Friday, September 05, 2008

Big Tenty

Senator McCain gave the Big Tentiest speech at a presidential convention that I know of, which is worth noting. Think about it, if he had delivered some of those lines to the same audience under different circumstances, he would have gotten booed. Sure he was talking over the heads of the audience, but it still took some guts.

One of my favorite parts:

I’ve fought the big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, and the first big-spending pork-barrel earmark bill that comes across my desk, I will veto it. I will make them famous, and you will know their names. You will know their names.
Outside of his personal story, which is remarkable, and his being right on the war, which is much in his favor in my book, this is one of the things I really admire about McCain. For years I've watched him on C-Span mock his colleagues by name for earmarks and budgetary flourishes that are a waste of taxpayer money. He can't make this point enough, as far as I'm concerned. The American people should know the names of politicians, regardles of party, who dump federal money into absurd projects in order to buy votes in their home district.

Besides, he used a pretty good line, especially for a westerner.

Update: Here is the AP Fact Check on the speech, for partisan semi-anonymous commenters who don't know how to quit when they are ahead. Please read it, especially the checks on McCain. Better yet, here's the text:

MCCAIN: "We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles."

THE FACTS: Yes, Obama voted for a 2005 energy bill backed by Bush that included billions in subsidies for oil and natural gas production. McCain opposed the bill on grounds it included unnecessary tax breaks for the oil industry. But Obama has said he supported the legislation because it provided money for renewable energy. Obama did vote for an effort to strip the legislation of the oil and gas industry tax breaks. When that failed, he voted for the overall measure.

MCCAIN: "When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them. Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have that choice and their children will have that opportunity."

THE FACTS: Despite his goal of giving parents choice in the schools their children attend, he is not proposing a federal voucher program that would provide public money for private school tuition. McCain is proposing only to expand the District of Columbia's voucher program. During his 2000 run for the presidency, he did propose a more than $5 billion school voucher plan, but he is not proposing one now. His advisers say President Bush's No Child Left Behind Law is aimed at giving parents more choice, and he would make improvements to that.

JOHN MCCAIN: "Again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That's how I will govern as president. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not."

THE FACTS: It is certainly true that McCain, with two decades in the Senate, has worked in a bipartisan fashion on a number of issues. Legislation that bears his name often carries the name of a Democrat as well. On campaign finance he worked with Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis.; on immigration with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.; on climate change with Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. Obama, elected in 2004, has a much slimmer record of accomplishment. He did work with Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana to pass legislation to further curtail illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. Unlike McCain, however, Obama did not put himself at odds with his own party leaders by working with Lugar.
Couldn't have put it better ourselves. Thanks for the head's up, Z-dog!


Anonymous said...

I loved that part too.


Anonymous said...

So can I expect to read the AP fact check of McCain's speech on this site? Will someone please post it just like they did for Obama's acceptance speech?

Anonymous said...

I like that you suggest we "quit while we are ahead." I can only assume that is a reference to Obama's poll numbers. And how about that finale to the speech, with McCain shouting fight this & fight that while the crowd holds up signs that read "peace." Just genius.

dcat said...

Just posted this at dcat, which may address some of the, let's say, tonal issues in our debates.

I really do love you guys. Hell, I even think I like Paul. My biggest problem in this election in particular is that this is the first time I have ever been 100% smitten by a candidate. Intellectually smitten, to be sure. But I support him profoundly. And so yes, I take some of the things I have read here personally in the most literal sense. And like Tootle especially, I'm a partisan, in the good way (well, in the good way that Tootle and I have always rationalized partisanship to one another) -- in the way that I have an investment in my party even when my party can be a bunch of fucking idiots because I still believe that party is more than personality, it's about the most overlooked of convention phenomena: platforms.

Look: as an example, of course I wish Obama had never crossed paths with Ayers. I just don't think that matters even a little bit in terms of his actual politics, policies, or what sort of president he'd make. And so when I see Paul making a big deal of this, with the emphasis on Ayers' terrorism, I do tend to personalize it inasmuch as I do have this background with FDD, and I do think that there is a context, and I do think that these are talking points and not real issues. Similarly, I honestly don't care how many houses McCain has, until he makes elitism an issue on which to score points. And of course, whatever I have written on my vita (which, let's face it, is what it is, which is to say that I can mock some while a whole lot could mock mine) has fuckall to do with these discussions, though I wish that glibness did not occasionally pervade what is written at Big tent. (I may be obtuse, but I have come to a conclusion that may explain some of my frustrations: Not only are we ideological heirs of National Review in your case and The New Republic in mine, but we pursue blogging in eerily comparable ways. My posts at dcat and the Africa blogs tend to be discursive and, from your vantage point I bet, a bit bloviating. That is akin to TNR's Plank. Yours tend to be brief and, from my vantage point, glib. That is akin to NO's Corner.) And so I get pissed at what seems like a dismissive glibness, even though Big Tent is rarely anything but a clearinghouse for "here's a post, I thought it telling, I know the audience" and, well, I'm not the audience.
So, can we agree to disagree and start anew? Can we agree that Tom eats poo, Olive Garden is not good eats, and that the word "retard" has been carelessly tossed into the sluice bin of words we are not suposed to say but really love to say?
(Oh -- and in my grad seminar this smester I have a person who, let's just say, would make my class the scene of a classic movie if only an impaling were to happen in it. If you know what I mean.)


Oh -- Paul, you are a @*&$%^$@$$#$%#$#%$%$%E#%$#%&*&%$&*%^*.

Anonymous said...

"My biggest problem in this election in particular is that this is the first time I have ever been 100% smitten by a candidate. Intellectually smitten, to be sure."

That's what frustrates many of us on the right. We just can't understand this idolatry of(probably not the best word for it; maybe 'infatuation with') Obama. We feel it is interfering with your (and some media people's-uhm Chris Matthews) judgment.

"Oh -- Paul, you are a @*&$%^$@$$#$%#$#%$%$%E#%$#%&*&%$&*%^*."

I'll take that as a compliment?


g_rob said...

You're all a bunch of retards. Wait, is that wrong?

dcat said...

Paul --
I can see your point. I can. But I'm not an uncritical Obamacon. I follow politics very, very, very closely. My work is, at its essence, political history (Tom and I have a bit of a theory that it's all political history). After all, the infatuation or smittenness stems from a fundamental appeal. I honestly feel as if Obama's strength is his judgment. And that his talent coupled with his judgment is what brings about the, er, smittenness. In other words, the draw omes honestly. What may now be emotional stems from intellectual roots.

As for T&^%&^%$^%#^&$^: You are what you are. And if were the kind of asscrack who used emoticons, you'd get one here. But as someone who opposes capital punishment I nonetheless believe that people who use emoticons should be shot in the genitals.

G-Rob -- I still prefer "fucktard." And if that's wrong, I don't want to be right.


Anonymous said...

Can we use "Petard" or "Petarded" (from Family Guy)?

Tom said...


g_rob said...

Where's the Z-man?

Anonymous said...

I'm right here, thanks for being concerned G-man. That's an interesting post. Why don't you put one up now that looks at Palin's ear mark record, as opposed to her ear mark rhetoric?

Anonymous said...

Oh and one more thing, how about, in the spirit of fact checking, an explanation of McCain abstaining from the vote on the new GI Bill? I'd love to read the defense contortions required to show how that non-vote supports both the troops and some principled stance. I suspect taking care of vets is the only thing I and the Big Tenters agree on.