AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

Are you an AmeriCAN or an AmeriCAN'T?

Sorry, John McCain, You Were Wrong on the Surge

Not that the average voter even has a damn clue about what the “surge” offensive was actually about, since they spend their time getting their news from the mass media and morons like Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews and those leading organizations of military strategic thought such as CODE PINK, Think Progress, Moveon.org, et al. Ask anyone if they read MILBLOGS and I bet you get a blank stare. Ask them if they even know what is a MILBLOG and I bet you get an even blanker stare.

The fact is the commentor RC at Protein Wisdom is exactly right. Every time I hear John McCain and his idiotic ranting about “leading the way on the surge” or whatever bullshit he peddles, I want to scream. I am really sick of his lying bullshit and pandering to the ignorant idiots of our society who don’t even know what the “surge” is.

As an only slightly OT point, I’m way past sick and tired of McCain claiming the current strategy is what he had been calling for all along. The only thing the dumbass was calling for was more troops to “lock down” Iraq. That is not at all what is going on. It may be too nuanced for Mr. Maverick but the extra troops were not sent to “lock down” anything. They were sent to provide a continuing presence in small locations to help stand up local Iraqi assets and build relationships at the sub federal level since it became obvious that clearing and handing over to Iraqi forces wouldn’t work until competent Iraqi organizations were available and they weren’t coming from centralized training fast enough to do the trick. If some of the Iraqi’s see our troops as an occupying army think of how many more actual moderate Iraqi’s would have joined any sort of resistance force if we had tried to “lock down” Iraq with more troops. For many Iraqi’s our troops have simply become members of the Amerika tribe and are allied with their tribe and country. Never could have happened under McCains “plan” (BTW, sending more troops is not a plan it’s just sending more troops). [ … ]

February 3, 2008 , 4:37PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, COIN, Iraq, John McCain, War Effort in Iraq | 1 Comment

McCainservatives Now Distorting Reagan’s Record to Support McCain

This is getting completely out of hand. McCain supporters need to stop this nonsense. John McCain is not a conservative. He is a liberal socialist Republican. Period. He would be wise to stop his lying and just own up to this fact.

Mark Levin at NRO The Corner is also getting tired of McCain supporters distorting Ronald Reagan’s record in order to make McCain seem more like Reagan. Mr. Levin has had enough of this (as have I). Revisionist history is a tactic of Liberals, Democrats and the Left. Now McCain supporters are using it.

Here’s a tip: using the tactics of the Left does not make me more willing to vote for your candidate. It makes me realize that you will do anything to win an election, even lie. And that puts you in the same category of lack of principle, lack of ethics and lack of integrity as the Left, in my eyes.

Reagan Challenged His Party from the Right. McCain Challenges His Party from the Left.

I don’t think most conservatives are interested in McCain’s class ranking at Annapolis or how many planes he was nearly killed in. There have been a few posts here mentioning it. And I appreciate all the references to Reagan’s efforts to advance his agenda, which did involve making compromises with a Democrat House and, throughout most of his presidency, a Democrat Congress. And if John McCain showed this kind of temperament and vision in his political career, I don’t think most who object to his candidacy during the primaries would be objecting to it today. I think we would be enthusiastically supporting him.

Painting Reagan as a tax-and-spend Republican, who basically went along with Washington and appointed a bunch of moderates to the Supreme Court, in an apparent attempt to build up McCain’s conservative and leadership credentials and mollify his critics, has the opposite effect mostly because it is inaccurate. It reminds me of Bill Clinton’s supporters using Thomas Jefferson’s alleged adultery to explain the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Reagan challenged his party from the Right. He sought the Republican nomination in 1968 against Richard Nixon and lost. He sought the nomination against Gerald Ford in 1976 and lost. He fought the Republican establishment in 1980 as well, including Bob Dole, Howard Baker, and George H. W. Bush, and won. McCain has challenged his party from the Left. I don’t know how many more times I and others have to lay out his record to prove the point. To put a fine point on it, when he had to, Reagan sought compromise from a different set of beliefs and principles than McCain. It does a great disservice to historical accuracy and the current debate to continue to urge otherwise.

Let me be more specific, rather than spar in generalities. Reagan would never have used the phrase “manage for profit” as a zinger to put down a Republican opponent. Reagan believed in managing for profit because he believed in free enterprise. That doesn’t mean he didn’t agree to certain tax increases (after fighting for and winning the most massive tax cuts in modern American history), which were incidentally to be accompanied by even greater spending cuts. McCain believes the oil companies are evil, and said it during one of the debates. Among his first acts as president, Reagan decontrolled the prices of natural gas and crude oil with the stroke of his pen because, as he understood, profit funds research and exploration. Reagan had a respect for and comprehension of private property rights and markets that McCain does not. There never would have been a Reagan-Lieberman bill, in which the federal government’s power over the private sector would have trumped the New Deal.

