Thursday, May 29, 2008

McCain's Agenda Seems Incoherent and Inconsistent-- Just Like His Record

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He has tried branding himself a maverick-- and he gets plenty of help from the corporate media lackeys-- but when you examine his record, you come away feeling he is more confused, incoherent and catering to conflicting special interests than he is anything approaching being either a moderate, independent or any kind of a maverick. I was reading some of Cliff Schecter's definitive McCain book, The Real McCain at lunch today and I came across his perpetually flip-flopping stands-- if you can call them stands-- on equal rights for gay people. Let me quote from Cliff's book, just after he explains McCain's confused and contradictory for and against gay marriage statement on Hardball in October of 2006. He seemed to be for gay marriage until one of his aides explained the power of broadcast TV and that he wasn't just talking to a small studio audience. Then he was against it.
The next month McCain was a guest on This Week With George Stephanopoulos. Stephanopoulos asked McCain whether he was against civil unions for gay couples. "No, I'm not," McCain replied. A few minutes later Stephanopoulos tried again. "So you're for civil unions?" "No," McCain said. Neither for nor against civil unions, McCain went on to clarify his position. He was against "discrimination" and he referred obliquely to certain partnerships qualifying for things like "hospital visits."

Fortunately, that year Arizona voters weren't fooled by McCain's flip-flopping and deception and they rejected the state constitutional amendment he campaigned for that would have denied even hospital visits to gay couples. But today it is neither gay marriage or hospital visits that is in the news. It's McCain's breathtaking changes and flips on climate change.

You may recall that it was just a week or two ago that McCain was using his position on climate change (he was strongly for policies that would combat the man-made elements of global warming) to point out to voters how different he is from George Bush. By yesterday one of his lobbyist staffers had persuaded him to change his opinion again-- ostensibly because the very generous (donation-wise) nuclear energy lobby is unhappy with the Lieberman-Warner bill McCain had vowed to support. Now he vows to avoid the Senate and not vote for it. Time Magazine:
Despite stressing the issue on the stump, McCain says he won’t be in the Senate to vote on a landmark bill imposing mandatory greenhouse gases limits.

“I have not been there for a number of votes. The same thing happened in the campaign of 2000. The people of Arizona understand I’m running for president.”

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