McCain: I'm No Maverick

  • #26
mheslep
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Words of a truly extreme left wing nut!
Obama is no nut; I've certainly not said so. On the contrary he's a very astute political operator.
 
  • #27
Gokul43201
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I should perhaps have written 'wingnut' or 'wing-nut'. I meant the term in the sense of 'radical' or 'extreme' rather than 'loony'.

And while the Right believes that Obama is an extreme left wing President, the Left believes that he is swinging too far to the Right.

For a taste of such opinion, see: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/02/18-7

His proposal for off-shore drilling has the environmental lobby mad at him. The Greenpeace director says that Obama has abandoned his own promises in favor of Sarah Palin's "drill, baby drill" policy. Others are likening him to Bush.

http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/03/lautenberg-obama-plan-kill-baby-kill-0

Here's the reaction from someone who I consider a typical left-wing politician (from above link):
Frank Lautenberg said:
Giving Big Oil more access to our nation’s waters is really a 'Kill, baby, kill' policy: It threatens to kill jobs, kill marine life and kill coastal economies that generate billions of dollars. Offshore drilling isn’t the solution to our energy problems, and I will fight this policy and continue to push for 21st-century clean energy solutions.

I wonder what words would be necessary to describe Obama if, as forecast by right wing soothsayers, he had: orchestrated the "catastrophic" pullout of Iraq and Afghanistan that would lead to immediate chaos and a return to power of AQ/Taliban; eviscerated military spending; let the labor unions "run the country"; shut down the coal plants and killed nuclear power; stopped all new off-shore drilling, and enacted a windfall tax on the oil companies; nationalized the failing banks, or even just reinstated Glass-Steagall, etc.?

And conversely, I wonder what resume of policy actions would be required to earn Obama the honor of a 'non-extreme left wing President' title?
 
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  • #28
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Great idea, but I don't follow how support of any net tax increase is not left wing politics.

Milton Friedman was too far to the left for you?
 
  • #29
CRGreathouse
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Milton Friedman was too far to the left for you?

You think Milton Friedman supported a net tax increase?

"I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible. The reason I am is because I believe the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is spending. The question is, "How do you hold down government spending?" Government spending now amounts to close to 40% of national income not counting indirect spending through regulation and the like. If you include that, you get up to roughly half. The real danger we face is that number will creep up and up and up. The only effective way I think to hold it down, is to hold down the amount of income the government has. The way to do that is to cut taxes." -Milton Friedman

I can find many quotes like the above by Friedman supporting tax cuts. I can't find any of him supporting tax increases. I don't doubt that he would have supported a total package that would include raising some taxes, but with a large net tax decrease. He might have supported an increase in the sales tax but removal of the income tax, for example. (Just an example, I don't have any support for that.)
 
  • #30
mheslep
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I should perhaps have written 'wingnut' or 'wing-nut'. I meant the term in the sense of 'radical' or 'extreme' rather than 'loony'.

And while the Right believes that Obama is an extreme left wing President, the Left believes that he is swinging too far to the Right.

For a taste of such opinion, see: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/02/18-7

His proposal for off-shore drilling has the environmental lobby mad at him. The Greenpeace director says that Obama has abandoned his own promises in favor of Sarah Palin's "drill, baby drill" policy. Others are likening him to Bush.
Sure he calculates, in my view, that he can irritate the Al Gore lobby for awhile as they have no other option. It makes him look 'centrist', not beholding to an ideology, while no taking no real action until after the November elections.

I wonder what words would be necessary to describe Obama if, as forecast by right wing soothsayers, he had: orchestrated the "catastrophic" pullout of Iraq and Afghanistan that would lead to immediate chaos and a return to power of AQ/Taliban; eviscerated military spending; let the labor unions "run the country"; shut down the coal plants and killed nuclear power;
Who do you have in mind when you say 'right wing soothsayers'? Some guy in a Montana cabin? I've never seen / heard even the talking head cranks say Obama planned a sudden pullout of Afghanistan, or any of the rest for that matter. Even what we might all agree are hard left wing governments, like Venezuela, don't do some of these things, e.g. eviscerate military spending. My view is that most of Obama's leftist plans revolve around actions inside the US. To do that, he needs popularity and precipitating military disasters abroad does not gain popularity.

stopped all new off-shore drilling,
He did do that. Closed all the off-shore areas Bush opened via Salazar very soon after taking office. The announcement last week was about plans to re-open some off shore areas.
 