Reagan opposed limits on political speech. The Reagan administration ended the Fairness Doctrine and the media ownership rules, which helped create the alternative media that McCain despises. Reagan’s reverence for the Constitution would never have allowed him to support, let alone add his name to, something like McCain-Feingold.

As for Reagan’s Supreme Court appointments, it is wholly misleading to simply list those who turned out to be disappointing as evidence of Reagan’s willingness to compromise on judicial appointments or appoint moderates, or whatever the point was. In Sandra Day O’Connor’s case, he was assured by Barry Goldwater and Ken Starr that she was an originalist. While on the Court, she started out on fairly sound footing, and then lurched toward the Left, something Reagan could not foresee or control. Yes, Reagan appointed Anthony Kennedy to the Court, but only after: 1. first nominating Bob Bork; 2. then nominating Doug Ginsburg; and 3. again receiving assurances that Kennedy was solid. And, again, Kennedy started out as a fairly reliable originalist, but has “evolved” over the years in ways that no president can prevent. But Reagan also appointed Antonin Scalia and promoted William Rehnquist to chief justice, and he appointed scores of outstanding judges at the district court and appellate levels — the significance of which attorneys like me, who study this issue, fully comprehend and appreciate. (As an aside, as I spent some time at the White House working on judicial selection, Reagan refused to allow the Senate to dictate which judges he would ultimately nominate to the circuit courts.)

Reagan sought to abolish all kinds of federal programs and agencies — from the Department of Education to the Action Agency/VISTA — and the list goes on and on. I imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult for someone with the time and inclination, such as a think-tank scholar, to go back and examine the early budgets that Reagan sent to Congress. Am I the only one who remembers all the horror stories in the media portraying Reagan’s budgets as setting back the New Deal and Great Society, creating armies of homeless, cutting ketchup from the Food Stamp program, and so forth? But Reagan couldn’t get a lot of the cuts he wanted past congressional Democrats. However, he did shutdown the government several times to try to limit spending. Does anyone remember the media stories about Social Security recipients going without checks?

The one area Reagan drastically increased spending was defense. And while McCain is said to be among the most capable of hawks, he used little of his political capital and media savvy to oppose the Clinton cuts — or to warn the nation about the rising threat from al-Qaeda, for that matter. He did not call for the resignation of his good friend Bill Cohen, who was a terrible defense secretary. McCain was not alone, of course. But a more fulsome examination of McCain’s senatorial record relating to defense, intelligence, and law enforcement is met mostly with silence or admonitions to avert our eyes.

Reagan would not have led efforts to grant the enemy constitutional and international rights, as McCain has. I believe he would have sided with President Bush. After all, as president, Reagan rejected efforts to expand the Geneva Conventions to cover terrorists. This is a key area of departure for McCain not only from Bush but most national security advocates. But, alas, we must avert our eyes, again.

As for the 1986 Reagan amnesty for illegal aliens, we’ve been down this road time and again. The bill was carefully reviewed within the Reagan administration, including at the Justice Department (at the time, the INS reported to the attorney general). Reagan agreed that amnesty would be conferred on 2-3 million illegal aliens as a one-time event in exchange for adequate funding for border security. The bill passed in 1987. The border security part of the deal was never enforced. To say that Reagan supported amnesty and no more is to rewrite history. There would have been no Reagan-Kennedy bill, written largely by LULAC and LaRaza.

But we must rewrite history if we are to make the case that McCain is no different from Reagan, Reagan is no different from his predecessors, and Reagan’s speeches weren’t all that revolutionary. And if we object to such characterizations, then the argument shifts to — well, stop making comparisons to Reagan, Reagan wasn’t perfect, the Reagan era is dead, these are different times, etc. Then, if we criticize McCain’s record we are told the tone is troubling, we’re going to help elect Hillary Clinton if we don’t unite behind McCain now (at the beginning of the primaries, no less!), the surge is the only issue that matters, etc.

Look, I do not believe that McCain is a principled conservative. I believe he is a populist hawk in the tradition of a Scoop Jackson. This isn’t a perfect comparison, of course, but nothing is ever perfect, is it? In my view, this is why the hawks will support McCain regardless of his record in virtually every other respect. Moreover, they see McCain as the only Republican who has the will or ability or whatever to fight terrorism. I don’t. But please, can we at least agree, on National Review’s website of all places, to stop dumbing down or dismissing the Reagan record. If you are going to use it, at least be accurate about it. It isn’t perfect, but it is far superior to the backhand it received earlier.

