Wednesday, May 03, 2006

McCain kicks vets

The Myth of McCain as Political Maverick Updated at 12:27 PM

Edited on Wed May-03-06 12:31 PM by Bob Geiger
David Ignatius has a positively silly column
in the Washington Post today in which he parrots the lame old myth of
2008 presidential hopeful John McCain as a straight-talking, tough-guy
maverick who damns political consequences and goes his own way. As a
Veteran with boundless admiration for McCain's heroic conduct during his
imprisonment in Vietnam, I must also evaluate his career incarnation
which, if you examine his record, shows him to be a 98-pound political
weakling, who does best when others tell him what to do.

Even putting aside his nauseating and ongoing devotion to the White
House after what Team Bush did to smear him, his wife and his child in
the 2000 presidential primary, McCain's Senate record shows a man who
toes the party line and is a straight-shooting nonconformist only when
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Bill Frist tell him he's allowed to be.

The biggest disconnect from reality comes in the public perception of
McCain as a potential president whose strong suit would be national
security, even though his record in the 109th Congress shows a man who
follows the Senate Majority Leader's commands, no matter how much weaker
those edicts make our country.

Here are just a few samples of the things McCain voted against in 2005
and 2006, while offering no substantive legislation himself to
strengthen America:

* Senator Daniel Akaka's (D-HI) S.Amdt. 3007
which was intended to increase Veterans medical services funding
by $1.5 billion in 2007 by closing corporate tax loopholes.

* Three bills by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) -- S.Amdt. 3056
S.Amdt. 1687
and S.Amdt. 1217
-- that would have provided critical funds for interoperable
communications equipment for emergency first responders so that
they could effectively communicate with one another during natural
disasters, terrorist attacks and other public safety situations.

* Christopher Dodd's (D-CT) S.Amdt.2735
which was intended to " the health needs of our veterans
and military personnel and reduce the deficit by making tax rates
fairer for all Americans." In short, the measure proposed
additional funding to shore up the failing infrastructures at
Veterans hospitals all over the country. The bill would have
mandated a minor rollback in the capital gains tax cuts the Bush
administration has given to the richest one-fifth of one percent
of Americans.

* S.Amdt.2737
sponsored by Jack Reed (D-RI) sought a rollback in capital gains
tax cuts to purchase much-needed equipment for troops serving in
Iraq and Afghanistan. "We have the responsibility to be
responsible, not only give the troops what they need but pay for
it so we do not increase the deficit," argued Reed on the Senate
floor at the time. "I hope we respond by supporting my amendment
which takes care of the troops but does so in a responsible way by
providing the resources to pay for this necessary equipment."

* Charles Schumer (D-NY) had two amendment defeated by the GOP
(S.Amdt. 1189
and S.Amdt. 1190
that would have provided $70 million to identify and track
hazardous materials shipments and fund new security programs for
inspection of air cargo containers.

* S.Amdt. 16
by Dick Durbin (D-IL), would have exempted military people from
some facets of the GOP's hideous 2005 Bankruptcy Bill by
disallowing "... certain claims by lenders charging usurious
interest rates to service members, and to allow service members to
exempt property based on the law of the State of their premilitary

* Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) both had
legislation killed -- S.Amdt. 2634
S.Amdt. 344
respectively -- that would have funded additional medical care and
readjustment counseling "...for veterans with mental illness,
post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance use disorder."

The common denominator in all of these was McCain, the alleged maverick,
doing exactly what his masters told him to do and voting against every
single one of these bills designed to bolster our national security and
care for our Veterans and active military.

As McCain himself is quoted as saying in Ignatius's column, "It's
awfully hard to say no to the president of the United States."

Yes, we can tell.

You can reach Bob Geiger at
<> and read more from him at


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