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November 23, 2005

The John McCain Scam

One of the danger signs for Democrats that a Bush collapse doesn't necessarily mean much for progressive gains in policy are the polls showing that John McCain could step up and poll almost twenty points more than either Hillary Clinton or John Kerry in 2008.

Of course, a lot of this is due to the McCain image of "moderation", but it highlights why Dems can't depend on "clean government" as their whole rhetoric, since there will be GOPers like McCain happy to grab the anti-scandal banner. So Dems need more than scandal; they need to take down the whole GOP agenda and make it clear that folks like McCain, despite his media image, is ultimately down with the whole conservative policy agenda.

Luckily, The Nation has a nice piece this week detailing McCain's hard-right record:

McCain has always been far more conservative than either his supporters or detractors acknowledge. In 2004 he earned a perfect 100 percent rating from Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum and a 0 percent from NARAL. Citizens Against Government Waste dubs him a "taxpayer hero." He has opposed extension of the assault-weapons ban, federal hate crimes legislation and the International Criminal Court. He has supported school vouchers, a missile defense shield and private accounts for Social Security. Well before 9/11 McCain advocated a new Reagan Doctrine of "rogue-state rollback."
And as conservative WorldNetDaily detailed:
He voted to impeach President Clinton and supported every item in the Contract with America. He fought efforts to raise the minimum wage and opposed protections for gays and lesbians.
So this is the basic reality.

If the country is voting on issues like the minimum wage and health care, John McCain will lose. So progressives have three years to keep hammering on policy, not just scandal, or else they can say hello to "reformist" John McCain as President in 2008.

Posted by Nathan at November 23, 2005 03:23 PM