Two-Faced McCain: "I'm not racist, I just hang out with racists."

More fun from liberal star John McCain:

Today, Senator John McCain is heading to Alabama to host a fundraiser for George Wallace Jr., who is running for Lieutenant Governor in a contested primary. Wallace has given four speeches in front of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group that was created from the mailing list of the old White Citizens Councils and has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as growing more openly "radical and racist" in recent years. However, Wallace claims he sees "nothing hateful" in the group which opposes interracial marriage, hate crime legislation, and "Afrocentric" education in schools. In 2000, McCain took George Bush to task for speaking at Bob Jones University without condemning their policy against interracial dating.

This is just like McCain backing Intelligent Design or his near perfect extreme record on abortion.  No one really gets that he's cutting deals with crypto-racists and right-wing nuts, so he can present himself as a moderate reformer.  He's not.  He's two-faced.  He'll cut deals with extremists, and then cut deals with moderates, telling everyone what they want to hear.

McCain Follow-Up

There were some fabulous comments on my earlier post about John McCain.  You should read them.  Here are some things people brought up:

  • John McCain voted to convict Clinton on two counts.

  • John McCain supports teaching creationism in schools.

  • John McCain supports a ban on gay marriage and civil unions.

  • John McCain is strongly anti-choice.

  • John McCain is strongly pro-war and defends this administration's conduct whenever possible.

Now one thing to keep in mind is that McCain is the Chair of the Committee on Indian Affairs, and has the means and ability to leak and sink Jack Abramoff and his ilk, since they dislike him intensely.  McCain might even be conducting a little house cleaning in the party to get rid of the corruption, so he can run in 2008 on a clean government platform.

Don't be fooled.  This guy's as partisan and vicious as they come.

'Reform Republicans' - The McCain Scam

Liberals love John McCain.  Whether it was the torture amendment or him as a dream VP, McCain has a romantic bipartisan sheen that attracts Democrats.  For instance, back in May, 66% of liberals had a favorable impression of McCain, which was at the time higher than Howard Dean.  Part of this is because McCain is not nearly as crazy as Bush, and part of it is bills like McCain-Feingold that showed a real commitment to reform of something, even if he isn't actually competent enough to pull it off.

But a great deal of it is that liberals lay off him, and often embrace him (read Newsweek's sickening account of the 2004 election campaign to see a simpering John Kerry begging John McCain to run with him).  'Moderate' Repulicans McCain and Giuliani were the only surrogates that Doug Forrester could bring into New Jersey towards the end of the Governor's race, and both cohered nicely with Doug Forrester's moderately extreme messaging.  All the other surrogates had been effectively trashed by their own allegiance to Bush, but not these two.

Liberals shouldn't fall for it.  John McCain is a corrupt Republican, just like Bush.  He doesn't play to the base, preferring instead a 'good government' bipartisan strategy, but he's corrupt, mean-spirited, and puts his ambition above everything else.  As Ian pointed out, McCain voted to strip habeas corpus rights in a messy vicious bill.  Ian goes on:

Can't torture them, but as long as DOD rules are followed we can lock 'em up forever with no civilian judicial review. And who determines DOD rules? Rumsfeld.

Brilliant. Just Brilliant.

McCain is playing people. He voted for the most fundamental violation of rights possible. If you don't have habeas corpus, you have nothing. "We must not torture them once we throw them in our gulags." Anyone who takes him as a hero because he proposes an amendment that bans torture, while voting against habeas corpus for those prisoners at the same time, is simply a sucker who just got played.

Ian is right.  Liberals who like McCain are being played - go through his FEC reports and you'll find a very similar set of business interest donations to the standard Republican.  And lest we forget, John McCain has a sordid history of corruption for business interests.

McCain was one of five senators who met with regulators in 1987 and encouraged them to ease up on Keating's Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which was under scrutiny for risky investment practices. The government ended up bailing out the S&L's federally insured depositors two years later at a cost to taxpayers of $3.4 billion, and Keating served several years in prison for fraud, although his conviction was later reversed because of juror misconduct.

Between 1982 and 1987, Keating had steered $1.4 million in campaign contributions and gifts to the five senators. McCain had received $112,000 of that, along with nine trips on Keating's jets to the Bahamas and elsewhere.

Although the bank regulators later said they felt pressured by the Keating Five's intervention, the senators insisted they were not trying to exert inappropriate influence. McCain even said as much during one of the two meetings. "I would not want any special favors for them," he said, according to notes taken by one regulator. "I do not want any part of our conversation to be improper."

But when the meetings were publicly exposed, leading to 23 days of congressional hearings, McCain had an epiphany. "The thing I learned was that it's not only impropriety that counts," he said during his 2000 presidential campaign. "It's the appearance that's just as important."

Whether McCain really learned that lesson is debatable. As chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, he received hundreds of thousands of dollars from companies affected by the committee's work, and he has repeatedly been criticized for intervening with regulators on behalf of businesses whose employees gave him money, including Paxson Communications and AT&T.

