Monday, February 4, 2008

Honest John

The character as played by W. C. Fields is probably little if any less "honest" than today's subject, John McCain. There is a widespread--and carefully nurtured--public conception of McCain as a senior statesman, withg parsed, reasoned, middle-of-the-road positions on just about everything. Let's see, alphabetically.


From McCain's own web site:

John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench. Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade . . . .
From Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America:
He voted against family planning, he voted against the freedom of access to clinic entrances — that was about violence against women in clinics. He voted against funding for teen pregnancy-prevention programs, and making sure that abstinence only was medically accurate. This is very, very extreme.


From McCain's web site:
John McCain will make the Bush income and investment tax cuts permanent, keeping income tax rates at their current level . . .
From a recent debate: I'm very well versed in economics. I was there at the Reagan Revolution. To evaluate that "qualification", note that Ronald Reagan nearly tripled the gap between the amount of money the federal government took in and the amount it spent; when he left office, the national debt was a historical high of over 3 trillion dollars, and the annual budget deficit was $155 billion, also a historical high. More exactly:
In 1982, the first full year after the tax cuts were enacted, the economy actually shrank 2.2%, the worst performance since the Great Depression. And the effect on the federal budget was catastrophic.

Jimmy Carter's last budget deficit was $77 billion. Reagan's first deficit was $128 billion. His second deficit exploded to $208 billion. By the time the "Reagan Revolution" was over, George H.W. Bush was running an annual deficit of $290 billion per year.

Yearly deficits, of course, add up to national debt. When Reagan took office, the national debt stood at $994 billion. When Bush left office, it had reached $4.3 trillion. In other words, the national debt had taken 200 years to reach $1 trillion. Reagan's Supply Side experiment quadrupled it in the next 12 years.
That is the "Reagan Revolution" that John McCain wants to model his economic policies on.

Civil Rights

McCain voted for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which set a federal definition of marriage as between a man and a woman and said states don’t have to recognize same-sex marriages performed by another state.

McCain on religion and politics:
I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation. . . .

I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, "Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?"
On Vietnamese:
I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.
McCain has a 29% lifetime rating from the ACLU, and a mere 19% rating for 2005-2006. (He has an 83% rating in the Christian Coalition's 2006 Congressional Scorecard.)

McCain voted for the so-called "Flag Protection" Constitutional Amendment.

And for all that, his civil-rights policies are considered one of his best points.


While McCain is famously less vituperative in his pronouncements on this topic than his opponents for the Republican nomination, he stiil has clear ideas:
As president, I will secure the border. . . . A secure border is an essential element of our national security.
McCain voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006.


From Wikipedia:
McCain supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq; the U.S. decision to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime; a continued and increased military presence in Iraq; and most of President George W. Bush's foreign policies. His speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention centered on that theme.
At a campaign stop in January, a questioner said, "President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years." McCain responded, "Make it a hundred."

And who will ever forget (absolutely no one, I devoutly hope) "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran". That from a man who wants us to trust him with the key to the red-button box.

Y'know, there's a lot more, but frankly I'm getting too nauseated to go on right now. Take this as a sort of down payment on what I think the American public needs to know about Honest John and his goofiness.

A couple of further resources for the interested seeker after knowledge are the Wikipedia article "Political positions of John McCain" and the "On the Issues" site page on McCain.

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