It's been a stressful time coming to the end of the primaries. Feelings have been running high across the spectrum, and isn't it kind of John McCain to give us a little comedy to help us all relax?
What's that you say? This wasn't a comedy sketch? Could have fooled me. From the very first sentence when he declared himself to be in New Orleans (and not "N'awlins," but "New Or-lee-ens") when he was in fact in Kenner, Louisiana, the speech was a non-stop laugh fest of strange and nonsensical rhetoric. Proving that he's not above co-opting more than Bush's presidency, he spoke before a green backdrop reminiscent of the one used by Arnold Schwarzeneggar, covered with a modified Obama campaign slogan. Politics 101 says you don't let your opponent frame the debate...McSame still hasn't figured that out? And the choice to make a speech at that time, just before the polls closed in Montana and South Dakota and Obama was scheduled to make his speech? That's comedy gold, because there was no way the networks wouldn't pre-empt him.
Pundits and party elders have declared that Senator Obama will be my opponent. He will be a formidable one. But I'm ready for the challenge and determined to run this race in a way that does credit to our campaign and to the proud, decent and patriotic people that I ask to lead.
Maybe the argument that McCain is ready for the challenge would be more persuasive if he at least acknowledged that in this country, it's the VOTERS that declared Obama would be his opponent, not pundits. But hey, his party doesn't seem to put a lot of stock in the democratic process.
Now if you want to get serious, the DNC has done a little fact checking on McCain's speech--they were able to hang through the whole thing, more power to them-- and found it remarkably fact free:
JOHN MCCAIN'S RHETORIC VS. JOHN MCCAIN'S RECORD
MCCAIN IS AS CLOSE TO BUSH AS THE SENATE HAS TO OFFER
MCCAIN TONIGHT: "This is, indeed, a change election. No matter who wins this election, the direction of this country is going to change dramatically."
- REALITY: McCain voted with President Bush 95 percent of the time in 2007. According to Congressional Quarterly, He also has a record of heartily supporting Bush on some of his most controversial priorities, including the Iraq war and comprehensive immigration reform. In 2007, as he ramped up for his second White House run, McCain voted with Bush 95 percent of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly, which tallied votes McCain was present for on issues in which the administration took a position." [Arizona Republic, 4/6/08] McCain had the highest rate of support in the entire U.S. Senate. [Congressional Quarterly, 1/13/2008]
- REALITY: John McCain is promising to take the Bush tax cuts to reckless new extremes. McCain's Own Tax Cuts Would Double Cost of Extending Bush Tax Cut. The New York Times noted, "The McCain campaign put the cost of his tax cuts at roughly $200 billion a year, but its estimate did not include the cost of making the Bush tax cuts permanent, which would more than double that figure." [New York Times, 4/16/08]
- REALITY: John McCain is willing to keep our troops in Iraq for 100 years, Long Term American Presence In Iraq Analogous To South Korea. At a New Hampshire town hall when McCain was asked "President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years." McCain responded: "Maybe 100" and "that would be fine with me." McCain explained his 100 year remark by drawing an analogy to the long-term American presence in South Korea: "We've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That'd be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed." [McCain Town Hall, Derry NH Opera House, 1/3/2008; New York Times, "The Caucus," 1/11/2008]
MCCAIN WAS SILENT WHILE WAR WAS FAILING
McCain Tonight: I disagreed strongly with the Bush administration's mismanagement of the war in Iraq. I called for the change in strategy that is now, at last, succeeding where the previous strategy had failed miserably.
FACT: McCain Was Late To Criticize War.
McCain: "No One Has Supported President Bush on Iraq More Than I Have." During an March 2008 interview on The Mike Gallagher Show, McCain stated, "no one has supported President Bush on Iraq more than I have." [Think Progress blog, 4/2/08]
Rich: McCain Failed To Stand Up When It Counted. "He didn't just vote to authorize the war; in response to a question from Tim Russert in September 2002, he lent his military credibility to the administration's undermanned war plan. When Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, challenged that strategy in a February 2003 Senate hearing by calling for ''several hundred thousand soldiers,'' Mr. McCain did not speak up in support. ... The one part of his Iraq past that Mr. McCain does want us to recall now is his subsequent criticism of the war's execution. But contrary to his current claims, he never publicly demanded Mr. Rumsfeld's head. And when Mr. McCain did call for more troops in Iraq, he was again in sync with Democrats like Joe Biden, with whom he made that case on ''Meet the Press'' in August 2003. Rather than dwell on this ancient history, Mr. McCain said last week, we should talk about ''what we are going to do now.'' But his answer to ''what we are going to do now'' in Iraq is merely more of what he did then." [Op-Ed, Frank Rich, New York Times, 3/2/2008]
McCain in 2003: "I Have No Qualms About Our Strategic Plans" in Iraq. "I have no qualms about our strategic plans. I thought we were very successful in Afghanistan," McCain told the Hartford Courant in March 2003, just prior to the Iraq invasion. [Hartford Courant, 3/5/03]
November 2003 - McCain: I'm a Great Admirer of Secretary Rumsfeld. On a 2003 appearance on MSNBC's "Buchanan & Press," Bill Press told McCain, "Your comments calling for increased troop levels in Iraq "imply at least a criticism of" Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, asking the Arizona Senator: "Do you still have confidence in Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld?" McCain replied: "I'm a great admirer of Secretary Rumsfeld. He's part of the president's team. I support him. When I came back in August, Bill, I said, look, these people on the ground are telling me things are going to get a lot worse unless we do something different. And in August I said we needed more of the kind of troops that I just described." [MSNBC, "Buchanan & Press, 11/6/03]
McCain: No, Rumsfeld Shouldn't Leave Post; "Things Go Bad in Wars" and We Adjust. Press agreed with McCain that things were not going as well as the administration had originally asserted in Iraq, asking McCain: "The man in charge of the post-war plan in Iraq was Rumsfeld. The man in charge now is Rumsfeld. He's obviously not doing the job. Wouldn't it be better for him to get out of there?" McCain replied: "No. Look, things go bad in wars. I was watching a thing last night about the Korean War. One of the great blunders in history was committed by General MacArthur when he refused to accept the evidence that the Chinese were coming...But the American military adjusted...You have to adjust and we have made some adjustments." [MSNBC, "Buchanan & Press, 11/6/03]
MCCAIN HELPED BUSH BALLOON THE DEFICIT
McCain Tonight: [Bush] and I have not seen eye to eye on many issues....
