We have come to expect a good deal of truth stretching and spin from political candidates and their mouthpieces over recent history. The lies and distortions of the Bush years have been legend topped off by the lies and deceit that led us into a horrendous and costly war. The failure of the Democratic Congress to press for impeachment as the only real answer for such incredible malfeasance on the part of the President has left us impotent to stop the slaughter of reason and truth by the new Republican team seeking to top the record of lies told by their predecessors.
We are over 50 days from voting and the compendium of lies and distortions is growing exponentially. Slowly these lies that have been repeated so often are finally being called out by our increasingly impotent media and press. Here are just a few of the more egregious examples.
Blizzard of Lies
Did you hear about how Barack Obama wants to have sex education in kindergarten, and called Sarah Palin a pig? Did you hear about how Ms. Palin told Congress, “Thanks, but no thanks” when it wanted to buy Alaska a Bridge to Nowhere?
These stories have two things in common: they’re all claims recently made by the McCain campaign — and they’re all out-and-out lies.
Dishonesty is nothing new in politics. I spent much of 2000 — my first year at The Times — trying to alert readers to the blatant dishonesty of the Bush campaign’s claims about taxes, spending and Social Security.
But I can’t think of any precedent, at least in America, for the blizzard of lies since the Republican convention. The Bush campaign’s lies in 2000 were artful — you needed some grasp of arithmetic to realize that you were being conned. This year, however, the McCain campaign keeps making assertions that anyone with an Internet connection can disprove in a minute, and repeating these assertions over and over again.
Take the case of the Bridge to Nowhere, which supposedly gives Ms. Palin credentials as a reformer. Well, when campaigning for governor, Ms. Palin didn’t say “no thanks” — she was all for the bridge, even though it had already become a national scandal, insisting that she would “not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative.”
Oh, and when she finally did decide to cancel the project, she didn’t righteously reject a handout from Washington: she accepted the handout, but spent it on something else. You see, long before she decided to cancel the bridge, Congress had told Alaska that it could keep the federal money originally earmarked for that project and use it elsewhere.
So the whole story of Ms. Palin’s alleged heroic stand against wasteful spending is fiction.
Or take the story of Mr. Obama’s alleged advocacy of kindergarten sex-ed. In reality, he supported legislation calling for “age and developmentally appropriate education”; in the case of young children, that would have meant guidance to help them avoid sexual predators.
And then there’s the claim that Mr. Obama’s use of the ordinary metaphor “putting lipstick on a pig” was a sexist smear, and on and on.
Why do the McCain people think they can get away with this stuff? Well, they’re probably counting on the common practice in the news media of being “balanced” at all costs. You know how it goes: If a politician says that black is white, the news report doesn’t say that he’s wrong, it reports that “some Democrats say” that he’s wrong. Or a grotesque lie from one side is paired with a trivial misstatement from the other, conveying the impression that both sides are equally dirty.
They’re probably also counting on the prevalence of horse-race reporting, so that instead of the story being “McCain campaign lies,” it becomes “Obama on defensive in face of attacks.”
Still, how upset should we be about the McCain campaign’s lies? I mean, politics ain’t beanbag, and all that.
One answer is that the muck being hurled by the McCain campaign is preventing a debate on real issues — on whether the country really wants, for example, to continue the economic policies of the last eight years.
But there’s another answer, which may be even more important: how a politician campaigns tells you a lot about how he or she would govern.
I’m not talking about the theory, often advanced as a defense of horse-race political reporting, that the skills needed to run a winning campaign are the same as those needed to run the country. The contrast between the Bush political team’s ruthless effectiveness and the heckuva job done by the Bush administration is living, breathing, bumbling, and, in the case of the emerging Interior Department scandal, coke-snorting and bed-hopping proof to the contrary.
I’m talking, instead, about the relationship between the character of a campaign and that of the administration that follows. Thus, the deceptive and dishonest 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign provided an all-too-revealing preview of things to come. In fact, my early suspicion that we were being misled about the threat from Iraq came from the way the political tactics being used to sell the war resembled the tactics that had earlier been used to sell the Bush tax cuts.
