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Then I'll get on my knees and pray ... we don't get fooled again. No, no...
July 25, 2006 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Straight Talk Is Cheap: How John McCain became the capo of the new, reformed campaign finance syndicate. "McCain isn't breaking any campaign finance laws. He wrote them so he wouldn't have to. But he's guilty of campaigning in exactly the manner he asserts is harming our nation. Senator McCain isn't reforming Washington. He is Washington."
posted by ZenMasterThis (24 comments total)

 
ZOMG! Maverick DC outsider John McCain is neither a maverick nor an outsider!

"Macy Hanson is a Reason intern."

Yeah. That was pretty obvious too.
posted by bardic at 2:20 PM on July 25, 2006


"Senator McCain is Washington."

Hey I can play this game too!

"The sky is blue."
posted by blucevalo at 2:22 PM on July 25, 2006


So McCain sponsors campaign finance reform, the reforms become law, and he get shit for obeying his own law? I guess someone just doesn't like him.
posted by adzuki at 2:23 PM on July 25, 2006


Let the infighting spin begin!
posted by Kickstart70 at 2:28 PM on July 25, 2006


Doesn't this feel like Election 2000 all over again, to you too?
posted by Kickstart70 at 2:29 PM on July 25, 2006


Doesn't this feel like Election 2000 all over again, to you too?

Feel like? It is. For reasons beyond the scope of my keen perspicacity, McCain is not liked by the powers that be (i.e., the money guys) within the Republican machine. This is the case despite the fact that he's shown on repeated occasions a sycophantic willingness to carry water for Bush whenever Rove snaps his fingers. I mean, the guy's a long-term Washington insider, i.e., an unprincipled hack who's gotten lots of mileage out of his Vietnam service. But he's still not trusted enough with the keys to the kingdom.

I've said it before, but the Republican nomination is going to be really, really nasty. George Allen is kind of the "Hillary" for the Republicans--he's the one the money and the insiders want (unlike Hillary though, he's actually electable), while the Republican wing of the Republican party (small government, isolationist, Pat Buchanan types, who are now willing to come out of their bunkers and actually criticize a president who's not remotely conservative when it comes to spending and foreign policy) likes McCain. Throw in "man-on-dog" moralist Rick Santorum and "vagina monologue" expert Sam Brownback, and it's going to be a wild ride.

Not that the Democrats will have a smooth nomination cycle either, but it won't be nearly as nasty.
posted by bardic at 2:42 PM on July 25, 2006


So, what the article is basically saying is this:

1. McCain alienated fringe elements of his own party in the 2000 election and lost his chance to become the Republican nominee as a result.

2. This time around, he's being careful not to repeat the same mistake, while still taking care to adhere to the law he helped put in place.

// Consequently, he's exactly like every other politician.

Not the most convincing syllogism I've ever seen.
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 2:44 PM on July 25, 2006


McCain is essentially the Republicans' Joe Lieberman. While Lieberman is mostly left on social issues, McCain is mostly conservative on social and fiscal issues. Like Lieberman, he simply disagrees with the mainstream party on a handful of what have become the most crucial issues to core constituencies within the party. Conservatives ignore the reality that a McCain presidency could easily be more to the right than Bush, and progressives ignore the fact that Lieberman would have been even more to the left of Gore.

In both cases, neither of these aspects shine because they piss on their own values in order to be pandering, attention-whoring smug pricks. They are both despised because of their unflinching dismissal of any sense of an overall necessity for party majority: McCain and Lieberman could mutually give a rat's ass if their party controls the Senate because the one thing that matters to them is keeping their seat. This was obvious for both of them, for example Lieberman's fawning support of the war and rush to attack Bill Clinton during impeachment to project the image of the "lone voice of wisdom" among the rest of the party he doesn't mind trashing for PR.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:55 PM on July 25, 2006


Don't you think "capo" is a bit strong.

How about "gestapo?"
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:04 PM on July 25, 2006


Huh? On what issues has McCain gone against Bush?

Conservatives ignore the reality that a McCain presidency could easily be more to the right than Bush, and progressives ignore the fact that Lieberman would have been even more to the left of Gore.

I've got no idea how to parse this, but I'll try--if by "more to the right" you mean closer to traditional conservative values like smaller government, less spending, and a limited, realistic use of military intervention, I can agree (and honestly, I'd be able to stomach a McCain presidency if this was the case, and if he was reigned in by the Dems controlling at least one half of Congress). And Lieberman was running for Veep, not POTUS. I guess what you're saying is that he was much more liberal ca. 2000 than 2006, which is true, if only because the occupation of Iraq hadn't begun and he hadn't seen an opportunity to get more TV time by lapdogging for Bush. Of course, that's backfired horribly, and it's highly amusing to see him running around Connecticut looking for a clue (firedoglake has been really great lately, following him around and pulling some ambush style video on him--Go Ned!).

