Senator McCain Cuts and Runs, Governor Palin’s “Labor” Day, and a New Hurricane Called, Um, Ike? Who Writes This Stuff? Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008.
Well, I guess God got my email and answered my prayer. Man, the power of the Internet! He even emailed me back! I’ll share that with you in the next few days. Proof there is a God in heaven? Never explain comedy or satire or the ironic comment. Those who get it, get it. Those who don’t, never will…
John McCain said “it’s time to take our Republican hats off and put our American hats on.” Really? It would have been nice if Sen. McCain had put on his American hat in the three years since Katrina. Just so no one is fooled by all his fake concern for the people on the Gulf Coast, let’s look at his record post-Katrina, compliments of Chris Hayes of The Nation:
If (McCain) cared about New Orleans and the Gulf Coast he could have done something these past three years. He could have made Gulf Reconstruction his issue, he could have excoriated his party for pushing federal dollars into the hands of cronies, for providing inadequate resources, for allowing the further destruction of the wetlands that serve as the only natural barrier to storm surges. He could have taken on the insurance companies that have been serially screwing the residents of the gulf. But he was too busy pushing for more troops, and more war and running for president.
Instead this is his record [via Mother Jones]:
Though McCain issued a statement the next week (after Katrina) calling on Congress to make sacrifices in order to fund recovery efforts, he was quoted in The New Leader on September 1  cautioning against over-spending in support of Katrina’s victims. “We also have to be concerned about future generations of Americans,” he said. “We’re going to end up with the highest deficit, probably, in the history of this country.”
That attitude was borne out in McCain’s actions and votes. Forty Senators and 100 members of Congress visited New Orleans before he did; he finally got there in March 2006. He voted against establishing a Congressional commission to examine the Federal, State, and local responses to Katrina in med-September 2005. He repeated that vote in 2006. He voted against allowing up to 52 weeks of unemployment benefits to people affected by the hurricane, and in 2006 voted against appropriating $109 billion in supplemental emergency funding, including $28 billion for hurricane relief.
So honestly, it’s an insult to watch him make a show of concern now. …
The possibility of a storm (a storm that never hit New Orleans, and was no longer a hurricane by last night) was enough for McCain to essentially cancel most of the first day of the convention. Cut and run? The AP reported yesterday that conventions have always been held when the nation was facing perilous moments. Right smack in the middle of World War II, the Republicans and the Democrats both held full conventions. Thousands of Americans were being killed every week. The Republicans held their convention in Chicago less than two weeks after D-Day. No one faulted them for that. In fact, it made Americans feel good that, no matter what happens, NOTHING stops Democracy. No retreat, no surrender…
So McCain and company used the hurricane for political advantage, to have an excuse to not have Bush and Cheney live and in person in St. Paul (Bush will appear Tuesday night via satellite). And he used the hurricane as a chance to release a potentially controversial story in the hopes that the hurricane would dominate the news and not many would notice. One hour after Gustav hit land, the McCain campaign announced that Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter is pregnant. I don’t want to say much more beyond this, as I agree with Barack Obama that “people’s families are off limits, and people’s children are especially off limits.”
I do feel very sorry that this minor, this child, now has to have her privacy sacrificed because her mother accepted an offer to run for VP. Obama’s right — the children are off limits. I remember when John McCain cruelly trashed Chelsea Clinton when she was a child in the White House. He told reporters that she was “ugly” “because Janet Reno is her father.” Of course, McCain would like us now to accord Palin’s daughter the respect he wouldn’t give Chelsea.
This does not mean that a discussion about the stupidity of “abstinence-only” sex ed classes is off the table; nor should we not talk about the right of a teenager to terminate a pregnancy (a right that has been essentially eliminated as the Supreme Court believes forcing a child to have a child against its will is not a form a child abuse), or Gov. Palin’s desire to make abortion illegal for anyone who is raped, a victim of incest or who may die if they bring the fetus to term. She’s “proud” of her daughter’s “decision to have her baby.” Uh-huh. Ok…
Word comes tonight that McCain’s people lied about Palin being vetted — the FBI has admitted they did NOT vet her. So McCain has dispatched ten operatives and investigators to Alaska to find out if there’s anything else that’s about to hit the fan regarding his veep pick, a woman he had run into only once in his life and then called her on her cell phone two weeks ago at the Alaska State Fair. That was it before she made the short list and was selected. McCain’s radar — honed perhaps during his own self-admitted indiscretionary phase of his life — is telling him there’s more to the Palin story. You mean things like her support of the Alaska Secessionist Party or being one of the directors of recently-arrested Sen. Ted Stevens’ political action groups? Heck, I dunno. We shall see…
But before everyone gets all smug and self-righteous about the Palin selection, remember where you live. You live in a nation of gun owners and hunters. You live in a country where one out of three girls get pregnant before they are 20. You live in a nation of C students. Knocking Bush for being a C student only endeared him to the nation of C students. Knock Palin for having kids, for having a kid who’s having a baby, for anything that is part of her normalness — a normalness that looks very familiar to so many millions of Americans — well, you do this at your own peril. Assuming she’s still on the ticket two weeks from now, she will be a much tougher opponent than anyone expects. You live in a country that voted for Dan Quayle.
I’ll close with this report on ABC tonight by investigative reporter Brian Ross. It shows Republicans in St. Paul taking off their Republican hats and putting on their American hats. In the meantime they should keep those hats ready as a new hurricane was announced today. No, not Hannah. She’s already on her way to Florida for Friday. The new one is called Ike, scheduled to hit the Gulf early next week. Ike. He’s the one who warned us about the “military-industrial complex.”
More to come…