And now the team that hopes to form the next administration is running a campaign that makes Bush-Cheney 2000 look like something out of a civics class. What does that say about how that team would run the country?
What it says, I’d argue, is that the Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.
click here CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO FOR ONE EXAMPLE OF A LIAR IN ACTION click here
Why does the McCain campaign think it is honorable or fair or decent or worthy of anyone's respect to lie so disgracefully about a bill designed to help protect children from predators by saying Obama wants to teach kindergarden children about sex before they can read? What kind of man approves such a hideously distorted message? The Illinois bill was an attempt to fund instruction for children about inappropriate touching so they would know what to do if a predator touched them. That isn't sex. That's good common sense.
WHY DOES MCCAIN HAVE TO LIE?
He has to lie because he has nothing else to run on - all he can do is run down Obama. STOP IT NOW.
John McCain's deceptions about Barack Obama's views and Sarah Palin's flip-flopping suggest an unedifying scuffle over a city council seat. The media bear a heavy responsibility because "balance" does not require giving equal time to truth and lies. So does McCain, who is running a disgraceful, dishonorable campaign of distraction and diversion.
Note that E.J. too picks up on the phony "balance" in media that's contributing to the mudslinging.
Charles Babbington at AP (of all places):
The "Straight Talk Express" has detoured into doublespeak. ... Even in a political culture accustomed to truth-stretching, McCain's skirting of facts has stood out this week.
Jonathan Alter on Charlie Rose,
On Charlie Rose tonight
Jonathon Alter from Newsweek made the same point, and said that it was time for the media to start using the word "liar".
Maybe it's spreading.
Another one from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Palin — with the full backing and support of the McCain campaign — is doing herself longterm political damage with this ploy. The American people are watching her repeatedly lie to them, day after day, and watching her do so with no apparent compunction. This is her introduction to the national scene; this is when her image is being cemented into the public mind.
And her image is increasingly that of a guiltless liar.
Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic Online:
If she is a fraud, and has been proven a demonstrable liar in ways that a competent campaign would have vetted six months ago, McCain's campaign is over, and deserves to be over. ... This is the most shambolic campaign I have ever witnessed in a general election. If he runs his campaign this badly, how would he run the country?
Sarah Palin: Serial Liar?
Despite a solid debunking, the McCain-Palin campaign continue to traffic in falsehoods about the Alaska Governor's short tenure.
Michael Kinsley, also at WaPo:
The whole controversy is ginned up, a fraud, a lie. All obvious.
I know that by even bringing this up, I am falling into the trap that McCain’s people have set and perpetuating this ridiculous controversy. But the routine acceptance of obvious lies now corrodes our politics as much as the money that was the subject of McCain’s famous act of Republican apostasy: McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. ... the media have trouble calling a lie a lie, or asserting that one side is lying more than the other -- even when that is objectively the case. ... He says he’d rather lose the election than lose the war. But it seems he’d rather lose that honor he’s always going on about than lose the election.
This from Washington Monthly:
Now, it's obvious she's lying. She knows she's lying. She knows that we know she's lying. But she just doesn't give a damn. At this point, it's bordering on pathological. (According to one count, the McCain campaign has now repeated the lie 23 times.) ... Whatever the motivation, the McCain campaign simply has a problem telling the truth. With each passing the day, the disdain this gang shows for the democratic process becomes a little more breathtaking.
Whether Schmidt or Rove executes those same old appeals to the worst in us hardly matters. What matters is that McCain has adopted an approach that was once thought beneath him. And that choice dates back to his decision to ally himself with George W. Bush and indeed with Rove, despite the vicious tactics that defeated him in the Republican primaries of 2000 -- for which he held them responsible...he has once more sold himself to those same forces, hoping that they will at last usher him into the White House.
Joe Conason - Salon
McCain talks up Palin as a reformer on 'The View'
McCain says Palin is good for the country because of her 'reformer credentials' on 'The View'
Sep 12, 2008 11:50 EST
Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Friday running mate Sarah Palin has never asked for money for lawmakers' pet projects as Alaska governor when in fact she has sought nearly $200 million in earmarks this year.
