John McCain’s “Straight Talk Express” appears to have developed a wicked shimmy that should concern even his most ardent supporters. In the space of just four days, the man anointed by many in the mainstream media (since when did republicans take their view as gospel?) as the presumptive GOP nominee took three positions on one of the most important issues of the day.
January 27, 2008 (on Meet the Press)
TIM RUSSERT: If the Senate passed your bill, S-1433, the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill, would you as president sign it?
JOHN MCCAIN: Yeah, but the lesson is that it isn’t going to come, it isn’t going to come.
January 30, 2008 (CNN GOP debate at the Reagan Library)
HOOK: Senator McCain… your original immigration…At this point, if your original proposal came to a vote on the Senate floor, would you vote for it?
MCCAIN: It won’t. It won’t.
HOOK: But if it did?
MCCAIN: No, it would not…. so to say that that would come to the floor of the Senate — it won’t.
January 31, 2008 (on CNN American Morning)
BASH: When asked if he would vote for his own legislation allowing citizenship?
McCain: No, I would not, because we know what the situation is today.
”Yes”, “no”, and “I won’t have to answer that question.” This is the Straight Talk candidate?
John McCain reminds me of a contestant on the new Fox reality TV show called “Moment of Truth”. At one point, a contestant is asked “If your ex-wife wanted you back, would you break up with your current girlfriend”. At least this guy didn’t think “the issue will never come up” was an answer. Can you imagine what murderous thoughts would have raced through the mind of his girlfriend, sitting in the audience of the show, if he had said, “she won’t ever ask for come back, so I don’t have to make that decision.”
Instead, the man wisely indicated that he wouldn’t leave his girlfriend for any reason.
McCain on the other hand has given us an answer. The Senator who just a few years ago considered leaving the GOP for the Democrat party could have said, “My ridiculous amnesty bill for illegal aliens was a dumb idea, the American people rose up against McCain-Kennedy like villagers after Frankenstein’s monster, and of course I would veto it.” The fact that McCain thinks he can evade the question by saying that that precise piece of legislation won’t come up before this congress shows he believes the American people are foolish. If a candidate who has supported the war, opposed tax cuts, and favored harsh medicine for global warming (no, not Hillary…McCain although they are remarkably alike) becomes President, he can easily decide that that the new Amnesty plan is different enough for him to sign and not veto it. This sell out of American sovereignty and law alone should be enough to reject Senator McCain as a candidate.
But that isn’t the end of the sophistry that emerged from the New York Times-endorsed Republican candidate.
“Because I know how to lead. I know how to lead. I led the largest squadron in the United States Navy. And I did it out of patriotism, not for profit”. (Sen. John McCain, CNN GOP debate, January 2008.
When I heard Senator McCain say that during the debate, it piqued my curiosity. I knew he had flown war time missions in Viet Nam, that he had been shot down, and that he spent years in a prisoner of war camp and endured torture by his captors. But I couldn’t recall him serving as the commander of an aviation squadron in combat.
The next day, I began researching, looking for the war ship where he commanded a squadron. I couldn’t find one. And then I started checking on peacetime navy assignments.
I would have had more respect for Senator McCain had he mentioned that VA-174 was a training squadron, based in Florida, and that his single year as commanding officer came in the years after Viet Nam.
Why should anyone care?
Because it’s one thing to lead men in combat and another to command them — manage them — in peacetime. This is not to demean Mr. McCain’s service. But it is one of those instances where claiming leadership experience is one thing and having it is another.
McCain’s heroism — and real leadership, of the most valuable kind — occurred when he was a prisoner in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison, where his example sustained the lives of his fellow prisoners. Why, then, claim the peacetime leadership instead? I don’t know. Only John McCain can answer that.
Nothing McCain can do will ever diminish that leadership and heroism. But his track record in Congress is not one to inspire the confidence that we need in our president.
It I’m tired of politicians using words to hide the truth from the American people. As tired of “what the definition of is is” as I am of fictions like “doing the jobs that American’s won’t do”. I’m sick of hearing “undocumented immigrants” when they mean illegal aliens and “revenue enhancement” when they mean tax increases. I can’t wait for news people to start calling bank robberies “undocumented withdrawals”, or for the police to announce the arrest of “undocumented pharmaceutical manufacturers” instead of meth cooks.
Senator McCain promises to cut taxes as President but he voted twice against tax cuts. He vows to stop illegal aliens from coming to our country, but he proposed to reward law breaking aliens. He promises to find new opportunities for American workers while simultaneously proposing an energy tax and global warming limits that will send hundreds of thousands of jobs offshore. If elected, McCain will take an oath to support a constitution that contains a guarantee of free speech which is denied by the McCain-Feingold campaign limits.
I work as a journalist doing 7 hours of talk radio every weekday. Some folks have worked very hard in the past week to say that American talk radio has “lost control” of voters. We never had it and we never sought it. I think that I speak for my fellow talk hosts when I say that it’s not our goal to direct or control America’s voters. We’re just conduits for information and points of view. Talkers…and especially conservatives…expect people to make up their own minds.
In a country full of people with different points of view, I suppose voters deserve the choice of someone who favors higher taxes, rewards for illegals and global warming giveaways. I just think we don’t need two candidates like that in the general election.