McCain Opposed, Played Games with, then Quit Pub. Fin. System
by Jonathan Singer, Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 01:02:03 PM EST
I've said it before and I'll say it again: John McCain is one of the most cynical, conniving and excessively ambitious career politicians America has seen for a very long time. Today's evidence? McCain's machinations on public financing.
As you little doubt have seen, McCain has been desperately flailing at Barack Obama in recent days in the hopes of scoring some "maverick" points with the establishment media inside the Beltway (who always love that kind of stuff) by attacking Obama for not opting into the presidential public financing system for the general election even before he has won the Democratic nomination (if he ever does so). But who is McCain to talk on this issue?
Back in 1995, McCain voted with Strom Thurmond, Phil Gramm, Jesse Helms and Rick Santorum against an effort to save the public financing program. In effect, McCain voted with arch-conservatives -- the most reactionary wing of his party -- to help kill the program. Even 10 of his Republican colleagues voted for the measure, helping show McCain's true colors as an opportunist rather than someone willing to buck his party's leadership for the sake of principle. Said Common Cause of the vote, "This is not a matter of budget politics. This is a matter of integrity." [1995 Senate Vote 194, Common Cause Statement, 5/25/1995]
When it finally suited him this year, McCain essentially pledged to be a part of the public financing system in order to secure a much needed loan for his campaign. The Washington Post today:
John McCain's cash-strapped campaign borrowed $1 million from a Bethesda bank two weeks before the New Hampshire primary by pledging to enter the public financing system if his bid for the presidency faltered, newly disclosed records show.
Then when it suited McCain, he pulled out of the public financing system rather than go through with his intention to be a part of the program. Yet now, when it suits McCain, he's hitting Obama for not opting in for a general election he is not yet (and may never be) a part of? McCain clearly has no credibility here, despite what the folks in the establishment press might think. No, McCain has shown time and time again that he is willing to play games with his perceived "principles" as it suited him. In this case, he voted against public financing before he opted into it before he opted out of it before he attacked Obama for doing so. I think there's a hyphenated pair of words used to describe people who waffle like that...