WASHINGTON — Senator John McCain arrived late at his Senate office on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just after the first plane hit the World Trade Center. “This is war,” he murmured to his aides. The sound of scrambling fighter planes rattled the windows, sending a tremor of panic through the room.
Within hours, Mr. McCain, the Vietnam War hero and famed straight talker of the 2000 Republican primary, had taken on a new role: the leading advocate of taking the American retaliation against Al Qaeda far beyond Afghanistan. In a marathon of television and radio appearances, Mr. McCain recited a short list of other countries said to support terrorism, invariably including Iraq, Iran and Syria.
“There is a system out there or network, and that network is going to have to be attacked,” Mr. McCain said the next morning on ABC News. “It isn’t just Afghanistan,” he added, on MSNBC. “I don’t think if you got bin Laden tomorrow that the threat has disappeared,” he said on CBS, pointing toward other countries in the Middle East.
Within a month he made clear his priority. “Very obviously Iraq is the first country,” he declared on CNN. By Jan. 2, Mr. McCain was on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea, yelling to a crowd of sailors and airmen: “Next up, Baghdad!”
Now, as Mr. McCain prepares to accept the Republican presidential nomination, his response to the attacks of Sept. 11 opens a window onto how he might approach the gravest responsibilities of a potential commander in chief. Like many, he immediately recalibrated his assessment of the unseen risks to America’s security. But he also began to suggest that he saw a new “opportunity” to deter other potential foes by punishing not only Al Qaeda but also Iraq.
“Just as Sept. 11 revolutionized our resolve to defeat our enemies, so has it brought into focus the opportunities we now have to secure and expand our freedom,” Mr. McCain told a NATO conference in Munich in early 2002, urging the Europeans to join what he portrayed as an all but certain assault on Saddam Hussein. “A better world is already emerging from the rubble.”
To his admirers, Mr. McCain’s tough response to Sept. 11 is at the heart of his appeal. They argue that he displayed the same decisiveness again last week in his swift calls to penalize Russia for its incursion into Georgia, in part by sending peacekeepers to police its border.
His critics charge that the emotion of Sept. 11 overwhelmed his former cool-eyed caution about deploying American troops without a clear national interest and a well-defined exit, turning him into a tool of the Bush administration in its push for a war to transform the region.
“He has the personality of a fighter pilot: when somebody stings you, you want to strike out,” said retired Gen. John H. Johns, a former friend and supporter of Mr. McCain who turned against him over the Iraq war. “Just like the American people, his reaction was: show me somebody to hit.”
Whether through ideology or instinct, though, Mr. McCain began making his case for invading Iraq to the public more than six months before the White House began to do the same. He drew on principles he learned growing up in a military family and on conclusions he formed as a prisoner in North Vietnam. He also returned to a conviction about “the common identity” of dangerous autocracies as far-flung as Serbia and North Korea that he had developed consulting with hawkish foreign policy thinkers to help sharpen the themes of his 2000 presidential campaign.
While pushing to take on Saddam Hussein, Mr. McCain also made arguments and statements that he may no longer wish to recall. He lauded the war planners he would later criticize, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney. (Mr. McCain even volunteered that he would have given the same job to Mr. Cheney.) He urged support for the later-discredited Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi’s opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, and echoed some of its suspect accusations in the national media. And he advanced misleading assertions not only about Mr. Hussein’s supposed weapons programs but also about his possible ties to international terrorists, Al Qaeda and the Sept. 11 attacks....(Click here for remainder of article).
The Pig-Man is at it again. What a freaking whack-job. Does anyone really think he believes what he's saying? One of these days he's going to choke to death on all that f-ing fat. There'll be partying in the streets for sure!
Corsi's previous appearance on "pro-White" radio show was streamed live on "White Nationalist" Stormfront.org
As Media Matters for America and the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog have noted, Obama Nation author Jerome Corsi is reportedly scheduled to appear on the August 17 edition of The Political Cesspool Radio Show. Corsi's previous appearance on the July 20 edition of The Political Cesspool -- during which he promoted The Obama Nation and criticized Sen. Barack Obama -- was streamed "Live" on the self-described "White Nationalist" and "White Pride" website Stormfront.org. Additionally, at several points during the July 20 broadcast prior to Corsi's appearance, host James Edwards and co-host Winston Smith expounded on their views on race. Edwards claimed that "most Jews ... regard Jews and whites as two different races," and Smith repeatedly referred to Obama as a "mulatto." According to its "Statement of Principles," The Political Cesspool Radio Show "represent[s] a philosophy that is pro-White."
