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A McCain problem
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LLB



Joined: 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 869
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: A McCain problem Reply with quote

They recently did a poll that indicated that 25% of respondents - Democrats I believe - think that McCain is pro-choice even though that's something he's not. Way back in 2000, before he sold his soul to the right wing of his party, he actually had some real maverick tendencies, but even then he was anti-choice. My fear in the general election is that that sort of misinformation becomes even more widely spread and believed, and women specifically who would never vote for an anti-choice candidate will mistakenly vote for him thinking he's pro-choice.
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Kelly B



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a really common misconception (and I would argue that McCain isn't all that much of a maverick, he's just been really good at packaging himself that way--if you take a look at his voting record to the way-back-when, he's pretty much in lock-step with the party most of the time). I think it is partly because he doesn't really talk about it all that much (well, when he isn't trying to sell himself to the right-wing base) to preserve his maverick image and because he's got other fish to fry, so he doesn't belabor the point into the ground like, say, a Brownback does.

I think the media bears a lot of culpability here--they love McCain. He's great ink, he knows just how to charm reporters--his candid "I can't believe he'd say that to the press!" remarks are often designed to disarm--and a lot of what he stands for ideologically gets overshadowed by assessments of his personality.

I would also add that a vote for McCain is a lot more than a vote against choice. He has pledged to nominate the same sorts of judges and justices Bush has, all wrapped up in the neat packaging of convenient talking points like "strict construction" and "legislating from the bench." Since this is the Wild West, I'm going to call that what it is--complete and utter bullshit. These are talking points designed to conceal a very different agenda, one that advances the rights and interests of government and corporations at the expense of vindicating the rights of ordinary Americans. The hot button issues are convenient because they sell well in places like Kansas or Nebraska, and most of those voters wouldn't respond nearly as well to "I'm going to appoint judges who believe that social security is the elderly cannibalizing their grandchildren and should be eliminated, that the Constitution doesn't protect a right to bodily integrity so a schoolgirl can't bring a claim against a school district for policies that allowed for her continued rape by a teacher, that the Family and Medical Leave Act is too broad of an application of Congress' power under the commerce clause and should be eliminated, judges who, during their confirmation hearings said that they could not think of ONE EXAMPLE of an unpopular decision he had made in favor of the powerless, the poor, minorities or the dispossessed, judges who say that someone who had a procedurally perfect trial who are later found innocent have NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT not to be executed, judges who think that the Constitution doesn't protect the right not to be sterilized."* I could go on. As to activism and legislating from the bench--it cuts both ways. In many ways, the Rehnquist Court was the most activist in history--overturning more than 30 federal laws, including the Gun Free School Zones act and the Violence Against Women Act. The Roberts Court looks to be just the same, perhaps more so. Oh, and let's not forget that McCain said he was opposed to the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Good times.

These are Bush's judges, and based on the stump speeches he's making, they will be McCain's judges, too.

*All of these views have been proffered by federal judges and Supreme Court justices who are currently on the bench.
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Beth W



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It works both ways - there are those who would never vote for a pro-abortion candidate, so may not vote for McCain if that misinformation is still out there (of course, they wouldn't vote for either Obama or Hilary either).
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1246
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beth W wrote:
It works both ways - there are those who would never vote for a pro-abortion candidate, so may not vote for McCain if that misinformation is still out there (of course, they wouldn't vote for either Obama or Hilary either).


Isn't it interesting that those who are anti-abortion are called "Pro-Life" and that those who are not are "pro-abortion"? Are they really pro-abortion or are they in favor of a woman's right to choose how to manage an unplanned pregnancy? I think the term you need is "Pro-Choice." Maybe abortion isn't what the candidate would choose in that circumstance, but he/she believes that it should be a safe option for someone else.

As a Christian, I believe that abortion is a sin against God and neighbor, but that it should not be a civil crime, because not everyone in my country believes what I do. I believe that it is an issue that falls under the separation of Church and State umbrella.

Kay
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Kelly B



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I think the pro-abortion is a bit misleading. I don't know anyone who is "pro-abortion" in that they love it and think that it should happen all the time or as a first resort. Planned Parenthood and NARAL both stress the need for good family planning in the form of the use of effective birth control. Thus, I tend to use the phrases pro-choice and anti-choice. But each side chooses the language that frames its perspective the best.

But, yes, there a lots of people who are single-issue voters around abortion, hence the Right wrapping up a lot of its rhetoric around the issue since a vote against abortion is often a vote against the economic interests of that same voter. Frankly, apart from the true believers, I think a lot of the anti-choice movement, or at least the politicos affiliated with it, really don't want to see Roe overturned because it is such a useful political tool for getting their candidates into office who will then in turn advance their other goals.

