McCain: A Day Late, and an Election (and a Few Trillion Dollars) Short

Today, Arizona Sen. John McCain came out strongly against the Pelosi-Obama So-Called Stimulus Bill, telling every reporter who would listen that “no bill is better than this bill.”

Honestly, I was surprised by his sea change — I thought he would once again disappoint conservatives and vote for the legislative nightmare.

For me, even though I am not particularly a fan of John McCain The Politician (John McCain The American is an absolute hero), his passionate attack of the “stimulus” package is kind of like attending a 25-year high school reunion and hearing that the girl you had a crush on way back then had a crush on you, too.

I knew, back on October 2, 2008, when McCain sided with both former President Bush and then Sen. Barack Obama in supporting the TARP bailout, that the election was lost for the GOP. In fact, if the election was held that day, I may have taken a page from Obama’s book and simply voted “present.” A few choice excerpts from perhaps the angriest installment ever seen here at America’s Right:


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.

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 was pissed. On that day, McCain had an opportunity to not only uphold his own principles–the bill now known as TARP was riddled with earmarks–but also to separate himself from both Obama and Bush, turning the “third term of Bush” argument back onto Obama and reassuring lackadaisical conservative voters in the process. As far as I am concerned, the outcome of the 2008 presidential election turned on that one day, that one decision.

Now, in hindsight, McCain’s decision to back Bush on the $750 billion bailout in October is looking more and more like the costliest “brain fart” in modern American history. Since losing the election, McCain has done a complete turnaround on the bailout issue, coming out against releasing the final $350 billion in TARP funds and, just today, attacking the so-called “stimulus” package currently working it’s way through the Senate. Sticking with principles at the outset could have saved our children’s children a heaping load of debt.

Throughout the general election, Obama and his mainstream media disciples constantly derided McCain’s tendency to harp upon earmarks and pork like a broken record, arguing that at the end of the day, such legislative features only make up a tiny percentage of problematic spending in Washington. In this case, the few billion dollars in earmarks attached to the October bailout package could have saved America trillions and trillions down the line.

Had McCain displayed then the same sort of fiscal conservatism he showed today–or any kind, for that matter–and come out against that debacle, he may have motivated more people in this center-right nation, he may have energized many who looked at him as Obama-light, and he may very well have been the one sitting at the Resolute desk — not Obama. More energized voters from the political right could, furthermore, have had a trickle-down effect on the ballot, and as a result the balance of power in the House and Senate may not have been as severely tilted in favor of the Democrats.

Of course, this is all conjecture. McCain still did not take off the gloves with regard to Obama’s multitude of character flaws, he still did not hit hard enough with regard to Obama’s socialist and globalist ideology. There are many, many factors which, even if McCain had done the right thing with regard to the October bailout bill, still may have sank his candidacy.

However, doing the right thing and sticking with conservative principles will always be the best way to ensure lasting prosperity in and for America. For me, I cannot help but think about what a crying shame it is that we see this John McCain now, rather than four months ago when it truly mattered.

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Comments

  1. American Genie says:

    The "crying shames" of the last election are too numerous to count.

    God bless you, Jeff, and all the great new writers you have added to your blog.

    Thank you all for the insights & all the hard work.

    God bless America!

    BTW, have you read the resolution 4 brave souls have introduced in the New Hampshire legislature. Tis a thing of beauty.

    http://www.marchreport.com/HCR 6.html

  2. d says:

    Right after his illegal inauguration, Obama gave a dinner party in honor of McCain for his bipartisanship, another word “thanks for giving me the election”. I no longer trust McCain. This is just a ploy to get other Republicans behind him and then offering them the cup of “bipartisan”, just like the election. If you can not destroy them from the outside, then destroy them from within. The only good thing McCain ever did in the election was picking Palin as his running mate.
    Remember the Tarp? McCain was against it in the beginning but ended up voting for it.

  3. Gail B says:

    What a surprise–something like that coming from John McCain! Well, he’s absolutely right: No bill at all is better than the stimulus pork.

    It’s as though he had been hypnotized and was told, “After I take the Oval Office, you will wake up when the Stimulus Pork comes to the Senate and will remember nothing, Senator McCain.”

    I have not finished watching the videos of Michael Steele’s talk to the Republicans, but maybe he or somebody else had a come-to-Jesus moment with McCain. I certainly hope so.

