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Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I've been writing about John McCain a lot lately, but let's face it, John McCain's not talking about John McCain and someone has to. Lately, when the media talks about John McCain, it's to repeat some attack McCain's made on Barack Obama. Lately, with the help of a media more concerned with sensationalism than substance, McCain has been able to be a serious candidate for president who doesn't seem to stand for a whole lot.

One of the worst aspects of this whole thing is that no one's looking at the fact that McCain doesn't stand for a whole lot. Mr. Leadership generally leads by following. His opinions go where the votes are or the money is. McCain is a candidate openly for sale.

An example; in June, John McCain opposed a Constitutional amendment to make same sex marriage illegal. He didn't support marriage equality, but he took what would've once been the default Republican opinion on issues like this and said it was up to the states to decide.

But, as I said, that was once the default. That was before Bush's 2004 campaign that highlighted the Homosexual Menaces' Threat to America. McCain was behind the times; the new default was to panic over same sex marriage, foretell the destruction of the family and, with it, the end of America. Under Bush, the GOP has become the party of fear and if your reaction to an issue isn't to try to get everyone to wet their pants over it, then you aren't a real Republican.

So John McCain made a trip to see the Apostles of Republican Jesus, that they might impart their wisdom upon him and anoint him a True Republican. And, lo, so it was done.

McCain had made very public splits from two of the Apostles -- Rod Parsley and John Hagee. It was time to appease the religious right. McCain met with the Apostles of Republican Jesus on June 26. The next day, the scales fell from Baghdad Johnny's eyes and he saw the light. He was now sufficiently freaked out over gay marriage.

Press release from

United States Senator John McCain today announced his support for the California Protection of Marriage initiative on the state's November ballot, leaders of the campaign announced. In an email received by the campaign, Senator McCain issued the following statement:

"I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman, just as we did in my home state of Arizona. I do not believe judges should be making these decisions."

A complete U-turn. One that had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he'd just dumped influential Ohio nut Rod Parsley and the Ohio Republican machine was displeased. It had nothing to do with the fact that the Apostles of Republican Jesus he spoke with the day before were also from Ohio. It had nothing to do with the fact that McCain needed the swing state to have any chance in Hell. Of course, if it wasn't for those reasons, the real reasons he'd abandon a position he'd held for years is anyone's guess.

To be fair, McCain isn't exactly known as an actual activist on the issue of marriage inequality -- a little flip-flop for Ohio's corrupt political machine was no big deal. McCain's activism is saved for another high profile flip-flop -- offshore drilling. McCain had previously opposed offshore drilling, but then this happened:

Public Campaign Action Fund tells us, "McCain has received more than twice as much money from the oil and gas industries in the 2008 cycle than in all other cycles since 1989." Presto-chango-rearrango, McCain's an activist for oil companies.

And some of his donors are really digging deep to give McCain money. McClatchy Newspapers tells us the story of one drilling true believer:

Alice Rocchio is an office manager at the New York headquarters of the Hess Corp., drives a 1993 Chevy Cavalier and lives in an apartment in Queens, N.Y., with her husband, Pasquale, an Amtrak foreman.

Despite what appears to be a middle-class lifestyle, the couple has written $61,600 in checks to John McCain's presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee, most of it within days of McCain's decision to endorse offshore oil drilling.

Not surprisingly, some people find this story a little incredible. It appears that Hess is money-laundering campaign contributions through employees, to give beyond the legal maximum a corporation could give to McCain -- that'd be the same McCain you might remember as a former campaign finance reform champion.

In all, Hess employees have given McCain a subsantial portion part of the $1.2 million he's collected from Big Oil. 73% of that has come after McCain reversed his position on offshore drilling.

In fact, Hess employee contributions to McCain look stupid-suspicious when you get up close. It's like looking at a crooked accountant's books and seeing that he doesn't have a lot of imagination. TPM Election Central supplies the specifics:

J. Barclay Collins, Hess Corp., Attorney, $28,500, 19-Jun
John B. Hess, Hess Corp., Executive, $28,500, 24-Jun
Susan K. Hess, Homemaker, Homemaker, $28,500, 24-Jun
Norma W. Hess, Retired, Retired, $28,500, 24-Jun
John J. O'Connor, Hess Corp., Executive, $28,500, 24-Jun
Lawrence Ornstein, Hess Corp., Senior VP, $28,500, 24-Jun
John Reilly, Hess Corp., Executive, $28,500, 24-Jun
Alice Rocchio, Hess Corp., Office Manager, $28,500, 24-Jun
John Scelfo, Hess Corp., Senior VP of Finance, $28,500, 24-Jun
F. Borden Walker, Hess Corp., Businessman, $28,500, 24-Jun

"Norma W. Hess is the widow of oil magnate and company founder Leon Hess, and Susan K. Hess is the wife of Hess chairman and CEO John Hess.," we're told. All exactly the same amount, most on the same day -- you'd think they'd at least try to hide it.

After all this, where McCain's position had previously been to oppose drilling, he told an audience yesterday, "[W]e need to drill here and we need to drill now."

Drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill! Do it now! Freak out! Run! Go, go, go, go, go! For the love of freakin' God, don't stop to think for a second -- just run and drill!

McCain endorsed the Republican stunt in Washington -- a phony session while Congress is in recess. And he did this despite the fact that people in Washington are beginning to forget what Baghdad Johnny looks like -- he hasn't been at work since April.

"Let's start working for the American people and not for ourselves," McCain said yesterday.

That's good advice, John -- why don't you take it?


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Steven said...

Doesn't Obama's reneging his pledge to accept public funds disturb you? Do you really believe (policy and affiliation aside) that there is any difference between the Democrat and Republican money machines?

Wisco said...

Oh please...

Compared to McCain, Obama's a rock-solid paragon of consistency.