Monday, September 8, 2008

McCain Campaign: Hypocrisy Revealed? or Stupidity?

I have to admit that I've REALLY been trying to come up with something else to talk about lately. I stay glued to CNN and I don't know if its because I am news addict - or just addicted to this election. Anyway, as a direct result of my obsession I am catching some really good talking points in support of the Dems, AND some pretty blatant examples of GOP hypocrisy.

Before we even get into that though - can we just talk about how the McCain/Palin freakshow is basically saying the EXACT same speech they gave before and during the GOP convention. Ok Ok - you put the jet on Ebay - we get it - you're unusual (someone start the slow clap). How's about little variety - next time you bring that up - admit that you sold for it at a loss. Lets get a real comparison of how much money was saved by selling the jet vs. buying tickets for each business trip. I mean if we are riding the "straight talk express" - lets be all the way straight!

Ok (whew got that off my chest) - I know everybody noticed how the McCain campaign has him toting himself as the "agent of change". I mean I think he was cool with the maverick title - because people have been calling him that for years - but this is like an mixtape song - a blatant rip of the original song with your lyrics put on. What kills me is that the media is giving this whole thing some legs - touting this as a critical strategic move vs. a political carjacking (that's real talk -not straight talk folks). I would expect the media to be far more harsh in their criticisms - but they are not. Then again? What should we expect from them when nobody else is saying anything?

The running theme is that the selection of Gov. Palin awoke a large portion of the GOP that was all but asleep during this election (hence the picture above) - but I really thought they wanted and deserved more in a candidate. Watching people at their campaign stops is like watching a bunch of zombies on T.V. - just repeating the most simple rhetoric - and voicing how they feel more connected with McCain (who they didn't like until a week ago) and Palin (who they didn't know existed until a week ago). You'll forgive me if I refrain from calling them "informed" voters. Stupid - maybe. Informed? Nah.

So with all my frustration I have been searching and waiting for something - ANYTHING that would showcase how terrible his campaign is - and the terrible fact that people are buying into it (I have every hope that they don't really believe in it -- just that this is what they may have to do to win). Enter Jon Stewart and the "Daily Show"(

The last week of coverage has all but proven McCain's (and Joe Lieberman) - TOTAL change over to the Dark Side. The maverick has been fully converted by the Grand Ole Party and all of its traditions. To influence peoples vote by tapping into their fears, to protect the have's at the expense of the have nots - and when you can't come up with a winning message - STEAL IT! Yeah..that''s what we'll teach the kids!

Then the nail in the coffin came this morning. A kind of "Keeping them honest" segment came on and it was talking about the Tax Cuts that both Obama and McCain are promising. Well they both say that they'll cut taxes - Obama clarifies to say that his cuts will benefit 95% of the country (specifically the middle class). McCain says his cuts are better - and that Obama's won't work. Well lets just see - shall we?

(chart courtesy of CNN)
                              MCCAIN                   OBAMA

Income                Avg. tax bill             Avg. tax bill
Over $2.9M              -$269,364         +$701,885
$603K and up          -$45,361            +$115,974
$227K-$603K          -$7,871              +$12
$161K-$227K           -$4,380             -$2,789
$112K-$161K            -$2,614              -$2,204
$66K-$112K             -$1,009              -$1,290
$38K-$66K              -$319                  -$1,042
$19K-$38K               -$113                  -$892
Under $19K              -$19                    -$567

(Now before my more "intellectual" readers blow me up with counter arguments. The chart came with a warning - and I will echo it (cut & paste it actually -sue me - I am lazy).

This speculation is interesting but mostly academic. These figures are not absolutes for three reasons. First, we’re dealing with politicians, so their proposals might change as they hammer out details, talk to advisers, and determine what strategy will get them into office. Second, their opinions may change once the winning nominee is sworn in to office. Third, any policy changes have to find their way through Congress first, where compromises must be negotiated before anything gets done.

So take these predictions and studies with a grain of salt.

Ok so with that said. I think it safe to assume that no one voting in this election is a psychic. So they can't base their decision off of what they know will happen in the future. Only what they are being promised. And as the disclaimer states - the candidates visions for the future may change over time - so we can't base our decision soley on their promises either. So to me- then it becomes more about intent. After reading the above chart - it is clear to me that McCain's intent is protection of the rich - which to me sounds like - 4 more years. While I can see the obvious benefits of "keeping more of what you make". I think its highly unrealistic to suggest that the burden of paying for the country be lead by the poor and middle class - while the rich get to sit back and kick it. 

Am I wrong? You tell me.

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