McCain’s Experience Is Not What We Want

Letters To The Editor
Letters To The Editor

I’ve been a bit slow in re-posting my monthly Letter’s to The Editor (LTEs) for June and July.  As I’ve mentioned before, last July I made it a goal to get at least one letter per month published in our local newspaper The Potomac News.

I’ve actually met that goal so far, having one letter per month published since last August, and one column under my byline. With everything else I’ve been doing these past couple of months, I’ve been a bit slow republishing them here.  So here is my June LTE.

This letter was my official “coming out” in support of Senator Barak Obama and opposing Senator John McCain as president.  I’m sure there’s no surprise there for anyone who’s been following my writings… This was published June 20, under the title “McCain’s experience is not what we want

The Republican presidential nominee, John “Older than the Golden Gate Bridge” McCain, has a lot of government experience.

As of May 21, Senator McCain had 115 lobbyists helping his presidential campaign by either working or raising money for him. McCain’s chief political advisor Charlie Black built his career by representing the world’s most savage and genocidal dictators, along with “good neighbor” corporations that include Blackwater and Phillip Morris.

McCain’s economics advisor, former Sen. Phil Gramm, was advising McCain on his subprime mortgage policy while Gramm was also a registered lobbyist for the Swiss bank UBS. UBS has serious financial problems from the subprime mortgage crisis and is currently under federal investigation for marketing tax-evasion schemes to wealthy U.S. clients.

McCain survived the Keating Five scandal of the 1980s, made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, and during his primary campaign violated the finance laws he helped write.

McCain supported President Bush’s veto of a bill that would have prohibited waterboarding.  He supports President Bush’s program of warrantless wiretapping, and supports retroactive immunity for telecommunication companies involved in violating federal wiretapping laws.

McCain has voted many times in opposing abortion and other reproductive rights. Planned Parenthood gives him a zero rating on women’s health issues, the lowest possible senate rating. The NARAL president, Nancy Keenan, has been quoted as stating, “Voters need to know that John McCain is not only against abortion, he is against birth control.”

As a veteran and former POW, McCain has voted only 30 percent of the time in support of veterans funding bills, according to the nonpartisan “Disabled Americans for America.” McCain, along with President Bush, actively opposes the current bi-partisan Webb/Hagel veteran’s bill which would provide full tuition and housing costs at a four-year public university for veterans who have served at least three years of active duty.

Although he opposes increasing veteran’s benefits, McCain does support a permanent troop presence in Iraq and new military action against Iran.

Is this the experience we want in a president? I don’t think so.

I actually think this has been one of my weaker LTEs to date, for lack of providing proper references.  For one, the Opinions editor changed the line “McCain has voted many times in opposing abortion and other reproductive rights” from my original line of McCain has voted 89% in opposing abortion and other reproductive rights.”  The percentage came from my gleaning McCain’s 17 out of 19 votes opposing major Women’s right bills.  In a follow-up e-mail to the editor, I learned that the editor could not see where I got my 89% from, so changed this line.  He suggested that it would have been better if I had used the exact numbers instead of extrapolating the way I did.

I was also challenged in the on-line comments thread about my references.  I posted my references list in follow-up, but for some reason that post never was approved by the forum moderator.

One of the more amusing comments I did receive on this thread was from one of the most “out there” wingnuts who posted words to the effect that I sat home in my bathrobe surfing the internet all day writing garbage posts.  This gave me the opportunity to later post such choice comments as:

If only I could sit home in my bathrobe all day, munching doughnuts, surfing the ‘net and posting comments guaranteed to make wingnut heads explode…sigh…  […] For those who may have been spending too much time in their bathrobes busy sending out flame mail…

And

…‘Cuse me while I go change bathrobes and grab another doughnut.

Yes, just oodles of fun and games debating politics with Prince William County’s finest minds…not.

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