Grumpy Old Man Vows To Keep Bush’s Policies
Friday night’s Presidential Debate was more revealing than the news media let on after the fact. They were far more interested in proclaiming a winner and a loser than they were in talking about the obvious position differences between John McCain and Barack Obama on the issues at hand. While they expressed an almost pre-rehearsed unanimous line about McCain responding better to economic issues than they expected, and Obama doing the same on National Security issues, they failed to pick up on what the two men were saying about where they stood.
In my mind the thing that has gotten very little, if any, airplay is the fact that McCain used the word “keeping” in describing his economic plan – that is, his whole plan is predicated on “keeping” the Bush tax policies in place to stimulate the economy. Anybody who has been following the campaign closely already knows this, but the media itself surmises that many Americans are just now tuning in on the race. What I feel the media has totally failed to mention in their discussions is the fact that McCain is vowing four more years of Bush-style trickle-down economics that have led us to this disaster. And, incredibly, after all the bad news on the economy in the past two weeks, McCain called for less government regulation for the stock market and banking industry. Unbelievable!
The topper was when he and Obama were asked what they would have to give up in their budgets due to the bailout that was at hand. Fair enough, while Obama didn’t deem any of his programs to be worthless, excess weight that could be jettisoned to keep the airplane in the air, he did indicated that it might take longer to put them in place than he would like. McCain, on the other hand trotted out his pet peeve, earmarks. When Jim Lehrer pointed out that was just a drop in the bucket compared to the entire budget of the US Government, not to mention the proposed bailout, McCain offered up a spending freeze on everything except the military, entitlement programs and veterans’ benefits. As a veteran myself, I found that somewhat reassuring, but as a husband with a wife suffering chronic medical conditions, some caused by a particularly nasty bout with cancer, who has fallen through the cracks of the healthcare system, I was not amused.
John McCain offered up the same solution to middle-class Americans’ problems that Republicans always do: cut taxes for rich people. They continue in the face of the worst economic calamity in my lifetime to ignore the needs of real people – you know, the ones who pay their salaries out here – and instead offer up the lame notion that the wealthy among us will shower money down on the rest of us dumb, ignorant people so that we can take care of ourselves. I ask you, fellow Americans: How is that working for you? Well, it’s not working so well for me and my wife. Oh, yes, he offers his puny tax credit so we can buy our own healthcare insurance. In my household one of us is in our late 50’s, the other, early 60’s, we both have pre-existing chronic medical conditions, and there’s not one insurance company out there who would touch us with a ten-foot pole.
I know that John McCain doesn’t have to pay for his healthcare; we do. But perhaps he could climb out of the clouds where he lives and see how much it would cost for someone like him, 72 years old with a history of cancer, to buy health insurance. If he could even get any that would give him immediate access to healthcare if he needed it, I think he would see how truly inadequate $5,000 would be. He makes a big deal of saving people from the plight of having to deal with a government-run healthcare provider, but he does it every day. Its time for these so-called populist Republicans to recognize that no health care access at all is what most of us are dealing with out here. On This Week with George Stephanopoulos this morning, McCain was very cavalier on this issue when questioned, stating that only rich people with “gold-plated” insurance coverage from their employers would be negatively impacted by his plan and the attendant tax increase they would get because of it. Either he’s totally out of touch – which is what I have believed all along – or he is just blurting out the lines given to him by his own spin doctors.
McCain likes to characterize himself as a maverick. I submit that he’s not a maverick at all. He’s a showboat. He touts all the times he’s stood up to his own party on various matters before the Senate, but it’s really always the same. He steps forward when he finds they have taken an unpopular position and makes a big deal of being against some Republican measure when he knows that his vote won’t keep it from going through. That’s not a maverick; that’s a showboat. It also demonstrates no leadership ability whatsoever. Never once, to my knowledge, has he actually led a revolt against the mainstream of his beloved Republican Party that resulted in one single change of direction.
Mainly, as was demonstrated so dramatically in the past two weeks, he’s just a politician who has been running for president most of his career. As his poll numbers sank, he grabbed attention day after day by flip-flopping on the “bailout” package and in the end made a BIG DEAL of rushing back to Washington to “lead” a bi-partisan salvage of the package. Once there, the man who would be our great leader didn’t lead anything. Instead, he followed the House Republicans in a rebellion. At least that’s what we were told. But Capitol Hill being a leaky boat, the truth came out when an aide to House Republican Leader John Boehner let it be known that the House Republican Caucus engaged in a little political gamesmanship by staging their rebellion long enough for McCain to get to town and claim to be the great saver of the day.
Once again, Republican dirty tricks in a presidential campaign. Where have we seen this before? Oh, that’s right, in the past two Karl Rove-run campaigns of, guess who? George W. Bush. Let’s see, now, same political dirty tricks and deception, same tax plans, not to mention same military strategy in Iraq. That’s not CHANGE, Senator McCain. That’s just four more years of the same old thing. It’s not reform, either. You can’t reform something if you keep it in exactly the same form.
The American voters are being deceived once again by a crafty political plan by the same people who brought us eight years of George W. Bush. Same political plan = same governing plan. As Nancy Reagan said to children about drugs, “Just say, no!” Just say, no, America, to four more years of the same old failed politics and policies.