Sen. John McCain, the maverick, and Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, the reformer, are now partners on the Republican ticket for the upcoming election in November.
However, there are two major problems with the previous statement. McCain is no longer a maverick, and Palin was never much of a reformer. McCain relinquished his title the moment he gave into the far right mentality and gave into the Bush cronies that now dominate his campaign and shape his ideas (if you can call them ideas) for our country’s future. Palin claims to be a fiscal conservative against pork barrel spending. Then how does she explain the unprecedented $27 million in federal earmarks a lobbying firm she hired secured for her small town of Wasilla, Alaska, during her tenure as mayor? Both McCain and Palin serve as prime examples of exactly what this country does not need.
There is no denying the senator from Arizona has shown instances of bipartisanship in the past, with legislation that includes the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act. There is also no denying Palin sold an expensive plane on eBay, which I guess qualifies one as being fiscally conservative. In a sudden about-face, done simply to pander to the conservative base, McCain has expressed he is in favor of the Bush tax cuts of 2001, of which he once said he could not “in good conscience support,” because “so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us.”
What do you also hear non-stop out of McCain’s mouth? “Drill here, drill now.” This sounds odd, coming from a man who did next to nothing during his numerous years in the Senate to promote new sources of energy to get the country off its foreign oil addiction. What it does sound like is an echo of George W. Bush, who may very well be judged as the worst president in our country’s history.
Picking Palin to be his running mate this November clearly confirmed to the American people he no longer holds the reins of his own campaign. What kind of maverick allows one of the most important decisions to ultimately be made by the Karl Rove disciples he employs? Maybe if he had selected his close friend, Sen. Joe Lieberman, the man he truly wanted at his side, we could still believe he was slightly above partisan politics. The fact of the matter is the pick of Palin was a desperate attempt to shore up support in a Republican base that still has no clue about her very non-conservative ways in Alaska.
On the night of his Republican National Convention speech, millions witnessed McCain attempt to alter his campaign’s message from “Experience” to “Change.” The only thing people should trust McCain to do is change his message when the old one does not resonate with them. But perhaps the most memorable thing about the senator’s speech last Thursday night was what never actually came out of his mouth: the disastrous mess the current Republican president has gotten our country into. According to McCain, every piece of pork barrel legislation that comes across his desk will be vetoed. But somebody ought to remind him of the $223 million Palin kept for her state after she decided the “Bridge to Nowhere” was no longer politically popular.
If McCain gets around to it, maybe sometime in the next two months he can explain to his running mate global warming is in fact man-made, and you cannot ban books from public libraries in America simply because you don’t agree with their messages and language. This November, the American people will hopefully tell the McCain-Palin ticket, “Thanks, but no thanks!”
Sources: opensecrets.org, nytimes.com