Saturday, October 18, 2008

Note To John McCain: Put Up Or Shut Up

John McCain, a man I once admired, has made some moves in recent months that have ranged from unconventional to seemingly downright daffy. There was the Sarah Palin VP pick, the recent financial crisis surprise campaign suspension and of course, who can forget that heartwarming hug with the president?

As the campaign winds down, and he finds his polling numbers circling the drain, he is making claims that would make a certain Looney Tunes duck seem well balanced.

In what clearly seems to be a last ditch attempt to avert the oncoming train wreck that November 4th seems poised to bring, the McCain/Palin campaign has taken to calling Barack Obama's policies, get this . . . Socialist. Now I can understand why Republicans who generally espouse limited government, deregulated markets and a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" philosophy have felt uneasy about democratic administrations. Certainly Franklin Roosevelt's new deal was a significant expansion of the government into just about every corner of America. Lyndon Johnson's great society is another noteworthy example of perhaps a well intended overreach. In fact up until Bill Clinton, I'll even concede the claim that Democrats have generally brought larger government. But in 2008? Is that really where McCain wants to go?

It begs an important question: Does he actually know what socialism is?

Now all evidence suggests that Sarah Palin has no idea what's going on, but Senator McCain has been part of the government for over twenty years. Did he somehow miss what's been going on in his own party as the economy turned to dust? Did he not notice the financing that JP Morgan Chase received in order to purchase Bear Stearns? Did he miss the giant cash infusion that AIG received and then immediately began to squander? What about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? Was he napping when they were put under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)? And what about when after the United States government authorized the largest corporate bailout in history, the Treasury Department decided to buy equity in the banks? What was he doing then, daydreaming? No! He was right there every step of the way.

And he has the audacity to call Barack Obama a socialist? Who in the hell does he think he's fooling?

John McCain has once again shown that he will do or say whatever he thinks he needs to in order to win. What he doesn't seem to grasp is that it isn't working. Whether it be Joe Sixpack, Joe Plumber or Joe Mama, we're tired of lies and misdirection. So here's my advice to Mr. McCain: If you believe that you have plans and policies that will pull our country out of this mess, then talk about them. Give us the details, show us how it will work and what we can expect the outcome to be. Tell us how it's going to address the numerous challenges that your party has in large part created and convince us through your ideas, that we can trust the Republican brand.

But if you can't do that, then shut the hell up. And tell Sarah Palin to shut the hell up too. Because I, and many like me, are tired of your negativity, of your "style" over substance, and of hearing that we're not "real Americans."

If this is the best that you can offer me when my country is in the worst shape it's been in during my 43 years, then you are not only NOT the right person for the job, you are not honourable enough to hold the office.


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