Obamacare

VF: McCain Is a Jerk Because He Refused to Support Draft-Dodging Barack Obama Help Us Heal the Wounds of Vietnam. Wait, What?

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Ack!

Vanity Fair has one of those maybe-John-McCain-really-wasn't-a-maverick thumbsuckers that you still see from time to time. It's not particularly interesting on the subject at hand, except as a window into what in the year of our Lord 2010 disqualifies a politician from media-certified maverickhood:

Indeed, on nearly every issue—not just his signature ones, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—McCain has been among Obama's most relentless critics. That approach stands in contrast to the kind of support McCain was once willing to offer another young president, Bill Clinton. In 1993, the newly elected Clinton faced a firestorm of criticism for proposing to speak at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, in Washington, in light of his own well-chronicled efforts to avoid the draft. McCain wrote the White House and volunteered to go with Clinton if it would help. McCain's distaste for Obama is deeply personal. "I think he thinks he's full of shit," one former McCain aide says of his boss's opinion of the president.

Such are the limitations of viewing policy positions via how sharp one's salutes are to the sitting president. Yes, McCain's a flip-flopper–this is not news–but there are only a handful of policy ideas he has cared about over the years, and two of them are Getting Vietnam Behind Us and enhancing the power of the Commander in Chief, regardless of who it is. McCain wasn't helping out Bill Clinton in the early '90s because he liked the guy or was himself more reasonable then, he was helping him out because it's almost impossible to conceive of an issue he would care about more than helping the nation get over Vietnam by reminding people to respect the president. Opposing Obamacare is just a totally different category of issue.

Oh–and McCain's distaste for George W. Bush was deeply personal. Until he got over it.

The other section of interest to me was writer Todd Purdum's fevered imagineering of what a McCain-Palin presidency would have looked like:

This has made me laugh out loud three times now. I think there's something wrong with me.

There would probably have been no stimulus bill, and the country's economic condition would be no better (and probably worse). General Motors and Chrysler would have been allowed to go bankrupt rather than helped to emerge into a state of healthiness, as they may well be doing. There would have been no significant new regulation of the financial industry. The Bush tax cuts for those Americans with the highest incomes—something McCain had opposed before reversing himself—would have been extended. There would have been only modest health-insurance reform, at best—McCain's proposals were Republican boilerplate and meant for use in the campaign, never a serious program. Perhaps there would have been greater progress on immigration, though McCain had already abandoned that issue, and it's easier to imagine his taking the more nativist stance he has since adopted. There would be no Supreme Court justices Kagan and Sotomayor, but there would likely be two more conservative justices, and the days of Roe v. Wade would be numbered.

It's totally true–there would be no Supreme Court justices Kagan and Sotomayor.

I wrote about McCain's bailout/regulation support back in February, and about his governing philosophy in this book.

NEXT: A Nobel Prize "for unemployment theory"

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  1. That McCain-Palin presidency sounds pretty good to me. Of course, the reality of a McCain-Palin presidency would likely have been different.

    1. Re: Montani Semper Liberi

      Of course, the reality of a McCain-Palin presidency would likely have been different.

      Probably no more different than what we have today, except without the wise Labor Latina…

      http://www.theblaze.com/storie…..ur-people/

      1. The two liberal SCOTUS justices would not have resigned, but would be grimly hanging on hoping for a D president to take office and replace them with other liberals.

  2. There would probably have been no stimulus bill, and the country’s economic condition would be no better (and probably worse).

    Because with the bailout, unemployment did not go beyond 8% as was promised and . . . what are you guys laughing at???

    General Motors and Chrysler would have been allowed to go bankrupt rather than helped to emerge into a state of healthiness[…]

    Just as zombies are veritable images of fitness and well being…

    There would have been no significant new regulation of the financial industry.

    Awwwww. Shoot. No more pages to add to the 80K page Federal Register. Damn.

    There would be no Supreme Court justices Kagan and Sotomayor, but there would likely be two more conservative justices, and the days of Roe v. Wade would be numbered.

    And that’s saying something, as there’s no more important issue in everybody’s mind during a severe economic correction than the reassurance that women can still kill their unborn.

    1. Awwwww. Shoot. No more pages to add to the 80K page Federal Register. Damn.

      Why do you hate American Publishing Jobs?

      1. Wait, never mind, America’s printhouses needn’t worry. Printing those hardcopy federal budgets by the pallet-load will keep them in the black for years.

      2. Printing government documents doesn’t create private-sector jobs.

        Perfect example of work the government does that could be done just as well (probably better and less expensively) by outsourcing.

