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Posts Tagged ‘McCain’

Answering That ‘Forwarded’ E-Mail: “The Democrats Didn’t Bring Change”

Monday, October 13th, 2008

You know how it goes. A friend who ‘forwards’ lots of e-mails sends you this one: “HERE IS THE CHANGE!,” which dumps all over the Democrats, saying they’ve done nothing since the won the majority in ‘06. Don’t groan and delete it. Copy all those who’ve been sent the ‘forwarded forward’ and start your answer this way:

Think about it.

Sure, the Democrats got control of both houses in ‘06. But they hold the Senate by one vote, and that one belongs to McCain’s best friend, Connecticut’s former Democrat Joe Lieberman [ MSNBC.com ]. It takes 60 votes to do anything in the Senate, which must approve anything passed by the House before it can go to the President [ C-SPAN ].

So the Republicans have blocked nearly everything the Democrats have tried to move forward [ New York Times ]. Besides, we have a Republican president who threatens to veto or does veto everything the Congress may manage to put together that could have brought change [ About.com ].

For six of the past eight years we have ‘enjoyed’ an administration and GOP Congress which deregulated nearly every sector of the economy they could [ Google News Archives ]. The party had complete control of all three branches of government. Recall that the GOP-appointed members of the Supreme Court put George W. Bush into office… not the voters [ US News ].

Recall that in 2004 John McCain did a complete 180 and decided to throw his lot with Bush, after working against him for his first four years. There are photos of McCain — who stood by the President all through the 2004 campaign — embracing Bush [ msn/MSNBC.com ], the very man who tried to crush McCain and his credibility in 2000 [ The Boston Globe ]. McCain threw his former ‘maverick’ principles aside and welded himself to the pro-war, anti-regulation Bush agenda [ The Hill (D.C. newspaper) ].

And what did that deregulatory atmosphere bring us?

Economic collapse, the root of which came from a cleverly composed amendment by a Republican U.S. Senator, Phil Gramm of Texas, who quietly slipped his ‘hands-off Wall Street’ amendment into a must-pass bill at the end of the 2000 session of Congress [ The Texas Observer ].

That one move allowed Wall Street executives to concoct and trade and re-trade to one another ‘instruments’ — not tangible products — that led to the creation of a virtual ‘house of cards,’ as one stock analyst wrote in an e-mail [ New York Times ] , that finally began to collapse, as the free-wheeling, shaky ARM mortgages began to re-set starting in 2006 [ The Heritage Foundation ], leading to the economic disaster we’re now experiencing.

The Phil Gramm who made that move is the same Phil Gramm who said we are in a ‘mental recession’ and ‘a nation of whiners,’ as people lost their homes and then their retirement savings, and finally their livelihoods, as the stock market wizards swooned toward catastrophe. The same Phil Gramm who was ‘officially’ — and presumably still unofficially — John McCain’s top economic adviser [ The Washington Times ].

So, the Dems barely have control of the Senate, giving the GOP virtual control over it. The Dems have the House, but anything they pass is halted in the evenly-divided, filibuster-prone Senate [ McClatchy Newspapers ].

The choice, though difficult for some to consider, is becoming clearer every day. The stakes are too high to put at the head of our government a former ‘maverick’ — who turned into a Bush advocate — and his ‘heart-away-from-the-presidency’ v.p. pick, who is clearly not up to the job of assuming the duties of the Presidency, should McCain have a heart attack or his cancer recur [ The Independent-U.K. ].

She said the other night that the Constitution is ‘flexible’ when it comes to the duties of the vice president, yet the words of the Constitution could not be more precise: “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.” Article I, Section 3 [ The United States Constitution, Cornell University School of Law ]. That is the only reference in the Constitution to the vice president, other than his or her election. He or she shall be the President’s successor in the event of the President’s death or incapacitation [ 25th Amendment ], and shall be President of the Senate. Period. No ‘flexibility.’

Times are too desperate to cast a purely partisan eye on this election. We have spiraled down terribly over the past eight years, and particularly over the past four years. “Getting government off the backs” of business [ The Idaho Statesman ] led us to this stage. Government had to step in, we have been told by the current occupant of the White House [ Associated Press via MSNBC ], because the unregulated system he nurtured fell apart. A new executive with an entirely different point of view is called for.

And on January 20th — the date that’s brought us too many scoundrels and 28 years of unhinged, wealth-tilted presidencies [ Time magazine ] — he will raise his right hand, saying, as stipulated in Article II, Section 1 of The Constitution [ The Constitution, Library of Congress, 1789 image ], “I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.”

And this time we’ll have a president who means it.

So, on November 4, get up out of your bed, go to your precinct, and, together -– all across this immense land — we’ll get our country back again.

God save this great nation.

What is This Georgia/Russia All About?

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

John McCain sees Russia’s invasion of Georgia as a gift from heaven, a chance to bellow and practice the art of Bush-warism.

In reality, it’s a complex picture well-described in The Nation magazine by its publisher, Katrina vanden Heuvel, who writes,

“I am heartsick at the violence and brutalities on all sides. Georgian, South Ossetian and Russian friends have all suffered. Yet commentary in the US media, almost without exception, has turned a longstanding, complex separatist conflict into a casus belli for a new cold war with Russia, ignoring not only the historical and political reasons for South Ossetia’s drive for independence from Georgia but also the responsibility of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili for the current crisis.”

Read this informed commentary in full at The Nation.

Dealing From the Bottom of the Slime

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

So, this is the legacy you want, John McCain?

