Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Yelling For Attention

Since Hillary Clinton's improbable comeback in Pennsylvania last week turned her into the hottest thing since Barack Obama, the media suddenly has a reason to cover the now-interesting Democratic race.

In order to compete for media attention with the cool kids from across the aisle, McCain has traveled around the country hitting liberal hotspots, visiting Selma, Alabama, Inez, Kentucky, and New Orleans' 9th Ward, and Youngstown, Ohio.

After a long, grueling primary season kept McCain in close ideological proximity to President Bush, he has subsequently been trying to distance himself.

For the present, we will hear little talk from McCain about his Wilsonian of an American "mandate to build an enduring global peace on the foundations of freedom, security, opportunity, prosperity and hope."

Far from sounding like George W. Bush's successor, McCain's "tour" allows his campaign to show him as a fuzzy, caring, liberal with a firm belief in the power of government. The same Senator who said "we let spending get out of control," began his tour with an auspicious beginning, when he vowed to a group a people in Alabama that he was not the stingy spending-slasher the media had made him out to be, and that Federal earmarks would, of course, continue to come their way.

McCain continued his government-first message at his stop in Youngstown, Ohio, praising the glories of NAFTA, which he claimed is the solution for the millions who have had their jobs outsourced to lower-wage countries. He scolded those who "try to cling to an old economy," rather than embrace the "increase in economic benefits to our country," that NAFTA has brought.

To the unemployed Youngstown steelworkers who apparently have not been blessed by NAFTA's "economic benefits," McCain optimistically promised, "I can't look you in the eye and tell you that I believe those jobs are coming back," but no matter, as he quickly added, "we can turn things around in this city."

McCain's plan to fix NAFTA's "benefits," includes "education and training programs" for those who have been unable "to adjust to a new world economy," namely one where our government deems the expansion of third-world economies to take precedence over that of our own.

Middle-class steelworkers who have been the lucky beneficaries of NAFTA's "economic benefits," namely, seeing their jobs head to China in the name of the "new world economy," were told by McCain that he feels their pain. After all, as he related an anecdote to them, who can indentify better with unemployed workers than someone who had to fly coach when his campaign ran out of money last summer?

McCain has repeatedly labeled "out-of-control federal spending," as one of the biggest problems facing our country today, yet, at each stop during his tour, he told people that new government programs were the answer to all their problems.

In Inez, Kentucky he vowed a second war on poverty to solve the problems in Appalachia that the first war on poverty apparently overlooked. In New Orleans, he railed against the un-caring Federal government, whom he blamed as being responsible for Hurrican Katrina by virtue of not providing enough monetary assistance.

McCain's new flirting with the left shows him to be nothing more than a liberal of old flying around with a new "Republican" nametag. McCain says he wants government to be the solution for our problems, because according to him, government is here "to help the needy and to give people a level playing field," a far cry from Ronald Reagan's old saying that "Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them."

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