  3. There almost certainly would have been some kind of stimulus bill.

    1) McCain was the primary sponsor of the main Republican “alternative stimulus” that was about half the cost, made up of the unemployment benefits plus a larger temporary payroll tax cut, but not all the added long-term spending. (And no “Buy American,” which is also something that he voted to take out.)

    2) Republicans had previously favored other tax-cut based “stimulus” bills, such as the one passed in 2008.

    It’s insane to claim that there would have been no stimulus, whatever one’s views on the effectiveness of different ideas.

  4. Obama looks like The Smiler from Transmetropolitan in that top picture.

    1. I think he looks kinda like Tony Robbins. I’m not sure which is worse.

    2. “Yes, General, I am masturbating into a America Flag. Do you want me to use you next time?”

  5. Hey, that’s quite a coincidence. I, too, think the president is full of shit.

  6. Aw hang it, if only someone would write a book detailing McCain’s deception vis a vis his false image of “maverickism”.

    1. Oops, missed the plug at the end.

      I just want to know why Matt hates veterans.

  7. 1. Lower taxes
    2. No stimulus
    3. No massive & unpopular health care reform bill
    4. GM in bankruptcy (which happened anyway) but no favoritism for unions over investors
    5. Fewer regulations
    6. No Kagan or Sotomayor

    Quite the dystopian picture he paints. Imagine living without higher taxes, enormous spending bills, federal favoritism in bankruptcy, and a huge increase in regulations. What a nightmare!

    1. You’ve got 1, 2, and 4 wrong. But yeah, I would rather not have Kagan or Sotomayor on the court. Then again, McCain would have gotten someone on there who would not have decided Citizens United the right way because his pet issue is muzzling speech.

  8. How come only people with Ds after their names get labeled flipfloppers, while McCain is just “doing what it takes to win.” Since the election McCain has been unabashedly disloyal to any principles he may have previously had. Does anyone really think the person who picked Ms. Palin as running mate–with his gut–would have been a sensible choice for president? What a sad descent into absurdity the McCain story has been. Say what you will about Obama’s ego but McCain clearly has never cared much for actually serving the public, it’s clear he just wanted the presidential feather in his cap, and now that he’s lost it for good he’s decided to become a bitter old coot.

    1. How come only people with Ds after their names get labeled flipfloppers

      Still bitter about John Kerry, huh?

      1. I’m bitter that a bonafide drunken retard can win a reelection in this country because enough stupid people can be brought to polls to vote against gay people, yeah. The Gore loss was a travesty of election rigging, but the Kerry loss was proof positive that the American people are too stupid for words. Yeah bubba let’s elect the leader of the free world because he’d be more likely to have a beer with us instead of a nice french wine, except oh he allegedly doesn’t drink, except he’s obviously drunk all the fucking time and made decisions about this country as if that were so. No I’m not bitter at all.

        1. So do you argue that people magically got smarter in November 2008, or…

          1. I’m afraid that the geezer/dingbat ticket was a bridge too far even for Americans. Oh and at the time they still remembered that Republicans almost destroyed the economy.

            1. Republicans almost destroyed the economy.

              Well, is it Bush’s fault or not, because that sentence kinda implies that Obama dealt the killing blow.

              1. Well we went from an economy in the process of collapsing to a period of slow growth, so that’s not the case. To a reasonable person circumstances would imply that we need more of the remedy that got us to this point, not the snake oil the original perpetrators are still trying to sell, but this is America, and we don’t remember things before last week’s episode of jersey shore.

                1. Well we went from an economy in the process of collapsing to a period of slow growth, so that’s not the case.

                  A phrase that equally well applies to the GWB tax cuts, or to the Reagan tax cuts, or to the Canadian massive public spending cuts in the 90s and 2000s. The evidence in these kind of situation is difficult.

                  To a reasonable person circumstances would imply that we need more of the remedy that got us to this point, not the snake oil the original perpetrators are still trying to sell.

                  As Penn & Teller noted in their How to Play With Your Food, with any condition, whether medical or the economy, there are three things that can happen:

                  1) It gets better.
                  2) It stays the same.
                  3) It gets worse.

                  If you’re peddling snake oil, you have a ready-made answer to each:

                  1) See, it helped.
                  2) See, it helped and we need more.
                  3) We just need more. (Or, if it’s beyond recovery, we started too late.)

                  Your response, Tony, is indistinguishable from snake oil peddlers.

        2. And now we have a pot-smoking cokehead who wants to put other pot smoking cokeheads in prison, because we can’t hope to change that issue. Why, the very idea of hoping to change that is laughable.

          1. If only we’d elected McCain!

            1. We’d have another idiot. I voted for Barr. He actually is now against throwing cokeheads and potheads in prison. Imagine that.

              1. You mean he changed? Wow, that is more than I had hoped for!

                Vote fer me, plebs.