McCain made the comments as he appeared on the ABC television show "The View" as part of his effort to woo women to his candidacy.
The Arizona senator said the GOP vice presidential nominee would be good for the country because she would reform government, and specifically cited curbing federal spending for earmarks.
When pressed about Palin's record of requesting and accepting such money for Alaska, McCain ignored the record and said: "Not as governor she didn't."
As questions swirl about whether Palin is qualified to serve, McCain defended her and said he's very happy with his selection of her.
"She's ignited a spark in America," McCain said, even as he acknowledged that they sometimes have different views.
McCain also used the appearance to defend his TV commercials criticizing his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama. McCain stretches the truth in several of them that have been debunked by fact checkers.
"They're not lies," McCain said.
John McCain: Still Lying. Again.
Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 05:16:07 PM EST
And there isn't any way this is an "honest mistake", because the figures for Alaska earmarks have been floating around as a major campaign issue, the last week. He's just a liar:
MCCAIN: Well, first of all, earmark spending, which she vetoed a half a billion dollars worth in the state of Alaska.
WALTERS: She also took some earmarks there.
BEHAR: A lot.
MCCAIN: No, not as governor she didn’t, she vetoed...
WALTERS: As Mayor.
MCCAIN: Well, look, the fact is that she was a reform governor.
Um, no. Not even close. Alaska under Palin still sought more earmark dollars per-capita than any other state. Alaska requested $750 million dollars in earmarks during the time she was governor. Denying that she took earmarks is about as credible as McCain announcing he won the Tour de France (maybe he's saving that one for next week.) And yes, Walters was correct to note that as Mayor of Wasilla, Palin was also an avid earmark seeker.
WHY DOES JOHN MCCAIN THINK HE CAN GET AWAY WITH SUCH LIES?
Have we really reached the point where is doesn't matter if what a president says is true?
another list of more lies and distortions:
Over the weekend, Senator McCain said, "this election is about trust and trusting people's word"
Signing of the GI Bill: Now enthusiastically for it... after it passed. Previously attacked the Webb Bill. Didn't even bother to vote on it.
Campaign reform: On political reform, McCain last January opposed a grassroots lobbying bill he once supported. In 2006, the "New York Sun" reported that his presidential ambitions led McCain to reverse his support of a campaign financial bill called McCain/Feingold.
Alien Minors Act/Immigration: Last October he said he would vote against the development, relief and education for Alien Miners Act that he co-sponsored, and then said he would vote against an immigration bill that he introduced.
Abortion: On abortion, 1999, publicly supporting Roe v. Wade, privately opposing it in a letter to the National Right to Life Committee. In the 2000 debates, he would change the GOP platform to permit exceptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother. May 2007, "flipped", ABCNews.com reported.
Nuclear Waste: No Storing Nuclear waste at Yucca mountain earlier..now flipped
Negotiating with Kim Jong-Il: Negotiating with Kim Jong-Il not acceptable until President Bush did it last week.
Negotiating with Cuba/Castro: With Fidel Castro acceptable in 2000, not 2008.
Negotiating with Hamas/Terrorists: ...with terrorists appropriate when Colin Powell went to Syria and in 2006 when McCain said sooner or later we‘ll talk to Hamas, but not appropriate now re: Obama's willingness to use diplomacy.
Pakistan: Unilateral action against suspected terrorists in Pakistan; "Confused leadership" when Obama suggested it, not when Bush did it.
Warrantless Wire-taps: Six months ago, presidents had to obey the law, not anymore.
Torture: Torture detainees, no way, except for the CIA. Hold them indefinitely, wrong in 2003, the right move in 2008.
Iraq War: The Iraq war, the right course 2004, stay the course 2005. Today, McCain has always been a Rumsfeld critic.
Tax Cuts: In 2001, he could not in good conscious support them. Now he can.
Estate Tax: 2006, "I agree with President Roosevelt who created it". In 2008, "most unfair".
Privatizing Social Security: This month not for privatizing Social Security, never has been. In 2004, he "didn‘t see how benefits will last without it".
Balanced Budget: In February, promised a balanced budget in four years by April, make that eight years.
