Is John McCain Stupid?
On Sunday, he said on national television that to solve Social Security "everything's on the table," which of course means raising payroll taxes. On July 7 in Denver he said: "Senator Obama will raise your taxes. I won't." This isn't a flip-flop. It's a sex-change operation.
He got back to the subject Tuesday in Reno, Nev. Reporters asked about the Sunday tax comments. Mr. McCain replied, "The worst thing you could do is raise people's payroll taxes, my God!" Then he was asked about working with Democrats to fix Social Security, and he repeated, "everything has to be on the table." But how can . . .? Oh never mind.
The one thing -- arguably the only thing -- the McCain candidacy has going for it is a sense among voters that they don't know what Barack Obama stands for or believes. Why then would Mr. McCain give voters reason to wonder the same thing about himself? You're supposed to sow doubt about the other guy, not do it to yourself.
Yes, Sen. McCain must somehow appeal to independents and blue-collar Hillary Democrats. A degree of pandering to the center is inevitable. But this stuff isn't pandering; it's simply stupid. Al Gore's own climate allies separated themselves from his preposterous free-of-oil-in-10-years whopper. Sen. McCain saying off-handedly that it's "doable" is, in a word, thoughtless.
Speaker Pelosi heads a House with a 9% approval. To let her off the hook before the election reflects similar loss of thought.
The forces arrayed against Sen. McCain's candidacy are formidable: an unpopular president, the near impossibility of extending Republican White House rule for three terms, the GOP trailing in races at every level, a listless fundraising base, doubtful sentiments about the war, a flailing economy.
The generic Democratic presidential candidate should win handily. Barack Obama, though vulnerable at the margin, is a very strong candidate. This will be a turnout election. To win, Mr. McCain needs every Republican vote he can hold.
Why make it harder than it has to be? Given such statements on Social Security taxes, Al Gore and the "inspirational" Speaker Pelosi, is there a reason why Rush Limbaugh should not spend August teeing off on Mr. McCain?
Why as well shouldn't the Obama camp exploit all of this? If Sen. Obama's "inexperience" is Mr. McCain's ace in the hole, why not trump that by asking, "Does Sen. McCain know his own mind?"
In this sports-crazed country, everyone has learned a lot about what it takes to win. They've heard and seen it proven repeatedly that to achieve greatness, to win the big one, an athlete has to be ready to "put in the work." John McCain isn't doing that, yet. He's competing as if he expects the other side to lose it for him. Sen. McCain is a famously undisciplined politician. Someone in the McCain circle had better do some straight talking to the candidate. He's not some 19-year-old tennis player who's going to win the U.S. presidential Open on raw talent and the other guy's errors. He's not that good.
There is a reason the American people the past 100 years elevated only two sitting senators into the White House -- JFK and Warren Harding. It's because they believe most senators, adept at compulsive compromise, have no political compass and will sell them out. Now voters have to do what they prefer not to. Yes, Sen. McCain has honor and country. Another month of illogical, impolitic remarks and Sen. McCain will erase even that. Absent a coherent message for voters, he will be one-on-one with Barack Obama in the fall. He will lose.
And if you want CERTAINTY that McCain has lost his marbles, read this. It is too painful for me to reproduce
Click here to see what a banknote for 100 billion dollars looks like. Via Michael Darby.
Thomas Sowell says: "What is amazing this year is how many people have bought the fundamentally childish notion that, if you don't like the way things are going, the answer is to write a blank check for generic `change,' empowering someone chosen not on the basis of any track record but on the basis of his skill with words."
ANWR drilling would provide quick relief: "In a previous article, I showed that the proposals to curb 'excessive' speculation in oil futures markets were based on ignorance of how the market coordinates production and consumption over time. In the present article, I will explore the issue of opening up the Arctic National Wilderness Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling. We'll see once again that even friends of the market often don't fully understand its power to fix problems."
The Tax Relief Program Worked: Make the Tax Cuts Permanent: "Tax relief worked. It put the federal tax burden on track toward its historic norm. Combined with an aggressive monetary policy, tax relief helped to restore robust economic growth following the Clinton reces-sion and subsequent shocks early in the decade. It pro-duced a more growth-oriented tax policy for the long term, helping the economy to weather current storms arising in the housing and capital markets. And it made important strides toward fundamental tax reform. The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts will expire at the end of 2010 unless Congress acts. Congress should act quickly, making the tax cuts permanent, and then pur-sue additional pro-growth tax policies. Many major trading partners, including France, Germany, and other countries throughout Europe, are looking to lower tax rates and reform their tax systems to become stronger competitors, while other economic power-houses such as China and India are bursting onto the scene. Standing still is not an option unless the United States is willing to lose ground consistently and persis-tently in the international economy."
The Stubborn Grip : "From the New York Times: "A bill to advance dozens of federal programs stalled in the Senate on Monday afternoon as a narrow majority was unable to free them from the legislative grip of Senator Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma Republican who takes pride in being stubborn. The vote was 52 to 40 in favor of the Advancing America's Priorities Act, but 60 "yes" votes were required under Senate rules." That is to say, Coburn successfully filibustered the bill. We'll give a dollar to the first reader who can point us to a story in the New York Times that used the phrase "unable to free them from the legislative grip" or "takes pride in being stubborn" in reference to Democrats' filibustering Bush judicial nominees a few years ago."
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)