A coworker who I have a running political debate with (I’m nothing if not an argumentative bastard) sent me the following email. In my response I actually had to do some research so I figured I would post the fruits of my labors here and let it do double duty.
The following was pointed out last night while Colmes Interviewed Dick Morris.
Statement – McCain voted the same way as bush 90% of the time
Most were budget votes where there are two sets of numbers and you are voting one way or the other.
Look at the 9 most critical issues, and you will see that McCain and Bush differed:
banning golden parachutes
assuring worker pensions in mergers
9 of the most crucial issues, and McCain and Bush disagreed.
First off, here’s a couple non-partisan sites showing McCain’s voting record does indeed match up with Bush’s 90% of the time (one also shows that Obama votes with the democrats 100% of the time which since he’s a democrat shouldn’t be too surprising but may further the usual “Most liberal senator” argument that comes out every election.) http://www.factcheck.org/
The 10% where McCain broke with Bush listed above (I see no mention of the two main ones, the economy and the war) I’ll address here:
torture – Surprising that after being tortured McCain would be opposed to it. *eye roll* I’m actually more shocked that the Republicans are admitting that the Republican Bush administration WAS IN FAVOR OF TORTURE!!! So even if McCain opposed torture, it was the Republicans who were in favor of it! Not a terribly strong argument to make when you’re running to keep your party in the white-house and your party is, or recently has been, in favor of torture.
the Surge – first this: http://thinkprogress.org/2008/
Bush didn’t oppose the surge. Secondly, the surge did work but that’s like saying you decided to build your castle on a swamp even when everyone says it’s daft to build a castle on a swamp, but you build it all the same! Just to show ‘em! And it sinks into the swamp. So you build it again! And it sinks into the swamp. You build it again and that burns down, falls over and sinks into the swamp. But then you send a bunch of extra workers out and they manage to build you a castle that stays up. Just because it succeeded eventually doesn’t make the whole idea of the war (Which McCain has wholeheartedly supported since even before it started. I can find the video clips to prove it if you press me) not foolish.
campaign finance – “I wouldn’t have signed it if I was really unhappy with it,” Bush told reporters, according to the Washington Post. “I think it improves the system.”
Tobacco – What? Who cares? Was bush in favor of tobacco or against it? This is hardly an election level difference. Seriously, this is supposed to be the 9 most critical issues of this election? Or just the 9 most critical things McCain has disagreed with the president on? Cause either way, this is kind of sad.
banning golden parachutes – Cool! Another thing I actually agree with John McCain on! I couldn’t actually find any information on this one except in lists of Republican talking points on how McCain differs from Bush but I’m all for it. The fact that this is something that McCain had to break with his party on is, as in my above paragraph on torture, kind of sad and doesn’t really improve my opinion of Republicans much.
assuring worker pensions in mergers – Another one I’m all for, but couldn’t find any actual information on. Not even a list of Republican Talking points. Also, Bush was against people keeping their pensions in mergers? Seriously, WTF?
global warming – All well and good, but he chose as his running mate someone who denies that global warming is man-made (something I’m actually not 100% convinced on either to be honest, but still.) These days, even President Bush believes in Global warming. Or at least Global Climate Change, because Bush can never seem to agree to call anything what it is. (IE, time table = general time horizon.)
energy – It’s fairly obvious that Bush and Cheney are in the pocket of the oil companies. That McCain is not is refreshing, certainly. But then he chose Governor Palin for the ticket who is. (See that whole pipe-line-is-god’s-will thing or just her quote “I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can’t drill our way out of our problem or that more supply won’t ultimately affect prices.” Agree somewhat with the last bit, certainly not the first part though.) As part of my “Try to find good things about John McCain project from a month ago, I said that McCain’s energy policy is much more robust than the Obama campaign is claiming (Drill, Drill, Drill) however it was hard to tell from watching the RNC and all the “Drill now!” signs in attendance and no real mention of any other forms of energy.
judicial confirmation – Uh… what? Which judges was he opposed to?
Quote from McCain: “Let me just look you in the eye, I’ve said a thousand times on this campaign trail, I’ve said as often as I can, that I want to find clones of Alito and Roberts. I worked as hard as anybody to get them confirmed. I look you in the eye and tell you I’ve said a thousand times that I wanted Alito and Roberts. I have told anybody who will listen. I flat-out tell you I will have people as close to Roberts and Alito [as possible], and I am proud of my record of working to get them confirmed, and people who worked to get them confirmed will tell you how hard I worked.”
And now those two I mentioned earlier:
the economy – McCain’s senior economic advisor and co-author of McCain’s economic policy (now technically former advisor, but still handing out free advice and considered by many in the media to be a shoe in for treasury secretary should John McCain become president) Phil Graham was instrumental in deregulating the energy industry, allowing speculation on oil prices that have lead to our current gas price mess and also aiding the likes of Enron and their gaming of the California energy market (rolling brow-outs, remember them?) He was also instrumental in furthering deregulation of the mortgage industry and we all see how well that worked. Still, the fundamentals are strong, right guys?
the war – McCain has been a proponent of the Iraq war since before it started and while his “100 years” comments were taken out of context, the fact is that even after the Bush administration and the Iraqis are starting to talk time-tables for withdrawal, McCain is still in favor of us staying there and spending 10 billion dollars a month. (Oh hey! There’s something else they disagree on!)
Really though, all of this is of secondary concern. Hell, I’m on record saying that I wish Obama would get off this McCain = Bush line of attack. I watched both the Democratic and the Republican conventions. I heard a lot from both camps on why we shouldn’t vote for either candidate (Bob Barr is looking better and better…) However, what I was listening for really wasn’t the partisan bickering over which candidate was better than the other one, who had more experience or the right kind of experiences, it was the question of where the candidates would take this country if elected. And I like where Obama wants to take the country. Sure, he may not make it to the land of world peace, great economy, blue skies, clean water, and a sun-flower in every driveway, but at least he is trying to take us in a positive direction. I hope you all have gotten a chance to listen to McCain’s acceptance speech at the RNC. Listening to it and all the other speeches at that event, I never got a clear view of where exactly the Republicans were going to take us, I can only guess that we’re already there. After all, the Republicans have been in control of our government for 7 out of the last 8 years and the last year or so that the democrats have had “Control” of the Senate, the Democrats had 50 votes, the Republicans had 49, and Joe Lieberman (McCains BFF) and Dick Cheney were the tie breakers. (No wonder they can’t get anything done.)
It’s odd that the Republicans seem to be running against themselves so much. Is McCain’s best selling point really that he’s a maverick and went against his own party lots? What does that say about said party and why, even if their candidate is a maverick, would we want to reward them with another 4 years in power?