  • #31
turbo
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Take a rational look at Obama's drilling proposal. There are millions of acres of leases currently held by oil companies, and not being exploited. Why? That takes investment in equipment and jobs, and the leases are cheap. Cianbro has been building modules for drilling platforms here in Maine. They are good at what they do, and Maine labor is reasonably-priced (non-union). Cianbro ought to be expanding and hiring more welders, pipe-fitters, and electricians every day. They are not, because the oil companies are sitting on the existing leases and not developing them. They make plenty of money refining imported oil and selling the products. All their ads on PBS touting America's "energy independence based on natural gas and oil" are smoke and mirrors. Exxon-Mobil is doing just fine collaborating with OPEC, and they don't need to produce more jobs or reduce the cost of hydrocarbon-based products. Why would they?
 
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  • #32
mheslep
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Take a rational look at Obama's drilling proposal. There are millions of acres of leases currently held by oil companies, and not being exploited. Why? [....] They are not, because the oil companies are sitting on the existing leases and not developing them. [...] Exxon-Mobil is doing just fine collaborating with OPEC, and they don't need to produce more jobs or reduce the cost of hydrocarbon-based products. Why would they?
[omissions mine] Assuming for a moment that this is all true, what does it have to do with Obama's off-shore drilling proposals?
 
  • #33
turbo
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[omissions mine] Assuming for a moment that this is all true, what does it have to do with Obama's off-shore drilling proposals?
There are plenty of folks who have criticized Obama for opening previously-closed areas, as if the oil companies are going to start throwing up oil rigs everywhere off the mid-Atlantic coast. They are not going to do so. They already have millions of acres of off-shore leases in the Gulf, near large ports and refineries (so transport costs would be minimized), and still they are not putting out any new rigs. In the interests of energy-independence for the US, oil leases should be rescinded if the oil companies do not actually develop the fields they hold. I feel that opening up more off-shore area for development is not a good idea unless there is some mechanism for rescinding leases (or steeply increasing lease fees) when fields go unexplored or undeveloped. Cheap leases are subsidies to oil companies - subsidies that should come with some strings attached to protect taxpayer interests.
 
  • #34
Gokul43201
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Who do you have in mind when you say 'right wing soothsayers'? Some guy in a Montana cabin?
No, I'm talking mostly about folks at Fox and talk radio. Not sure where they live, but surely you've heard plenty of their projections from around the election time. I don't have cable and still came across dozens of predictions of Obama's plans to turn the US into a socialist/communist (and/or nazi) state.

Some examples from a hurried attempt at Googling year-old stuff (Note: Some quotes, especially those from Fox, are uncited because I found them at various blogs, and do not have original transcripts. A careful search for the text in quotes might provide transcripts, but I'm skipping that out of laziness, and because the point below is simply to provide a flavor of the kind of right-wing rhetoric that was prevalent in 2008-2009.):

1. Brenda Buttner, Fox News host, May 2008: "Now, isn't Obama the guy who wants to yank our troops from Iraq? My next guest says surrendering isn't exactly completing their work."

2. Glenn Beck & Mark Vadum, June 2009, talking about ACORN and related matters:

Beck: "Barack Obama, we’ve never known who he is, right? He’s, he’s, he’s FDR, he’s JFK, he’s Lincoln. No, he’s not. No, he’s not. He’s a community organizer. There are new acorns on the tree! My theory is that Barack Obama is building a country, almost software, it’s like the Matrix. It’s running on top of the software of the Constitution or the Republic that we have. He’s got a new framework. There’s a new skeleton being built slowly but surely - and invisibly!”

Vadum: “It’s a new, radical, left-wing political infrastructure. And so by creating these structures and funding them with tax dollars... you create a loyal army of followers. It’s also happens to be the Chicago way of graft and corruption."

Beck: “In the 1960’s, the idea was to create a structure... then collapse the economy of the United States, so that structure would be in place. 1960’s theory.”

Vadum: “This is not some wild-eyed conspiracy theory.”

3. Glenn Beck, April 2009: "Because he [Obama] will slowly but surely take away your gun or take away your ability to shoot a gun, carry a gun. He will make them more expensive; he'll tax them out of existence. He will because he has said he would. He will tax you gun or take your gun away one way or another."

