“I think one of the problems that John McCain has is that his grandfather was an admiral, his father was an admiral,” Harkin said on a conference call with Iowa Independent and other media. “He comes from a long line of just military people. I think his whole world view, his life view, has been shaped from a military viewpoint and he has a hard time of thinking beyond that. And I think he’s trapped in that, so everything is looked at sort of from his life experiences as always having been in the military and I think that can be pretty dangerous.”
I see what Harkin is getting at–McCain’s background makes him unlikely to get us out of Iraq and perhaps more likely to get us involved in other wars. Still, I don’t think this is good messaging against McCain. Americans are not going to reject his candidacy because he comes from too military of a family.
Harkin was on more solid ground when he talked about McCain’s “scary” temper. McCain has a long history of losing it that suggests he lacks the temperament to be president. This is a huge mark in Barack Obama’s favor, because Obama is much more even-tempered.
But for those who are tired of talking about McCain’s anger management problem, I offer ten more reasons not to support the GOP nominee:
1. Mr. Straight Talk can’t keep his story straight when it comes to Iraq, the economy, tax cuts or other issues. Brave New Films shows you the evidence in “The Real McCain 2”:
2. McCain has employed senior campaign workers with a history of lobbying for foreign corporations or brutal foreign regimes. In fact, the man McCain chose to run this summer’s Republican National Convention is a lobbyist whose firm represented the Burmese junta.
McCain’s campaign has fired at least six employees this month because of their lobbying ties, including his national finance co-chairman Tom Loeffler, whose firm collected millions from Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments.
Even so, McCain is still employing Senior Political Adviser Charlie Black, who has lobbied for:
* Ahmed Chalabi, the smooth talking Iraqi exile who helped manufacture the WMD charges against Saddam Hussien that led the U.S. to invade.
* Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, found guilty of torture, executions, disappearances, and human rights violations, who hired Black to “improve” his image in the U.S.
* Somali dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, who’s army massacred between 40,000 and 50,000 civilians in two years.
* Dictator Mobuto Sese Seko of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), who amassed a vast personal fortune and repressed rival political parties while his country’s children starved.
* Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi of UNITA, an ally of apartheid-era South Africa, who started a civil war which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and ordered the torture and murder of countless opponents.
* Nigerian Dictator Ibrahim Babangida ran a one-party regime, who arrested his opponents, and murdered journalists.
3. McCain has only released two years of his own tax returns and none of his wife Cindy’s tax returns, despite a growing consensus that the public has a right to know about McCain’s personal finances.
Why should you care? Because in the past Cindy McCain had business dealings with a crook whom Senator McCain helped bail out. We need to know if similar conflicts of interest exist today.
4. McCain’s campaign has underpaid for the use of his wife’s corporate jet, even though the self-styled campaign finance reformer has backed legislation that would require candidates to pay the real costs of using corporate jets.
Even after his hypocrisy on this issue was exposed, McCain continues to use his wife’s corporate jet for campaign purposes.
5. McCain’s foreign policy in in all meaningful ways the same as George Bush’s.
6. McCain is running for president on his “vast experience,” but he keeps confusing Sunnis with Shiites, even after being corrected by his buddy Joe Lieberman.
8. McCain’s judicial appointments would likely be the same kind of extreme conservatives George Bush has favored:
The Senator has long touted his opposition to Roe, and has voted for every one of Bush’s judicial appointments; the rhetoric of his speech shows that he is getting his advice on the Court from the most extreme elements of the conservative movement.
9. McCain’s campaign has been bashing Obama for supposedly being willing to negotiate with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, but McCain said two years ago that the U.S. would have to engage Hamas if that group were running the Palestinian government.
10. McCain’s campaign blog misleadingly portrays the GOP candidate as a progressive, even though his voting record and stands on the issues are hard-line conservative.
By the way, McCain’s continuing problem with fundraising suggests that a lot of Republicans have their own reasons for not supporting the GOP nominee.
It’s incredible to think that even after a campaign that dragged on for months longer than the Republican nominating battle, the Democratic nominee is likely to have a financial edge over McCain this fall.
Feel free to post comments about other reasons not to support McCain that I’ve left out.