According to a Google cache snapshot of Stormfront.org "as it appeared on Jul 21, 2008 00:01:06 GMT," text under the headline "Stormfront Broadcast Radio" stated: "Live NOW: Political Cesspool BACK ON AIR! - Special two-hour show starting for Internet listeners! - James Edwards, Winston Smith, Eddie 'The Bombardier' Miller! Our featured guest is author and columnist Dr. Jerome Corsi."
According to a June 10, 2004, forum post by "Sr. [forum] Moderator" Jamie Kelso, Edwards joined Stormfront.org in 2004 under the screen name "ElectEdwards." Kelso wrote: "Two of the marvelous speakers at the 2004 [European-American Unity and Leadership] New Orleans Conference, Bob Whitaker and James Edwards, registered their screen names since that event. Bob Whitaker is with us under the nom de screen of Bob Whitaker of whitakeronline and Tennessee's own James Edwards joins us as ElectEdwards." ElectEdwards has identified himself as "James Edwards" in several posts, and also stated that The Political Cesspool was his show in numerous posts. ElectEdwards has stated of Stormfront.org that he is a "proud" member and that "[w]hile I rarely have had the time to post on Stormfront, there is never a day that passes that I don't visit this site....(Click here for remainder of article).
Take a stroll around John McCain’s website and you’ll see that he is no fan of corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In fact, he seems to view him as a symbol of what is wrong with Washington DC and himself as the one man who can fix it:
I led the Abramoff investigation. I can bring about the necessary changes. Are we going to hand off to the next generation these problems? Of course we shouldn't. Have to regain the trust that dollars they send to Washington are being wisely and carefully spent. I know these people (in Congress) well and I know how to reach across the aisle to solve these problems.
McCain says he gets angry when “I uncover a guy like Abramoff ripping off Indian tribes” and when, just last week, his campaign unveiled its “Broken” ad, it cited McCain’s role in leading “the Congressional investigation into Jack Abramoff” as proof of the ad’s assertion that he “fought corruption in both parties.”
Yet, despite his pose as a crusading maverick, McCain has committed himself to attending a fundraiser with Ralph Reed, one of Abramoff’s closest friends and associates who was repeatedly and directly implicated in the very investigation that took down Abramoff...(Click here for remainder of post).
This is a great post I found at the Carpetbagger Report, and could resist posting the whole thing. Please make sure to visit the website for some wonderful insights. I know I usually give you two or three paragraphs and then link you to the whole article. This post however, was just too good!
If anyone takes issue with my posting of the full post, please contact me.
It’s obvious that the McCain campaign and the RNC have decided to go after Barack Obama as a flip-flopper. What’s equally obvious, though, that Republicans couldn’t have chosen a worse narrative.
McCain & Co. seemed to stumble on this line of attack almost by accident. They’d experimented with a variety of memes in recent months, none of which had any real salience. The right settled on “flip-flopper,” in large part because it’s the closest available, already-written Republican narrative, and in part because McCain staffers haven’t been able to think of anything else.
The irony, of course, is that the McCain campaign couldn’t have picked a more hypocritical line of attack. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of reversals from the Republican nominee, numbered and organized by category for easier reference.
I should note that there’s nothing offensive about a political figure changing his or her mind once in a while. Policy makers come to one conclusion, they gain more information, and then they reach a different conclusion. That is, to be sure, a good thing — it reflects a politician with an open mind and a healthy intellectual curiosity. Better to have a leader who changes his or her mind based on new information than one who stubbornly sticks to outmoded policy positions, regardless of facts or circumstances.
So why do McCain’s flip-flops matter? Because all available evidence suggests his reversals aren’t sincere, they’re cynically calculated for political gain. This isn’t indicative of an open mind; it’s actually indicative of a character flaw. And given the premise of McCain’s presidential campaign, it’s an area in desperate need of scrutiny.
