Tuesday, September 09, 2008

McCain- Palin: You'd Get More Change From A Dollar Bill At A 99 Cent Store

The superb act of larceny performed by the Republicans in misappropriating Obama’s ‘Change’ mantra for themselves would be enough to make Ronnie Biggs proud. It may be true that John McCain isn’t your common-or-garden Senator, but then he isn’t exactly your average Chuck/ Buzz/ Chip either. Here we have a man who doesn’t know how many houses he owns and who has voted with George W Bush 90% of the time. Obama spokesman Bill Burton said: "The idea that John McCain represents change in Washington is as laughable as his claim that he'll take on the special interests when some of the biggest corporate lobbyists in America are running his campaign." Indeed, the fact that seven of McCain’s advisors were Washington lobbyists hardly does him any favours when it comes to creating an image as an outsider.

Which is probably why they picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. Stuck way up there in Alaska, it’s about distant from Washington as you could get. However, in attempting to get someone from as far outside the beltway as possible, McCain has gambled with an unknown quantity.

As Mayor of a backwater village, a post she won with a princely 651 votes, Palin was little more than the equivalent of a councillor here in the north (despite Mike Huckabee’s lies). So we can’t really count that as high-level experience. Since then, she’s been governor of Alaska for less than two years. This is certainly a much more prominent role, but it’s a far cry from the White House. And in this post, she hasn’t exactly covered herself in glory or distinguished herself from the kind of pork-barrelling and self-serving activity that she claims to oppose. For instance, she supported the infamous ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ which would have burnt hundreds-of-millions of federal dollars- indeed, she ran on a pro-bridge ticket in 2006.

Palin’s actions are also under investigation after she sacked Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan. Monegan alleged that his dismissal was retaliation for his failure to fire Palin’s former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, who was involved in a child custody battle with Palin’s sister and had been accused of threatening Palin's father. The investigation is due to be completed in October, before the presidential election. Last week, Palin's lawyer asked the state legislature to drop its investigation, saying that under state law, the governor-appointed state Personnel Board had jurisdiction over ethics issues. Why are they so worried?

And now the Washington Post has revealed that Palin claimed expenses from the taxpayer for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a ‘per diem’ allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while travelling on state business. This from a woman who got rid of the governor's jet and personal chef to save public money.

I wish I could get paid for sitting about the house at night.

With so little known about Palin and her record being so questionable, worried minds are turning to the possibility of her becoming President. After all, at the age of 72 and having battled with severe illness and the effects of incarceration in Vietnam, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that McCain could die in office if elected. This would leave Palin as Commander-in-Chief. Perhaps this will make American voters think twice.

The McCain- Palin ticket is Frankensteinian in nature. Here we have a man who’s been in Washington for two decades claiming he wants to offer an alternative to Washington politics. And joining his campaign, which has previously criticised Obama for lacking experience, is a woman whose record would struggle to rival that of a member of a school board of governors. Perhaps she was added to the ticket to appeal to female voters after the demise of Hillary Clinton- if this is the case, it would be an insult to women given that Palin is the political polar opposite of the New York senator.

The choice is clear for the American people: an accomplished politician who has proven he wants to bring real change after eight disastrous years under Bush, running with a man who has the most solid of experience both domestically and internationally; or a man who is elderly and has shown himself to be a Bush-supporter in congress, running with a woman whom he hardly knows and who has a political CV that could fit on the back of a Walmart receipt.

Actually, there is no choice when you think about it.


Ted Leddy said...

I agree with much of you post. However I fear many women will vote for McCain Palin just because there is a woman on the ticket. American women are and will continue to be impressed by her. Afterall how many traditional labour women ended up voting for Thatcher. Probably a lot more than will ever admit it.

El Matador said...


That may well be true. However, let's hope that common sense prevails.

bill said...

My problem with that is that we (all of us) are going into a war. Do I want someone in the White House as commander-in-chief who thinks if we're nice to everybody, including the enemy, and get their youth playing sports and having little campfire gatherings and huggy times, it'll go away or someone with the knowledge, training and expertise that McCain has? Besides, if all politicians are corrupt and only exist as front people for vested interests, she is certainly the easiest one on the eyes.

El Matador said...


I don't think Obama has said he would be 'nice' to 'the enemy'. What he has proposed is dialogue. After years of hardheaded aggression under the Bush regime with disastrous results, do we really want more of the same?

Here in the north, thanks to people such as John Hume, we have seen that talking is better than fighting, and I'm sure America could learn a few lessons from our experiences.

In terms of experience, getting Biden onboard has certainly boosted the Democratic ticket's foreign policy kudos- as a team they are formidible. Meanwhile, if the Republicans win and McCain dies in office, we'll have the lipsticked pitbull running the show.

I think I'd take my chances with the progressive steadiness of Obama/Biden rather than the haphazard mishmash of McCain-Palin.

nineteensixtyseven said...

Voting for a man who supported Bush 95% of the time and hoping for change is extreme naivety and stupidity. "someone with the knowledge, training and expertise that McCain has?" He finished something like 4th last in his year at military academy and got captured in a war- that's not really good experience. He may have been brave and all but I can't see the relevance to the role of Commander-in-Chief. He's made a number of strange foreign policy statements too: according to him Iran are funding Al Qaida in Iraq. Unlikely given that AQ's Sunni extremism is inherently anti-Shia and Iran is one of the world's largest mostly Shia states. As for him singing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran", I'm just worried.
He'll just follow the same neo-con line without fail but certainly not without failure.

El Matador said...


"He'll just follow the same neo-con line without fail but certainly not without failure."

Very good :)

Anonymous said...

I could not support McCain and Palin basically because I don't trust them to deliver a foreign policy in the best interest of all

bill said...

What you say has merit but, in case you haven't noticed, the taliban and al-quaida aren't terribly disposed to dialogue. Rabid fundamentalists only listen to their God. While our folks were certainly rabid enough, their fundamentalism was tainted with enough good old larcency and, on occasion, a modest tinge of common sense, that self preservation had at least a chance to prevail. (We ain't quite there yet).

Anonymous said...

I thinl US fopreign policy is more about oil than anything else - forget terrorism - it is only rolled out if it is the US interest

bill said...

I do believe Iraq is bigger than Ossetia et al, but the principle is the same.

pangurdubh said...

McCain is a better choice for the Irish now that Hillary has been forced out and Obama anointed by the DNC insiders. Obama’s policy in Ireland is disgraceful, he will “determine whether a special U.S. envoy for Northern Ireland continues to be necessary” so that’s the North under the bus. And of course then there is this: Obama’s blow to illegal Irish, a bill that John McCain co-sponsored for legalise the Irish, a bill that Obama destroyed in the Senate.


and he did not see fit to attend the Irish American Presidential Forum in New York this August. Hillary Clinton did. And he has appointed Trina Vargo as his”outreach” advisor in Irish issues, this woman has referred to Illegal Irish n America as “lipstick on pigs”

Obama is a fraud and disgrace and no friend of Ireland!