Thursday, October 30, 2008

George Will Skewers McCain

John McCain incessantly attacks Barack Obama over not taking matching campaign funds from the government (taxpayers) as he did. Obama out-raised him many times over through small public donations..... not PAC money, not registered lobbyists.

McCain tries to make a sinister case.... Obama broke his word, where is his money really coming from. Defense of Obama's campaign fund-raising comes from an unlikely source, conservative columnist George Will in "Call Him John the Careless."

Will points out, "McCain has a history of reducing controversies to cartoons. A Republican financial expert recalls attending a dinner with McCain for the purpose of discussing with him domestic and international financial complexities that clearly did not fascinate the senator. As the dinner ended, McCain's question for his briefer was: 'So, who is the villain?'

"McCain revived a familiar villain -- 'huge amounts' of political money -- when Barack Obama announced that he had received contributions of $150 million in September. 'The dam is broken,' said McCain, whose constitutional carelessness involves wanting to multiply impediments to people who want to participate in politics by contributing to candidates -- people such as the 632,000 first-time givers to Obama in September.

"Why is it virtuous to erect a dam of laws to impede the flow of contributions by which citizens exercise their First Amendment right to political expression? 'We're now going to see,' McCain warned, 'huge amounts of money coming into political campaigns, and we know history tells us that always leads to scandal.'

"The supposedly inevitable scandal, which supposedly justifies preemptive government restrictions on Americans' freedom to fund the dissemination of political ideas they favor, presumably is that Obama will be pressured to give favors to his September givers. The contributions by the new givers that month averaged $86."

Will dismisses McCain's tempest-in-a-teapot campaign funding scolds, reasoning that "by Election Day, $2.4 billion will have been spent on presidential campaigns in the two-year election cycle that began in January 2007, and an additional $2.9 billion will have been spent on 435 House and 35 Senate contests. This $5.3 billion is a billion less than Americans will spend this year on potato chips."

And silly Sarah Palin didn't escape Will's pen either. He writes, "From the invasion of Iraq to the selection of Sarah Palin, carelessness has characterized recent episodes of faux conservatism."

Will continues, "Some polls show that Palin has become an even heavier weight in John McCain's saddle than his association with George W. Bush. Did McCain, who seems to think that Palin's never having attended a 'Georgetown cocktail party' is sufficient qualification for the vice presidency, lift an eyebrow when she said that vice presidents 'are in charge of the United States Senate' "?

George Will doesn't suffer fools gladly.

And while he has not endorsed anyone for president, his comments on how McCain handled the financial meltdown almost seemed to, as he wrote in "McCain Loses His Head" (WaPo).... "Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama."

Vote. It really matters!

No comments: