More of this, please, John

Sen. McCain the other day:

"If I am elected President, I will work with anyone who sincerely wants to get this country moving again. I will listen to any idea that is offered in good faith and intended to help solve our problems, not make them worse. I will seek the counsel of members of Congress from both parties in forming government policy before I ask them to support it. I will ask Democrats to serve in my administration. My administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability. I will hold weekly press conferences. I will regularly brief the American people on the progress our policies have made and the setbacks we have encountered. When we make errors, I will confess them readily, and explain what we intend to do to correct them."

[Sorry for the lack of block quotes, I'm programmatically impaired.]

I applaud this sentiment from Sen. McCain and I see it as an effect that Obama is already having on the General Election.  Since the beginning of the primary season, I have hoped that we would see a McCain v. Obama match up in the fall, because I trust both senators to finally start the long, hard process of stitching up the partisan divide.  Some argue it's unstitchable; I'm not so sure.  But moves like this and his rebuke of the NC party's Wright ad are a step in the right direction.

That's why I feel like it's incumbent on Democrats and progressives to encourage McCain to use this kind of language, and to call him out strongly when he tries bullshit moves like tying Obama to Hamas.  A lot of the right already hates McCain because they see him as too bipartisan, too willing to reach out to the Democrat enemy.  There will be strong pressure on him to allow the party's machinery to undertake dirty, Swift-boat attack campaigns.

I hope the public pressure stays on him to resist.  The party's hardcore have already indicated that they plan to ignore his calls for temperance and a moderate tone.  He remembers South Carolina in 2000.  The more we can encourage him to match Obama in raising the tone, the better an election we'll have.  

I'm expecting a tough fight from McCain.  He's a politician, after all, and I'm sure this fall campaign won't be free from the usual bullshit.  (Hamas, McSame, etc.)  Both sides will distort and paint their opponents in unflattering colors.

But encouraging this kind of talk from our politicians is what we want to do.  We just need to be on them to live up to it.

Tags: mccain, obama, tone (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Re: More of this, please, John

Since he is calling Obama the Hamas candidate, looks like we're getting less of it.

by IowaMike 2008-05-16 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: More of this, please, John

Just write < blockquote > and < /blockquote > without the spaces to make:

and

by Falsehood 2008-05-16 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: More of this, please, John

Thanks, will do next time.

by Koan 2008-05-16 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: More of this, please, John

It's nice to hear, but I think McSame and republicans in general are physically incapable of doing those things. To them, bipartisanship equals failure.

If you need an example, look at how McSame has been furiously trying to "outgame" Webb on something as vital as the GI Bill. McSame's version of bipartisanship is this: "I see that we both wrote a bill. You better give up on yours and support mine, dammit."

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-05-16 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: More of this, please, John

Well, I think McCain is less incapable than others.  Moving in an encouraging direction, at least.

The main sticking point with him for the real Republican partisans is things like campaign finance and the Gang of 14 filabuster thing.   My point is that we should encourage this when we see it.

by Koan 2008-05-16 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: More of this, please, John

Oh, gosh...do people REALLY believe the hype that McCain is a moderate? You should read his response to California's gay marriage ruling yesterday!

by terra 2008-05-16 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: More of this, please, John

Nah, not that he's a moderate in terms of substantive policy positions.  I don't think I made that claim in the diary, and certainly wouldn't.

He's a conservative Republican.  I like any rhetoric coming from conservative Republicans about working across the aisle.  I mean, it's not like he'll have a choice--Democratic congress and all that.

I guess this is what bothers me about the "McSame" tag.  He and Bush are similar in terms of policy, and it's a policy I don't want to see anywhere near the White House again.  But I agree with the narrative that says Republicans choosing McCain over Romney, Huckabee, Thompson, et al is at least a step in the direction of rejecting the Bush-Rove era of vicious partisanship.

by Koan 2008-05-16 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: More of this, please, John

since when is the partisan divide what's wrong with Washington? there is a partisan divide and there should be a larger one. I want Democrats to have less in common with Republicans, not more. I want Democrats to dominate Republicans, not compromise with them. How has this so-called "bridging the partisan divide" gotten us lately? Hmm, let's see, Iraq, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act...hmm, and what hasn't it gotten us? It hasn't gotten us SCHIP expansion, federal funding of stem cell research, etc. This is the problem with post-partisanship, it implies that both parties are equally to blame for what's happened in this country and if we all just get along things will be fine. WRONG! The problem with Washington and this country is Republicans and by encouraging this sort of rhetoric you give amnesty to Bush, McCain and all their policies of the last 8 years. They need to be decimated from government, not coddled and appeased.

by Todd Beeton 2008-05-16 09:58AM | 0 recs
Todd, that's insane.

You should know better, Todd.  

Surely you remember what happened in 1994, when the Republicans swept into Congress and instituted the "Permanent Republican Majority."  They marginalized the Democrats and made sure that they had a hard time raising money by not letting them talk to lobbyists.  

The Democrats, smacked down if they tried to do anything, grew spineless and meek... but moved around the edges, evolved their message, and eventually came back after 12 years in the wilderness with big wins backed up by the netroots... by us.

If we crush and destroy the Republicans, we risk becoming them.  They retreat to their base while ensuring that any failures the Democratic majority has get properly sensationalized, just like the Republican sex scandals and finance corruption cases were.

