As the Democratic party slowly kills itself in the months (or is it years) running up to the November election, the Republican party has been able to sit back and relax, already knowing John McCain will be on the ballot and secure in the knowledge that Obama and Clinton are doing their dirty work for them. With that in mind, their real work is the transformation of the man once known as John McCain into the man (monster?) that all real Republicans want, someone who will from here on be known as McBush.
Just who is this 71 year-old senator for the state of Arizona, and more importantly what does he believe in? The answers to this question could only be answered if you specified what period of time you were asking about, pre-presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, or the monster that is in the morphing process of becoming McBush. What's the big deal you may ask? Surely the American people won't be duped into voting for a Republican again after eight years of Bush. If you are so certain, your memory is worse than those who will vote for McBush in huge numbers come November as you've already forgotten the 2004 election. At the time I would never have imagined a world where America would vote Bush back into the White House, but they did, in what was a near landslide victory. War in Iraq? Who cares?! Economy sliding into recession? (see stagflation article below) Whatever! Osama Bin Laden nowhere to be found? A mere nuisance! All of this can only be explained by the magic of the American electoral system, one where money and power have far greater influence than ideas and wisdom. Convince the right people that having your man in the oval office will mean more money in their pocket for the next four years, and you win.
Let's rewind to 2001. President Bush pushes his plan for one of the biggest tax cuts in history to jump start the economy. At the time, the man still known as McCain said that he could not "in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans." This was a tax cut aimed directly at the rich, with cuts mostly to capital gains and dividends. He becomes one of only two Republicans to vote against the plan. Along comes 2003 and Bush needs to keep his rich supporters happy before the next election and therefore comes up with another tax cut to match the first. The man still known as McCain called this cut "irresponsible" and saying "At a time of war, at a time of economic stagnation, at a time of rising national debt . . . one might expect our national leaders to pursue policies calling for shared sacrifice to achieve shared benefits. Regrettably, that is not the case." This man went on to be one of only 3 republicans to vote against the cuts, $674 billion that mostly helped the affluent (surprise!). Fast forward to today and a country in far worse economic shape still stuck in a quagmire overseas which will still cost trillions more and we see the outcome of the transformation process. Not only would McBush make the tax cuts introduced by Bush permanent, but his economic plan will add more cuts. This is something that most people would have said was impossible to hear out of the mouth of the man formerly known as McCain (MFKM from here on). Part one of McBush's plan is the suspension of federal taxes on gasoline and diesel from the end of May to the beginning of September to encourage Americans to drive more over the summer holiday, just what the world needs, help for the oil companies. The next part of his plan is based on lowering taxes for the rich (those making between $65,000 and $130,000) and (surprise!) lowering corporate taxes. This plan has been viciously attacked almost across the media spectrum.
Now, I'm not arguing again Keynesian economics, yes, tax cuts can help to stimulate the economy, it's not only Republicans who believe in this principal. I liked this video of JFK explaining his cuts of 1963 to the American people:
I just want to know when the brain operation was performed, or if it's just some kind of slow morphing potion that they fed poor ol' MFKM. The hard core republicans were afraid of a couple of MFKM's "shortcomings", one that he may not of been as "fiscally responsible" as they would like, and two that he was an not an evangelical Christian. Remember that this is a party in which three of the candidates for president openly declared that they did NOT believe in evolution. Reading the transcripts of what was said in the debate on June 5, 2007 in New Hampshire hosted by Wolf Blitzer of CNN:
Senator McCain, do you believe creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the nation’s schools?
SEN. MCCAIN: No, I believe that’s up to the school districts. But I think that every American should be exposed to all theories. But I can’t say it more eloquently than Pastor Huckabee — Governor Huckabee just did, and I admire his description, because I hold that view.
The point is that the time before time — there’s no doubt in my mind that the hand of God was in what we are today. And I do believe that we are unique, and I believe that God loves us. But I also believe that all of our children in school can be taught different views on different issues. But I leave the curricula up to the school boards.
If you're interested in what Mike Huckabee had said earlier, the entire transcript is here. MFKM's response wasn't particularly controversial of course but I just wanted you to know what he thought before the transformation was complete.