair to look at it's record and at the success or failure of other government programs? No, according to you the visible implosion of one government program or ten or fifty has nothing to do with it; just like failure of communist Cuba , has no connection to the failure of Communist Russia, or Communist Albania, or Communist Ethiopia or Communist Kampuchia(The red Khmer name for Cambodia) Don't wory, the previous failures were a fluke result of "particular circumstances" or dumb people or greedy people or white or black people or wcold weather or too much rain or bugs-- or due to a CIA plot. Everything is now ok because the new guys, are so intelligent and caring and it will work this time. We have a new plan-- A five year plan!!!!

Didn't we recently talk about the stupidity of the the government Ethanol plan? But now, there's a new one and we can't talk about the failures of the old one.

The U.S. government is going broke driven by the structural insolvency of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other brilliant programs like Fannie Mae.

Needless to say, the other reason Fannie and Freddie's implosion is relevant is because it's likely to add many hundreds of billion or several trillion to the debt load. The well is running dry.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

First of all, you are intentionally trying to derail a thread that has NOTHING to do with this subject.


If you want to have a debate about Fannie Mae, then write about it and post it on YOUR blog.

I agree it's a debacle, but don't try to lay it on the feet of the people currently running for president. They had nothing to do with it, either of them.


ANYONE INTERESTED IN DISCUSSING FANNIE MAE CAN VISIT THE NEW THREAD I'VE CREATED TO CENTRALIZE THAT DISCUSSION IN A PLACE WHERE IT WILL BE RELEVANT.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous john morris said...

The incredible shrinking thread. L:ess and less info with every glance, sort of like this blog.

Well actually there is plenty of info for those wishing to be a serial killer.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

That's hilarious. You have any other witty remarks?

In fact, do you have anything at all, of any use, to contribute to anybody?

You won't even stay on task. You bring up unrelated topics whenever you realize you can't win an argument. You argue whichever side is convenient at the time.

Why don't you go hang out in the new thread I made for you? I did it to help you escape the fantasy world in your head.

2:51 PM  

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