You did not start the race division between the Republican and Democratic Parties, but you are feeding it generously. We can most likely find its birth in the moments after Lyndon Johnson had addressed Congress, advocating for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and uttering three words that transformed the political divide for the next 43 years.

He looked out at his colleagues and the nation and said, “We shall overcome.” [ LBJ video ] How’s that for guts? Could you have mustered such courage?

It didn’t take long for the Republican Party to take advantage of the racist backlash Johnson’s bold statement had caused in the once “Solid South.” Up to that point nearly every southerner had been a Democrat because of racism, since the defeated South had succumbed under a Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, whose worst ‘sin’ had been liberation of the nation’s slaves. [ Wikipedia ]

With local governments racist to the core, southern Democrats nevertheless could scarcely imagine embracing Republican beliefs.

South Carolina’s racist governor, Strom Thurmond, made the jump, in 1964, to the Republican Party [ About.com ] , which first didn’t know what to do with him, as the GOP had been dominated by moderate folks such as Nelson Rockefeller, Charles Percy, Edward Brooke, George Romney, Wayne Morse and Jacob Javits. [ American Prospect ]

By 1970 the Republicans knew exactly what to do with disgruntled southern Democrats, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (yes, the late ‘liberal’ senator from New York), then a staff aide to Nixon, wrote him a memo in which he recommended Nixon adopt a policy of “benign neglect” of civil rights issues, leaving the slain Martin Luther King’s movement to carry on by itself, without presidential backing. [ Answers.com ]

This began Nixon’s opportunistic GOP campaign to politically ‘take over’ the South with his so-called ‘Southern Strategy.’ [ Washington Post ]

The GOP grip on the South was further cemented by the avuncular Ronald Reagan, who unashamedly announced his run for the presidency with a “state’s rights” speech in the small town of Philadelphia, Mississippi, infamously known as the scene of the vicious, terrorizing 1964 murder of three Civil Rights activists who had dared to drive south to register blacks to vote. [ Black America Today ]

Reagan gave us eight years of ‘welfare queen Cadillac’ [ Washington Monthly ] stories that led to the eventual end of federal public assistance for poor families — a policy destruction later sought and won by another southern governor, Bill Clinton. [ Washington Post ]

Republicans George Bush — both H.W. and W. — appointed right-wing justices [ TPM.com ] to the Supreme Court, which has delivered ever-growing racist decisions that weakened affirmative action, erased an African-American city’s gun-control laws, made school integration more difficult, and appointed an unelected George W. Bush president. [ Grolier ]

So now we have an inspirational African American running for president of these United States. He emanates wisdom, reflection and calm in the face of crises. He has organized a complex and brilliant campaign organization with its roots in communities, not board rooms. Bearing stellar academic credentials and an estimable record of private and public service [ Seattle Times ]; he has the unique ability to inject hope and steadfast faith into a nation haunted by doubt and growing despair.

With the economy hanging by a thread [ Akron Beacon-Journal ], thanks to years of unregulated Wall Street greed of the worst kind [ Mother Jones ]; Republicans now look to John McCain, heir to and admirer of past Republicans who cleverly drew their own so-called ‘race cards,’ which was particularly successful during the 1988 campaign of the current president’s father via his racist ‘Willie Horton’ ads. [ YouTube ]

This same John McCain, bearing few of the qualities we seek in a president, is grasping for anything to paint his opponent, who happens to have been born with deep brown skin, as an ‘elitist,’ a mere airhead ‘celebrity,’ who is ‘out of touch’ with the average citizen. [ CNN.com ]

And because he dared to say his face ‘doesn’t look like any of those other presidents on dollar bills,’ Barack Obama is now accused of himself ‘playing the race card’? [ Washington Post ]

How can a black man ‘play’ any kind of race card, when it is dealt to him every waking moment of every day; when he looks in the mirror in the morning, and when almost every white person he is near looks back at him with ‘that glance,’ which is more of a stare, that says, “What are you doing here?”.

He is black; McCain is not. And to inject race into any campaign is to insert a needle filled with poison used to infect the public with the racist elements that too many white citizens either have buried in our souls, or alive and flaming in daily thoughts and deeds.

McCain, once considered a ‘moderate maverick’ [ NY Times ] in the Republican Party, now seems just another cynical politician, who arranged a meeting for a criminal savings and loan executive with five United States senators [ Memphis Commercial-Appeal ], and who voted for a war when that action was exceedingly popular and knowingly wrong.

How will he react from his ‘Straight Talk Express’ seat when confronted with the well-established fact that at least one of his television ads is a cynical lie – the one in which the announcer states that Obama did not visit wounded soldiers in Germany, ‘because he could not bring a television camera with him’? [ Media Matters ]

How will he face his God and his conscience with his decision to allow vicious and racist attacks on an honorable man, who simply happens to have black skin?

Many of us, myself included, once thought of John McCain as an honorable man.

But when he tells an outright lie about his political opponent at this tenuous time in our nation’s history, when he gives the green light to television and radio commercials [ USA Today ] that belittle and disrespect a fellow public servant, when he seems to have sold his soul to win a prize; then he is not only not worthy of that prize, but he has also drug up from the slime of our past the one lasting evil stain on our national soul. And that act can only serve to divide us, when the need for unity is paramount.

It is not up to us to forgive his sin; it is up to him to absolve himself, and to refuse to rip this nation apart again, for the selfish sake of one more rich white man’s personal political gain.

You don’t need a flag pin to say “God Bless America.” But you should need decency and honor.

End this, Mr. McCain. Tell your crafty team that you’re better than the slime they’ve slopped on our kitchen tables and into our family rooms.

In the meantime, our hope is for a united country. And our prayer is “God help America. God be with Obama.”