The perception people have of McCain is outdated, reflective of a man who no longer has any use for his previous persona. What’s wrong with a politician who changes his or her views? Nothing in particular, but when a politician changes his views so much that he has an entirely different worldview, is it unreasonable to wonder whether it’s entirely sincere? Especially when there’s no other apparent explanation for five dozen significant reversals?
McCain has been in Congress for more than a quarter-century; he’s bound to shift now and then on various controversies. But therein lies the point — McCain was consistent on most of these issues, right up until he started running for president, at which point he conveniently abandoned literally dozens of positions he used to hold. The problem isn’t just the incessant flip-flops — though that’s part of it — it’s more about the shameless pandering and hollow convictions behind the incessant flip-flops. That the media still perceives McCain as some kind of “straight talker” who refuses to sway with the political winds makes this all the more glaring.
Here’s the list.
National Security Policy
1. McCain thought Bush’s warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.
2. McCain insisted that everyone, even “terrible killers,” “the worst kind of scum of humanity,” and detainees at Guantanamo Bay, “deserve to have some adjudication of their cases,” even if that means “releasing some of them.” McCain now believes the opposite.
3. He opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. When the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion, he called it “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.”
4. In February 2008, McCain reversed course on prohibiting waterboarding.
5. McCain was for closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay before he was against it.
6. When Barack Obama talked about going after terrorists in Pakistani mountains with predators, McCain criticized him for it. He’s since come to the opposite conclusion.
8. McCain supported moving “towards normalization of relations” with Cuba. Now he believes the opposite.
9. McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Hamas. Now he believes the opposite.
10. McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Syria. Now he believes the opposite.
11. McCain is both for and against a “rogue state rollback” as a focus of his foreign policy vision.
12. McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty’s behalf before a Senate committee. Now he opposes it.
13. McCain was against divestment from South Africa before he was for it.
14. McCain recently claimed that he was the “greatest critic” of Rumsfeld’s failed Iraq policy. In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as “a mission accomplished.” In March 2004, he said, “I’m confident we’re on the right course.” In December 2005, he said, “Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.”
15. McCain has changed his mind about a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq on multiple occasions, concluding, on multiple occasions, that a Korea-like presence is both a good and a bad idea.
16. McCain was against additional U.S. forces in Afghanistan before he was for it.
17. McCain said before the war in Iraq, “We will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” Four years later, McCain said he knew all along that the war in Iraq war was “probably going to be long and hard and tough.”
18. McCain has repeatedly said it’s a dangerous mistake to tell the “enemy” when U.S. troops would be out of Iraq. In May, McCain announced that most American troops would be home from Iraq by 2013.
19. McCain was against expanding the GI Bill before he was for it.
20. McCain staunchly opposed Obama’s Iraq withdrawal timetable, and even blasted Mitt Romney for having referenced the word during the GOP primaries. In July, after Iraqi officials endorsed Obama’s policy, McCain said a 16-month calendar sounds like “a pretty good timetable.”
21. McCain defended “privatizing” Social Security. Now he says he’s against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)
22. On Social Security, McCain said he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Soon after, asked about a possible increase in the payroll tax, McCain said there’s “nothing that’s off the table.”
23. McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn’t.
24. McCain supported storing spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Now he believes the opposite.
25. He argued the NRA should not have a role in the Republican Party’s policy making. Now he believes the opposite.
26. In 1998, he championed raising cigarette taxes to fund programs to cut underage smoking, insisting that it would prevent illnesses and provide resources for public health programs. Now, McCain opposes a $0.61-per-pack tax increase, won’t commit to supporting a regulation bill he’s co-sponsoring, and has hired Philip Morris’ former lobbyist as his senior campaign adviser.
27. McCain is both for and against earmarks for Arizona.
28. McCain’s first mortgage plan was premised on the notion that homeowners facing foreclosure shouldn’t be “rewarded” for acting “irresponsibly.” His second mortgage plan took largely the opposite position.
30. McCain opposed a holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., before he supported it.
31. McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he’s pro-ethanol.
32. McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.
35. In the Senate, McCain opposed a variety of measures on equal pay for women, and endorsed the Supreme Court’s Ledbetter decision. In July, however, McCain said, “I’m committed to making sure that there’s equal pay for equal work. That … is my record and you can count on it.”