Then, in a certain number of years, they surge back into power with another mandate to loot and plunder the way they did in the good 'ol days.

No.  Screw that, Todd.  We can't afford another 8-12 year cycle of Rightist ideology infecting our country just because you wanted revenge on the people who mistreated us.

We're Democrats.  We're better than them.  What does it hurt to listen to what they have to say?  We'll have the majority, so they won't be able to force us to do anything, but we can take any good ideas they might have and claim them as our own... I do not think that Democrats have the sole lock on good ideas in this country; that's the height of arrogance and will hurt us in the end.

Why does Congress get nothing done, really?  Is it because the parties don't agree with everything, fundamentally?  I don't think so.  I'm pretty certain that the parties play little games where they throw poison pills in every bill to split things down partisan lines.  That way, they can one-up the opposition by saying that they didn't vote for such and such bill or they did vote for the subsection A of this other bill.

If we can ensure an enduring Democratic legacy, shouldn't we?  If, by just listening to Republicans without conceding anything major to them, we can keep them in the minority by showing the nation that we have a working government that doesn't need to change, shouldn't we?  If we can prevent the Republicans from being able to claim status as a victimized minority, shouldn't we do that?

I understand the need to be angry and to punish the people that treated us so poorly.  I'm just saying that there's a better and stronger way of going about it than becoming the enemy.

by Dracomicron 2008-05-16 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: More of this, please, John

My problem with this kind of sentiment is that it's exactly, precisely, down to the use of "coddled and appeased," the kind of thing you see on RedState when they talk about why they hate John McCain.  Because he doesn't want to destroy Democrats.

What happens when you have a huge partisan divide is that there's no incentive to get anything done but fundraise and marshal ammo for the next election.  The nation is very nearly divided between those who vote Dem and those who vote Repub.  (Usual caveats about marginal third parties and non-voters included.)  The more rigid the divide, the more the side barely out of power feels entitled to obstuct any gov't work at all.

I'm sorry, but I believe in compromise.  You can't always get what you want; or, more precisely, you can never get everything you want.  The people who tell me that partisanship is good and that we just need to focus on a permanent [PARTY NAME HERE] majority to really remake the world in its image are, I think, engaged in the permanent campaign.  And I'm sick of that.

by Koan 2008-05-16 10:48AM | 0 recs
Oooh, weekly press conferences

Considering that he views the press as his "base," I don't see how this is anything other than a pander to try to get the press back on his side after a long series of egregious gaffes.

While I applaud the rhetoric of transparency, I don't honestly believe the guy who voted wholeheartedly for the Patriot Act and enjoys the idea of the CIA torturing people in secret bases really wants to shine a light on accountable government.

So, in short, no.  Screw him.

by Dracomicron 2008-05-16 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Oooh, weekly press conferences

Well, at least he's making the noise.  The more we can encourage this talk, the more obvious it will be if he goes against it.

I was pleased when he rebuked the NC party for running the Wright ad.  You should have seen the response on RedState, they flipped their shit that their guy wouldn't sanction those kinds of attacks.  "Traitor," "Democrat," "end of the Republican party," other delicious stuff.

You know who benefits from rigid partisanship?  Party fundraisers and the 50+1% people.

by Koan 2008-05-16 10:37AM | 0 recs
Well yeah

The thing is, these are the things that he can do that mean nothing.  The brain trusts at Redstate don't seem to get that McCain has everything to gain by condemning (weakly, I might add) these nasty unfair smears while simultaniously not being able to prevent them.  He gets to look like he tried, and the smear is still out there.

by Dracomicron 2008-05-16 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Well yeah

"The thing is, these are the things that he can do that mean nothing."

I guess we disagree here.  I don't think it means nothing.

by Koan 2008-05-16 11:13AM | 0 recs
I'm sorry

If Sarah Palin or Lugar or Hagel said that, I'd be happy enough, but McCain?  The guy sold out everything he believed in to become the Republican nominee.  He can't be trusted.  

I lost all faith in him the day he started accepting the advice and support of the guy who smeared his 8 year-old daughter in 2000.

by Dracomicron 2008-05-16 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm sorry

I was pretty disgusted when he re-embraced Bush after the SC primary in 2000.  I was hoping he's really stake out a position for himself as a thorn in the side of the administration and live up to his maverick credentials.  And he did in a few, limited ways.  But he knew he couldn't totally repudiate the administration if he wanted to run again in 2008.  I think most politicians, including the guy I support for the Dem nomination, would make the same choice if defeated in a bruising primary.

Watch for the division on the right during this campaing.  His refusal to sanction the use of "Hussein" and other dirty tricks, coupled with his drift leftward re: global warming etc, is really pissing off his base.  And I wouldn't mind if he pissed them off enough to sit out, all the while talking the talk we want to hear.

by Koan 2008-05-16 11:54AM | 0 recs
I hope you're right.

I do think it significant that the Republican base sees him as a compromise candidate.  I'm filled with joy that the conservative coalition is fracturing at the seams.  They need to get back to classic conservatism before their message will be ready to be heard again.

by Dracomicron 2008-05-16 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: More of this, please, John

just a test

by Koan 2008-05-23 07:06AM | 0 recs

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