4. Milwaukee radio host Mark Belling, Dec 2008: "Well, OK. You're right about that. Everybody's buying guns before Obama comes in and outlaws them all."

5. G. Gordon Liddy, Nov 2008: "The first thing you do is, no matter what law they pass, do not -- repeat, not -- ever register any of your firearms. Because that's where they get the list of where to go first to confiscate. So, you don't ever register a firearm, anywhere."

6. Hannity, in Nov 2008, forecasting that Obama would raise tax rates above 60% of income: "“The new definition of patriotism and virtue is to give 60 or 70% of your income so that (Obama) can distribute checks to 40% of the population that pay no money in income taxes.”

7. In Mar 2009, http://rightwingnews.com/mt331/2009/03/congress_passes_obama_youth_bi.php [Broken] had this to say about the "GIVE Act": "At best, this reprise of Hitler Youth will nationalize charitable work, using slave labor to help the State to further marginalize Christianity, which is one of the few remaining obstacles to totalitarianism. At worse, this and Obama's Serve America Act are part of his stated plan to create a race-based, Gestapo-style "Civilian National Security Force" as large and well-funded as the military."

8. Hannity, Apr 2009: "This administration is taking steps to cut defense spending... that noise you hear off in the distance, those are the mullahs - well, they're cheering."

9. From a WSJ Op-ed in Oct 2008: "There is the candidate who insists, as he did last year in an article in Foreign Affairs, that "a strong military is, more than anything, necessary to sustain peace"; pledges to increase the size of our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines while providing them with "first-rate equipment, armor, incentives and training"; and seems to be as gung-ho for a surge in Afghanistan as he was opposed to the one in Iraq.
...
But what if a President Obama doesn't actually believe in the importance of a strong military to keep the peace? Or has an attenuated idea of what qualifies as a "strong" military? Or considers military strength a luxury at a moment of financial crisis? Or thinks now is the moment to smash the Pentagon piggy bank to fund a second Great Society?"


10. Oct 2008, Fox's Neil Cavuto echoing McCain's claims about Obama in a query to DNC adviser Brad Woodhouse: ""You know, with the economy hurting, markets tumbling, John McCain is saying this is hardly the time to put limits on wealth. He says that is something that Barack Obama wants to do. Is he right? ... Brad, what do you make of that notion that what Barack Obama would want to do as president is maybe put a cap on how rich you can become, and maybe that's reverberating in these markets."

11. Steve Forbes, on Cavuto's show, Oct 2008, describing what it would mean to elect Obama: "That means more unionization. That means more regulation. It's going to be tough for the economy to emerge from those kind of burdens. ... The fear is not only are taxes going to be going up, but also you're going to have this mass unionization with card check. You're going to have other regulations coming in - the fairness doctrine - shutting down free speech, and all this is adding to the uncertainty. ... The market is saying it's riddled with uncertainty."


Besides, why stop at hard-left-wing governments like Venezuela when you have outright Communist governments like China, the former Soviet Union, or the Vietnamese government to make comparisons with ... or did you miss the time when Glenn Beck "presented" Obama with a birthday cake painted red, with a large golden star on it? Or the time when Hannity labeled Obama the "Commissar-in-Chief"? Or Glenn Beck's "Obama National Anthem" video, set to the tune of the Soviet Anthem? (these should be easy to Google up)
 
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  • #35
mheslep
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No, I'm talking mostly about folks at Fox and talk radio. Not sure where they live, but surely you've heard plenty of their projections from around the election time. I don't have cable and still came across dozens of predictions of Obama's plans to turn the US into a socialist/communist (and/or nazi) state.

Some examples from a hurried attempt at Googling year-old stuff (Note: Some quotes, especially those from Fox,

[...]
I would have stipulated that there was/is plenty of over the top criticism of the President, especially on things like guns. Perhaps it was pedantic of me, but I was taking issue with some of your earlier specific claims such as a precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan - I'd never heard that and I wouldn't expect it, since as far as I know Obama always supported the war in Afghanistan during the campaign. On issues like guns Obama supplied the ammunition for conspiracy theories with his closed door speech at the San Francisco billionaire's home and the http://www.cnbcfix.com/obama-cling-guns-religion.html" [Broken] remarks.