36. McCain was against fully funding the No Child Left Behind Act before he was for it.
37. McCain was for affirmative action before he was against it.
38. McCain was against Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy before he was for them.
39. John McCain initially argued that economics is not an area of expertise for him, saying, “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues; I still need to be educated,” and “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.” He now falsely denies ever having made these remarks and insists that he has a “very strong” understanding of economics.
40. McCain vowed, if elected, to balance the federal budget by the end of his first term. Soon after, he decided he would no longer even try to reach that goal. And soon after that, McCain abandoned his second position and went back to his first.
41. McCain said in 2005 that he opposed the tax cuts because they were “too tilted to the wealthy.” By 2007, he denied ever having said this, and falsely argued that he opposed the cuts because of increased government spending.
42. McCain thought the estate tax was perfectly fair. Now he believes the opposite.
43. McCain pledged in February 2008 that he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Specifically, McCain was asked if he is a “‘read my lips’ candidate, no new taxes, no matter what?” referring to George H.W. Bush’s 1988 pledge. “No new taxes,” McCain responded. Two weeks later, McCain said, “I’m not making a ‘read my lips’ statement, in that I will not raise taxes.”
44. McCain has changed his entire economic worldview on multiple occasions.
45. McCain believes Americans are both better and worse off economically than they were before Bush took office.
46. McCain supported the moratorium on coastal drilling ; now he’s against it.
47. McCain recently announced his strong opposition to a windfall-tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea.
48. McCain endorsed a cap-and-trade policy with a mandatory emissions cap. In mid-June, McCain announced he wants the caps to voluntary.
49. McCain explained his belief that a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax would provide an immediate economic stimulus. Shortly thereafter, he argued the exact opposite.
50. McCain supported the Lieberman/Warner legislation to combat global warming. Now he doesn’t.
51. McCain was for national auto emissions standards before he was against them.
52. McCain was a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants’ kids who graduate from high school. In 2007, he announced his opposition to the bill. In 2008, McCain switched back.
53. On immigration policy in general, McCain announced in February 2008 that he would vote against his own bill.
54. In April, McCain promised voters that he would secure the borders “before proceeding to other reform measures.” Two months later, he abandoned his public pledge, pretended that he’d never made the promise in the first place, and vowed that a comprehensive immigration reform policy has always been, and would always be, his “top priority.”
Judicial Policy and the Rule of Law
55. McCain said he would “not impose a litmus test on any nominee.” He used to promise the opposite.
56. McCain’s position was that the telecoms should be forced to explain their role in the administration’s warrantless surveillance program as a condition for retroactive immunity. He used to believe the opposite.
58 In June, McCain rejected the idea of a trial for Osama bin Laden, and thought Obama’s reference to Nuremberg was a misread of history. A month later, McCain argued the exact opposite position.
Campaign, Ethics, and Lobbying Reform
59. McCain supported his own lobbying-reform legislation from 1997. Now he doesn’t.
60. In 2006, McCain sponsored legislation to require grassroots lobbying coalitions to reveal their financial donors. In 2007, after receiving “feedback” on the proposal, McCain told far-right activist groups that he opposes his own measure.
61. McCain supported a campaign-finance bill, which bore his name, on strengthening the public-financing system. In June 2007, he abandoned his own legislation.
62. In May 2008, McCain approved a ban on lobbyists working for his campaign. In July 2008, his campaign reversed course and said lobbyists could work for his campaign.
Politics and Associations
64. McCain wanted political support from radical televangelist Rod Parsley. Now he doesn’t.
65. McCain says he considered and did not consider joining John Kerry’s Democratic ticket in 2004.
66. McCain is both for and against attacking Barack Obama over his former pastor at his former church.
67. McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” in 2002, but then decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans “deserved” the 9/11 attacks.
68. In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending “dirty money” to help finance Bush’s presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.
69. McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.
70. McCain decided in 2000 that he didn’t want anything to do with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, believing he “would taint the image of the ‘Straight Talk Express.’” Kissinger is now the Honorary Co-Chair for his presidential campaign in New York.
