Monday, December 15, 2008

McCain – True to Form - Critical of the Republican National Committee, Defends Mr. Obama and Dumps Palin

The old adage, “A Leopard Doesn’t Change His Spots”, is appropriate when analyzing the Senator from Arizona, and weak 2008 Republican Presidential Candidate, John McCain. With all due respect to his service to the nation, McCain, a moderate-left “Republican”, was, without doubt, the worst possible candidate in the primary vis a vis conservative principals. Although he attempted to make a sharp turn to the right (fiscal and social conservatism), during the campaign, it was clumsy and transparent. Many conservatives, “held their nose”, to vote for McCain, simply because he “was not Obama”. The strategy that McCain would appeal to the independent and moderate voter was insane – the man had no chance what-so-ever (and to be fair, it is without doubt had Reagan been reborn, he would have struggled in this past election) - he faced an alienated base, a mantra from the press and DNC that he was “Bush-lite” and a Republican National Committee that could not effectively get out a message, unless it was a fast drive by on the opponent. (The need for improved leadership at the helm of the RNC National Committee became glaringly apparent this cycle.)

This week McCain was able to go back to being McCain, the “Republican” that Democrats and the Press most respect. On ABC’s, This Week, with George Stephanopoulos, McCain came back in spades. Transcripts from the interview follow:
On the corruption within the Illinois Democrat Party, McCain went out of his way to defend Obama against questions raised by the Republican National Committee, as well as others, (Savannah Morning News>) who want the President-Elect to be a bit more forthcoming vis a vis Blagojevich:
ABC News

STEPHANOPOULOS: Absolutely. And there's so much to talk to you about since the campaign, but let's begin with the news of the week. You saw that joke about Governor Blagojevich in Illinois. Fifty Democrats in the Senate have called on him to resign. Do you think he should resign?
MCCAIN: Oh, I'm sure that he should have. President-elect Obama also called for that. He should. You know, there's a lot of corruption amongst Republicans and Democrats, and this kind of thing doesn't help in these kinds of difficult economic times. So I would hope that he would resign, but we also look -- ought to look at systems that breed this kind of corruption, and unfortunately, it isn't confined to one city or one state.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Mike Duncan, has been highly critical of the way President- elect Obama has dealt with this. He's had a statement every single day, saying that the Obama team should reveal all contacts they've had with Governor Blagojevich. He says that Obama's promise of transparency to the American people is now being tested. Do you agree with that?
MCCAIN: I think that the Obama campaign should and will give all information necessary. You know, in all due respect to the Republican National Committee and anybody -- right now, I think we should try to be working constructively together, not only on an issue such as this, but on the economy stimulus package, reforms that are necessary. And so, I don't know all the details of the relationship between President-elect Obama's campaign or his people and the governor of Illinois, but I have some confidence that all the information will come out. It always does, it seems to me.

McCain on Obama’s team, and noted it was a team he would have picked. In reviewing voting patterns of Senators since 2004, there is no wonder, McCain would admire Clinton, they voted in kind, and this writer shares the same admiration for Clinton, however, McCain extended this flattery to the entire team and to Obama.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This team that President-elect Obama has picked -- you had kind words...
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... for Senator Clinton as secretary of state.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Jim Jones, General Jim Jones...
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... as national security adviser. Bob Gates as secretary of defense.
MCCAIN: And Geithner, Treasury secretary, is also a very good choices, yes.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You look at the national security team; this is a team you could have picked.
MCCAIN: Sure, sure. Absolutely.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And what does that tell you about the president- elect?
MCCAIN: Tells me that the president-elect is going to address national security issues with people who he thinks the American people can trust, and that he can place trust and confidence in.
MCCAIN: Again, I'm not playing Paul Revere, OK? But I am saying that there are enormous challenges throughout the world. We have the situation in Afghanistan. The situation in Iraq is still dangerous. There are efforts by Al Qaida to continue to cause difficulties and launch attacks in different areas of the world. So -- the Israeli situation is certainly unsettled, as they go through a new election period of uncertainty. So there is -- there's incredible national security challenges, which mandates -- doesn't argue for but mandates that we all work together as much as possible.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A bipartisan...
MCCAIN: Where we have been -- the North Korean talks apparently just broke down. So we should work together. Now, that does not mean, in any way, that we will agree on every issue.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it sounds like you agree on Afghanistan now...