Besides, why stop at hard-left-wing governments like Venezuela when you have outright Communist governments like China, the former Soviet Union, or the Vietnamese government to make comparisons with ...
Well it is difficult to find a good example of a hard left wing country among those. China and Vietnam, despite their communist governments, are doing all they can to encourage laissez faire free market economies which are booming while Venezuela is doing the opposite, nationalizing everything in sight, though it is at least barely democratic. N. Korea, the former SU, and one or two other Stalinist regimes are in a class by themselves.
 
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  • #36
Ivan Seeking
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Can't forget these

... The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
- Sarah Palin
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/07/palin-obamas-death-panel_n_254399.html

...“In the House bill, there is counseling for end of life,” Grassley said. “You have every right to fear. You shouldn’t have counseling at the end of life, you should have done that 20 years before. Should not have a government run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma”
- Senator Grassley [R]
http://iowaindependent.com/18456/gr...uldnt-decide-when-to-pull-the-plug-on-grandma

The counseling - mainly a review of options for the terminally ill - to which Senator Grassley objects was already being provided, I think through Medicare, according to an adder that was originally sponsored by a Republican.
 
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  • #37
CRGreathouse
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China and Vietnam, despite their communist governments, are doing all they can to encourage laissez faire free market economies which are booming while Venezuela is doing the opposite, nationalizing everything in sight, though it is at least barely democratic. N. Korea, the former SU, and one or two other Stalinist regimes are in a class by themselves.

Good analysis. (I'm not sure I'm with you 100% of Vietnam, though.)
 
  • #38
Ivan Seeking
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The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
- Sarah Palin

Yet

Washington (CNN) – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, considered to be a leading candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, said Friday that he thinks potential GOP rival Sarah Palin is qualified to serve as president of the United States.
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.co...s-qualified-to-be-president/?fbid=WiI3RyGGSjS

The GOP has not only gone over a cliff ideologically, they have no credibility. They are trying to align themselves with the tea party cult, but the tea partiers tend to be anti-incumbent regardless of party affiliations. More likely the tea partiers will split the vote on the right in national elections.
 
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  • #39
Ivan Seeking
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A non-partisan Research 2000 survey of 2,000 Republicans has found that a majority believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be president than Barack Obama and that nearly two in three believe Mr. Obama is a socialist.

...Thirty-one percent say "Barack Obama is a racist who hates White people," and another one in three aren't sure.

As for Palin, 53 percent say she is more qualified for the presidency than Mr. Obama, while 14 percent say she is not. One in three aren't sure...
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-6167520-503544.html

Obama Resume
http://cdn.theladders.net/static/pdf/Senator_Obama_Resume.pdf

Palin Resume
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700254763,00.html
 
  • #41
Office_Shredder
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I don't get the idea of saying "a non-partisan Research 2000 survey of 2,000 Republicans". Isn't a survey of one party by its very nature partisan?

Partisanship refers to the person giving the survey
 
  • #42
Char. Limit
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Partisanship refers to the person giving the survey

Yah, that makes sense...

Fact is, even if I were a conservative (and I'm not, I'm a centrist), I wouldn't vote for a Republican now. They just keep worsening their image. First there was FOX News, then Bondagegate, and now their leading politician becomes the biggest hypocrite of all time?

Yeah... no!

At least the Democrats, for all of their policy that some may disagree with, at least they haven't been downright embarassing.
 
  • #43
Gokul43201
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I would have stipulated that there was/is plenty of over the top criticism of the President, especially on things like guns.
The point of the above was not to point out over the top criticism at all. It was to demonstrate the kind of expectations that the right wing punditry held for an Obama Presidency: 70% taxes, and in some cases a 100% tax bracket, surrender to the terrorists, setting up a government dependency system that would collapse the economy/markets, smash the Pentagon piggy bank, mass unionizations, confiscation of guns, etc.

Given the expectations, it is odd that the same people now seem to claim Obama is farther to the left than they'd expected.

Perhaps it was pedantic of me, but I was taking issue with some of your earlier specific claims such as a precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan - I'd never heard that and I wouldn't expect it, since as far as I know Obama always supported the war in Afghanistan during the campaign.
I thought I recalled hearing something along those lines too, perhaps early enough in the primaries that Obama's Afghanistan policy hadn't yet taken shape (definitely lots of assertions about Obama appeasing/loving/surrendering to terrorists). But having not provided any support for that specific claim, I withdraw it.

