A Foreign Policy for the Real World

John McCain articulated his ideas on foreign policy last night. McCain’s vision is a significant departure from the Bush policy in key areas such as global warming and multilateral diplomacy, exactly where I had trouble with the current policy. On other issues, he remained strong and realistic w/o pandering to the simple minded folks, as do the junior senators still beating each other up on the Democratic side.

No American politician is going to come all the way with me to a carbon tax, but McCain was an early proponent of doing something effective about global warming and his support for cap & trade is a form of a carbon tax, albeit a less elegant application and it will be the best we can actually get at this time. I will continue to advocate a purer version of the carbon tax for the reasons I have outlined dozens of times, but I will not allow the pursuit of a theoretical perfection to prevent the achievement of a practical good.

I am also convinced that John McCain has the best chance of actually DOING something to address the problems associated with our dependence on carbon based fuels. His commitment to finding a solution is stronger, as evidenced by his earlier activities and he will be less prone to the junior varsity pandering the other candidates engage in.

We know John McCain will make the hard choices if they are needed. We can be pretty much sure Obama and Clinton will blow with the winds or the focus groups.

A more active diplomacy and working with allies is the other thing I like in McCain’s foreign policy. I disagree with the characterization that George Bush was unilateral. U.S. cooperation in Afghanistan, Iraq, N. Korea was clearly multilateral. However, I believe John McCain will be more likely to get results because he has a longer experience in international affairs – i.e. he actually knows the issue AND many of the foreign leaders – and he is not George Bush, who fairly or not has developed a reputation that turns off some of our friends. McCain understands the reality of foreign affairs, which makes his policies differ from the likes of Barack Obama’s sophomoric pledge to meet with our enemies - without conditions - and thereby increasing their power and creditably. McCain will also understands when/if he is under fire and won’t get hysterical enough about it that it clouds the recollections as Hilary Clinton seems to have done.

Also on the multilateral front, John McCain promised to close the prison at Guantanamo AND work with allies to find a solution what will still remain the necessary task of addressing the issue of terrorist prisoners. Beyond that as the only candidate to have actually experienced torture, John McCain would be in the best position to address that difficult issue.

John McCain’s chief weakness is in presentation. The substance of his speeches make them read better than he sounds delivering them. This is the oppostie for Obama. McCain is not a facile speaker or as photogenic as Barack Obama nor does he have Oprah’s team of choreographers to give his speeches that talk show shine. But his advantage is that McCain actually knows what he is talking about because he has lived it. Hilary is not a good speaker AND is not delivering substance, so I won't bother addressing that here. I guess that is why it still takes two Dems to measure up to one McCain - and they still are smaller. Maybe that explains why Hillary wants to meld with Obama by making him her junior partner - her VP.

This reminds me of the other interesting issue involving the VP slot. Hillary implies she will offer the VP slot to Obama, who says he won't take it and speaking of VP slots, Democrat John Kerry thought enough of John McCain that he evidently offered the VP slot to him in 2004. McCain immediately turned it down. Beyond that, the Democratic VP nominee from 2000 is backing McCain now. I am not big on asking opinions of non-Republicans about our nominees, but if these two prominent Senators, who know John McCain very well, had such confidence in him, what does that telll you? And how does this compare to the junior senators from NewYork or Illinois?

I have supported John McCain since 2000 when he ran against George W Bush in the primaries. In the interim, I supported Bush since he was our country's president and he presented the best package on offer. John McCain has always more closely represented my views and it is good to be back home.

Posted by Jack at March 27, 2008 7:55 AM
Comments
Comment #249314

Since my admonition some weeks ago that I would vote Democrat if McCain was our nominee the Democrats have seemed determined to embarrass me to the point of despair.

This is a true “through the looking glass” election where one side offers the Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts and the other side offers us something even Robert Louis Stephenson didn’t dream up. (Captain Nemo, maybe?)

Oh, what to do? What to do?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 27, 2008 10:23 AM
Comment #249315

McCain is curently being treated by the media as a third party candidate, more like Ross Perot or Admiral Stockdale even. Hillary is well aware of this, and helps obscure McCain by continuing her candidacy, against the desires of many of her own supporters who want to go play on the other side of the playground. If she drops out, which she does not intend to do before the convention, the real problems for Obama will have just begun, and they are numerous. He wants to be nominated in a 48 state nominating convention, his disconnect from reality in many of his long boring amateur speeches, and his wife’s affirmative action job which was probably part of a Rezko hospital board clout deal, to name a few.

McCain’s VP selection will have to be something that grabs the public interest, but his party have been spectacularly bad with VP selections. The most sensible choice would be someone who could help him win California, but I have no idea who that would be. Schwarzenegger is ineligible. He should pick someone ethnic. Would Lieberman help him? Maybe in Florida, if people are actually able to read the ballots this time, but Obama is already in the process of screwing himself out of Florida.

