Monday, May 15, 2006

some real straight talk

John McCain flip-flopped.

On Saturday, the Arizona senator delivered a commencement address at Liberty University, an institution founded and governed by bloated windbag Rev. Jerry Falwell. The pair made strange bedfellows.

Six years ago, McCain blasted Falwell as an "agent of intolerance." The U.S. Senator rode around the country in his Straight-Talk Express bus saying he did not mind "going any place where people have views I find hateful, but when I go there, I'm going to tell them exactly what I think of them."

When he had such an opportunity Saturday, McCain laid down like a lamb.

Not only did he retreat from the frank talk that made him an intriguing candidate in 2000, he made nice with Falwell and the religious fantatics he represents.

Pragmatically, McCain needs their votes to survive the '08 Republican primaries. But his courting of the Religious Right also runs contrary to the values he espoused in 2000, values that made him a refreshing alternative in a party coopted by zealots. Now that he running as an establishment candidate instead of a maverick outsider, McCain looks like another run-of-the-mill charlatan who will say anything, do anything to get elected.

Speaking the truth gets you nowhere in politics, a tenet underscored by his disingenuous-yet-inevitable run to the right. McCain looks like a first-rate phony, another bullshit artist.

I point this out because, while McCain was busy holding hands with the lunatic fringe that holds the key to his nomination, there was one Beltway politician who dared to speak his mind this weekend. Naturally, it got him nowhere.

Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) voted against George W. Bush's foolish $70 billion tax cut that benefits those with an income of more than $200,000. Considering the Senate passed an $82 billion spending bill for continued funding of the Iraq Quagmire less than a month ago, and the national debt now stands at $8.46 trillion, it is a frivolous cut.

To Voinovich, incidentally a former Cleveland mayor, the issue was not a partisan one, but one of common sense.
"We should not be cutting taxes by borrowing," he said on the Senate floor. "Instead of making tax cuts permanent, we should be leveling with the American people about the fiscally shaky ground we are on. ...

"If you look at the extraordinary costs that we had with the war and homeland security and Katrina, the logical thing one would think about is to ask for a temporary tax increase to pay for them. Did you hear that? A temporary tax increase to pay for it. Instead of saying we will let our kids take care of it, we will let our grandchildren take care of it."
Voinovich then warned Social Security is doomed under its current structure and that Baby Boom retirements could make the system unsustainable. But no one wants to hear hard truths.

The Senate passed the tax cut, 54-44. Those in the majority are people who would rather shout "tax cut, tax cut" or "flip-flop, flip-flop" at the loudest possible decibel level so they can be re-elected, their civic responsibility be damned.

Again, this is hardly surprising. These days, an elected official who leaves office clear of indictments is about the best we can hope for.

But it's no wonder the American people are jaded and disinterested in the political process when popular reformers expose themselves as frauds and the warnings of our sober-thinking leaders drown amid the constant spin.



At 7:12 PM, Blogger Joependleton said...

Cat, everyone knows the religious right is taking over this country. It's no shock any politician gets in bed with them.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Joependleton said...

Pete, when you get a chance, email me. I've lost your email adress and I have some interesting news for you. (Don't get excited, it's not that big of a deal).

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Dan said...

You blame politicians for American disinterest in politics, but the American people themselves are to blame.

Politicians would not resort to such chicanery if their constituency responded well to the truth. It has been proven on numerous occasions that the American people are incapable of rational thought.

Just look at the fates of two of the more honest politicans of the past 40 years--George McGovern and Walter Mondale.

Mondale, who suggested that taxes were too low, was obliterated by Ronald Reagan in the 1984 presidential election by an electoral vote count of 525-13.

I recently read somewhere that George McGovern was a politician who, unlike most politicians, was actually MORE likeable in person. He lost to Tricky Dick Nixon in the 1972 election, 520-17.

Americans are too dense to understand that taxes are necessary. All they want is a lower tax bill come April 15.

It is politically incorrect to blame the American people for the stupidity that occurs in Washington. But they are the ones who, without fail, send morons there.

They are also the ones who elected George Bush.

So when politicans are guilty of idiocy, blame the idiots who elected them.


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