My esteemed colleague, Island_Dog, recently posed the question as to what Senator Obama's actual accomplishments have been. I have posted a reply on that, but let me take things one step further. I am going to offer that, regardless if you are Conservative of Liberal, if you actually compare the records of the two men, especially in light of the current crisis facing America, not only is Barack Obama the logical choice, John McCain is positively a scary alternative.
Here is Senator McCain's voting record: http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=53270
Here is Senator Obama's record: http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=9490
John McCain has been a consistent supporter of deregulation of the financial services industry. Well, that was until his SECOND speech in Florida this week, when he executed an abrupt U-turn, now stating:
"Government has a clear responsibility to act in defense of the public interest, and that's exactly what I intend to do," said McCain said at a rally in Tampa. "In my administration, we're going to hold people on Wall Street responsible. And we're going to enact and enforce reforms to make sure that these outrages never happen in the first place."
But that is the exact opposite of what his voting record indicates. See the Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/16/AR2008091603732.html?hpid=topnews
The entire article can be read by clicking on the link (I don't want to be accused of "cherry picking again) but citing what I believe to be a representative quote:
"In 2002, McCain introduced a bill to deregulate the broadband Internet market, warning that "the potential for government interference with market forces is not limited to federal regulation." Three years earlier, McCain had joined with other Republicans to push through landmark legislation sponsored by then-Sen. Phil Gramm (Tex.), who is now an economic adviser to his campaign. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act aimed to make the country's financial institutions competitive by removing the Depression-era walls between banking, investment and insurance companies.
That bill allowed AIG to participate in the gold rush of a rapidly expanding global banking and investment market. But the legislation also helped pave the way for companies such as AIG and Lehman Brothers to become behemoths laden with bad loans and investments."
(NOTE: Phil Gramm is actually no longer a chief adviser to the McCain campaign. He resigned in July 2008 after saying that America was only in a “mental recession” and that we had become a “nation of whiners.”)
Basically, John McCain's NEW positon might be descibed as locking the barn door after you have helped the rustlers steal the livestock.
But let explain why I say that even Conservatives have to be swayed by McCain's actions this week. I don't mean just the flip-flop in his remarks about how healthy the American economy is as we face a potential world-wide economic disaster. What did McCain recommend doing? He wants to fire Chris Cox, Chairman of the SEC. See http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/18/markets/bc.mccain.ap/index.htm.
If you don't anything about Christopher Cox, it is certainly worth looking him up. He was appointed to the SEC in 2005 by President Bush. He was formerly a member of the Reagan Administration, where he served as Senior Associate Counsel to the President.
I'll provide the link to his Wikipedia biography below, but let me offer this highlighy:
"Among Cox's notable legislative successes is the Internet Tax Freedom Act, a 1998 law prohibiting federal, state, and local government taxation of Internet access and banning Internet-only levies such as email taxes, bit taxes, and bandwidth taxes. With U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) as his chief co-sponsor, Cox authored legislation in 1997 to privatize the National Helium Reserve, which was then $1.4 billion in debt to taxpayers. As of 2004, this was the third-largest privatization in U.S. history, surpassing the value of the 1988 Conrail privatization. Cox also wrote the only law that was enacted over President Bill Clinton's veto, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, aimed at protecting investors from fraudulent and extortionate lawsuits."
Let's be clear about this. McCain's response to this disaster is to try to fire a CONSERVATIVE who wrote a law protecting investors.
That is nothing short of insane.
Assuming that the $700 billion bailout of the financial services industry will be passed this week, as seems most likely, either candidate will be seriously handicapped in implementing their plans. McCain will probably not be able to extend the Bush-era tax cuts and Obama will have a difficult time in getting health-care reform or job programs passed. (Which is a pity, because health-care reform is something that our ailing auto industry badly needs, which is why GM, Ford and Chrysler corporations support the National Institute for Health Care Reform.)
Removing the now-distant possibility of tax breaks from the equation, why would anyone vote for McCain? On Tuesday he had an epiphany that maybe his anti-regulation voting record was decade long error in judgement and that his best action would be to......fire a leading Conservative. Why would anyone trust the man that helped make the mess to clean up the mess?