Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not Mavericks-That's For Sure

Main Entry: mav·er·ick
Function: noun
Etymology: Samuel A. Maverick died 1870 American pioneer who did not brand his calves
Date: 1867
2: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

The McCain Campaign has adopted the label of “Maverick” for themselves. They put out a commercial labeling themselves as such and repeated the label over and over again at the Republican National Convention. The crowd at the convention ate it up, but the label left many of us scratching our heads.

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word “maverick” as “an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party.” How can you be a maverick when you are not only going along with your political party, but you have changed your stance on just about every issue so that it matches a faction of your party that you used to disdain? The answer is you can’t-unless you are misrepresenting yourself. And this is exactly what the campaign is doing.

The campaign was running on “Experience” as McCain’s advantage over Obama or Hillary, until they realized just how motivated the people of this country are to get things back to the way they were before the Republican party took over and destroyed the economy, our standing in the world, our military and our hope for the future. So, changing with the political winds, as McCain has a record of doing, the campaign adopted the successful message that Obama has run on and supported long before he even announced his candidacy. Suddenly, they were the “Change” party.
How can you be the “change” party when it’s your party that has screwed things up so badly? You can pretend you are an outsider and describe yourself as a maverick. And repeat it over and over again and hope that people believe it. So, that’s what they are doing. Hence the commercial and hence the fact that in every clip of McCain and Palin you will see on the nightly news they will just be repeating the same lies over and over again.

“Mavericks” No

“He fights pork barrel spending” Not until recently (In six of his 25 years in Congress, McCain voted for spending bills that included 12,763 pork-barrel earmarks worth more than $144.4 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service)

“Sarah Palin stopped the Bridge to Nowhere” Lie. (She ran for Governor in support of it and supported it until Congress decided not to fund it. Then she gave up on it but kept the funds)

“John McCain reformed Washington” Untrue. (If Washington is so reformed why is he running on “Change”, if he is so against lobbyists, why are there so many lobbyists running his campaign?)

“Palin took on Big Oil” Lie. (Records show that she has collected significant amounts of money in campaign contributions from oil company executives and their family members for years)

This is a campaign trick that has been successfully used in the past AGAINST McCain by Bush. Bush smeared McCain with lies and whisper campaigns. Now McCain is using the same tactics to win—just as he accuses Barack Obama of being the one who will say and do anything to win. The Washington Post has described this strategy as “Untruth Can Become Fact.”

And this does not address the accusations that McCain has leveled at Obama in some of his other television ads where he tries to scare people into believing that Obama will raise their taxes and bring about "years of deficits," "no balanced budgets" and "billions in new government spending." calls this “Another Stitch in a Bad Pattern” and provides facts to dispute every single one of these claims.

As one viewer of that commercial observed “Everything they say about Obama is exactly what the Republicans have done for the past eight years. Obama is trying to fix all that. How can they get away with telling these outright lies?”

The answer is that they can only get away with it if we let them. They can only paint themselves as Mavericks if we believe it and they can only smear Obama with lies if we buy into the strategy.

So, if McCain/Palin aren’t Mavericks, what are they? How do we define them if we know that they aren’t the political outsiders, fighting to change the system as their phony maverick status was employed to make you believe?

What do you call people who lie and twist the facts? What do you call people who use smear tactics to defeat their opponents because they can’t win on the issues? What do you call people who accuse their opponents of caring more about their own ambitions than about the nation when they changed themselves over completely and misrepresented their records in order to win the nomination of their party and have repeatedly shown that there is no low they will not stoop to in order to win?

What do you call a party that constantly wears their Christianity on their sleeves but whose policies promote war, poverty, sickness, despair and hopelessness?

What do you call a party that constantly brings up the troops but refuses to fund benefits for returning veterans, denies their families benefits and steadfastly refuses to end the occupation of Iraq and bring those troops home for a well-deserved rest?

What do you call a party that constantly claims to be fiscally conservative and then every time they get into office they grow government, spending huge amounts of money and leave the country’s budget in historically huge deficits?

Hypocrites. Phonies. Liars.

But you won’t see those labels on your television screen anytime soon.

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