I don’t think Hillary will accept the VP spot under Obama, but if she did, they could continue the same sort of game with the media, with completely separate campaigns, continuing to make McCain into the third candidate.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 27, 2008 10:24 AM
Comment #249318

Lee

The Democratic junior senators, no matter which of them successfully steps out of the mud wrestling pit, will give us a defeat in Iraq and make us go back soon after. They will regulate the hell out of everything more or less for the ideological fun of it; both Obama and Clinton will raise taxes and neither will address entitlements. They have promised so much to so many that they will cripple our economy if they keep even half their promises.

Neither Clinton nor Obama has the experience to be president. Their resumes are almost parodies of what a president should be. They are both junior senators with almost no national experience. Neither had seen war at close hand (although Hillary thinks she did).

From a partisan view, you may have a point. Obama or Clinton in the White House will be good for the Republican Party. They will mess up the country so much that we will sweep back in 2012. BUT as an American we cannot let that happen. Imagine the damage these inexperienced but supremely self confident dilettantes will be able to do with a Democratic Congress backing them. You have seen how they can confound their own party. Don’t let them do this to our country.

Posted by: Jack at March 27, 2008 10:51 AM
Comment #249320

I disagree Jack on Hillary. I think she does have the political experience to President having been an insider for so long. Certainly she has the ego for the job.

I don’t have a clue who Obama is and McCain does nothing for me. Right now only Hillary would get my vote.

Posted by: George in SC at March 27, 2008 11:06 AM
Comment #249322

George

I have an interesting job and I talk about it to my wife. She is a very smart woman, but she doesn’t know everything I know about my job.

Hillary Clinton was married to the president of the United States, just like Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush, Pat Nixon or Lady Bird Johnson.

Her actual experience in the Bush Administration was that health care fiasco. Most of the rest of the time, she was castigating her husband for his infidelity. How much do you think they were talking about serious national affairs topics while he was doing the Monica thing?

Anyway, you Hillary is the Clinton with all the baggage and none of the charm. Vote for her if you must, but remember that she has gained power the old fashioned way - she married it.

Posted by: Jack at March 27, 2008 11:20 AM
Comment #249323

George

Sorry - I meant the CLINTON administration, not Bush.

Posted by: jack at March 27, 2008 11:23 AM
Comment #249324

George in SC,
You did read the article one place down on this column, didn’t you? I’ve seen Star Wars many times, but that doesn’t make me a space cadet.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 27, 2008 11:27 AM
Comment #249325

Jack,

“Imagine the damage these inexperienced but supremely self confident dilettantes will be able to do with a Democratic Congress backing them. You have seen how they can confound their own party.”

You can only imagine this because you have no proof that it would actually happen. Those calls from Iraq to the psychic hotline must be awfully expensive.

That McCain is focusing on foreign policy is a wise move on his part, because the domestic policy of this administration has been pretty dismal.
I was a McCain supporter back in 2000, but this isn’t the same guy I supported.
Sucking up to Hagee and his ilk just to get the far right loon vote has given me grave concerns about his ability to lead the whole country, not just the fringes.

At this point, I have to say I really don’t know who to support, or who to vote for.

Posted by: Rocky at March 27, 2008 11:29 AM
Comment #249327

“she married it” , as opposed to inheriting it or buying it. McCain married pretty well himself, and Cindy will probably help McCain, when Lieberman isn’t around to prompt him: “we’re doing the best we can” like Nancy Reagan.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 27, 2008 12:12 PM
Comment #249329

Ohrealy, have Republicans really been that bad with their VP choices? I’m not too sure about that, considering that the VP choice is supposed to help you win the White House and the Republicans seem to have managed to do that in 5 out of the last 7 elections. Personally, I think Kerry would have won in 04 if he’d picked Gephardt as his running mate instead of Edwards, which seemed to me like a no-brainer. Edwards didn’t help Kerry carry ANY states he wouldn’t have carried anyway and Gephardt would almost certainly have put him over the top in Ohio.

McCain isn’t going to go for ethnic flavor in his VP choice unless it’s somebody who addresses McCain’s main needs as a VP: somebody who reasssures conservatives, has a stronger background in economics than McCain, and who brings something geographical to the table. I’m expecting somebody from a marginally blue or marginally red midwestern state.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 27, 2008 12:24 PM
Comment #249331

Lee-

Yeh I’ve followed the Bosnia thing a little. Seems like its on par with Kerry’s “seared in my memory” Cambodia trip. Call me a cynic, but I don’t really expect more from politicians, especially when they are on the campaign trail.

Jack, every account of the Clinton years has Hillary actively engaged in the Whitehouse. In your analogy how knowing would your wife be about your job if, in addition to being married to you, she went to work with you and sat in on your meetings? I think Hillary has more claim to the executive experience than Gore, and the VP slot has been the traditional stepping stone to the Presidency.

