Stuff that worries me about McCain

1) He walked away from his position on taxes. Originally he claimed that the Bush tax cuts are something we couldn’t afford if we wanted to manage the war. Now he’s saying no new taxes. I think it will bite him in the voting booth. Pandering is never pretty in a presidential candidate.

2) He makes jokes nobody gets. Now I kind of like that because they are geeky or somewhat sarcastic jokes that I do get. But I don’t think that bodes well for the general voting public.

3) He’s courting ultra-conservative republicans at the expense of independent votes. It will probably show up in tomorrow’s primary. The ultra-right is likely to vote Mike Huckabee to “teach McCain a lesson” and the center independents are likely to move left because of taxes and the war. It will cost McCain in the November election that he didn’t properly court swing voters in the primary.

All that in consideration, I’m still voting McCain tomorrow. His overall platform still lines up best with my personal priorities.

Besides, his wife Cindy called this afternoon…


  1. How about his flip flop on torture? He staked his personal reputation when he stood against torture. Now he votes for it.

  2. You need more than words to back this one up, Shawn. I know he spoke against waterboarding, and that hacked the ultra-right off, but where do you see “now he votes for it.” Define “it.”

  3. Ok, I found the vote last Wednesday. “Confident of a White House veto…” Shawn, how would you have spent the political capital in this situation?

    Oh, look! See the “not voting” beside Clinton and Obama.

  4. I should have figured. The media didn’t report about it much:

    “On Wednesday McCain voted against a Senate bill that would ban waterboarding and all forms of physical interrogation methods used by the CIA against terror suspects. The Senate passed the bill 51 to 45.”

    Worse than John Kerry!

  5. So Obama and Clinton didn’t vote. Okay, you can call foul on that.

    But John McCain flip-flopped. Not just on any issue. On an issue he spoke strongly on, and an issue (torture) he espouses credibility on since he was torture himself.

    It’s part of McCain’s pattern of pandering instead of standing for what he believes in. Bush tax cuts are another thing he has bounced on quite clearly.

  6. Oh, scream flip-flop all you want. He spoke strongly against the measure. He hoped to sway opinion, but that didn’t work. He voted with the party fully understand that the President was going to veto the majority ban anyway. He didn’t vote for it before he voted against it like another Senator we might remember.

    It’s not pandering this time. Sometimes you lose the hope to influence a situation on the floor and have to hold your nose and vote.

    Go get yourself elected and then we’ll talk.

    (Tax cut business still bugs me a bit.)

  7. The words “flip-flop” make my ears hurt. Kind of off-subject but those words drive me nuts. Can’t a guy change his mind these days without getting tagged with this label?

  8. Amen! They’re even more offensive when spat from the lips of one of Brookfield’s own aldermen. Goofball can’t come up with two words of his own and really overuses that phrase.

  9. So he’s changed his mind on torture? Torturing human beings isn’t the kind of thing you “hold your nose and vote.”

    And the Bush veto is an excuse, that’s like saying I voted to take away funding for the war knowing Bush would veto it.

    And John Kerry’s flip flop was because they changed the bill drastically so he voted against it. But he’s still a loser. McCain is pandering in every sense of the word–he knows he has to rally the conservative troops.

    We both know it.

  10. No, Shawn, we don’t “both know it.” Since when have I EVER claimed anything but my own thoughts here?

    You can justify a change for Kerry with two votes, but won’t intuit the ONLY vote McCain ever made for one issue.

    You aren’t an idiot Shawn. You know this stuff inside out. Why are you so concerned over this one?

  11. Because torture is unacceptable. And pandering on an issue like this could mean the difference between someone being tortured or not.

    And even if not, we’re sending the signal that torture is OK. His flip on taxes is something I can give a rat’s behind about. But this is really a moral imperative for which I had great respect for McCain.

    To me, someone who is willing to change their stance on such a fundamental issue so quickly (less than a month, I think) without any sort of explanation cannot be trusted. And i’m saying this from the bottom of my heart, not the pundit in me.

    I called the Obama campaign and let them know that I was really disappointed that he didn’t show up for the vote. I call them regularly to give them feedback.

  12. Ah-hah! We agree that torture is unacceptable. We don’t agree that McCain “flip-flopped” to pander to voters.

    Consider this: maybe McCain voted to represent his constituent’s opinions when he was unable to sway those opinions with his own conviction? Is that still a flip-flop?

  13. McCain’s statement was to the effect that he did not approve of the army field manual governing CIA tactics, that his vote was not an endorsement of torture but in opposition to broader restrictions being placed on an intelligence agency. He claims torture is already illegal.

    Shawn I think you need to explain how McCain is wrongabout what he voted for.

    Cindy, you sound like you agree with Shawn, but you don’t think the vote matters; I’m not understanding your angle here either.

  14. I don’t think torture is a good idea. That’s not the issue.

    I don’t think McCain’s No vote last week can be labeled a “flip-flop” because it was only 1 vote. I don’t think that one vote was pandering to voters. Instead, he was representing his constituents on the issue.