And, to belabor the judges point, this is why the Right so frequently discusses judicial nominations in the context of choice--it rallies support without bringing up nagging facts like their judges being almost uniformly hostile to the rights of workers and consumers, and those economic and expansion of government power issues are at the core of the agenda. After all, the number of abortion cases heard by the federal courts is really minimal--in 2007, abortion cases made up less than 1/10th of 1% of cases decided.
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Tinabelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 875
Location: SE Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The posters here have obviously done their candidate homework and are well-informed. What worries me about any election, especially a presidential election, is that the average person has no real in depth understanding about a candidate's voting record, positions on party platform issues, or their specific plans for carrying out their visions. For many people what they know and believe about a candidate comes from media sounds bites and biased campaign ads produced by special interest groups. Eek!
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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a section of the local newspaper called "Let it Out" that isn't part of the "Letters to the Editor." This is meant to allow anonymous people to make simple statements to express themselves. The range is all over the place, but many are quite humorous while hitting a good point. My most recent favorite was:

Why do we only get to choose between three senators for President ... when Congress is the problem?
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JennyM



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinabelle wrote:
The posters here have obviously done their candidate homework and are well-informed. What worries me about any election, especially a presidential election, is that the average person has no real in depth understanding about a candidate's voting record, positions on party platform issues, or their specific plans for carrying out their visions. For many people what they know and believe about a candidate comes from media sounds bites and biased campaign ads produced by special interest groups. Eek!


That's the problem inherent in the way our two-party, media-driven system has evolved, I think, and especially because this particular campaign has been going. on. so. long. I consider myself fairly well-informed and engaged, and at this point, I'm exhausted. BUT, I think your point is why it's important for people who are well-informed and engaged to "get out there" and argue and point out when something is incorrect or misleading -- even if one person's "incorrect or misleading" might be another person's "fair and balanced." I think that's my job as an informed voter -- if I think too much about how difficult and possibly futile a job that is because there are so many people out there willing to be led by whatever sound bite is on the news (or, as much as I heart him, Jon Stewart) -- it's too easy to want to just crawl in one's cave and simply give up, you know? But I figure that's how we got the last eight years.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2508

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JennyM wrote: "But I figure that's how we got the last eight years."

I thnk we got the last eight years because the Supreme Court intruded into political matters, which it had no business in.

I'm fearful to vote for either of the most likely candidates: For McCain because he's so determinedly right wing; for Obama because, just as George W. always made me think of a gung-ho fraternity pledge, Obama's belief that he can change the way entrenched politico's do business strikes me as naive.

Perhaps the age of candidacy for the presidency ought to be changed to 50.
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Kelly B



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I thnk we got the last eight years because the Supreme Court intruded into political matters, which it had no business in.


And did so in such a nakedly political way. (Souter was so distressed over it that he almost left the Court.) States govern their own election practices. And yet, the justices who most frequently go on and on and on about states' rights were the ones who inserted themselves directly in the process. Not to mention that they turned around and took pretty much the exact opposite position a few years later in the Vieth redistricting case, claiming that the issue was nonjusticiable, even though there was very arguably an equal protection issue at stake.

I am deeply offended by Justice Scalia's continued exhortations to "get over" Bush v. Gore. I'll get over that decision when Scalia "gets over" Roe v. Wade. Not to mention his misrepresentations of the facts. "Gore is the one who took it to court." Well, yes, true. To Florida state court, since it was a state issue--it was W. who removed it and made it a federal case.
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Gwen G



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 381
Location: Brooklyn, New York

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never forgiven McCain for his appalling and disgusting joke about Chelsea and Hillary that he made at a Republican fundraiser in 1998. You can see it on YouTube. I hesitate to repeat it here but it was described at the time as "typical" of his brand of humor - so here goes -

"Why Is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her Father"

How creepy is that?
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1246
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gwen G wrote:
I've never forgiven McCain for his appalling and disgusting joke about Chelsea and Hillary that he made at a Republican fundraiser in 1998. You can see it on YouTube. I hesitate to repeat it here but it was described at the time as "typical" of his brand of humor - so here goes -

"Why Is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her Father"

How creepy is that?


Thank you for confirming my opinion of Sen. McCain.

Kay
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Gwen G



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 381
Location: Brooklyn, New York

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My question is - Why is the media treating McCain differently than the other two candidates? If there was a clip out there of either Hillary or Obama making a similar joke - it would be broadcast on a continous loop for days and weeks with the constant analysis to go with it.

And why is McCain's political alliance with John Hagee and Pat Robertson not given more attention? I don't see clips of Hagee's speeches about Catholics etc being shown endlessly on any network. It seems as though there is a double standard here.
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1246
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gwen G wrote:
My question is - Why is the media treating McCain differently than the other two candidates? If there was a clip out there of either Hillary or Obama making a similar joke - it would be broadcast on a continous loop for days and weeks with the constant analysis to go with it.
And why is McCain's political alliance with John Hagee and Pat Robertson not given more attention? I don't see clips of Hagee's speeches about Catholics etc being shown endlessly on any network. It seems as though there is a double standard here.



Maybe the answer can be found by asking: Who owns the media? Wealthy, private owners must surely require that their enterprises represent their favorites positively and those they oppose negatively. Media outlets that depend upon advertising dollars must surely be beholden to their sponsors.
PBS and NPR are two of the few media outlets that I trust.

Kay
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1391

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For years right wingers kvetched about “liberal media” even though as far as I could tell most media are controlled by the right wingers. This control has become even stronger in recent years.
If you only get news from mainstream media you get a really warped picture of the world. A couple good counters I’ve subscribed to for years are The Hightower Lowdown (http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/) and The Washington Spectator (http://www.washingtonspectator.com/).
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