On Guantanamo – McCain’s is the McCain we all knew in 2000, redux – rendering most sane conservatives – speechless:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You and the president-elect also Guantanamo, closing down Guantanamo.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you signed on to a very harsh report, out of the Senate Armed Services Committee, this week, on the torture of detainees across the military prison system. And you said this wasn't just the work of a few bad apples. In fact, you laid direct responsibility of Secretary of Defense -- former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Listen to this: "Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there. It conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. military custody. What followed was an erosion in standards dictating that detainees be treated humanely."
His spokesman called these allegations "unfounded." How do you respond to that, first of all? And, number two, how should the secretary of defense be held accountable for this?
MCCAIN: I don't know. I think history, obviously, will render very harsh judgment about this whole detainee treatment situation, whether additional action is called for. I think, as a member of the -- ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, that we've done our job. Let me just tell you a brief story. Not that long ago, a year and a half ago, Senator Lindsey Graham and I were in Iraq. We were in the prison. The general, our U.S. general in charge of prison had us in a secluded area and met a former high-ranking member of Al Qaida, one of the toughest guys I've ever seen. I said, how did you succeed so well after the initial American victory? He said, "Two things" -- he said, "One" -- he said, "there was no control by your troops. It was total lawlessness. There was rape, looting, pillage, murder, settling of old scores. So there was lawlessness." "Second, the greatest recruiting tool we had -- we were able to recruit thousands of young men," he said, "was Abu Ghraib." So you can't underestimate the damage that our treatment of prisoners, both at Abu Ghraib and other...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But some look at that and say...
MCCAIN: ... harmed our national security interests.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Some look at that and say, because of that, there should be a special prosecutor looking into all the crimes that were committed, and no one should be exempted from that.
MCCAIN: Well, look, that's not my job. If overwhelming evidence indicates indicates that, that's fine. But the point is, I thought, and Senator Levin did, that we should carry out our responsibilities in the Senate Armed Services Committee and do a thorough and complete investigation. I'm not that interested in looking back. What I am interested in and committed to is making sure we don't do it again. We're in this long twilight struggle here, and so America's prestige and image, as we all know, was damaged by these stories of mistreatment. And we've got to make sure the world knows that that's not the United States of America that they knew and appreciated for centuries.

Finally, McCain turns his back on the only person who made real sacrifices on the part of the GOP in 2008, Gov. Sarah Palin. Without Palin, McCain would not have enjoyed the crowds, or the support of the base, and beyond that Palin brought back into the fold. What one finds most appalling is that the man that called himself a “maverick”, apparently is nothing more or less than a business as usual politician pandering to whomever will throw him the next gig – regardless of party affiliation. Palin, to her credit, remained true to who she was, never shifting a position - she remains wildly popular.

MCCAIN: Oh, no. Listen, I have the greatest appreciation for Governor Palin and her family, and it was a great joy to know them. She invigorated our campaign. She was just down in Georgia and invigorated their campaign. But I can't say something like that. We've got some great other young governors. I think you're going to see the governors assume a greater leadership role in our Republican Party. Pawlenty, Huntsman...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But why not? (inaudible) she was the best person...
MCCAIN: Sure. Yes.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... to succeed you if something had happened to you?
MCCAIN: But now we're in a whole election cycle. Have no doubt of my admiration and respect for her and my view of her viability, but at this stage, again...
MCCAIN: ... my corpse is still warm, you know?

In a word: Despicable.


Jimmy Lewis said...

I can not believe I actually voted for this guy!

Chuck said...

Tina, the adage in this case is "A Rino can't change it's spots"

I agree with Jimmy, I would vote for almost anyone over Obama but you can't help but feel a little dirty after voting for McCain.

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