Hillary is still my top pick. Her high negatives means she has built in political resistance to any of her left leaning ideas, and she seems to be fairly pragmatic on foreign affairs. I don’t know if I can stand another 4 years of complaining out of the blue column if McCain is elected. And Obama is a total crap shoot.

Posted by: George in SC at March 27, 2008 12:34 PM
Comment #249333

Oh forgot, in addition to the super secret health care taskforce (where Cheney got his idea on energy???) don’t forget her role in travelgate….

Posted by: George in SC at March 27, 2008 12:37 PM
Comment #249334

George,

Yep, it’s kind of like the other George’s military service, fuzzy memories.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 27, 2008 12:41 PM
Comment #249344
John McCain’s chief weakness is in presentation.
And economics, by his own admission, and several instances of being unable to answer economic questions. Strange for someone that has been in Congress for 26 years (since year 1982).
Oh, what to do? What to do?
The choices are not very good … but don’t forget about Congress. Who ever the president is, should the president be sabotaged with the same Do-Nothing Congress? Especially based on Congress’ dismal 11%-to-18% approval ratings?

Yes, I know it’s futile.
Winning seats for OUR party is all that matters, which ensures incumbents’ continued 95% re-election rates.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 27, 2008 1:59 PM
Comment #249345

Ohrealy

McCain has experience on his own right. You know who Hillary Clinton is today because she was married to Bill Clinton. Do you recall McCain’s wife’s maiden name?

Rocky

Both Obama and Clinton have promised defeat in Iraq, whether or not they call it that.

Re “this administration’s economic policies” McCain’s policies will not be the same. He will bring a different team with different priorities. Maybe I will write something on those policies, but we have no reason to compare them directly with those of the current administration.

George

If she sat in on government meetings, she was breaking the law. Our system doesn’t work like that.

Googlumpus

John McCain has an outstanding military record. George Bush’s military record makes no difference in this election. The fun of Bush bashing is at an end, sorry.

I know this may make some of you guys unhappy, but George Bush has beaten you all. You will never get any revenge on him. He will go happily home to Crawford. He does not intend to run for any other offices. He will be doing what he likes to do. You guys, on the other hand, are doomed to seek a reckoning you can never have. You can continue to trash Bush and it will become less and less relevant. He got away with whatever you think he did wrong. He will have completed two terms as president and left when his second term was over. He smirks at you from Texas.

Posted by: Jack at March 27, 2008 2:01 PM
Comment #249347

McCain recycled a 2001 pro-war op-ed he wrote for the Wall Street Journal for his latest speech at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council which Jack is linking to in this article.

Absolutely nothing he is saying reflects the “Real World” due to the badly executed Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (aka: The Mistaken War and Occupation), nor do they reflect the current economic reality we are now facing.

John McCain is an old warmongerer who, just like that recycled speech, has got nothing new to give to this country except for the “more wars” he has already promised while on the campaign trail, in addition to the ones going on now that he wants to extend for a century or more.
These Bush Wars, as well as McCain’s promised future wars are nothing but a grotesque waste of American tax dollars. To give just one example, the cost of ONE SINGLE DAY of Iraq War funding could have been spent sending 6,883 high school seniors off to four fully funded years at a public university!
Warmongerer McCain also wrote the law which allows Department of Defense contracts to be given to companies that operate overseas, rather than those here in America. One result of that legislation is that a $35 billion contract for Air Force tankers was awarded to the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (the parent company of Airbus), instead of to Boeing, an American competitor. McCain’s law, which was passed in 2004, waived the application of any domestic source requirements with respect to items that are “grown, reprocessed, reused, produced or manufactured” in seven foreign countries that have a “declaration of principles” with the United States. And at this very moment, one of McCain’s top campaign officials, a guy named John Green whose company, Ogilvy Government Relations, is someone who has profited immensely from McCain’s legislation by lobbying on behalf of Airbus and other foreign defense companies in the halls of Congress. Additionally, two other lobbyists who are now working for the McCain campaign are foreign defense lobbyists, as well.

McCain is no friend to the American soldier, or to the American worker and tax payer.

Speaking of the economy, our reality, and the current pain of the American worker, McCain’s primary economics advisor, former Senator Phil Gramm, is actually one of the people who is responsible for our current financial crisis, because of his legislative role in the deregulation of the financial services industry. And another of McCain’s advisors, Kevin Hassett (one of the three snake oil salesmen who wrote The Dow 36,000) came out recently and amazingly enough insisted that everything would have remained great with the economy if only state and local governments hadn’t attempted to limit urban sprawl!

When Jack says that McCain closely represents his views, he’s talking about endless wars, that require giving contracts to foreign defense companies, which take jobs away from American workers, on behalf of lobbyists who have gotten rich off McCain legislation and who are currently working for his campaign (often for free), while our economy goes belly up and our financial crisis deepens, largely thanks to other advisers he’s currently got working for his campaign.

