Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Moving on to John McCain

Jerry Stratton, October 8, 2008

The more I learn about Senator John McCain the more I want to vote for him. When McCain first started winning in the primaries, the only thing I knew about him was his reputation as a maverick and his support for the McCain-Feingold free speech restrictions—which didn’t reflect well on him. Over the last few months, however, I’ve been reading about both Senator McCain and Senator Obama, and McCain is clearly the best choice on the issues that matter to me.

  1. Effective self defense. After ending prohibition (which neither of them support doing), effective self defense is the most important issue to me. Destroying effective self defense—whether by way of gun bans, confiscation after emergencies, or blaming victims for defending themselves—will also destroy our first, fourth, and fifth amendment rights. When people need to rely on police for their defense, they’ll demand a police state.

    Senator McCain has consistently supported an individual right to self defense; Senator Obama has consistently opposed an individual right to self-defense.

  2. Health insurance reform. Regular readers of Mimsy know that this is an important issue to me. Our current system of health insurance, because of current tax law, effectively locks employees in to their current employer. Our current system is basically that the person paying for health insurance—the employer—isn’t the consumer, and the person consuming health care isn’t the payer. That’s a recipe for high prices and bad service, which is what we have now. It makes it very difficult to find good inexpensive health care when you’re between jobs or self-employed.

    McCain’s solution takes the tax breaks from employers and gives them to taxpayers. This will bring health care costs back into the reach of people who are between jobs or self-employed, or just taking it easy for a while. And it will be better health care as well.

  3. Financial reform. Senator McCain has been trying to end the risks caused by the monolithic Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac banks for at least sixteen years (since voting against the 1992 Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act, which sounds great but in fact tried to encourage housing loans to people who couldn’t afford them). As someone who has been saving money for a long time, I appreciate that, even if the reform has been blocked by people like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.

    We have a tendency to blame the people who warned us about problems once those problems come to pass. Maybe it feels better to pretend that no one could have known? I don’t know. But to see the press and the Democratic leadership piling on McCain even though he’s been the one providing a solution well before this was a crisis, is saddening.

    If Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac hadn’t been encouraged to oversell loans in 1992, the subprime mortgage crisis might never have happened; if the 1995 or 1996 Corporate Subsidy Review, Reform and Termination Act had passed it might have curtailed the special subsidies that Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac received well before a crisis hit.

    If the oversight from 2002 and 2003 had been put into place, we would have discovered the problems before they became a crisis; and if the oversight from 2005 had been put into place, we would have discovered the crisis before it became the abyss that it is today.

    Even when the crisis hit in the midst of his presidential campaign, he did the right thing. He brought the House Republicans on board for the rescue bill—and in so doing, removed the parts of the rescue that would have continued to encourage bad loans.

    Senator Obama, on the other hand, excelled mainly at taking money from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and now he’s trying to shift blame onto the reformer.

    And he’s getting help. The extent to which the mainstream news media is willing to twist the truth for one candidate over another this year is disheartening. I used to argue that media bias was the result of other factors. I can’t do that after this election. There’s no question that they’re in the tank.

  4. Choosing Governor Palin. Remember, the issue of main importance to me is self defense, and McCain’s chosen someone stronger on self defense than he is. That she also supports stronger checks on the criminal justice system is another bonus. It’s also nice that someone remembers that Russia is geographically very close to the United States. They aren’t Somebody Else’s Problem.

    If I had the skill, I’d take her words and put them in Senator Obama’s voice, and see how the same statements are treated. Imagine this without the northern accent and the higher-pitched voice:

    It’s a small world and it’s important that we work with our allies to keep good relations with all these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War.

    We must have good relationships with our allies, helping us to remind Russia that it’s a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.

    No, it isn’t a detailed policy position. But it’s important to remember that even this level of detail was deemed too much by ABC, and was cut from her response in favor of the anecdote about how Russia is a lot closer to the U.S. than most people realize.

    It seems as though Governor Palin sounds more intelligent in venues where the media can’t edit what she said, then she does in interviews where they can (unlike Senator Biden). The level of Palin Derangement Syndrome out there, even among supposedly mainstream media, is just amazing.

    1. A person’s email is hacked and the concern is not that left-wing zealots have lost control but rather that Palin is now unqualified because of her poor judgment in using yahoo email? Some people need to divorce themselves from the campaign season. If this had been Joe Biden’s email, they’d be screaming about the right wing fanatics who did it. And they’d be right. And just to be clear, there are people on the right who would rationalize the conduct in the same way. But the key is that it is rationalization.

      There are clear lines, and this one was crossed. Don’t hide from it. Don’t rationalize. Preserve your intellectual honesty and disown it.

    2. On the other hand, I can’t imagine any conservative writer for a major magazine taking something this trivial and mentioning it at all, let alone turning it into their lede: she remembers Joe Biden from second grade… but it turns out that Biden was elected when she was in third grade. What a gaffe!

      Third grade, not second grade

    3. And that’s just the tip of the deranged iceberg. See Palin Rumors for a more complete list.

One of the nice things about having two sitting Senators running against each other is that we can look at their record. Effective self defense, less expensive and better health care, and a stronger economy; we’ll see what happens as the election moves forward, but these are three very good reasons to vote for Senator McCain.

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