Windfall Profits Tax: In May, glad to look at the windfall profits tax. By June, that was Jimmy Carter's big idea.
Offshore Drilling: In 2000, no new off shore drilling. Last month, it would take years to develop. This month, very helpful in the short term.
Coyotes..Bush Big Time Fund Raisers: The Bush fund-raisers McCain called coyotes breaking the law in 2000. By 2006, they were co-chairing McCain fund-raisers.
"Agents of Intolerance": Buddy Jerry Falwell...an "agent of intolerance in 2000". Kissed Falwell's ass in 2007... The Reverend Hagee and Parsley in, then out this year alone.
Martin Luther King Holiday: In 1983, opposed Martin Luther King Day. Today, all for it.
Confederate Flag: In 2000, defended South Carolina's confederate flag as a symbol of heritage. Two years later, McCain calling it, quote, an act of political cowardice not to say the flag should come down. Quote, "everybody said, look out. You can't win in South Carolina if you say that."
Evolution in Public Schools: In 2005, McCain said alternatives to evolution should be taught in school. "Evolving" the opposite position he had taken in 2000.
Restoring the Everglades: On June 5, John McCain traveled to the Everglades to win over Floridians and environmentally-minded voters. There he proclaimed, "I am in favor of doing whatever’s necessary to save the Everglades." Sadly, as ThinkProgress documented, McCain not only opposed $2 billion in funding for the restoration of the Everglades national park, he backed President Bush’s veto of the legislation in 2007. "I believe," he said, "that we should be passing a bill that will authorize legitimate, needed projects without sacrificing fiscal responsibility."
Swiftboating: McCain's sudden embrace of Swiftboating --- which today is synonymous with a concerted effort to lie about an opponent's history --- is all the more deplorable because he has hired retired Col. George "Bud" Day, a proud member of the group that Swiftboated Kerry --- and someone McCain once described as having "tunnel vision" --- to lead what McCain is calling his "Truth Squad."
GITMO/Habeus Corpus:Despite John McCain's outrage last week that the Supreme Court ordered Gitmo detainees know why they were being held, or released -- Political Base has stumbled upon a McCain appearance on Meet the Press in 2005 where he argued they deserved trials, going so far as to say "if it means releasing some of them, you'll have to release them." Shameless.
Divestment from South Africa: During his June 2 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), John McCain called for the international community to target Iran for the kind of worldwide sanctions regime applied to apartheid-era South Africa. Unfortunately, McCain’s lobbyist-advisers Charlie Black and Rick Davis each represented firms doing business with Tehran. Even more unfortunate, John McCain was frequently not among those offering "moral clarity and conviction" in backing "a divestment campaign against South Africa, helping to rid that nation of the evil of apartheid."
Opposing Hurricane Katrina Investigations: During a June 4th town hall meeting in Baton Rouge, John McCain answered a reporter’s question regarding Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the New Orleans levees by announcing:
"I’ve supported every investigation and ways of finding out what caused the tragedy. I’ve been here to New Orleans. I’ve met with people on the ground."
As it turns out, not so much. McCain’s revisionist history neglects to mention that in 2005 and 2006 he twice voted against a commission to study the government’s response to Katrina. He also opposed three separate emergency funding measures providing relief to Katrina victims, including the extension of five months of Medicaid benefits. And as ThinkProgress pointed out, "until traveling there one month ago, McCain had made just one public tour of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina touched down in August 2005."
McCain On His Economic Abilities: "I have not. I have not. Actually, I have not." "I said that I am stronger on national security issues because of all the time I spent in the military and others. I am very strong on the economy. I understand it. I have a lot more experience than my opponent."
-- Sen. John McCain, in an interview on ABC News, when asked why he "admitted that you're not exactly an expert when it comes to the economy."
However, NBC News compiles past McCain quotes in which he said "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should" or "I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated."
On Criticizing Obama While "Overseas": Traveling in Colombia, he told reporters that he wouldn't criticize Obama while he was overseas, but on the plane, he blasted Obama’s opposition to the proposed Colombia free trade...