              2. The person throwing his vote away on a guaranteed loser is calling other people idiots? Glass houses, man.

                1. I should have voted for McCain, whom I agreed with on 5% of the issues, or Obama, whom I agreed with on 4%, versus someone I agreed with 65-75% of the time so I could “WIN”. What the fuck would I have “WON”, asshole? the guarantee that the person I voted for would work against everything I believe in? OH BOY, I FUCKING WON!

                  Now you know why gays don’t have the same civil rights as straight people. They’re too smart to throw their votes away.

                  In your case, you deserve it.

                  1. I just don’t see the point in voting for someone who is 100% guaranteed to lose. Sticking to your principles in this way might as well be sticking to the pages of your nudie magazine, because it’s all masturbatory self-importance. Good for you, you voted your conscience. That was a vote that could have gone to the person actually capable of winning who most shares your views, but we’re all so proud of you for throwing your vote away. I hear voting for sure losers gets you to the front of the line in heaven.

                    1. the person actually capable of winning who most shares your views

                      And if the two candidates capable of winning don’t come anywhere near close to sharing your views? “STFU And Vote Democrat”, right?

                      Nice job completely ignoring that part of Penguin’s argument.

                    2. “STFU And Vote Democrat”, right?

                      Works for me. What do you think this is, a parliamentary system? I’m not saying it’s good or right that you only have two choices. But you only have two choices. Sorry.

                    3. How do you not get this? Voting for candidates who will work against you 95-96% of the time means you are throwing your vote away. You haven’t “won” anything but an enemy who is destroying what you believe in.

                      In races where there are only R’s or D’s, I almost never vote. Because they are bound to work against what I believe in.

                    4. BP actually just disregard everything I’m saying. If one day you did decide to join the real world, you’d probably just vote Republican. Don’t let me dissuade you from not giving them votes. All this stuff about practicality in a party duopoly is stuff that I mean to aim to liberals who feel that, for example, voting for Ralph Nader sounds like a swell idea.

                    5. I used to pretty much agree with this. However, after many years of holding my nose while I voted for the “lesser of two evils”, I’m no longer convinced that “throwing your vote away” is really throwing it away. By voting for a third party, you’re guaranteed to lose but you also send a message to the major parties that you’re not willing to put up with the #$!#% candidates they offer. If we keep voting for their #$!#%, they have no incentive to offer something better.

                    6. What if both major candidates share virtually none of one’s views? If you keep voting for the lesser of two evils then all you have left is evil.

                2. Yeah, voting on principle and not to play TeamAVersusTeamB, that’s so idiotic.

                3. Yeah. Because voting for principle, vowing NOT to be part of the problem of electing the lesser asshole in order to avoid a greater asshole is “throwing his vote away.”

                  You really are a fucktard of epic proportions.

              3. I voted for Barr too but I wonder if his conversion really means anything. I tend to care more about what politicians do, as opposed to what they say.

        3. Tony, this post is absurd, as most of your arguments boil down to “majority rules, libertarians drool neener neener neener”.

          Is it finally seeping into your thick skull that just because 51% of the population believes something that doesn’t automatically make it right?

          Also from the fucking article:

          Yes, McCain’s a flip-flopper

          And your comment:

          How come only people with Ds after their names get labeled flipfloppers, while McCain is just “doing what it takes to win”.

          Failure.

          1. Tony is a failure pile in a sadness bowl.

            (via Patton Oswalt)

          2. I thought it was clear that I rarely read the dreck posted on reason. Middle-aged men writing like aggrieved teenagers, too self-important to acknowledge the irony that the noxious crap they spew about free enterprise and individual responsibility is fully underwritten by corporate donors? No thanks.

            1. …So you just come here to bitch about the headline?

              1. And just like the rest of her ilk that voted in Obama because all they read was his headlines.

            2. Unlike Obama, who is fully underwritten by unions and then corporations.

              How are your new gay marriage rights working out for you, Tony?

              1. As well as can be expected. I presume those rights will be realized in the courts before they are signed into law by any president, though Obama’s certainly a better bet than McCain would have been. I don’t seek or expect perfection from any politician.

            3. too self-important to acknowledge the irony that the noxious crap they spew about free enterprise and individual responsibility is fully underwritten by corporate donors?

              So in your worldview corporations are incapable free enterprise and individual responsibility?

        4. think of it this way, had kerry won, 2008 would have been a big GOP winning year and you would have never gotten your obamasiah.

          If kerry had won in 2004, the financial collapse would have happened on his watch. Plus he would have either had to flip flop on Iraq and keep fighting there or let the whole middle east collapse into war and either one would have been ugly politically for him.

