Worrying signs for a McCain presidency

PHOTO: Flip flops

‘Sen. Obama says that I’m running for a Bush’s third terms.  It seems to me he’s running for Jimmy Carter’s second.’John McCain

John, I hate to break it to you, but that wasn’t a denial.

I wouldn’t say that McCain is running for a third Bush term. The problem is that McCain’s current rhetoric is pointing to a more ideologically rigid and extreme continuation of Bush’s policies.

His ‘maverick’ cred on Iraq was built on demanding more troops be sent there. Central to his economic plan is making permanent and possibly extending tax cuts for the super rich. His health care plan is to remove industry regulations.

Republican senator Lindsey Graham, a chief McCain supporter, agrees with me. From an interview on ABC:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring Senator Graham back in on this because you brought up two. You said the tax policy and the health care policy were essentially, Senator Graham, John McCain is calling for an extension or maybe enhancement of the Bush policies.

GRAHAM: Yeah, absolutely.

McCain’s campaign has also been in the habit of hiring the unwanted remnants of the failed neoconversative movement. His newest Deputy Communications Director is Michael Goldfarb who had these wonderful things to say:

True enough, but [the Founders] sought an energetic executive with near dictatorial power in pursuing foreign policy and war. So no, the Constitution does not put Congress on an equal footing with the executive in matters of national security.


The Times indicts the Bush administration for exposing terrorists captured abroad to “head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.” Boo hoo.


[I]f federal agents show up at a corporate headquarters for a major American company and urgently seek that company’s officers for assistance in the war on terror, the companies damn well ought to give it as a matter of simple patriotism, whether the CIA wants a plane for some extraordinary rendition or help in tracking terrorists via email. . . . [T]o expect a company to resist a plea from the government for help in a time of war is ridiculous.

Goldfarb sounds like a wonderful guy, and that last quote fits in perfectly with my final point.

I’ve written quite a few posts about the issue of the government’s unlawful spying on its own citizens and telecom immunity. McCain had as recently as 6 months ago held the correct position:

There are some areas where the statutes don’t apply, such as in the surveillance of overseas communications. Where they do apply, however, I think that presidents have the obligation to obey and enforce laws that are passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, no matter what the situation is.

And now:

neither the Administration nor the telecoms need apologize for actions that most people, except for the ACLU and the trial lawyers, understand were Constitutional and appropriate in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Conservatives and liberals alike should be afraid of ever-expanding government power. We should not elect a man who now clearly lacks respect for our country’s laws.

Luckily there is still time for McCain to flip flop back to the correct position. It would be a good sign for the Republican party and our country if he does.

Flickr photo by Melissa Segal

One Comment

  1. Ian

    I actually wasn’t sure who to pick out of Obama, Hillary, and McCain a few months ago. McCain, I thought, was willing to go against party norms and do what he thinks is right. Then I saw more and more of his campaign where he is turning into what he thinks every neo-con wants him to be. The funny thing is, the neo-cons still hate him. McCain has been alienating those just left of the center in favor of those on the far right. That is a mistake. It’s Obama’s race to lose.