Temperment and Temper: "My temper has often been both a matter of public speculation and personal concern," he wrote in a 2002 memoir. "I have a temper, to state the obvious, which I have tried to control with varying degrees of success because it does not always serve my interest or the public's." Not true and not under control, according to many of those on the "W"rong side of McCain's famous temper.
Drilling For Oil and Automobile Efficiency: "Last week, Senator McCain reversed himself and said we need to drill more. Today, he has reversed years of failing to support more efficient cars, new energy technologies and green jobs.
Offshore Drilling: Two weeks ago, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) offered "a bit of a capitulation to the oil companies" by announcing that he would end the federal ban on offshore oil drilling. Not only is McCain’s move a break with environmental activist, but it is also "a reversal of the position he took in his 2000 presidential campaign.
Payroll Taxes: "When he was asked in 2005 whether he could see himself lifting the cap on the payroll tax, (McCain) said, 'I could.' Two years later, during a May 13, 2007, appearance on "Meet the Press," Russert asked McCain if he was still open to lifting the Social Security tax cap as part of a compromise. "Am I opposed to tax increases?" said McCain. "Yes. But we've got to sit down together and figure out what our options are, and tough decisions have to be made, Republicans and Democrats. And I know how to do that." Asked about the 2005 remark, a McCain spokesman acknowledged the tension with his current position while arguing that the Arizona senator's criticism of his Democratic rival is still valid because McCain has spoken out against higher Social Security taxes as a 2008 White House hopeful.
Ethics Reform and Abramoff: On the stump, Sen. John McCain often cites his work tackling the excesses of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff as evidence of his sturdy ethical compass. A little-known document, however, shows that McCain may have taken steps to protect his Republican colleagues from the scope of his investigation.
IT'S GOTTEN TO THE POINT YOU CANNOT BELIEVE ANYTHING MCCAIN SAYS.
76 DOCUMENTED POSITION SWITCHES
Jukebox John keeps changing his tune
It’s obvious that the McCain campaign and the RNC have decided to go after Barack Obama as a flip-flopper. What’s equally obvious, though, that Republicans couldn’t have chosen a worse narrative.
McCain & Co. seemed to stumble on this line of attack almost by accident. They’d experimented with a variety of memes in recent months, none of which had any real salience. The right settled on “flip-flopper,” in large part because it’s the closest available, already-written Republican narrative, and in part because McCain staffers haven’t been able to think of anything else.
The irony, of course, is that the McCain campaign couldn’t have picked a more hypocritical line of attack. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of reversals from the Republican nominee, numbered and organized by category for easier reference.
I should note that there’s nothing offensive about a political figure changing his or her mind once in a while. Policy makers come to one conclusion, they gain more information, and then they reach a different conclusion. That is, to be sure, a good thing — it reflects a politician with an open mind and a healthy intellectual curiosity. Better to have a leader who changes his or her mind based on new information than one who stubbornly sticks to outmoded policy positions, regardless of facts or circumstances.
So why do McCain’s flip-flops matter? Because all available evidence suggests his reversals aren’t sincere, they’re cynically calculated for political gain. This isn’t indicative of an open mind; it’s actually indicative of a character flaw. And given the premise of McCain’s presidential campaign, it’s an area in desperate need of scrutiny.
The perception people have of McCain is outdated, reflective of a man who no longer has any use for his previous persona. What’s wrong with a politician who changes his or her views? Nothing in particular, but when a politician changes his views so much that he has an entirely different worldview, is it unreasonable to wonder whether it’s entirely sincere? Especially when there’s no other apparent explanation for six dozen significant reversals?
McCain has been in Congress for more than a quarter-century; he’s bound to shift now and then on various controversies. But therein lies the point — McCain was consistent on most of these issues, right up until he started running for president, at which point he conveniently abandoned literally dozens of positions he used to hold. The problem isn’t just the incessant flip-flops — though that’s part of it — it’s more about the shameless pandering and hollow convictions behind the incessant flip-flops. That the media still perceives McCain as some kind of “straight talker” who refuses to sway with the political winds makes this all the more glaring.
Here’s the list.
