Thursday, January 31, 2008

John McCain's Double Talk Tango

Next Stop for the "Straight Talk Express":
The Waffle House

"Let me give you some straight talk."
--John McCain

John McCain promises "Straight Talk" at every campaign stop.

After months of campaigning, careful readers are still waiting for him to deliver on that promise.

Perhaps, no politician has bent the truth and been on both sides of more issues more times than John McCain. The only one that even comes close is former President Bill "The Meaning of 'is'" Clinton.

A recent look at Mr. Straight Talk, John McCain, through the eyes of Ann Coulter.
Of course, I might lie constantly too, if I were seeking the Republican presidential nomination after enthusiastically promoting amnesty for illegal aliens, Social Security credit for illegal aliens, criminal trials for terrorists, stem-cell research on human embryos, crackpot global warming legislation and free speech-crushing campaign-finance laws.

I might lie too, if I had opposed the Bush tax cuts, a marriage amendment to the Constitution, waterboarding terrorists and drilling in Alaska.

And I might lie if I had called the ads of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "dishonest and dishonorable."

McCain is the favorite Republican of the liberal Mainstream Media because McCain agrees with so many MSM positions.

Global warming? Illegal immigrants? Tax cuts? Free Speech?

John McCain comes down--and comes down hard--on the side of liberals on every one of the above issues.

With a GOP nominee like McCain, who needs Democrats?

In fact, on almost every issue, John McCain and Hillary Clinton are virtually in perfect, harmonious agreement.

One of the few differences is people who disagree with them: where Clinton thinks that those who disagree with her are part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy", McCain thinks they are "racists", "dishonorable", or "dishonest".

Robert Novak and others think that John McCain is unstoppable because of some recent victories in a couple primaries--primaries which allowed Democrats and Independents to vote for the Republican nominee.

Let's look at a breakdown of how McCain fared among Republicans in Michigan, for instance.
What kind of Michigan voters preferred McCain? Voters in the GOP primary who don't like President Bush, who oppose the war in Iraq and who report that they have no religion at all. Oh, and those who say they are not, in fact, Republicans.

"Let me give you some straight talk."
--John McCain

This just in: Ann Coulter replays a "Mr. Straight Talk" moment.
But like the Democrats, McCain thinks if he simply says something over and over again, he can make people believe it's true. Thus again at the South Carolina debate on Jan. 10, McCain was proclaiming that he was "the only one on this stage" who supported the surge.

Since he would deny it about two minutes later, here is exactly what Mr. Straight Talk said about the surge: "I supported that; I argued for it. I'm the only one on this stage that did. And I condemneded the Rumsfeld strategy before that."

The next question went to Giuliani and -- amid great flattery -- Giuliani noted that he also supported Bush's surge "the night of the president's speech."

Mr. Straight Talk contradicted Giuliani, saying: "Not at the time."

Again, Giuliani said: "The night of the president's speech, I was on television. I supported the surge. I've supported it throughout."

To which McCain finally said he didn't mean that he was "the only one on this stage" who supported the surge. So by "the only one on this stage," McCain really meant, "one of several people on this stage." OK, great. Now tell us your definition of the word "is," Senator.

On the issue of the Law of the Sea treaty--which is both a direct slam at U.S. sovereignty and provides a way for the United Nations to tax U.S. companies--McCain is his typical, straight talking self.
Here’s a listing of McCain’s various statements on the treaty:

* McCain joins liberal Republican Senators Susan Collins and John Chafee in a 1998 letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee urging immediate consideration and approval of the Law of the Sea.

* McCain declares to Senator Richard Lugar in 2003 that he wants to testify in support of ratification but a scheduling conflict prevented his appearance before the Foreign Relations Committee for this purpose.

* McCain submits written testimony in 2003 in support of the treaty to the Foreign Relations Committee.

* McCain tells conservative bloggers on October 25, 2007, that he would “probably” vote against it because it negatively affects U.S. sovereignty.

* McCain sends a letter to a constituent on November 14, 2007, declaring that the treaty is beneficial to the U.S. but that he will keep in mind the objections to it.

On his website, there is a 2006 McCain speech to the conservative Federalist Society, in which he says that “We are a nation that limits government so that government cannot limit us. I believe this notion of limited government will stand as our lasting contribution to the world. We are proof that people can frame a government to serve as an instrument of the people, not the other way around.”

"Let me give you some straight talk."
--John McCain

McCain has perhaps been toughest on free speech--or as he phrases it, "campaign finance reform"--McCain-Feingold.

Others would label it "unconstitutional" or "incumbent re-election insurance".

Whatever you think of a law limiting what free people can or cannot say on the public airwaves with their own money at certain times of the year, McCain arrived at such a hard stance via a 1980's scandal that occurred during his first Senate term: The Keating Five Scandal.

The Keating Five Scandal featured several familiar McCain trademarks: backroom deals, arrogant handling of anyone calling him on it and a chummy relationship with a fat cat donor who steered plenty of campaign cash into the Senator's coffers.

The Arizona Senator was just learning the ropes then.
The Keating Five (or Keating Five Scandal) refers to a Congressional scandal related to the collapse of most of the Savings and Loan institutions in the United States in the late 1980s.

This allegation set off a series of investigations by the California government, the United States Department of Justice, and the Senate Ethics Committee. The ethics committee's investigation focused on five senators: Alan Cranston (D-CA); Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ); John Glenn (D-OH); John McCain (R-AZ); and Donald W. Riegle, Jr. (D-MI), who became known as the Keating Five.

After months of testimony revealed that all five senators acted improperly to differing degrees, the senators continually said they were following the status quo of campaign funding practices. In August 1991, the committee concluded that Cranston, DeConcini, and Riegle's conduct constituted substantial interference with the FHLBB's enforcement efforts and that they had done so at the behest of Charles Keating. The committee recommended censure for Cranston and criticized the other four for "questionable conduct."

As a member of the infamous Keating Five, John McCain was investigated and found to have engaged in a lot less than "straight talk". McCain is the only member of that renowned quintet to still be in the public spotlight.

While squashing ordinary citizens' rights to express their displeasure with an incumbent Senator, for instance, McCain hasn't changed his ways when it comes to lobbyists and the favors they can do for him.

Last month, reports surfaced that McCain and his campaign tried to spike a story at the New York Times which portrayed the Arizona senator dispensing special favors to a "female telecom lobbyist".

The Mainstream press was quick to leap to McCain's defense, calling the story "rumors" and "innuendo".

McCain himself first vehemently denied the story, then later "clarified" himself into confirming, at least parts of, the story.
McCain responded to the story Thursday by denying all charges of granting special favors to lobbyists, but admitted that his staff had been in contact with the New York Times regarding the story (see AP). While McCain denied having any personal contact with the paper, Politico has confirmed that McCain himself had indeed spoken with executive editor Bill Keller on concerns regarding the story.

"Let me give you some straight talk."
--John McCain

For those McCain supporters who are backing the "Straight Talk Express" and its senator engineer, because they like his tough stance on the War on Terror, it might be wise to consider McCain's other tough stances on issues--before he faced any pressure.

For those voters who like their presidential nominees with a certain "moral flexibility", John McCain is just the ticket.

As far as everyone else, they're still waiting for someone who doesn't deliver "Straight Talk" out of both sides of their mouth.

by Mondoreb
images: michael totten;freakingnews
* GOP to Edwards: How Much for that Concession Speech?
* McCain: No More Mr. Straight Talk Express
* Straight Talk Express Takes Scenic Route to Truth
* U.N. Double Talk from Straight Talker John McCain
* The Dirt on John McCain and the Telecoms
* Keating Five


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