Diary

Blaming Dems Won't Save McCain

This may get me declared a “troll” but I don’t care, it is still the truth. In the financial crisis meltdown and scandal, based on talk radio and the conservative blogs, it is all the Democrats’ fault. Start with ACORN, which Obama is a major player in. Move on to measures passed – at the behest of activists like ACORN – during the Clinton administration. And then talk about how John McCain warned about the crisis in 2005. Then talk about a measure to address this issue that failed to pass the Senate banking committee with the Democrats voting against it en masse.

This sort of thing is precisely what the voters do not want to hear and moreover are tired of. Save the brief Jim Jeffords period, the GOP ran Congress from 1994 to 2006. George W. Bush has been in the White House since 2000. So … did Clinton enact the ACORN regulations by the passage of federal law? If so, then the Republican Congress went along with it. Did Clinton enact it using his executive powers? If so, not only did the Republican Congress not oppose it, but the Bush administration failed to overturn it. And as for the valiant attempts by John McCain and the GOPers on the Senate banking committee to address this crisis in 2005 … well Republicans still held a large majority in both houses of Congress in 2005, which meant that they had a majority on the banking committee and on John McCain’s own Commerce committee. Precisely what was it that prevented John McCain from getting legislation to the floor from the very committee that he chaired? It was the same thing that prevented the measure from passing the Senate banking committee, and the same thing that kept the earmarks, porkbarrel spending, No Child Left Behind, prescription drugs, the corruption and waste with contractors in Iraq and New Orleans, and all of the other things that resulted in a very angry public’s voting out the GOP in 2006 … the actions of Republican senators and representatives.

Republicans made a lot of gains from 1994 to 2006 under the message of accountability, of taking responsibility. So now they are sending the message that we should blame Bill Clinton eight years after he left office, Senate Democrats when they were in the minority, and marginal activist groups that no one has even heard of until now? And talking about how John McCain tried to stop this mess in 2005 only adds to the problem. If McCain couldn’t get anything done as chairman of the Commerce Committee while his own party was running Washington, what makes you think that he can do anything if president with a Democratic Congress? That is an explicit admission that the Republican Congress was the problem to begin with, and that the moderate maverick McCain needs a Democratic congress to get anything done. Even if voters buy that and elect McCain, it still comes at the expense of every other Republican and of conservatism in general.

This is why polls have swung from McCain leading 48 – 45 to Obama leading 50 – 44 since the crisis hit. People blame Republicans, who have been in shared power since 1994 and were in complete power from 2000 to 2006 (again save the Jeffords Senate era). And this is the amazing thing: most people don’t even know that John McCain has been a member of the Senate Commerce Committe since 1986 with a good bit of that time as its chairman yet. But rest assured, they will. Even if Barack Obama’s campaign, obviously still not recovered from the Palin shock, doesn’t raise it, the media will. A Google news search on “John McCain commerce committee chairman” is bringing up a ton of “mainstream” media links bashing him. How hard would it be for someone to come up with an attack ad with the words John McCain commerce committee member since 1986 and then a cutaway to McCain’s own quote “the economy really isn’t my thing.”

Look, if the Obama campaign hasn’t done it already, then they probably aren’t going to, which means that they are basically hopeless, resigned to staggering across the finish line with an unprecedented get out the vote effort. But that won’t be enough. McCain will thrash the inexperienced and very liberal Obama during the debates, regain his lead in the polls, and defeat Obama by larger margins than Bush did either Gore or Kerry. Some recent news stories even show that national and local Democratic leaders have resigned themselves to that fact and are now battling to hold onto Congress and governorships, and these stories were actually coming in even as the good (for them) Obama poll numbers come in. Why? Because they know that it won’t last. That is why the media has been laying the groundwork for the “racism” excuse despite knowing full well that playing that card is the one thing absolutely guaranteed to push undecided voters into McCain’s corner; the false idea that if they don’t vote for Obama then they are a racist. So by the time NBC, ABC, and CBS reluctantly call the election for McCain, probably when the Nevada and Colorado returns come in, this mess will be long forgotten.

Still, the “blame the Democrats!” reflex is awful. What good does electing Republicans do if all conservatives are ever going to do is blame Democrats? Republicans could have fought those ACORN measures when Clinton put them in. They didn’t. They could have rescinded those measures after Bush was elected. They didn’t. It is one thing if Republicans had actually staged a fight over this issue, forcing it to the floor and making the Democrats filibuster. They didn’t. John McCain could have talked about whatever history he has on this issue before it started hurting him in the polls. He didn’t. If Republicans are always going to blame Democrats, the media, the activists, etc. instead of being accountable and responsible to match their rhetoric, then why do they even deserve to be in power?

Can someone tell me precisely what the GOP Congress did from 1994 to 2006 and what the Bush administration has been doing since 2000 if not attending to matters like this? I know that there is still an election to win, but doesn’t anyone care about how the GOP actually GOVERNS when they do win? The finger pointing and/or the shoulder shrug attitude that many Republicans are taking towards nonsense that they would be pulling their hair out and burning up the blogs, talk radio, etc. were the Democrats in power is the worst. If it were a Democratic administration giving away hundreds of billions in no bid contracts to politically connected firms to reconstruct Iraq only for it to turn into a huge mess of waste, incompetence, and possible corruption, the left would never hear the end of it. Discussing the affirmative action set aside minority subcontracts that a Democratic administration would have given away alone would have taken up days of airtime and filled up pages of blogs. And imagine if Blackwater was one of those Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton front companies. “Freddy’s Fashion Mart in the desert!” “Preferences and quotas kill!” But even when CONSERVATIVE LIBERTARIANS talk about the corruption, incompetence, and outright boondoggle, they simply get accused of opposing the war effort. The conservative discourse on Iraq has to start with the surge, take a detour through Sean Penn and the Dixie Chicks and Moveon.org, end with David Petraus, and that is it, right?

Barack Obama won’t be around to save the GOP from itself much longer. Immediately after the election, McCain – Palin will have to deal with huge messes domestically and internationally, and a Democratic Congress ready to exploit it. (By the way, an Obama loss would certainly mean Hillary Clinton as senate majority leader.) 2010 will be a very tough midterm election, and either Hillary Clinton or a moderate like Evan Bayh, Tim Kaine, Jim Webb, or Mike Easley is sure to be the nominee. The only way the GOP is going to be able to fight back is to start cleaning up the mess, and that means taking responsibility for their part in making it.