Why John McCain?

As John McCain puts his country ahead of his campaign once again, detractors are arguing that this is just the latests stunt by John McCain win attention for himself.  Unfortunately those people are missing the point of what McCain is doing. 

In an op-ed piece in The Washington Post today, Harold Meyerson wrote cynically of McCain’s campaign suspension and request for Friday’s debate to be postponed.  In a piece called McCain’s Ploy, Meyerson argues that McCain is simply making this crisis about himself and the “indispensability of John McCain, leader of leaders.  He even goes on to argue that McCain wants the debate to be postponed so that the country can settle down and refocus on the subject of Friday’s debate, foreign policy-an area of absolute advantage for Mccain. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/24/AR2008092403918.html?nav%3Dhcmodule&sub=new

What Meyerson misses in his piece however is that what McCain is doing by going back to the Senate is his job.  John McCain is a Senator until November 4 and thus his responsibilities include writing, voting and passing legislation for America.  Sen Obama has refused to go back to Washington, to his Senate seat, to hammer out legislation saying that Presidents must handle more than one crisis at a time.  Unfortunately for Senator Obama, he is not President and thus it is not his responsibility as yet to deal with the war and the economy at the same time.  Sen Obama’s primary responsibility as of September 25, 2008 is in the Senate and thus it falls to him to help write, vote and pass (or kill) legislation, especially legislation that affects the current economic situation.

While cynics argue over McCain’s motives,  I can’t help but remind anyone who cares to visit this blog about McCain’s past leadership.  Leadership that if followed may have averted or at least reduced this crisis we now face. Leadership that shows his current actions rise above the politics and polls.   On May 25,2006 Sen McCain stood before the Committe on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and warned them about Fannie and Freddie.  In his statement he said:

“The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s former chief executive officer, OFHEO’s report shows that over half of Mr. Raines’ compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.”

In the same statement Sen McCain proposed S.190, a bill that would have set up regulatory reforms for agencies like Fannie and Freddie.  He also warned that the economy would be in jeopardy if something was not done. 

“I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.”

(By the way, who was on the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Development?  Senator Chris Dodd (the same who asked Paulson how we got into this mess during yesterday’s testimony) and Sen Evan Bayh (yep VP contender for Obama 08))

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-190 (sponsors and cosponsors of reform legislation)

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record.xpd?id=109-s20060525-16&bill=s109-190 (full remarks by Sen McCain)

Once again I am reminded why I am voting for John McCain.  While Sen Obama is holed up in a hotel room studying for the debates,  issuing statements about bipartisanship, and Monday morning quarterbacking the situation, John McCain is at work coming up with solutions in a bipartisan manner.  It is this kind of leadership that drew me to Sen McCain 8 years ago and is the basis for my support now.

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Who’s on my $20 now?

In the past few weeks Obama has become the embodiment of the hopes of America, he has redecorated the White House with a new basketball court and less TVs,  and has taken a Presidential trip overseas.  Now he has cast himself as a new face of American money. 

On Thursday, Obama reiterated his charge that the Bush and McCain team (?) were trying to make voters afraid of him.  In several speeches, Obama accused the Republicans of saying “You know, he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name, you know, he doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on the dollar bills.”  Then in defense of the statement, David Axelrod and others have been saying that McCain started it.  The question is HOW?

Sen McCain has never used a racial slur against Obama.  Ted Kennedy was the one who got mixed up and called him Osama in an introduction he was making to voters.  Obama was the one who gave “The Race Speech” to let voters know he was black after the Clinton’s made several reportedly racial remarks.  The worst Sen McCain has done was to liken him to celebrity’s who happened to be white women.  It has also been widely stated, almost reverently at times,  that only in America could we be facing the choice of a Presidential candidate with the middle name of Hussein. 

Sen Obama is again deciding to use the race card in this campaign to draw attention to himself.  In the same breath he is trying to paint a picture of a McCain Presidency as a third Bush term,  a charge Obama is using to incite the same fear he is accusing McCain of promoting.  Yet, in every attack McCain has used there has been real policy differences discussed.  Obama has only used his “Hopes and Dreams” scenario in a majority of his ads.  The accusation that McCain was the one who started this race issue is LUDACRIS (hear HIS new song?) and baseless. 

If Sen Obama wants a real discussion of what Americans are afraid of he should look at his own policies, not his race.  On energy, Sen Obama does not support any measures that will help Americans in the long or short term.  Offshore drilling is a scheme to him, yet when the ban was lifted by President Bush two weeks ago the price of a barrel of oil and the price at the pump dropped.  Nuclear is risky for Obama yet produces clean power at a much higher rate and is safer than traditional power plants.  And incentives to find alternative power sources are nothing more than political pandering to Obama.

On the issue of Iraq, Sen Obama wants us out of the country in as little time as possible.  He did not and still does not support the surge despite its ongoing success (10 soldiers and 510 civilians died in July, a 75% drop from the same period last year).  He disagrees with the commanders on the ground, possibly because of his extensive knowledge of the military, and would only listen to them if it fits into his plans as Commander in Chief.  Obama also wants to refocus our military might to Afghanistan, citing the surge of violence there in recent months, but also wants to meet with Iran and Syria with no preconditions to discuss options in the region. 

On health care, Sen Obama wants to give coverage to everyone to the tune of billions a year.  Not a bad idea except that the cost would be prohibitive.  Obama says not to worry that the money being spent on Iraq would fund his initiative.  What Obama does not say is that the money being used for Iraq is already being taken out of various Government agencies who would have to continue to operate on a lower budget or cut services even more.  To fund the war each agency has to give a portion of its budget back to the government for war funding, so the $10 billion we are spending in Iraq is not the free money Obama sees. 

On the issue of the economy, Sen Obama supports tax increases for “wealthy” Americans but has yet to define who will be defined as “wealthy”.  He supports PAYGO policies and the limiting earmarks (good) but also supports more stimulus payments with no spending cuts.  Obama also wants to tax windfall profits, again without an explanation of what a windfall profit margin is, and raise the minimum wage to what some call a living wage.  Both of these practices would raise prices across the board and further weaken the economy by hurting the small businesses that run our country.  In addition his guarantee of paid sick days for all workers will further weaken small businesses who are just starting out and can not provide such benefits. 

Sen Obama was again partially correct when he said that the Republicans were trying to scare voters.  However his insuation that McCain and his supporters are using race to frighten voters was off the mark.  The majority of voters do not care about his race or ethnic background and Obama is the only candidate who highlights his diversity and calls it an adversity.  What voters are scared of is not who is on their money but rather who will help them earn and keep more of their money.  In that scenario, voters should be scared of calling Obama Mr. President.