To sum it all up: a vote for McCain is a vote for McSame, or very possibly, McWorse.
America has got to become aware that we simply cannot afford to have Republicans in charge of leading this nation any longer.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 27, 2008 2:33 PM
Comment #249348

Jack-

What law would she be breaking as long as she stayed out of Security Council and other classified stuff?

Anyway:

“Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said the trove of documents “shows she was a co-president,” revealing an “extraordinary extent of meetings for an unelected official to be meeting with cabinet officials.”

CNN

Posted by: George in SC at March 27, 2008 2:36 PM
Comment #249350

I laugh at the liberal attempts to portray John McCain as one who advocates 100 years of war. I could use the same objections liberals use in defending Obama from his pastor Mr. Wright which is, you didn’t listen to the whole context. McCain clearly was referring to our extended military presence, at the invitation of the host country, in places like Japan, Germany, etc.

Frankly, I would like to see the U.S. military out of all these countries in the aftermath of WWII as I would like to see our military out of the present waring countries when the job is done.

Posted by: Jim M at March 27, 2008 2:51 PM
Comment #249351

George

Non-governmental employees are not appropriate to take part in non-public meetings among government officials.

Imagine the scenario. You walk into a government official’s office to do official business and you are introduced to the guy’s wife. He tells you she has no official role, but will be sitting in and making comments.

Beyond that, if she did not take part in any classifed meetings, she didn’t have any substantive experience. She was the wife of the president, an interesting postion, but unless you think Nancy Reagan or Lady Bird Johnson were qualified, neither is Hillary based on that.

VV

The inexperienced pair of junior senators fighting for the Democratic nomination would like you to believe that we can just leave Iraq and everything will be fine. People who have actually seen conflict know better than these neophytes. McCain made it very clear that as a man who has seen war, he hates it. That is why he wants to finish the job in Iraq and not have to go back in a worse situation.

As for the economy, the Dems want to throw billions of dollars to maintain high prices for homes. It is already very difficult for a new buyer to get into a home. The Democrats promise to keep those prices sky high. In addition, they want to make it more difficult for a poor person to get credit, since they will tighten standards. This latter thing is good, BTW, but Obama & Clinton are ignorant and/or dishonest if they don’t understand that is what they are advocating. Beyond that, they are both reacting hysterically to condition of this month, this week – today. They are not thinking ahead to what their foolish policies will provoke next month, next year or beyond.

The programs advocated by both of the junior senators hearken back to the 1970s. If you think back to 1979 and you like it, vote Carter … I mean Clinton or Obama. Yes, they both advocate change – backward change. Love that 1979 Democratic nonsense.

Posted by: Jack at March 27, 2008 3:15 PM
Comment #249357

“Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.”

You agree with that statement?

“There will be more wars.”

And that one?

McCain’s speeches have pompus undertones, and the fact that he has no clue of economic policy should bewilder most of us here. Even on national television he gave the clear indication of economic incompetency.

“Listening to Bill Buckley give a speech was a painful experience. It was like watching an old cow give birth. The words came out so slowly…and then you were inevitably disappointed. You expected more. A man who took so long to choose his words ought to come up with something better. But Buckley’s words were always a little slimy. Still, the pompous tone did its job. The common, naturally-conservative American thought he heard an angel singing…” by Bill Bonner.

-As I would like to describe McCain’s speeches, just omit Buckley’s name and install McCain’s.

Posted by: dobropet at March 27, 2008 3:58 PM
Comment #249359

Jack, I was impressed with the scripted prompter read speech McCain gave. My concern is that earlier in the week when he spoke of what was happening in Iraq without a script, he demonstrated horrendous ignorance of what was going on.

Sounds like another Bush dummy to me, does OK with speech writer puppeteers when campaigning but, take him off the script and his mouth reveals his lack of education and ignorance on a host of topics.

When the phone rings at 3AM in the White House, the president is not likely to have a pre pared script with which to answer that call. McCain, except for his military career a half century ago, is a very ordinary and unexceptional politician. Our nation needs much more than average and status quo in these difficult times.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 27, 2008 4:08 PM
Comment #249360

Jack,
McCain has more experience because he’s an old man who has spent too many years in the Senate becoming corrupted by lobbyists.

McCain made it very clear that as a man who has seen war, he hates it.

Yeah, he hates it so much that he’s calling for more wars, in addition to ones we’ve been losing for years that he insists must continue indefinitely. McCain is selling permanent war, and an ever expanding military industrial complex to the American people, meanwhile we’re going bankrupt and this clowns latest economic speech called for gutting necessary social programs, and more tax cuts that benefit the top one percent (even more than Bush’s tax cuts did), and when the math was computed, none of his numbers added up.

Maybe that isn’t surprising since his campaign (and Hillary’s, too) has already gone bankrupt.

