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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Empty rhetoric

After a traditional Republican fear and smear fest, complete with the red meat attacks of Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin -- and the media bashing of Steve Schmidt -- John McCain mounted the stage at the Republican Convention last night and promised a new bipartisan era that will end the rancor of the past 30 years.

Now that's not a change I can believe in.
"Let me offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second Washington crowd," he said in his speech. "Change is coming."
A man who has spent his entire professional life -- first in Navy, ultimately as a congressional liaison then as a member of the United States Congress -- is the epitome of the Washington crowd. And given the massive deficits run up under the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, which is the real big spending party?

Ten billion dollars a month in Iraq -- with no clear exit strategy -- makes it pretty clear.

No one with a brain will dispute McCain's wartime heroism. But the mere phrase "country first" creates a divisive image -- particularly paired with the rants heard the night before.

McCain has no choice but to run away from the record -- not only the record of the last eight years but that of the GOP-led Congress that put party first in its shameful $70-plus million pursuit of impeachment over policy during the Clinton years.

But does anyone truly believe this is a group that feels Hillary Clinton got a bad deal from the Democrats and should toss its support onto the McCain band wagon?

That's not a change I can believe in.

In the course of the campaign, John McCain has been an agent of change -- his own mind. He now supports the Bush tax cuts and is opposed to the immigration law changes he himself proposed.

That's not change I can believe in.

He curried press favor aboard the Straight Talk Express before tossing his "friends" under the wheels when he imported Rove apparatchik Steve Schmidt.

That's not change I can believe in.

He talked of the need for experience before selecting a untested, unready and unqualified "hockey mom with lipstick" to be his No. 2.

That's not change I can believe in.

John McCain has been an honorable man throughout most of his career (Keating Five excepted). But he has thrown over many of those beliefs in the pursuit of the White House. And it sounds as if he promising the flip flop again if he achieves that goal.

That is not change I can believe in. And neither should the American people. Remember the campaign rhetoric of the current White House occupant, who promised America he was "a uniter, not a divider."

That's not a change I believe in either.

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