Monday, March 10, 2008

Once Upon a Time with John McCain

Way back in 2000, when the world was new, John McCain was something different: a Republican who stood up to the radicals that had taken over the party of Lincoln and Goldwater; a man of principle, whose triumph over his Viet Cong captors was the stuff of legend and the faith of whose "fathers" was in the American ideals of freedom and justice for all. He paid the price for his integrity when the Karl Rove smear machine cranked up to cover him with the kind of disgusting graffiti usually reserved for Democrats and other communist sympathizers.

But that was a long time ago.

These days Rove's an "unpaid advisor" to McCain along with former Bush field commandant and GOP chair Ken Mehlman. Together these guys spent the better part of the Bush years pumping up the base with a steady diet of fear-mongering, gay-baiting and Muslim-bashing. These days, George Bush is the gushing fan of the Arizona Senator, and McCain is an unapologetic cheerleader for Bush's policies, from the "troop surge" to the bankrupting tax cuts. And, as if he's forgotten that once he was a captive of an American enemy, McCain has now sided with Bush over his veto of the bill that would have outlawed waterboarding of military captives. According to Congressional Quarterly McCain sported a 90 percent pro-Bush voting record during the 2001-2006 era of American dissolution. The Straight Talk Express has careened down the slippery slope of compromise.

Once upon a time I could have voted for McCain.

But that was a long time ago.

1 comment:

Anthony Palmer said...

It is for these reasons that I think McCain's fabled appeal among independents and moderates is a bit overestimated or inflated. I too have noticed his rhetoric about Iraq and some of the cultural issues and how he seems to be throwing out a lot more red meat for the base. Obama says "the Straight Talk Express has lost some of its wheels," and I think that's a good metaphor describing what has happened to him. Should November come down to McCain vs. Obama, Obama could rout him if he brings his A-game with him. It's not just the youth thing, it's the fact that McCain 2008 is not as appealing as McCain 2000 in the minds of moderates, Democrats, and independents. Yeah, he has Republicans and conservatives, but they'd most likely vote for him simply because they want to support his VP choice.