The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, March 13, 2006

McCain: no maverick, and no straight talker

I miss the days when the NY Times didn't force readers to pay for their columns. Especially Paul Krugman's. He used to be one of the most-cited voices on the liberal blogs-- until the Times started hiding him behind a subscription service. But MyDD has some excerpts from Krugman's latest, which points out a few things some of us have been saying for months.

So here's what you need to know about John McCain.

He isn't a straight talker. His flip-flopping on tax cuts, his call to send troops we don't have to Iraq and his endorsement of the South Dakota anti-abortion legislation even while claiming that he would find a way around that legislation's central provision show that he's a politician as slippery and evasive as, well, George W. Bush.

He isn't a moderate. Mr. McCain's policy positions and Senate votes don't just place him at the right end of America's political spectrum; they place him in the right wing of the Republican Party.

And he isn't a maverick, at least not when it counts. When the cameras are rolling, Mr. McCain can sometimes be seen striking a brave pose of opposition to the White House. But when it matters, when the Bush administration's ability to do whatever it wants is at stake, Mr. McCain always toes the party line.

It's worth recalling that during the 2000 election campaign George W. Bush was widely portrayed by the news media both as a moderate and as a straight-shooter. As Mr. Bush has said, "Fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."

McCain has definitely joined the ranks of "talk left, legislate [far] right" Republicans. Bush's 2000 campaign was the ultimate example, with Schwarzenegger's California campaign and Mitt Romney's bid for the presidency.