Shorter: McCain = Republican version of Lieberman is a tortuted analogy.
posted by bardic at 3:06 PM on July 25, 2006


So out of the $803,517.45 that Straight Talk America has given away, the author highlights how savory $15,087.57 (i.e. 1.9%) of it was?

In the absence of a more impressive smoking gun, this sounds like personal axe-grinding to me.
posted by DaShiv at 3:12 PM on July 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


(T)he Republican wing of the Republican party (small government...types...) likes McCain.

O RLY?

"I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government."

Buchanan lost that "small government" label when he became a neo-mercantilist, and many of the small-government types with whom I associate are voting for divided government; we'll take the opposite of whoever wins Congress.

On preview, bardic, I'm not really sure where you get this McCain = small government thing. I view the world through the glasses of an ideologue, of course, but he's one of the last Republicans I can think when I hear "small government."
posted by Kwantsar at 3:16 PM on July 25, 2006


I've said it before, but the Republican nomination is going to be really, really nasty.

For some reason, this makes me very giddy.
posted by Brak at 3:20 PM on July 25, 2006


And Lieberman was running for Veep, not POTUS.

? ? ?
posted by pokermonk at 3:21 PM on July 25, 2006


It's all relative I guess. Compared to the unheralded expansion of spending and sheer size of the Fed under Bush II, it won't be hard for McCain to present himself as an economic conservative (hell, Imelda Marcos could make that argument in light of Bush's thirst for spending American tax dollars). And maybe Pat Buchanan was the wrong name to throw out. You can't blame me for being confused--all those pro-Bush despite huge, incompetent, and intrusive government abuses ca. 2003 are now anti-Bush because of huge, incompetent, and intrusive govnerment abuses ca. 2006.

No doubt the Democrats have a Hillary problem, but the Republicans have a Republican problem.

Anyways, more recent fun: MD Senate candidate Michael Steele (R) revealed to be behind comment that "R" is the new "scarlet letter" for November
posted by bardic at 3:33 PM on July 25, 2006


I was referring to Lieberman's run in 2000 with Gore, obviously. He hardly got anywhere running in 2004, even with all that "Joementum" going for him.
posted by bardic at 3:35 PM on July 25, 2006


Man, people were scraping "Joementum" off their shoes for months afterward.
posted by stenseng at 3:45 PM on July 25, 2006 [2 favorites]


...help change the public's widespread belief that...

Hey, he's telling the truth here. He's not trying to change the reality, just the belief. It's classic American politics. As you were, everyone.
posted by blacklite at 4:21 PM on July 25, 2006


(small government, isolationist, Pat Buchanan types, who are now willing to come out of their bunkers and actually criticize a president who's not remotely conservative when it comes to spending and foreign policy)

I love that thing Pat Buchanan does when he puts on a dress and calls himself Bey.
posted by longsleeves at 5:20 PM on July 25, 2006


Bay!
posted by longsleeves at 5:41 PM on July 25, 2006


Anyways, more recent fun: MD Senate candidate Michael Steele (R) revealed to be behind comment that "R" is the new "scarlet letter" for November
posted by bardic


That was probably the plan. It will endear him to left-leaning Marylanders, even though he supports all of Bush's major positions.
posted by zennie at 7:50 PM on July 25, 2006


The concept of McCain as the 'straight talker' should have been let go long ago - the fact that it remains an oft-repeated mantra speaks to the power of this particular type of branding.

Thinking Progress has an item form this very morning that shows that 'straight talk' is merely a marketing ploy for a savvy politician who has big hopes for the future.

And yes, Thinking Progress, is a 'liberal' site - if anyone has links to al-Maliki condemning Hezbollah and thus confirming what McCain says then this example would be inappropriate. Regardless, this is not a 'left - right' issue - this is about the realities of modern politics.
posted by lirio at 9:04 AM on July 26, 2006


Not to defend Hanoi John, but many Americans think that Bush II is a maverick from Texas as well. Who was born in New Haven. And grew up in Maine. Then went to Yale. Then Harvard. It's part of the game.

Hell, people seem to have forgotten entirely about the Keating Five.
posted by bardic at 11:31 AM on July 26, 2006


I hear McCain's been giving Falwell some loving lately.
Now that's a REAL Republican!
Yeah, he's a real maverick alright!
posted by nofundy at 12:42 PM on July 26, 2006


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