On issues like guns Obama supplied the ammunition for conspiracy theories with his closed door speech at the San Francisco billionaire's home and the http://www.cnbcfix.com/obama-cling-guns-religion.html" [Broken] remarks.
Whatever the reasons may be, the reality is that Obama is governing far to the right of most of these year-old expectations.

Well it is difficult to find a good example of a hard left wing country among those. China and Vietnam, despite their communist governments, are doing all they can to encourage laissez faire free market economies which are booming while Venezuela is doing the opposite, nationalizing everything in sight, though it is at least barely democratic. N. Korea, the former SU, and one or two other Stalinist regimes are in a class by themselves.
When I talk of "left-wing", I do not restrict myself to left-wing economic policy. In the case of USSR, China or Vietnam, I'm talking mostly about government control and restriction of individual freedoms - along exactly the lines that right wing talking heads expect from Obama.

In any case, I still haven't been able to get you to define the basis set with respect to which Obama is an extreme left wing President. Have his policies so far been far to the left of the Democratic Party's center of mass? Or have they been far to the left of some reference set of previous Democratic Presidents?
 
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  • #44
mheslep
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Briefly:
Have his policies so far been far to the left of the Democratic Party's center of mass?
No, i.e. I assert the D party has moved to the left as well.

Or have they been far to the left of some reference set of previous Democratic Presidents?
Yes, notably Kennedy and Clinton.
 
  • #45
mheslep
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mheslep said:
On issues like guns Obama supplied the ammunition for conspiracy theories with his closed door speech at the San Francisco billionaire's home and the "they get bitter, they cling to their guns or religion" remarks
Whatever the reasons may be, the reality is that Obama is governing far to the right of most of these year-old expectations.
Well Obama never said he would take anyone's guns, in fact he said the opposite. It was the condescension to Americans not in his camp in the above remark that irritated me, and I contend that condescension is not uncommon in the Obama administration - the numerous http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/19083.html" [Broken] by Gibbs, not on the opposing party, but on individuals, businesses, etc.
 
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  • #46
Ivan Seeking
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...Two thirds of Tea Partiers said they had a favorable opinion of Palin, according to the poll, conducted April 5 - 12, while 59 percent have a favorable opinion of [Glenn] Beck...[emphasis mine]

...Asked to volunteer their most admired political figure generally, no single person stands out among Tea Party supporters. As many as 29 percent offered no one or said they aren't sure. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich leads the list of those mentioned, with 10 percent, followed by Sarah Palin with 9 percent, and former President George W. Bush and Mitt Romney at 5 percent.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20002534-503544.html

The options of "none" or "other" claimed a combined 49%
 
  • #47
Ivan Seeking
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I thought this was an interesting bit of doubletalk from Rep Marsha Blackburn [R], Tennessee.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN: Thereason the Republican Party is on the right side of this economic debate is simply this. The election is going to be about freedom, and the American People know that being dependent on the federal government for home loans, for your health care, for your education, for your jobs, even for the kind of light bulb that you want to put in the fixture, is not the aspirations of a free people. And because of that, we are on the right side of this argument. Everything that we're doing--

DAVID GREGORY: What did-- hold on, Congresswoman.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN: --discussing here effects--

DAVID GREGORY: What did freedom get the American People during-- that led to the financial collapse? Is that not a fair question about the limits of-- of the free, capitalist system?

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN: We know-- we know that if you let free markets work, there is no expiration date on the free market. There is no expiration date on the American economy. What the American People do not like is the overreach of government--

DAVID GREGORY: I'm sorry, Congresswoman, my question was what did the free-- what did the free market get us-- what did freedom get us in the economic collapse? You had an absence of government regulation, and you had the free market running wild. Look what the result was.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN: And you need-- and you need more oversight. We all agree with that. And the financial bill that Senator Corker and them are working on would lead to more oversight. The Goldman charges that have come forward now, David, they have come forward under existing SEC rules. More oversight, which I have always been a proponent of--...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36595396/ns/meet_the_press/page/5/

So her point is that we need less government, but more government.
 
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  • #48
Ivan Seeking
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Oh yes, and this tidbit from Rep Michelle Bachmann [R], Michigan.

We're on to them. We're on to this gangster government.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100416/ap_on_go_ot/us_tea_party_rally [Broken]

It's not that there are legitimate disagreements about how to manage complex problems that have festered for decades, the problem is that it's a gangster government? That is just looney.
 
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