    If you say the vote wasn’t about torture, and Shawn says it was about torture, I’ll let the two of you hash it out!

  15. I don’t have an arguement with Shawn, just trying to understand what happened last week without looking up the bill. You two are usually easier to understand.

  16. I see no evidence of McCain changing his position on torture and would find it very difficult to believe he ever would Shawn. As for the tax cuts, I’m glad that he changed his position as long as he curbs spending as well.

    McCain has to do a bit of pandering to the conservatives no matter what so I don’t have a problem with it as long as he doesn’t go too far. I have faith that he won’t. We’ll see in the coming months.

  17. Cindy, it’s kind of a technicality that he didn’t vote on it when he was against it.

    The fact of the matter is that first, McCain was publicly against torture, while a bill was being drafted. Then when the bill came up for a vote, he flip flopped his stance (not vote) and voted for the torture-enabling measure.

  18. Yet, Cindy, McCain was the chief sponsor of an amendment in 2006 to the Defense Authorization Bill that made the Army Field Manual the standard of treatment for any detainee in US custody. McCain was furious when Bush issued a “signing statement” suggesting that Bush would not follow the policy spelled out in that amendment.

    For McCain to say now that the AFM is too limiting sound an awful lot like a very real change in position–on something about which he was very passionate just two years ago.

  19. Understood. Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on the underlying “FF” statement…

  20. I guess you would know that I think those who are unequivocably against torture are naive. If I had a guy who had planted a huge bomb in my neighborhood that was set to explode in a few hours, I would do ANYTHING to attempt to extract the information from him. I’m sure that when it their ox that’s getting gored, the pacifists would sing a different tune. For murderous butchers there need be no mercy shown to save the lives of innocents! Maybe someone needs to go to the library and review some of the attrocities that were inflicted upon people by the Japanese, Germans, North Koreans, and Viet Cong. No we don’t want to become inhuman like they were, but you do whatever you have to in order to stop them from continuing with their practices. If you all have no stomach for it…call El gato! I want a President what is sworn to defend me and my family NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES!

  21. Maybe he voted for it, before he voted against it. Oh, wait, that was someone else.

  22. Gato, it doesn’t take a pacifist to oppose torture. The scenario you describe is highly unlikely; if we know with certainty we have the bomber, we probably have the bomb too. If we open the door for this sort of thing, anybody can be victimized because someone else is afraid. Torture is immoral and should remain illegal. If there were ever a case that would justify torture, it would be worth going to jail for.

  23. Kathryn you are extremely naive! Terrorism IS coming to this country once we pull out of Iraq and Afganistan. Why do you think that Israel is the only country that will suffer suicide bombers when we are lumped in with them by the terrorists? Going to jail is one thing but having your children blown up is okay with you? I bet you’re young and haven’t experienced the facts of war by anyone close to you. Time to get your head out of the clouds and face the real world. Go online and look at the bodies with their heads cut off and then tell me how sweetly we should treat those who do such things in order to stop them. Your arguments are typical liberal baloney!


    Maybe this website will wake some of you up. It’s slow to load because it has lots of video. Don’t look if you are afraid to see the truth of the world you live in.

  25. Gato, I understand the world we live in. I don’t want to become my enemy. My world is smaller than you think. I have had loved ones snatched from the street by vigilantes and governing authorities. I know people who were tortured; they were political nobodies who happened to be of the wrong ethnic group or religion or just people in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were Christians, Muslims, black & white. Arbitrarily dividing the world into us and them only makes matters worse for all of us.

  26. How conveniently you avoid every point that I make and come back with pacifist liberal drivel. In case you don’t know it…it is us against them when it comes to Islam and Christianity.

  27. I have one rule in commenting on this blog: When El Gato says the word “Drivel” I just ignore it!

  28. What points did you make? We were debating the morality and utility of torture and you countered with mention of troop withdrawals, Israel, and atrocities. I don’t have a major disagreement with you there. I’m not a pacifist. If someone is shooting at you, I will shoot back. I’m just not willing to torture him.

  29. I believe my drivel.

  30. I oppose torture for two reasons: 1. It’s inhuman, unjust and cruel. 2. If I were tortured I’d give my torturers any BS they would take.

  31. Out of my depth, Dan. Can you fill us in?

  32. Good question, I’d have to read about it more.

  33. Yeah, let’s look to Hollywood to make a decision on weather or not to T.O.R.T.U.R.E. people!

    Then we can watch the Soprano’s to see how Carmela deals with Tony’s adultery.

  34. I already responded…

  35. Shawn, you notice that I didn’t respond to any of your comments because you know what my opinion of you is. I’d appreciate it if you would not respond or comment on my strongly held opinions.
    History has already shown us what pacifism begets.

  36. El gato, i’m quite aware that you think i’m a brainwashed unaware idiot.

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I think the same of you or that I will not respond to your comments that I disagree with.

    If you can’t eat it, don’t dish it!