ID:48510
 
Keywords: politics
Another response to a jmurph comment that seems worthy of a post...

Jmurph wrote:
in fact, what really sold me on him was an unflattering, "bubble-bursting" article in Harper's, which demonstrated to me that he seems to embody the rare paradox of a pragmatic ideologue, a man with principles who can also see the bigger picture.

I agree that it's most encouraging when Obama acts like a regular politician -- for me, his opportunistic flip-flops on issues are actually the best thing about him, because it shows he might not be an ideologue.

Unfortunately, his "pragmatic" thing is just a schtick. He talks moderate and pragmatic, but his history and voting record just don't back it up. He talks moderate, then always goes for the most liberal option available. Over and over again.

He has the most liberal voting record in the Senate. He voted with the Democratic leadership 96% of the time. This is not change, this is not a man who reaches across the aisle.

Obama is a far-left machine politician. And if that's what you want, as many do, then he's the perfect candidate.

If you are looking for "reaching across the aisle", or for bucking one's own party when they are wrong, or for sticking with unpopular positions even if they might cost you the election...well, that would be the other guy.
For the love of god. name one bipartisan thing that McCain did that wasn't something that the right already supported.

And stop linking the NationalJournal voting record, the opinions of one special interest group that are purely anti-democrat should not be a reason not to vote for Obama.
Venom, McCain's position on immigration is extremely unpopular with the conservative base and Republicans in general. Going by what you said on the other post as well, it sounds like you have a really really warped source of news about McCain. He isn't a saint, obviously--he's a politician--but let's not distort the truth here. McCain is referred to as a maverick precisely because he's bucked his party on many issues. This is well documented. He's also stood up against unethical earmarking, which cost Republicans the '06 election.

You're free to disagree with any of his positions you like; I do with several. But if you think McCain is a party-line voter, either you or your source of information is not living in this reality.

I might add that even if the NationalJournal is partisan, voting records are records--they are objective. If the record shows Obama voted with his party 96% of the time, then he really did. That the people telling you this may have partisan motives doesn't change that.
In all fairness, that is not my quote but a comment from the blog you linked in your previous post.

So how do you reconcile that statistic was taken from the year he was campaigning and actually cast more present votes than anything? And working with Senate Republicans isn't reaching across the aisle? And why did an Illinois Republican go on record talking about Republicans respecting him and commenting on his bipartisan efforts there? Shutting out the other party isn't something either candidate can be accused of. Ironically, Obama supported the bipartisan effort to get an immigration bill last year, winning a plaudit from McCain!

Most piloticos survive by supporting their party. Even the "maverick". Congressional Quarterly gave McCain a 90% score for "party unity," making him an even more reliable GOP water-carrier than fellow Arizonan John Kyl, the #2 ranking Republican in the Senate. The Washington Post similarly gave him a score of 88.3%, tying him with South Carolina's Lindsey Graham ahead of 29 other Senate Republicans. What's interesting about McCain is that he will throw Repubs under the bus for moderate creds then fall in line on close votes and where it really matters to the party. His flip flops to get back on the GOP good side before the election is particularly illuminating.
That McCain will often vote with his party is not in dispute, but on significant issues he has balked them and tried to pull the party or the votes in his direction. On issues that matter strongly to the party he'll often vote with them in a close vote, yes, but I'd expect that of anyone. But McCain simply doesn't sing the GOP tune on key, whereas it's entirely accurate to say Obama does so for his own party--except that he's nowhere near the moderate end of the platform. McCain truly is a moderate, and Obama is most definitely not.
Jmurph wrote:

So how do you reconcile that statistic was taken from the year he was campaigning and actually cast more present votes than anything? And working with Senate Republicans isn't reaching across the aisle? And why did an Illinois Republican go on record talking about Republicans respecting him and commenting on his bipartisan efforts there? Shutting out the other party isn't something either candidate can be accused of. Ironically, Obama supported the bipartisan effort to get an immigration bill last year, winning a plaudit from McCain!

Most piloticos survive by supporting their party. Even the "maverick". Congressional Quarterly gave McCain a 90% score for "party unity," making him an even more reliable GOP water-carrier than fellow Arizonan John Kyl, the #2 ranking Republican in the Senate. The Washington Post similarly gave him a score of 88.3%, tying him with South Carolina's Lindsey Graham ahead of 29 other Senate Republicans. What's interesting about McCain is that he will throw Repubs under the bus for moderate creds then fall in line on close votes and where it really matters to the party. His flip flops to get back on the GOP good side before the election is particularly illuminating.