We need the kind of change that Barack Obama can bring. An end to the Iraq War, some sincere and effective foreign diplomacy, a desire to address our domestic necessities, and numbers will actually add up — brought to us by someone who will know how to run our government with a measure of forthrightness and honesty, much like he has competently run his wildly successful and consistently solvent political campaign.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 27, 2008 4:20 PM
Comment #249361

David

It is the liberal MO to portray conservatives as stupid and that somehow they are puppets of some occult master. I remember it used against Ronald Reagan. Now we find the handwritten notes in Reagan’s own hand that show he indeed came up with those ideas that helped changed America. President Bush might not have been a scholar, but he did better at college than John Kerry. Maybe most politicians are not the brightest bulbs, but the Dems are certainly not better, think Waxman, Pelosi, Conyers or Harry Reid, who cannot put two sentences together in a way that makes sense.

McCain is clearly an intelligent man. His many years in the Senate have indicated that. Clinton seems pretty sharp, but cannot seem to tell the truth from what she thinks make her look good. Obama is an excellent actor, much like Anthony Hopkins reading his script provided by Oprah Winfrey’s handlers.

Given the way the two junior Democratic senators continue to bicker, I think we have another couple of liberal dummies.

BTW – why have you abandoned your man Ralph Nader?

VV

There is a difference between wanting to end war by running away and having to fight again in even a worse context and wanting to finish the job and avoid some of the future fighting. The Democratic running away strategy would condemn us to future attacks.

BTW – which needed social programs do you believe he was proposed gutting?

Obama’s campaign is rich, no doubt and I understand that Democrats now consider big money in politics a good thing. He has a good advisor in Oprah. They know how to make piles of money while claiming to be underdogs. Unfortunately, we cannot use the Oprah model.

Posted by: Jack at March 27, 2008 5:16 PM
Comment #249363

Jack said: “It is the liberal MO to portray conservatives as stupid and that somehow they are puppets of some occult master.”

Perhaps. But, it is in fact true of some of the Republicans who have sat in agency and executive positions. Brownie, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld to name a few. They are living proof that an education is no guarantor of competence or intelligent positive outcomes of their decision making. Then of course, there is GW Bush.

If find a good many conservatives highly respectable and competent, Bernanke, Joe Scarborough, John Warner are a few examples. Your implied attempt to paint me as one of those liberals is a straw man distraction from the point being made. Some conservatives are stupid and some are puppets as demonstrated in the Bush administration. Of course, the same can be said of some liberals, James Carville, Trafficant, and Elliot Spitzer for example. But, that is all a distraction from the point being made.

McCain is clearly an intelligent man you say. Where is the evidence if that is so clear. His references to al-Queda training in Iran? Or his borrowing of concepts from the likes of Ralph Nader to champion in Congress like campaign finance reform or ethics reform? Sorry, I don’t see the evidence of his having anything more than average intelligence. His career is unremarkable save for the “independent” positions he borrowed from Nader and championed in the Congress which had the positive effect of raising his name from obscurity along with his war record.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 27, 2008 5:44 PM
Comment #249364

Jack said: “Obama is an excellent actor, much like Anthony Hopkins”

Or Ronald Reagan, eh? I agree!

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 27, 2008 5:45 PM
Comment #249367

L O, I would take Edwards, Gore, Bentsen, over Cheney, Quayle, Bush any day.

Jack, I can almost guarantee you that Cindy McCain sees herself as the next Nancy Reagan. Also, the Gingrichesque divorce from the first wife is bound to be remembered if the media ever decides to take McCain seriously. It goes right to the question of what kind of person he really is.

I think McCain is mostly posturing now, and if he is elected will probably do whatever is necessary to get us out of Iraq as soon as possible, without prejudice to our troops, as will Hillary, and so will the former Clinton advisors who will be running the Obama administration if he is elected, after they find McCain in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.

On Hillary, remember that much of the negativity about her that is repeated here so often comes ultimately from the hooker-kissing lips of Dick Morris, after Clinton had to let him go, and he was converted by Rupert Murdoch into a Fux right wing talking head and publishing Clinton hater.

Jack, on big money in politics, this Democrat would like to tax political contributions, and/or the advertising they buy in the media conglomerates who have a vested interest in keeping the finance system just the way it is.

d.a.n., I had a good laugh today when I was looking something up and saw a map of the Illinois 17th Congressional district. I swear it was drawn that way by comedians.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 27, 2008 6:16 PM
Comment #249371

I read today that Sec/State C. Rice has told top Republican leaders that she would consider the position of VP if asked. And, in the same paper I read that B. Obama is considering A. Gore as a possible running. mate.

What has so far been the most interesting presidential primary season in my memory could become even more fascinating if these reports are correct and we end up with these two people as VP picks.

Frankly, I don’t know what to make of any of this. Would Gore really help Obama? Would a team of McCain/Rice featuring man, woman, white, and black be attractive to some voters? I’d be interested in others take on this.

Posted by: Jim M at March 27, 2008 7:00 PM
Comment #249380

Jack, McCain said yesterday this whole mortgage housing crisis was caused by lender complacency.