National Security Policy
1. McCain thought Bush’s warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.
2. McCain insisted that everyone, even “terrible killers,” “the worst kind of scum of humanity,” and detainees at Guantanamo Bay, “deserve to have some adjudication of their cases,” even if that means “releasing some of them.” McCain now believes the opposite.
3. He opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. When the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion, he called it “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.”
4. In February 2008, McCain reversed course on prohibiting waterboarding.
5. McCain was for closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay before he was against it.
6. When Barack Obama talked about going after terrorists in Pakistani mountains with predators, McCain criticized him for it. He’s since come to the opposite conclusion.
8. McCain supported moving “towards normalization of relations” with Cuba. Now he believes the opposite.
9. McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Hamas. Now he believes the opposite.
10. McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Syria. Now he believes the opposite.
11. McCain is both for and against a “rogue state rollback” as a focus of his foreign policy vision.
12. McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty’s behalf before a Senate committee. Now he opposes it.
13. McCain was against divestment from South Africa before he was for it.
14. McCain recently claimed that he was the “greatest critic” of Rumsfeld’s failed Iraq policy. In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as “a mission accomplished.” In March 2004, he said, “I’m confident we’re on the right course.” In December 2005, he said, “Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.”
15. McCain has changed his mind about a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq on multiple occasions, concluding, on multiple occasions, that a Korea-like presence is both a good and a bad idea.
16. McCain was against additional U.S. forces in Afghanistan before he was for it.
17. McCain said before the war in Iraq, “We will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” Four years later, McCain said he knew all along that the war in Iraq war was “probably going to be long and hard and tough.”
18. McCain has repeatedly said it’s a dangerous mistake to tell the “enemy” when U.S. troops would be out of Iraq. In May, McCain announced that most American troops would be home from Iraq by 2013.
19. McCain was against expanding the GI Bill before he was for it.
20. McCain staunchly opposed Obama’s Iraq withdrawal timetable, and even blasted Mitt Romney for having referenced the word during the GOP primaries. In July, after Iraqi officials endorsed Obama’s policy, McCain said a 16-month calendar sounds like “a pretty good timetable.”
21. McCain defended “privatizing” Social Security. Now he says he’s against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)
22. On Social Security, McCain said he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Soon after, asked about a possible increase in the payroll tax, McCain said there’s “nothing that’s off the table.”
23. McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn’t.
24. McCain supported storing spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Now he believes the opposite.
25. He argued the NRA should not have a role in the Republican Party’s policy making. Now he believes the opposite.
26. In 1998, he championed raising cigarette taxes to fund programs to cut underage smoking, insisting that it would prevent illnesses and provide resources for public health programs. Now, McCain opposes a $0.61-per-pack tax increase, won’t commit to supporting a regulation bill he’s co-sponsoring, and has hired Philip Morris’ former lobbyist as his senior campaign adviser.
27. McCain is both for and against earmarks for Arizona.
28. McCain’s first mortgage plan was premised on the notion that homeowners facing foreclosure shouldn’t be “rewarded” for acting “irresponsibly.” His second mortgage plan took largely the opposite position.
30. McCain opposed a holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., before he supported it.
31. McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he’s pro-ethanol.
32. McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.
35. In the Senate, McCain opposed a variety of measures on equal pay for women, and endorsed the Supreme Court’s Ledbetter decision. In July, however, McCain said, “I’m committed to making sure that there’s equal pay for equal work. That … is my record and you can count on it.”
36. McCain was against fully funding the No Child Left Behind Act before he was for it.
37. McCain was for affirmative action before he was against it.
39. McCain was against Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy before he was for them.
40. John McCain initially argued that economics is not an area of expertise for him, saying, “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues; I still need to be educated,” and “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.” He now falsely denies ever having made these remarks and insists that he has a “very strong” understanding of economics.
41. McCain vowed, if elected, to balance the federal budget by the end of his first term. Soon after, he decided he would no longer even try to reach that goal. And soon after that, McCain abandoned his second position and went back to his first.
42. McCain said in 2005 that he opposed the tax cuts because they were “too tilted to the wealthy.” By 2007, he denied ever having said this, and falsely argued that he opposed the cuts because of increased government spending.