          1. You forgot the biggest potential source of scandal: Vice President John Edwards.

        5. I’m bitter that a bonafide drunken retard can win a reelection in this country because enough stupid people can be brought to polls to vote

          Senator Kennedy is dead. Quit pissing on his grave already.

          1. How’s it feel to be PWNED, Tony?

    2. Try reading this again:

      Yes, McCain’s a flip-flopper?this is not news…

    3. We do hate us some underclass, yes, we sure do.

    4. Re: Tony,

      Since the election McCain has been unabashedly disloyal to any principles he may have previously had.

      He didn’t have any to begin with, Tony. That’s why the Vanity Fair article is so ridiculous.

      Say what you will about Obama’s ego but McCain clearly has never cared much for actually serving the public[…]

      Preferable to have someone not serving anybody to having a new Tlatoani serving HIS public [e.g. Unions, Special Interest groups, Wallstreet, Community Organizers, everybody else feeding from the Federal teat…] against the productive class.

  9. Obama in that picture looks like he’s about to tell us about the two Americas.

    1. There are two Americas, Fist.

      One where Fluery doesn’t let in soff goals, and the one we live in.

      1. I don’t see you with any points yet this season, either.

        1. I don’t need points Fist, I have astute in-depth analysis to prop me up.

          ————————————–

          I usually stand up for MAF, but getting beaten by Habs again, and Carey Price stings too much.

          Also, trade Staal, we need a winger for Sid.

      2. Fleury can let in all the soft goals he wants. He and Talbot will always be legends in my mind for Game 7 against the Red Wings.

        1. Pens win with Johnson in goal. It looks like you owe someone an apology.

  10. “I think he thinks he’s full of shit,” one former McCain aide says of his boss’s opinion of the president.

    This doesn’t exactly make him an outlier; I’m not qualified to judge where it puts him on the “maverickiness” scale.

  11. I know it’s photoshopped but I think I’m gonna have nurse-Palin fantasies now.

    1. Are you sure they won’t just be sexual fantasies of shitting in a steel pan?

      1. Yeah that’s in there too.

    2. put that in the spank bank with the other Palin fantasies

      1. They all involve her losing her run for the presidency…and rough anal.

  12. This has made me laugh out loud three times now. I think there’s something wrong with me.

    I think, in 2008, there was something wrong with most of us.

    1. I think, in 2008, there was something wrong with most of us.

      And anything has changed since then? Or for thousands of years before? It’s the same old power struggle that’s been playing out since the birth of civilization. Americans just thought it would go away if they voted for other people to fight the struggle for them….suckers.

      1. I guess I meant, more wrong than usual. I don’t see how both major parties nominating shitbag senators could be viewed as sanity.

  13. Why is John McCain still around? As far as I can tell, his only expertise is in crashing planes.

    1. As far as I can tell, his only expertise is in crashing planes getting planes shot out from under him.

      FTFY

      1. I think only one was “shot out from under him.” The other four were not.

  14. Don’t forget that if McCain won we’d be at war with Iran and probably North Korea too.

    1. No, no, no.

      If the Republicans had won, we’d still be at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, bin Ladin would still be on the loose, and Gitmo would still be open.

      1. This is completely unlike now! Completely!

        For reasons which will come to me eventually…

        1. We aren’t bomb, bomb, bombing Iran.

  15. “There would have been only modest health-insurance reform, at best?McCain’s proposals were Republican boilerplate and meant for use in the campaign, never a serious program.”

    That’s how we know that Obamacare was serious. It can’t be used in the campaign; it’s radioactive. There may actually be more support for ending Social Security than there is for the bill as passed.

  16. Don’t forget that if McCain won we’d be at war with Iran and probably North Korea too.

    No.

    That’ll happen at its scheduled time regardless of who’s President. He’s not who decides. And it’s still probably a few years out.

    The “at least Obama kept us out of _______” nonsense when Hillary or Palin (I’d guess) is President and the Big Secret Calendar says “Happy Axis-Bombin’ Day” will be really annoying.

    Even more than it is now.

  17. There would probably have been no stimulus bill

    So he wouldn’t have continued and then doubled-down on Bush’s policy?

    General Motors and Chrysler would have been allowed to go bankrupt rather than helped to emerge into a state of healthiness, as they may well be doing

    Imagine how cool the American car industry would be again if we got rid of these dinosaurs?

  18. Oh, for fuck’s sake.

    ANYone who tells you that Roe V. Wade is going anywhere, whether they’re telling you that to frighten OR encourage you, is selling something.

    And if you fall for it in either case, you’re a fool.

  19. The story of the year is Obama’s fall from the sky and all Purdum can do is write a bi-monthy smear job of Palin and conservatives.

    Two weeks!

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