Talk about being undereducated for the role of President. The man has been in the Senate for how many years and this is the extent of his knowledge of the workings of our economy and financial institutions? He referred to financial instruments too complex to understand. He must have been referring to his own lack of understanding.

McCain is like a flag in changing winds, first this way then that when it comes popular opinion about economics. His latest direction is to say to those Americans hurting from the meltdown, ‘Sorry that you are a victim but the government needs to just let the victims fall where will and stay out of the whole mess’. I am summarizing of course, but that was his message, now that it is so important for him to emulate the fiscal conservative thinking this month.

In 2004 McCain responded this way regarding Welfare Spending and Issues [(X) = for ]

Welfare and Poverty Issues

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.

X a) Require welfare recipients to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.

X b) Increase funding for child care programs.

X c) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.

X d) Direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based, or other non-profit organizations.

e) Abolish all federal welfare programs.

X f) Support housing assistance for low-income families.

g) Other or expanded principles

Now compare this to his lying statement this week: “I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.”

Whichever way the political winds dictate, you can count on McCain to wave in that direction. The man does not understand economics and therefore can hardly be expected to be consistent, can he. Ordinary intelligence in an extraordinary position of candidate for president. That’s John McCain, running for Bush’s 3rd term in office.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 27, 2008 9:51 PM
Comment #249382

Jack:

There is a difference between wanting to end war by running away and having to fight again in even a worse context and wanting to finish the job and avoid some of the future fighting.

Finish the job.
Avoid some of the future fighting.
What a sick joker you are.

We can’t even keep the freaking Green Zone from being attacked. For four days in a row it’s been taking hits. Shiites are rioting in Baghdad, and all hell is breaking loose in Basra, and Sadr City and elsewhere — as we sit here and blog about finishing the job and avoiding future fighting.

But oh lordy, how that surge is working!
Yes, yes, it sure is working alright — just NOT for our troops. Instead it’s working for Halliburton, and Blackwater, and Raytheon — not to mention McCain and his lobbyist campaign advisers and their foreign defense contractor buddies. Yee Haw, and we’re bankrupt Maw!
Bring it on Republicons — a hundred more years of this crap is precisely what we need!

The Democratic running away strategy would condemn us to future attacks.

Ah yes, it’s ye olde fearmongering and “Cut and Run” line of yore.
But Cut and Run applies at this point. We need to Cut the Crap before we Run out of Soldiers willing to volunteer for our military, and before we completely Run out of Money. As for the cowardly fearmongering, the majority of us are damn sick and tired of it, and we’re going to force it to come to an end. Yes, we can!

BTW – which needed social programs do you believe he was proposed gutting?

He’s been very vague, but likely it’ll be the remnants of the New Deal that the Cons haven’t been able to destroy yet. But, he says he wants to balance the budget in his first term — and we all know there are only two ways to lower the deficit: we either raise taxes or we cut spending — and McCain has already said: “No new taxes”, and not under any circumstances will he ever raise them.
But then, on his campaign website, McCain has a list of the tax cuts he plans if he becomes president:

Permanently repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

Cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent

Provide all individuals with a $2,500 [health care] tax credit ($5,000 for families)

Expanded health savings accounts

Allow first-year deduction, or “expensing”, of equipment and technology investments.

Establish permanent tax credit equal to 10 Percent of wages spent on R&D.

The first three items on that list alone will cost more than $380 billion in 2009 — and as I mentioned before, that will total more than all of Bush’s tax cuts combined. But how will McCain pay for all these tax cuts then you might ask? Well, he pledges to totally eliminate earmarks, but that will save only about $20 to $30 billion dollars a year. So, McCain will still be left searching for over $350 billion dollars. Where will that have to come from? Naturally it will require gigantic spending cuts, though he hasn’t yet told us which ones they’ll be.

How much do you want to wager that every last vestige of the New Deal will be totally killed off with a McCain administration?

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 27, 2008 10:30 PM
Comment #249383

VV,

We’re #1 in world in corporate tax rates once you add in state rates.
http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB118428874152665452-lMyQjAxMDE3ODE0MzIxODM4Wj.html
Cutting the corporate tax rate will help keep jobs in the U.S. and spur the creation of new ones. Our neighbors and allies (e.g. Ireland, U.K., Australia, and Canada) have shown you can have lower rates and higher revenues.

Posted by: Mr. Haney at March 27, 2008 11:52 PM
Comment #249384
Frankly, I would like to see the U.S. military out of all these countries in the aftermath of WWII as I would like to see our military out of the present waring countries when the job is done.

Posted by: Jim M at March 27, 2008 02:51 PM

Our nation needs much more than average and status quo in these difficult times.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 27, 2008 04:08 PM

Maybe not more than average, certainly not the status quo. Ron Paul is still in this race. He may not do it over night. He certainly won’t do it alone. But he is offering the alternative all of you are saying must happen. I wish you all would only listen to yourselves.