71. McCain believed powerful right-wing activist/lobbyist Grover Norquist was “corrupt, a shill for dictators, and (with just a dose of sarcasm) Jack Abramoff’s gay lover.” McCain now considers Norquist a key political ally.
72. McCain was for presidential candidates giving speeches in foreign countries before he was against it.
If and when you learn of a reversal that has not yet made the list, I hope you’ll let me know.
Just a few months ago, Chris Matthews asked John McCain if he would consider a pro-choice running mate, such as former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. “I don’t know if [his position on the issue] would stop him, but it would be difficult,” McCain said.
McCain is saying something different now.
Republican John McCain says he has not ruled out choosing Pennsylvania’s popular former Gov. Tom Ridge as a running mate despite his support for abortion rights, a hot-button issue that could inflame some voters among the party’s conservative base.
McCain appeared to be testing the issue — weighing the benefits against the costs of picking Ridge, who could help the Arizona senator win Pennsylvania. […]
“And also I feel that — and I’m not trying to equivocate here — that Americans want us to work together,” McCain added. “You know, Tom Ridge is one of the great leaders and he happens to be pro-choice. And I don’t think that that would necessarily would rule Tom Ridge out.”
Chatting with the Weekly Standard, McCain was pressed a little further, and reminded that he told Republican primary voters that he wouldn’t consider NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the ticket because he’s pro-choice. McCain told the Standard that Republicans should be inclusive, and the party’s voters could find Ridge more palatable because Bloomberg “is pro-gay rights, pro, you know, a number of other issues.”...(Click here for remainder of post).
M E M O R A N D U M
To: Conservative and Republican Donors
From: Tom Matzzie, Accountable America
Date: August 15, 2008
Re: Mixed Nuts--who you're getting in bed with
I thought I'd write you in this format that you might be more familiar with to make sure you were aware of the folks you're getting in bed with if you fund the conservative smear groups by highlighting this week's fringe nut: Jerome Corsi.
Jerome Corsi, author of "The Obama Nation," is at best a little nuts and at worst a truly bad person. That hasn't kept conservative groups help him get on the New York Times list with big bulk purchases of his book. Republican consultant Mary Matalin called his book "a work of scholarship" which raises quesions about whether she agrees with him.
Let's review some of what we know about Corsi.
LAKE FOREST, Calif. — Presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain differed on abortion Saturday, with McCain saying a baby's human rights begin "at conception," while Obama restated his support for legalized abortion.
Appearing on the same stage for the first time in months, although they overlapped only briefly, the two men shared their views on a range of moral, foreign and domestic issues.
Obama said he would limit abortions in the late stages of pregnancy if there are exceptions for the mother's health. He said he knew that people who consider themselves pro-life will find his stance "inadequate."
He said the government should do more to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to help women who give birth, such as provide needed resources to the poor, as well as better adoption services.
McCain expressed his anti-abortion stand simply and quickly, saying human rights begin the instant that a human egg is fertilized. McCain, who adopted a daughter from Bangladesh, also called for making adoption easier.
Their comments came at a two-hour forum on faith hosted by the minister Rick Warren at his megachurch in Orange County, Calif. Obama joined Warren for the first hour, and Obama for the second. The two men briefly shook hands and hugged each other during the switch....(Click here for remainder of article).
For years now, nearly every poll has shown that the American people are right in sync with the platform of the Democratic Party. They are pro-environment, pro-women's rights and pro-choice. They don't like war. They want the minimum wage raised, and they want a single-payer universal health-care system. The American public agrees with the Republican Party on only one major issue: They support the death penalty.
So you would think the Democrats would be cleaning up, election after election. Obviously not. The Democrats appear to be professional losers. They are so pathetic in their ability to win elections, they even lose when they win! So when you hear Democrats and liberals and supporters of Barack Obama say they are worried that John McCain has a good chance of winning, they ain't a-kidding. Who would know better than the very people who have handed the Republicans one election after another on a silver platter? Yes, be afraid, be very afraid.
In an effort to help the party doofuses and pundits — and the candidate himself — spare all of us another suicide-inducing election night, as the results giving the election to the Republican pour in, here is the blueprint from the Democrats' past losing campaigns. Just follow each of these steps and you, the Democratic Party establishment, can help elect John Sidney McCain III to a four-year extension of the Bush Era....(Click here for remainder of post).