    I keep thinking that the arrow on that “Wall St.” street sign should be pointing DOWN by now!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is too late John McCain…when we needed you to stand up to this fraud, you wimpered in the corner so now we have the Great Imposter in the White House who is going to blunder us into oblivion with help from clowns like Pelosi and Reid. He didn’t vet his appointees because no one ever vetted him so why should he be concerned that they didn’t pay their taxes. He is letting Pelosi and the liberals dictate this stimulus bill because he doesn’t have a clue. He and Michelle are visiting a school while the economy and the country are going down the tube…I guess it was important to tell the children how The President listened to his parents…unfortunately, I don’t think his parents were around long enough to influence him …they can’t even be honest with kids. This whole cast of idiots in Washington would make a great comic strip…Capitol Buffoons!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I read that McCain will enter an amendment tomorrow regarding the Buy American provision. Guess what…his amendment states, “No part of the stimulus funds would be subject to the Buy American provision.” This is incredible to me. How can he be so preverse? He’s against the stimulus bill, but he’s also against any provision to BUY AMERICAN. I regret voting for him.

  6. tanarg says:

    So nobody’s going to raise a stink about the tax cheat that’s running Treasury?

    We’re going to lie down and take this?

    Geithner should resign, and if he doesn’t, Obomb should fire him.

    But the Narcissist-in-Chief won’t do anything that is right and good because he’s intent on destroying this country — just to get back at his parents for withholding their love.

  7. Anonymous says:

    i do not trust MCCAIN, he is too feeble, it looked like he did not want to win the election, under the mask of being such a “knight” hides what? a gentlemen agreement tolet obama win?????

  8. BlueWater says:

    So, is McCain a repentant conservative or a consummate politician who has been castrated by the left and needs to come back home whimpering? Time will tell.

    I have always said, McCain can see the evil in a man torturing him, but that experience may have made everyday evil imperceptible to him. Nothing looks bad compared to a Viet-Cong switch.

  9. Let us move forward says:

    Don't forget that the McCain Campaign tried to expose some of Mr. O's faults in negative campaign ads. They pulled the ads and didn't run any more because McCain dropped in the polls. Yes, the McCain campaign was weak, but the Obama love affair was a major factor also, as was the use of the "race" defense.

    The voters just didn't want to hear the truth and the media didn't want to give it to them.

    http://www.aipnews.com/talk/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1976&posts=5

    Here is an interesting video and comment by Alan Keyes about the Obama cult. Keyes states that pledging ones self to Obama instead of the republic is a disturbing cultural shift seen in the Roman Empire (Hail Caesar) and Nazi Germany (Heil Hitler). Hail Obama? or Hail BO!?

    There are rising doubts about Mr. O now. What is the slap in the face that will wake the lovers up?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jeff can you cover this.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html

    It scares the blazes out of me.

  11. Seeks Truth says:

    I have no love for McCain BUT I couldn’t help thinking when I heard his proclamation yesterday how ironic it would be if McCain comes out the hero. Wouldn’t it be something if BO became impotent and McCain led the way?

  12. EMPIRICUM says:

    Jeff,

    We have heard the slogan “Country First” so often during the past election. McCain gave it a well-intended meaning until he made that tragic and costly mistake in Wisconsin when he vouched that “Obama is a good CITIZEN.” In my view, this statement and his act of taking the microphone back from a supporter in a disgusting manner cost him the election.

    His post election refusal to file suit and contest the constitutional eligibility of Obama and resolve the question of standing to sue is even worse! For this reason, McCain is NOT an “American hero” in my book !!!

  13. suek says:

    “A maverick, see, is someone who relishes the opportunity to go against the grain..”

    This is an error. A maverick is an unbranded calf. It does not belong to anyone, and anyone can claim it. If McCain was truly a maverick, he’d be an Independent. What McCain is instead, is a _rebel_. With or without a cause. Rebels are unreliable because you just don’t know which way they’ll jump. Maybe they’re with you, or maybe not – but when they’re not, they’re with the other guy – and that’s what McCain does…he works for the other guy. If he were an Independent, he’d have reason to pick and choose which party he’d support, but he’s _supposed _ to be a Republican, and that means supporting Republican ideals instead of his own personal preferences.

    In other words, he isn’t really a Republican. He should never have been the Republican candidate.

    The only rationale I can figure is that the GOP decided that they were going to lose this one, needed a sacrificial lamb and McCain threw himself on his sword. That’s pretty stupid and fairly unbelievable, but that’s what it looks like to me.

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