For anybody who expects me to shill for a certain political candidate here on the pages of America’s Right, you are mistaken. I am a conservative, not a Republican. I am guided by principle, not politics, and will give credit where credit is due and strenuously voice my concerns where needed.
In this case, my interests were betrayed, and done so in an overt manner.
For the life of me, I cannot imagine how Sen. John McCain could have voted for that bailout bill last night. Forget, for a moment, that the bill as it stood could very well have meant the beginning of the end of capitalism in America. Forget, for a moment, that the bill as it stood saddled you and me and everyone else for the egregious, self-serving mistakes made by those on Wall Street and the disgusting, meddling ways of those on Capitol Hill. Forget, for a moment, that less time was spent debating this debacle than was spent focusing on Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, and the Mitchell Report’s indictment of Major League Baseball.
The goddamn bill–all 453 pages of it–was riddled with earmarks and bailout-irrelevant “tax extenders”. Despite being a hastily-crafted bad idea to begin with, the novel-sized legislation contained provisions for film and television productions (Section 502), wooden arrows designed for use by children (Section 503), rum from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Section 308), mine rescue teams and safety equipment (Sections 310-11), wool research (Section 325), NASCAR racing tracks (Section 317), and six pages of earmarks for litigants in the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident (Section 504).
What happened to the man who swore that, if elected president, he would “veto every bill with pork in it … and make the authors famous” in an attempt to rein in reckless congressional spending? What happened to the man who, during the last presidential debate, couldn’t stop talking about earmarks and spending when the issue at hand was the congressional malfeasance that put us in this economic crisis in the first place?
You know, McCain’s candidacy was a bitter pill for me to swallow. His tendency to sprint leftward when spooked really gets on my nerves. His middle-finger-salute to the First Amendment by authoring the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold) changed the political landscape for the worse. His construction and unequivocal support for the last hastily-crafted bipartisan masterpiece, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, spit in the face of every hard-working American citizen who values their economic security almost as much as their national security and sovereignty as a whole. The one issue where McCain always stood out has been earmarks. Now, however, he not only voted for a bill that he shouldn’t have, but he voted for it even though it was riddled with the very measures that he so vocally rails against out on the stump. I know that Charlie broke John McCain’s legs and ravaged his shoulders–and I am forever in his debt for making such sacrifices–but, on this particular issue, it looks as though Washington has removed his spine.
At least Barack Obama can plead ignorance, indecision or even ideology. What the hell is John McCain’s excuse?
Call your representatives today, Democrat or Republican (find their numbers HERE). If they voted FOR the House Bill on Monday, gently remind them that the election is four short weeks away; if they voted AGAINST it, ask them to stand firm … and gently remind them that the election is four short weeks away.
This whole bill, as it stands now, is absolutely disgusting. Fred Thompson has said that “the true test of a democracy is when you discover that you have the keys to your treasury,” I say we exercise our increasingly limited influence to the best of our ability to show our elected representatives, people who work for US, that there are consequences to pissing away our freedom and the future prosperity of our nation.
You know what? I’m not done.
I am so angry, I can taste it. Not only has John McCain completely abandoned his own principles, he has spit in the face of every conservative who has, so far, begrudgingly provided his or her support. If not the entire election, he has almost ensured Barack Obama a complete and total win on the economic issue, an issue which should be firmly in the wheelhouse of the Republican party because of the malfeasance and nonfeasance of the current majority.
For the most part, democrats caused this problem. The explanation of how we got to this point is simple enough that it could be feasibly condensed into a 30- or 60-second television commercial showing on one side Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd and others in 2004 defending the relaxed lending standards forced on banking institutions in the name of political correctness and “social engineering,” and on the other side John McCain warning about this exact problem back in 2005. The video is available. I’ve seen it. Heck, it’s on this Web site. This vote, however, brings out credibility problems should McCain want to make these arguments in an advertisement or in a debate.
His choice, besides being wrongheaded and running afoul of his principles, opened up several political problems. He had the chance to distinguish himself and appeal to his conservative base–the two “bumps” he’s enjoyed recently, remember, were (1) after he selected Sarah Palin, a conservative, as his VP and (2) after he thrilled so many by showing his conservative values at the Saddleback forum–and he went out of his way not to do so.
He bungled his way through this debacle and come out looking like the boy-toy of spineless House Republicans and the right-hand man of President Bush, while on the other side, Obama looks as though he was above the fray.
Now, because he not only voted for this abomination of a bill but also voted for it knowing that it was riddled with pork, McCain not only surrenders to Obama any argument he makes for responsible spending, but also surrenders the opportunity to look straight into the camera and say, “America, I warned about the possibility that this could happen. Therefore, because Congress wanted to reward with taxpayer money those who continued with reckless fiscal behavior in the face of dire warnings from myself and others, and because Congress had the gall to fill this legislation with the very pork-barrel spending that I constantly fight against, I had no choice but to vote against its passage.”
This was a complete and total loss for John McCain. He further aligned himself with the Bush White House, walked straight into any number of arguments from his pull-no-punches opposition, essentially exonerated Democratic Party leadership for their role in this economic predicament, and managed to further disgruntle the conservative base in the process. As it turns out, his vote wasn’t needed — but he could have seen a significant bump in the polls for doing the right thing.
A maverick, see, is someone who relishes the opportunity to go against the grain if that is what is necessary to put America first. A maverick looks at efforts by spineless politicians, acting on behalf of the cameras instead of the country, and resolves to remain above it all. John McCain, on more occasions than I care to count, has said that “politicians promise to change Washington, but it is Washington that changes them.” I always thought he was looking to distinguish himself from the crowd which puts political expediency before doing right by America. This morning, it became apparent that he is no different.
Time and time again, 60 percent of the people in America have proven to consider themselves “conservative” or “somewhat conservative.“. McCain doesn’t need to run to the left, and by making the decision he made last night, John McCain chose not to speak to those people. He appeared to tear asunder his own principles on spending an earmarks and, in my opinion, he passed on a tremendous political opportunity.
We all know that the democrats are responsible for this mess. Much of America, however, does not. By voting as he did, McCain squandered an opportunity to expose this failed leadership from a position elevated by common sense and principle. To successfully make the case that the democrats–including Barack Obama–are responsible for our economic troubles and that he is the right person to lead America out of Her financial woes, he must distinguish himself from those who put us there. Last night, he failed to do so, and apparently steamrolled over many of his own principles and best characteristics in the process.
I want McCain elected on the fourth of November. This is why I am angry about what happened last night. I firmly believe that he took effective arguments for his candidacy out of play by voting as he did, and in doing so gave those responsible for this mess a ticket out of the spotlight.
I don’t know where this fits in, but take a look at this part of the bill. Something here doesn’t look right to me:
“Carbon Audit of the Tax Code:
The Secretary of the Treasury shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to undertake a comprehensive review of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to identify the types of and specific tax provisions that have the largest effects on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and to estimate the magnitude of those effects.”