Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Four More Years of Bush?

It appears that the Obama Campaign is trying to convince the voters that John McCain, if elected, would be four more years of the Bush policies. If you listen to Obama, closely, he really only applies that "label" when he talks about Iraq and tax cuts. That's because, on the rest of the issues, McCain is, and always has been, his own man; often, to the frustration of many Republicans.

In many ways, the current "surge" in Iraq isn't a Bush policy, it is actually a McCain policy that Bush and Rumsfeld ignored for the first four years of the war. Since the very start of the war, McCain has been a critic of the Bush Administration. He always felt that the "highly mobile" and small-sized combat force that went into Iraq was too small to be effective. While Rumsfeld proved that this strategy worked well in initially defeating Saddam's forces (as it did in Afghanistan), the long-term, post-war peace needed many more forces to effectuate the stability in the country. McCain was right and the current four-year lows in both military and civilian deaths in Iraq have proved this.

In terms of tax cuts, Barack Obama wants to have it -- not just two ways--- but three ways. On one hand, he has used McCain''s initial vote against the Bush Tax cuts as a rational that tax cuts should not have been done. On the other hand, he calls McCain's commitment to stay-the-course on tax cuts a flip-flop of his original position. Now, he wants to believe that in keeping the tax cuts in effect is 4 more years of the "failed" Bush policies. The fact is that McCain did "not" vote for the Bush tax cuts. He did so because those cuts did not have any offsetting spending reductions. This contrary position was correct and the fact that the Republican-lead Congress spent too much money while simply cutting taxes is probably the reason the the Republicans lost both Houses of Congress in 2006. McCain, unlike Bush, is fiscal disciplinarian!

Most assuredly, McCain isn't working from the Bush play book with his support of the Warner-Lieberman global warming bill that is currently in the Senate. Bush has already stated that he will veto it. McCain also got thumbs down from Bush when he tried to pass the original McCain-Lieberman Bill on Global Warming in 2004. McCain wasn't in lock-step with Bush on campaign finance reform (the McCain-Feingold Bill). While that bill was done before Bush got into office, Bush, like most Republicans, has spoken out against it. Nor was McCain looked on favorably by Bush over the McCain-Kennedy Bill on immigration. McCain and Bush are at odds over interrogation techniques with McCain completely against things like "water boarding". And, the list goes on.

I just think that the "four more years of Bush" is designed to play well with Democrats but may fall well short with independents and moderates that know McCain's history of being the maverick; often, more independent than Republican. It is typical of the "truth stretching" that I have seen all along from Barack Obama. His claim that McCain is OK with waging war in 100 years in Iraq is a perfect example of the blatant truth stretching that Barack Obama, the slick orator but typical politician, has pulled against McCain and Hilary Clinton. If there is one truth, it is that Barack Obama will be a change. It will be a change to the old days of tax-and-spend, big-government that the Democrats originally lost Congress over. That's the "change" you can "really" believe in!

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