February 3, 2008 , 3:28PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Conservatism, John McCain, Ronald Reagan | Comments Off on McCainservatives Now Distorting Reagan’s Record to Support McCain

McCainservatives Reject Lies of Democrats, but Embrace Lies of John McCain?

So we all know that John McCain has won the last two Republican Primaries in South Carolina and Florida (granted, he has not won the majority of the votes of Republican-voters or Conservatives in either state, let alone any other state). And, because of that, I now see Republican voters and McCainservatives saying that we must all rally around John McCain, for no other reason than their utter, desperate fear of a Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama Presidency.

What I have trouble figuring out is how these McCainservatives can expect me to take them seriously and grant them any sense of integrity when they support John McCain’s lies. These people, who have railed against Democrats for their tactics of lying and revisionist history, are now fully supporting a man who uses these same tactics.

Interesting. Rejects Democrats who lie about Republicans, yet hail the Republican who lies about Republicans. Yeah, that makes sense.

You know, I would respect McCainservatives a little bit more if they would stop trying to shove their bullshit down my throat, expecting me to be some fucking idiot who doesn’t know lies when I see them. The first step for John McCain and his supporters to gain more support for him is to admit that he is no conservative and to stop pretending. Run an honest campaign as Rudy Giuliani did or get the fuck out of my face with your bullshit. I don’t vote for Democrats, because they are lying, smearing bastards. And I won’t be voting for any lying, smearing bastard, just because he happens to be in the Republican Party.

Thomas Sowell: McCain’s Crooked Talk – He lies about Romney’s record.

[ … ]  The fact that McCain makes short, blunt statements does not make him a straight-talker.

There are short, blunt lies — and he told a big one on the eve of the Florida primary, when he claimed that Mitt Romney had advocated a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

Even the Washington Post, which supports McCain, said that the senator “has distorted the meaning” of what Governor Romney said, that Romney “has never proposed setting ‘a date for withdrawal.’ ”

During Mitt Romney’s ABC News interview that Senator McCain twisted, Governor Romney was asked by the interviewer whether he agreed with President Bush’s veto of congressional legislation setting a timetable for withdrawal, and whether Romney as President would veto similar legislation.

“Of course,” was Romney’s reply. There was no ambiguity.

Confronted with his lie on Wednesday night’s debate, McCain blustered and filibustered in a manner reminiscent of Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny, when he was caught in a lie during a navy inquiry.

When confronted with any of his misdeeds, Senator McCain tends to fall back on his record as a war hero in Vietnam.

Let’s talk sense. Benedict Arnold was a war hero but that did not exempt him from condemnation for his later betrayal.

Being a war hero is not a lifetime get-out-of-jail-free card. And becoming president of the United States is not a matter of rewarding an individual for past services.

The presidency is a heavy responsibility for the future of the nation, including generations yet unborn. Character and integrity are major qualifications.

The passing years and a friendly media have allowed Senator McCain’s shortcomings in the character and integrity department to fade into the background.

McCain was one of “the Keating Five” — senators who used their influence to try to protect a failing savings & loan company, which also became the subject of a corruption investigation.

During the 2000 primaries, the Associated Press reported Senator McCain’s joking about people with Alzheimer’s.

This went beyond bad taste because (1) it was known at the time that Ronald Reagan was suffering from Alzheimer’s and (2) the media to whom McCain was pandering hated Ronald Reagan.

It is especially ironic now to see McCain wrapping himself in the mantle of President Reagan.

With the momentum of his Florida primary win behind him, going into the “Super Tuesday” primaries, John McCain has now been restored to the position of front runner that the media gave him at the outset.

Other Republicans are jumping on his bandwagon. This may have less to do with McCain’s own qualities than with the prospect of getting Cabinet posts or Supreme Court appointments as rewards for their political support.

It may all look like a done deal. But the McCain-Kennedy bill giving amnesty to illegal aliens looked like a done deal two years ago — until the public realized the truth behind the spin and brought that sell-out to a screeching halt.

Super Tuesday may be the voters’ last chance to bring the so-called “straight talk express” to a screeching halt.

It should be called the “sell-out express” because McCain has sold out not only with amnesty for illegal aliens but also sold out the First Amendment with the McCain-Feingold “campaign finance reform” bill that was supposed to take big money out of political campaigns, but blatantly has not.

McCain also sold out on judicial nominations by making his own side deal with the Democrats, undercutting Republican attempts to stop Democrats from filibustering judicial nominees instead of voting them up or down.

This is quite a record for someone running as a straight talker.

February 3, 2008 , 3:26PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Conservatism, John McCain | Comments Off on McCainservatives Reject Lies of Democrats, but Embrace Lies of John McCain?