Re-quoting this since Lummox thinks that McCain is actually a moderate
Venom, re-quoting someone else doesn't prove the point. It's just a complete waste of space. I could see someone making a case for "moderate but still too Republican" as Jmurph is apparently going for, but I don't see anything of substance to back up the contention that he's not a moderate, not a maverick. After all, just because he's considered a maverick doesn't mean he still doesn't believe in most of his party's platform.
Nah, I don't think he's a mav at all. Just an opportunist. He's willing to throw anyone under the bus to make good press and get where he wants. He's also willing to compromise his principles if that's what it takes to get his party's support to grab power. That's raw, unfettered ambition at work.

Not that Obama isn't ambitious- quite the opposite. Grabbing for the presidency so soon is a good indicator of his drive.

The question is whether it is more desirable to have in office one who has a shallow record, but supports his party generally and at least part of the time works with the other side or one with a much deeper record of flipping on issues when politically necessary and allying and abandoning as political aspirations dictate, often working with the other party.
Jmurph wrote:
Nah, I don't think he's a mav at all. Just an opportunist. He's willing to throw anyone under the bus to make good press and get where he wants. He's also willing to compromise his principles if that's what it takes to get his party's support to grab power. That's raw, unfettered ambition at work.

It's fair to think he's more opportunist than maverick, though I would disagree on that. But he has repeatedly put his principles above what his party or his base want, so the latter point is complete hogwash. His position on immigration has been poison with the base; he had at best grudging support from a lot of conservatives--and even then not always--until Palin came on board. There's just no logical way to construe his immigration stance as a "throw someone under the bus" or "compromising his principles" sort of move; it's something he believes strongly in and he's pushed for it.
McCain's multi-year effort to get the McCain-Feingold bill passed was both "reaching across the aisle" and defying both parties. It was also really bad law, but presumably liberals like it so should support him on this one. It made him no friends in his party or in Congress.

McCain's unwillingness to budge on his principles when it came to immigration almost cost him the nomination:

"When Mr. McCain?s presidential bid stalled last summer, many blamed his advocacy for the immigration reform bill in the Senate, which included a pathway to citizenship for the illegal immigrants already here in the country.

The measure failed last spring after a firestorm of grassroots opposition. The issue became an important touchstone in the Republican primary, as the candidates scrambled to one-up each other in their tough talk on immigration as they sought to appeal to primary voters."

The issue was so hot that eventually McCain modulated his message a bit, but in a mostly symbolic manner without changing his core belief.

If you believe McCain does not act in a bi-partisan manner, you disagree with NPR, which had this to say (emphasis mine):

"Indeed, McCain's lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union is 82 percent. But his work alongside Democrats is what McCain is best known for, whether it's teaming up with Sen. Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform, working with Sen. Joe Lieberman on global warming, or as part of the "Gang of 14" senators ? both Democrats and Republicans ? to broker a compromise on President Bush's judicial nominations.

That work with Democrats has earned McCain lasting suspicion and even animosity from the most conservative Republicans. GOP rival Mitt Romney tried to capitalize on that during the primary."

You can try to reposition bi-partisan efforts as being opportunistic, but that's just sloganeering. Of course one is bi-partisan when that's the way to get something done that your own party won't do on its own -- it's taking advantage of a bi-partisan opportunity to make progress, and there's no way to do so without being opportunistic.

Obama had a different approach to this -- he carefully design completely non-controversial bills that were so universally supported they didn't even require debate, then said he had "reached across the aisle". But that's just more sloganeering -- putting up a "mom and apple pie" bill that rubs no one the wrong way is not showing some kind of bi-partisan courage.

You have to admit it's unfair that even the very liberal end of the media says bi-partisan efforts are "what [McCain is] most known for", and agree that he's taken major hits with his own party to do this, and then try to say he's not a bi-partisan sort of guy but Obama, of all people, is.

If you don't like the bi-partisan efforts he's undertaken (I certainly don't like some of them), then criticize the specifics, but don't try to rewrite history.
I don't believe I ever said he wasn't bipartisan. Quite the opposite, really. I would even agree that he has worked across the aisle more than Obama (though I think saying Obama has not is inaccurate). (In another thread I even stated he might as well be a Democrat in regards to some of his stances.) But he also knows when to fall in line. Like any successful politician.

I didn't mean immigration as where he abandoned his party- there are plenty of other areas. Feingold is a good example, actually. And where his unremitting support for something he thought would play well reflected a huge misunderstanding about what good legislation is about.