We need the kind of change that Barack Obama can bring.
Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 27, 2008 04:20 PM

Change is all you’ll be left with if Obama, or any Democratic is elected.

And, in the same paper I read that B. Obama is considering A. Gore as a possible running. mate.

Posted by: Jim M at March 27, 2008 07:00 PM

Perhaps the entire Democratic Party leadership is considering giving Algore the nomination in a brokered convention. Maybe the hoopla is to keep McCain out of the spotlite until then. My bet is Hillbilly will be V.P. under Algore. (not literally under algor.. oh never mind)



But oh lordy, how that surge is working!
Yes, yes, it sure is working alright — just NOT for our troops.
Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 27, 2008 10:30 PM

Hey, VV! I got another pickanic basket for you! Consider this! The violence in Iraq escalated in 2004 prior to that election. It escalated during the 2006 election. Do you want the violence to stop? Quit making it work for our enemy.

How much do you want to wager that every last vestige of the New Deal will be totally killed off with a McCain administration?

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 27, 2008 10:30 PM

It won’t be killed off by the McCain administration. It will be killed off by our own expectations.

I know this may make some of you guys unhappy, but George Bush has beaten you all. You will never get any revenge on him. He will go happily home to Crawford. He does not intend to run for any other offices. He will be doing what he likes to do. You guys, on the other hand, are doomed to seek a reckoning you can never have. You can continue to trash Bush and it will become less and less relevant. He got away with whatever you think he did wrong. He will have completed two terms as president and left when his second term was over. He smirks at you from Texas. Posted by: Jack at March 27, 2008 02:01 PM

That is just too funny! Poor Democratics. Bark, Bark, Bark!


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 28, 2008 12:08 AM
Comment #249386

I forgot to plug my book blog!

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 28, 2008 12:13 AM
Comment #249387

World domination!

Just form a union with those who agree with your world view and pursue your goals!

Why not, it worked out well for Germany, Italy, and Japan several decades ago!

Posted by: KansasDem at March 28, 2008 12:15 AM
Comment #249388

Not well enough!

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 28, 2008 12:17 AM
Comment #249390

David

You specifically said, “Sounds like another Bush dummy to me, does OK with speech writer puppeteers when campaigning …” that sounds like the liberal MO.

Re intelligence – the most intelligent (in the book learning SAT way) were certainly Carter and Nixon. There is no reason to think that anybody running in this race is much above average intelligence. Obama speaks in sound bites. Clinton cannot keep the facts of her own life straight. Your man Nader doesn’t seem to have come up with a new worldview since he attacked the auto companies back in the 1960s. We can all play this stupid politician game.

Re Al Qaeda training in Iraq – you are looking at this too simplistically. The Iranians are not quite as purist as you imply. McCain “misspoke” (although not in the Hillary Clinton way), but it is not as black and white as you think. It is not like somebody thinking AIDs was created to kill minorities, for example.

Re mortgages – most Americans are paying their mortgages just fine. Home prices were/still are too high. All three candidates are pandering to some extent, but at least McCain is realistic about the causes. Given the truly stupid proposals to freeze interest rates of have the government buy out defaulting borrowers (as proposed by Clinton and Obama respectively) it is clear that they don’t understand economics.

VV

In war the enemy tries to take the initiative. Things get better and worse. You may recall the Battle of the Bulge. I am sure you would have demanded Roosevelt cut and run and leave Europe to the Nazis. What a sick joker.

I understand very well the risks of the Green Zone. It is close to neighbors when insurgents can easily shoot off a rocket and run. It is not the kind of attack you think it is for watching all those movies and news clips.

Re gutting social programs – so you have no specifics to back your strong statement other than the fact that McCain said he will not raise taxes. Typical.

I know you would like to tax the life out of America, but not everybody agrees that we have to grow the government and most of us believe we can spend our own money better than the government can.

Posted by: Jack at March 28, 2008 12:25 AM
Comment #249402

Welcome home, Jack!

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 28, 2008 9:51 AM
Comment #249405

Jack,

“I am sure you would have demanded Roosevelt cut and run and leave Europe to the Nazis. What a sick joker.”

Roosevelt had virtually the whole of America working in support of the war effort.
Roosevelt went in to WW2 with more than enough troops to actually do the job.
Roosevelt did in 3 years what we still haven’t accomplished in 5.

Should I go on?

Jack, how do you fight an ideology with guns if you don’t have the full support of the populous?

War is war Jack. You either fight it, or you fiddle fart around.

Which are we doing?

Posted by: Rocky at March 28, 2008 10:14 AM
Comment #249410

Rocky

I am sorry that so many Americans do not understand the fight in Iraq, although I am encouraged by the most recent Pew Poll that indicated that 53% of Americans believe we will succeed in Iraq, up from 40% in September.

This change in popular perception indicates how you fight an ideology.

