Tuesday, June 17, 2008

McSame Flip Flop Pandering

McCain's Straight Talk & Support For the Military

BarbinMD, KOS:

...Throughout the course of this presidential campaign season, we’ve watched McCain pander for the evangelical vote, contradict himself on issues ranging from tax cuts to immigration, call himself the anti-lobbyist candidate while surrounding himself with lobbyists, vilify special interests despite his history of brokering deals for big-money contributors, denouncing 527 groups as he parrots their message, all while running as fast as he can from George Bush even as he embraces a stay the course X 100 Iraq policy.

The bottom line is, associating the words "straight talker" with John McCain is nothing short of laughable. Volumes could be written on the issues that he has flip flopped on, or the positions he has embraced in an effort to pander to a particular voting bloc, but today let’s focus on the John McCain whose devotion to the men and women of the military is unquestionable. [snip]

Time and again we are told that his support for the men and women serving in our military is unwavering and unquestionable, and that as someone who has sacrificed for his country, to question him somehow dishonors his own service. But as the saying goes, "facts are pesky things," so instead of relying on McCain's rhetoric, let's look at some of those facts:

  • McCain has repeatedly voted against amendments in the Senate that would have...covered such important services as improving care at veterans’ hospitals, providing mental health services to soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse problems. [2006 Senate Vote #7, 2/2/2006]

  • In 2006, McCain voted against the Kerry amendment that would eliminate increased fees and co-payments for veterans in the TRICARE health care program by raising the discretionary spending limit by approximately $10 billion. The provisions would have been fully offset by eliminating creating corporate tax breaks. [2006 Senate Vote #67, 3/16/2006]

  • McCain was one of only 13 Republicans to vote against an amendment that added over $400 million for inpatient and outpatient care for veterans. [2006 Senate Vote #98, 4/26/2006]

  • McCain voted against increasing funding for veterans health care by $2.8 billion in 2006. [2005 Senate Vote #55, 3/16/2005]

  • McCain joined his Republican Senate cohorts in opposing exempting all military personnel and veterans from means testing in bankruptcy cases. [2005 Senate Vote #13, 3/1/2005]

  • McCain opposed an amendment that would reduce from 60 to 55 the age at which certain members of the National Guard and Army reserves could receive retirement benefits. [2004 Senate Vote #136, 6/23/2004]

  • Senator McCain opposed $322 million in funding for "battlefield clearance and safety equipment for U.S. troops in Iraq." A reduction in Iraqi reconstruction funds would have funded the additional protection for troops in the battlefield. [2003 Senate Vote #376, 10/2/2003]

  • McCain voted against an amendment that would increase spending on the veterans health care program TRICARE by $20.3 billion over 10 years to members of the National Guard and Reserves. The increase would be offset by a reduction in tax cuts. [2003 Senate Vote #81, 3/25/2003]

  • McCain opposed an amendment that would have increased veterans spending by $13 billion from 1997-2002 to be offset by closing corporate tax preferences and reinstating expired taxes. [1996 Senate Vote #115, 5/16/1996]

The reality and the rhetoric of John McCain are at complete odds, yet the fact that McCain is a champion of the military is the unchallenged, conventional wisdom in the traditional media. Which brings us to McCain’s more recent opposition to Senator Jim Webb’s G.I. Bill of Rights (pdf), a bill that provides real educational benefits for veterans and that enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support. McCain’s objection? That providing the men and women who have risked their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq with the means to attend college when their service is complete might hurt retention rates in the military. All of this cuts right to the heart the problem with the media’s unwillingness to meaningfully challenge McCain on his issue...Iraq and his alleged support for the troops.

Labels: , , , , ,

All rights reserved.
Disclaimer And Comment Policy