43. McCain thought the estate tax was perfectly fair. Now he believes the opposite.
44. McCain pledged in February 2008 that he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Specifically, McCain was asked if he is a “‘read my lips’ candidate, no new taxes, no matter what?” referring to George H.W. Bush’s 1988 pledge. “No new taxes,” McCain responded. Two weeks later, McCain said, “I’m not making a ‘read my lips’ statement, in that I will not raise taxes.”
45. McCain has changed his entire economic worldview on multiple occasions.
46. McCain believes Americans are both better and worse off economically than they were before Bush took office.
47. McCain was against massive government bailouts of “big banks” that “act irresponsibly.” He then announced his support for a massive government bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
48. McCain supported the moratorium on coastal drilling ; now he’s against it.
49. McCain recently announced his strong opposition to a windfall-tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea.
50. McCain endorsed a cap-and-trade policy with a mandatory emissions cap. In mid-June, McCain announced he wants the caps to voluntary.
51. McCain explained his belief that a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax would provide an immediate economic stimulus. Shortly thereafter, he argued the exact opposite.
52. McCain supported the Lieberman/Warner legislation to combat global warming. Now he doesn’t.
53. McCain was for national auto emissions standards before he was against them.
54. McCain was a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants’ kids who graduate from high school. In 2007, he announced his opposition to the bill. In 2008, McCain switched back.
55. On immigration policy in general, McCain announced in February 2008 that he would vote against his own bill.
56. In April, McCain promised voters that he would secure the borders “before proceeding to other reform measures.” Two months later, he abandoned his public pledge, pretended that he’d never made the promise in the first place, and vowed that a comprehensive immigration reform policy has always been, and would always be, his “top priority.”
Judicial Policy and the Rule of Law
57. McCain said he would “not impose a litmus test on any nominee.” He used to promise the opposite.
58. McCain’s position was that the telecoms should be forced to explain their role in the administration’s warrantless surveillance program as a condition for retroactive immunity. He used to believe the opposite.
60. In June, McCain rejected the idea of a trial for Osama bin Laden, and thought Obama’s reference to Nuremberg was a misread of history. A month later, McCain argued the exact opposite position.
61. In June, McCain described the Supreme Court’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush was “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” In August, he reversed course.
Campaign, Ethics, and Lobbying Reform
62. McCain supported his own lobbying-reform legislation from 1997. Now he doesn’t.
63. In 2006, McCain sponsored legislation to require grassroots lobbying coalitions to reveal their financial donors. In 2007, after receiving “feedback” on the proposal, McCain told far-right activist groups that he opposes his own measure.
64. McCain supported a campaign-finance bill, which bore his name, on strengthening the public-financing system. In June 2007, he abandoned his own legislation.
65. In May 2008, McCain approved a ban on lobbyists working for his campaign. In July 2008, his campaign reversed course and said lobbyists could work for his campaign.
Politics and Associations
67. McCain wanted political support from radical televangelist Rod Parsley. Now he doesn’t.
68. McCain says he considered and did not consider joining John Kerry’s Democratic ticket in 2004.
69. McCain is both for and against attacking Barack Obama over his former pastor at his former church.
70. McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” in 2002, but then decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans “deserved” the 9/11 attacks.
71. In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending “dirty money” to help finance Bush’s presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.
72. McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.
73. McCain decided in 2000 that he didn’t want anything to do with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, believing he “would taint the image of the ‘Straight Talk Express.’” Kissinger is now the Honorary Co-Chair for his presidential campaign in New York.
74. McCain believed powerful right-wing activist/lobbyist Grover Norquist was “corrupt, a shill for dictators, and (with just a dose of sarcasm) Jack Abramoff’s gay lover.” McCain now considers Norquist a key political ally.
75. McCain was for presidential candidates giving speeches in foreign countries before he was against it.
76. McCain has been both for and against considering a pro-choice running mate for the Republican presidential ticket.
JOHN MCCAIN is no longer the MAVERICK he once tried to be. The saddest thing is that he doesn't appear to know that he has changed or that he is lying. We do not need a President who does not know the truth or the facts. Why does anyone want this kind of man leading our country?