McCain Voted for Four of Five Bush-Republican Budget Resolutions Totaling $9.8 Million
McCain Voted for 4 of 5 Bush Budgets Adding to $9.8 Trillion in Spending. McCain supported four of the five Bush budgets that the Senate voted on from 2001-2006.
2001: H. Con. Res. 83: $1.95 Trillion [2001 Senate Vote #98]
2002: McCain Voted to Table [2002 Senate Vote #134]
2003: McCain Voted No [H.Con.Res. 95; 2003 Senate Vote #134]
2004: S. Con. Res 95: $2.45 Trillion [2004 Senate Vote #58]
2005: H.Con.Res. 95: $2.6 Trillion [2005 Senate Vote #114]
2006: S.Con.Res. 83: $2.8 Trillion [2006 Senate Vote #74]
SEE NO EVIL: MCCAIN DIDN'T LOOK FOR CORRUPTION IN CONGRESS AND DIDN'T FIND ANY
MCCAIN TONIGHT: "When I fought corruption it didn't matter to me if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. I exposed it and let the chips fall where they may."
REALITY: McCain's Toothless Committee Failed To Investigate Congress, Said No Need For Reform
McCain Acknowledged That Members Had Responsibility In The Lobbying Scandal, But Refused To Investigate Member's Actions In An Investigation That "Ignored" Congressional Republicans. McCain acknowledged that Members were responsible for their conduct in Congress surrounding the lobbying scandal, saying, "Many cast blame [for the Abramoff Scandal] only on the lobbying industry. But, we should not forget that we, as Members, owe it to the American people to conduct ourselves in a way that reinforces, rather than diminishes, the public's faith and confidence in Congress." But during his investigation, McCain refused to include the legislative actions taken by Members of Congress saying, "We stop when we find out where the money went." The Associated Press reported that, "The intervention by congressional Republicans...was all but ignored in recent hearings on Capitol Hill led by [McCain], that examined Abramoff's lobbying inside Interior. [Senator McCain, CQ Transcriptions, 1/25/06; Roll Call, 3/10/05; AP, 11/17/05]
McCain's Abramoff Report Said No Need for New Lobbying Laws Following Abramoff Scandal. The report by released by John McCain and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in June 2006 on the Abramoff investigation argued that "no new lobbying restrictions are needed to prevent schemes like those used by former lobbyist Jack Abramoff." In addition, "despite a pledge by McCain two years ago to get to the bottom of a now-convicted lobbyist's influence-peddling, his committee's 373-page report does not detail the relationships between Abramoff and the dozens of lawmakers to whom the lobbyist helped funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars in tribal political donations." [Arizona Republic, 6/23/2006]
MCCAIN PUTS TAX CUTS AHEAD OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AND JOBS
MCCAIN TONIGHT: "If America is going to achieve energy independence, we need a President with a record of putting the nation's interests before the special interests of either party."
FACT CHECK: John McCain voted against tax credits to encourage renewable energy and create jobs. And h's proposed bit tax cuts that would reward big energy companies to the tune of nearly $3 billion
- McCain Repeatedly Voted Against Tax Credits For Renewable Energy Production.
McCain voted against an amendment to extend the renewable energy production tax credit and clean renewable energy bonds programs for four years including $290 Million for renewable energy R&D on Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower. [2006 Senate Vote #42, 3/14/2006]
McCain Voted Against Major Energy Legislation Providing $18 Billion In Energy Related Tax Incentives. McCain voted against the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The bill would overhaul the nation's energy policy and provide for approximately $18 billion in energy-related tax incentives. [2005 Senate Vote #158, 6/28/2005]
McCain voted against an amendment to establish tax credits for investments in renewable energy technologies, incentives for new energy efficient residential construction and tax deductions for increased energy efficiency in commercial buildings. [2001 Senate Vote #125, 5/21/2001]
McCain's Proposed Tax Cut Undermines His Proposed Environmental Plans. "A global warming plan that weans America off dirty energy requires taking a stand against the huge utility & energy companies. But John McCain's tax plan seems slightly more interested in lining their pockets. An analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund finds that John McCain's massive corporate tax cut would save America's ten largest electrical utility companies and ten largest energy companies over $2.8 billion. (This is in addition to the $4 billion tax break for America's five largest oil companies.)" [ThinkProgress.org, 5/13/08]