But the alleged business corruption is really not the issue - the issue is his hypocrisy.  Let's go back to torture - everyone knew torture was happening during the 2004 election campaign, yet John McCain hugged Bush and supported him anyway.  

The next President will be the person who can effectively call himself or herself a government reformer, who will save the country from insider DC Bush politicians.  Republicans know this, which is why the idea that there's some war inside the party instead of a subtle rebranding strikes me as a bit naive.  Witness the 'Bush is a liberal' idea that's floating among right-wingers.

So liberals need to ask ourselves a question every time we fete McCain or lay off the punches.  Do we want John McCain to be the next President, and have four more years of debt, incompetence, and war?

Baucus Conspires With The Enemy

Here is some history on Max Baucus:When the chips are down, and it is time for all those who are not complicit with the radical conservative agenda in this country to be counted, almost every single time Max Baucus has chosen not to be counted. On the majority of the most egregiously foul pieces of Bush-led legislation over the past four years, Max Baucus has been complicit with the incompetence, deception, and destructive force that is modern conservatism (otherwise known as whatever George Bush did today). He only came back into line on Social Security after extensively cajoling. Today, he has outdone himself, by undercutting his own caucus leader by stating he would vote to confirm Roberts only hours after Harry Reid said he would not.

Even setting aside for as moment whether or not confirming Roberts is the right thing to do, why would Baucus issue a press release only hours after Reid's? Is he intentionally trying to undercut the Democratic Party, and make us all as complicit as him? I think so. For that matter, why would he release a press statement at all? Baucus is not on the judiciary committee, he is not running for re-election in 2006, he has no national profile, he is not a member of the Gang and he will never run for President. What does the nation care what Baucus will do on Roberts? Why would he release this statement now, unless he was intentionally trying to undermine Reid? Why couldn't he just vote however he wanted and shut up?

Baucus said in his statement ""I call 'em as I see them." What I see is a President who has worn out his welcome with the public, and is now finally seen for what he is: incompetent, uncaring, and with an agenda that only promises more destruction. I also see a Senator from Montana who has a voting record that shows he is complicit with that agenda. Baucus must see this too, and view his only avenue of escape as working to make as many other members of the Democratic Party complicit as well. By undercutting Reid, Baucus can potentially secure several more Democratic votes for Roberts, thus making more Democrats complicit with stealth nominees and evasion tactics, and even more Democrats complicit with whatever fundamental rights the Roberts Court overturns. Bush, Baucus, and the agenda they voted for are going down, and now their only hope of saving face is to bring down as many other people as they can take with them.

Contact Baucus and let him know his treacherous activities are disgusting. Tell him to stop undercutting his own leader, and to stop being complicit with deception and radical conservatives. Enough is enough. I mean, we are going nice on Roberts--no one is whipping votes against him, and no one is even thinking about mounting a filibuster. For Baucus, this isn't enough--he wants to undercut his own leadership and force public complicity from Democrats. For Schweitzer's sake, that is what Republicans want--we don't need Democrats trying to do that too. Go nuclear on this backstabber. Contact one of his offices now.

Giuliani Continues Rightward Tack for 2008

As has been reported elsewhere repeatedly, Rudy Giuliani has endorsed extreme Christian Rightist Charlie Winburn for Mayor of Cincinnati.

Republican mayoral candidate Charlie Winburn has been promising to do for Cincinnati what former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani did for his city.

In a visit to Cincinnati on Wednesday, Giuliani said Winburn is the guy to do it.

"I'm really impressed with Mr. Winburn," Giuliani said.

One wonders if it's Winburn's theories of governance such as this that so impress Rudy:

We Christians must clean up politics. It is our job to elect only born-again believers to public office. If office holders aren't Christian and refuse to obey the laws of God, we must work hard, under the law, to unseat them."

While a powerful bloc of the Republican base may think that it's their "job to elect only born-again believers," that's certainly not consistent with Rudy's history in politics. One wonders if Winburn would have supported Giuliani's candidacy for Mayor of New York. First of all, as a Roman Catholic, Rudy doesn't meet Winburn's most important born-again criteria. But some Catholic politicians like Rick Santorum certainly hew to the Christian Right's political line, so one can imagine Winburn overlooking the distinction.

Can endorsing a raft of far right candidates around the country help Giuliani erase his record of social liberalism in the eyes of the Winburn set? On the issues most important to them, probably not. In 1998, Giuliani signed into law one of the nation's first domestic partnership laws. In 1999, on CNN's 'Inside Politics,' Giuliani declared, "I'm pro-choice. I'm pro-gay rights." Those would seem to be definite sticking points.

In order to have a shot at winning the GOP nomination, this is exactly the kind of personal hypocrisy he'll need to engage in. Rather than engaging in debate about his differences with his party, Giuliani will suck up to any and every extremist candidate he can, trying to beef up his right wing credentials. Post-Bush, I'm starting to think that the Republican Party just might be willing to give him a pass if they think he can win. But this kind of flip-flopping will likely wreck his chances with moderates if he makes it to the general election.


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