A pernicious ideology such as Nazism of radical Islam must be defeated by both force and persuasion. As we suffered defeat in Iraq, the power of radical Islam grew. Now that we are beating it back on the battlefield, support for it in Iraq and around the Arab world is dropping. People like to be on the winning side.

We are working to secure the victory by building civil society and giving people alternatives to terrorism. These are important tools in counter insurgency.

The progress I have seen on the ground in the last six months are astounding. We still suffer setbacks and Iraq is not going to be anything like Switzerland, but I am convinced that we cannot lose in Iraq unless we first lose in Washington.

Perhaps a majority of the American people do not think the victory is worth it. In a democracy the will of the people ultimately determines our action. But they should make informed decisions, not be beguiled by the honey words of someone like Obama who thinks we can just leave w/o suffering serious consequences.

I am convinced that a defeat in Iraq would be disastrous for our country and a gift to terrorists worldwide. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama disagree and embrace defeat. That alone is reason enough not to vote for either of the junior senators.

Posted by: Jack at March 28, 2008 12:01 PM
Comment #249416

Jack,

No matter what we do, no matter how long we stay, no matter how much we wish it to be true, nothing will truly change in Iraq until the Iraqis want their freedom enough to die for it.

These recent incidents in Basra, and Baghdad were known by some that weren’t interested in participating in them, yet nothing was done to stop them from happening.
Please don’t give me fear as an excuse.
Either the Iraqis want their own freedom bad enough to initiate change themselves (something that should have happened long ago), perhaps at the cost of their own lives, or we are just wasting our time, material, and our soldiers lives for a pipe dream.

I haven’t said anywhere that we should pull out imediately from Iraq, that said however, we cannot prop up the Iraqis forever, and our single-minded aproach to this war is what has us in this situation.
I know that events in a war are fluid, that change is the only constant. The surge may have worked for a while, but it seems time to change that strategy, and do something else. What worked in one part of Iraq, is obviously not working in another.

Oh, and it’s far past time for us to be babysitters.
It’s time the Iraqis themselves to stop these things from happening, or it’s time for us to think about packing it in.
Iraq is for the Iraqis to win or lose. We have given the Iraqis the opportunity to have their own country, the way they want it.
If the Iraqis squander that opportunity, that is their problem not ours.

Posted by: Rocky at March 28, 2008 1:39 PM
Comment #249438

Iraq update:

“In Baghdad, Shiite extremists lobbed rockets and mortars against the U.S.-protected Green Zone, which has come under steady barrages this week. The U.S. sent a Hellfire missile into a Shiite stronghold in the city. And in the south, fighting escalated in Basra where the mettle of Iraqi security forces is being sorely tested.

Good Morning Vietnam/Iraq, from
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap

Posted by: ohrealy at March 28, 2008 6:11 PM
Comment #249445
Re gutting social programs – so you have no specifics to back your strong statement other than the fact that McCain said he will not raise taxes. Typical.

Then McCain must be lying then. Because he sure as hell isn’t going to cut any of our military spending, and he says he will completely refuse to raise taxes, so if he doesn’t make major spending cuts on “entitlements” all across the board to pay for all his brand new tax cuts, including maintaining all of Bush’s previous tax cuts, then lying in order to get himself elected is the only option left.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 28, 2008 7:52 PM
Comment #249450

Australia is withdrawing all of their combat troops from Iraq

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 28, 2008 8:22 PM
Comment #249451

John Soltz: Why The Administration Won’t Define Success In Iraq

What does it mean if violence goes down in Iraq?

“Success of the surge,” says the administration.

What does it mean, then, if the violence goes up in Iraq?

“Success of the surge,” they say.

What? How can you manage to say that? Well, that’s what the Pentagon did yesterday, claiming that the exploding violence in Iraq is a sign of progress.

For years, we’ve been asking “What is success” in Iraq? How do we know we’re making progress? And, for years, we’ve gotten nothing but a vague answer from the administration, with no hard metrics.

Now, admittedly, for years I assumed it was because the administration and its proponents simply had no answer — that they couldn’t figure out what the end-state was.

Now, today, it’s become painfully clear: It’s not that the administration CAN’T define success, it’s that they WON’T. For, to lay down some specifics would pin them down, make them accountable. And, above all, it would keep them from claiming success no matter what. Without defining progress, they can make it up on the fly. It can be reduced violence one day, and if the next day sees dozens of deaths, progress can mean that. If a nuclear explosion went off in the middle of Baghdad, you can bet your bottom dollar that the administration would say THAT is a sign of progress.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 28, 2008 8:34 PM
Comment #249504

Sounds like another election cycle getting under way. I’ll be glad when Democratics get back in control of the governement so we can start hearing good news about the economy getting better, and the war will start to go better, and the pork barrel spending and corruption will drift off into oblivion. Hurry up, November! It’s getting depressing listening to people embolden our enemy.


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 29, 2008 7:55 PM
Comment #249522

Hey VV, doyawananadapickanicbasket?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 30, 2008 3:15 AM
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