This is honestly one of the dumbest and most idiotic things that I have heard at the DNCC and in the talking points over the last couple of months as the Democrats try and tie McCain as the third term for Bush. It is an effective campaign attempt but it does not make any sense.
Has it occurred to you that George Bush doesn’t have a vote in the Senate? So just how do you measure the percentage of times that McCain is voting “with” the president? Well, perhaps you could measure the number of times that a Senator votes with the Republican members. Ahhh … but remember, most Senate votes are unanimous. This would mean that the only way not to “vote with the president” would be not to vote at all. As Dick Morris wrote: “The fact that McCain backs commending a basketball team on its victory doesn’t mean that he is in lockstep ideologically with the president.”
Morris also points out a series of important issues on which Bush and McCain did not agree:
- McCain fought for campaign finance reform — McCain-Feingold — that Bush resisted and ultimately signed because he had no choice.
- McCain led the battle to restrict interrogation techniques of terror suspects and to ban torture.
- McCain went with Joe Lieberman on a tough measure to curb climate change, something Bush denies is going on.
- McCain opposed the Bush tax cuts when they passed.
- McCain urged the Iraq surge, a posture Bush rejected for years before conceding its wisdom.
- McCain favors FDA regulation of tobacco and sponsored legislation to that effect, a position all but a handful of Republican senators oppose.
- McCain’s energy bill, also with Lieberman, is a virtual blueprint for energy independence and development of alternate sources.
- After the Enron scandal, McCain introduced sweeping reforms in corporate governance and legislation to guarantee pensions and prohibit golden parachutes for executives. Bush opposed McCain’s changes and the watered-down Sarbanes-Oxley bill eventuated.
- McCain has been harshly critical of congressional overspending, particularly of budgetary earmarks, a position Bush only lately adopted (after the Democrats took over Congress).
Using the same methodology you would probably find that most Democrat senators also voted with Bush 90% of the time.
I have to say more about the economic nonsense that Obama spat out yesterday: Obama’s response last night to the charge that he is going to significantly raise taxes on small business owners that are producing 80% of the new jobs in our economy was to say that “I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.”
Obama said he was going to eliminate capital gains taxes. These small businessmen generally don’t pay capital gains taxes. They pay income taxes. Obama’s plan is to raise the income taxes on these entrepreneurs. Telling the American people that he will cut their capital gains taxes is simply a charade.
Then there’s Obama’s line about the Republicans and McCain not proposing one penny of tax relief for over 100 million Americans. Sounds good. But if you’re educated; if you know the statistics; if you pay attention you will know that the bottom 50% of income earners in this country pay only about 3% of all individual income taxes collected by the federal government. When you get to the bottom 40% that percentage figures drops to zero. Now just what is our current population figure? Around 300 million or so? That would bean that about 120 million Americans have no federal income tax liability at all. Yet there’s Obama saying that McCain is offering no tax relief to these people. Relief from what?
There was another line in Obama’s speech that is very typical of far-left politicians. Obama seems to feel those with higher incomes in this country have not earned their way. Whatever the wealthy have was given to them, not earned. So Obama tells the adoring crowd that Republicans want to “Give more and more to those with the most, and hope that prosperity will trickle down to the rest.” As I said, this is a standard Democrat theme. Wealthy people didn’t earn what they have, it was given to them. And since it was given to them, there’s nothing really all that wrong with taking more and more of it away from them … just to even things out a bit. Remember, please, that Obama flat-out said that he wants to raise taxes on the rich not to bring in increased government revenues, but to make things more “fair.”
This idea that whatever wealthy or successful people have was given to them is reflected in the idea that people should “give back.” Charity isn’t recognized for what it is; one individual giving some of what they have earned to another in need. No .. it’s just someone giving back some of the stuff that was given to them. Accomplishment and the concept of earning seems to have no place in Democrat rhetoric.
Despite all of this, John McCain has a huge uphill struggle before him. He better be on the ball. Sarah Palin was a great step in the right direction but we will have to wait and see what happens.