As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

McSame on the Housing Mess

So St. McCain just gave a speech on the housing mess, where he appeared to know the general outlines of the situation, but in essence his solution was "Let's have a meeting." It sounds fine on the surface but there's literally nothing behind it. Howard Dean had this to say:

Just as he doesn't know the difference between Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites, John McCain today showed that he doesn't understand the economy, the mortgage crisis, or its impact on America's families and communities. Instead of offering a concrete plan to address the crisis at all levels, McCain promised to take the same hands off approach that President Bush used to lead us into this crisis. While John McCain promises a third Bush term, Democrats are offering real solutions to help the millions of American families who played by the rules and are still fighting to keep their homes."

This is pretty familiar terrain for the guy who "doesn't know much" about the economy. His tax plan is essentially Bush on steroids, with 58% of his tax cuts slated to go to the top 1%. He doesn't have much of a handle on it so his right-wing tax-cutters have basically taken over the asylum. There's no real understanding of the economy at any fundamental level, and so the solutions are outsourced to the extremists in the party. In this sense McCain is an extremely traditional conservative offering more of the same.

And this is ridiculously true in the case of McCain's foreign policy.

It may seem incredible to say this, given past experience, but a few years from now Europe and the world could be looking back at the Bush administration with nostalgia. This possibility will arise if the US elects Senator John McCain as president in November.

Over the years the US has inserted itself into potential flashpoints in different parts of the world. The Republican party is now about to put forward a natural incendiary as the man to deal with those flashpoints [...]

Reflecting the neo-conservative programme of spreading democracy by force, Mr McCain declared in 2000: “I’d institute a policy that I call ‘rogue state rollback’. I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically elected governments.” Mr McCain advocates attacking Iran if necessary in order to prevent it developing nuclear weapons, and last year was filmed singing “Bomb, bomb Iran” to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann”.

Mr McCain suffers from more than the usual degree of US establishment hatred of Russia, coupled with a particular degree of sympathy for Georgia and the restoration of Georgian rule over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He advocates the expulsion of Russia from the Group of Eight leading industrialised nations and, like Mr Scheunemann, is a strong supporter of early Nato membership for Georgia and Ukraine. Mr Scheunemann has accused even Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, of “appeasement” of Russia. Nato expansion exemplifies the potential of a McCain presidency. Apart from the threat of Russian reprisals, if the Georgians thought that in a war they could rely on US support, they might be tempted to start one. A McCain presidency would give them good reason to have faith in US support.

Mr McCain’s policies would not be so worrying were it not for his notorious quickness to fury in the face of perceived insults to himself or his country. Even Thad Cochran, a fellow Republican senator, has said: “I certainly know no other president since I’ve been here who’s had a temperament like that.”

McCain is as convinced of his own righteousness as Bush has ever been, and his potential Presidency would be characterized by total obstinacy and militarism around the world, carelessness and inattention at home, and further slippage of the entire nation into the hands of malign corporate actors. This is an unstable vision for America.

In closing I will say that this is extremely funny.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned that McCain has a long history of voting against assistance for homebuyers caught up in the housing crisis.

– McCain voted against discouraging predatory lending practices. In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment prohibiting law-breaking high-cost predatory mortgage lenders from collecting funds from homeowners who are forced into bankruptcy court. [S. 256, 3/03/05]

– McCain failed to vote on bill to overhaul mortgage lending practices of FHA. In 2007, McCain failed to vote on passage of a bill that would overhaul the mortgage lending practices of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The bill would reduce the required minimum down payment for an FHA-insured loan and simplify its calculation, requiring a flat 1.5 percent of the appraised value of the home. [S. 2338, 12/14/07]

–- McCain failed to sign on to the Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Act. In 2003, McCain failed to add his name to this legislation, which was intended to “protect consumers against predatory practices.” The bill, which was endorsed by a host of civil rights and housing advocates, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, ACORN, and the Consumer Federation of America. [S. 1928, 11/21/03]

– McCain failed to sign on to Truth in Lending Act. Less than four months ago, McCain failed to sign on to this bipartisan initiative providing protection to consumers taking out home mortgage loans. Among other measures, it was designed to “establish new lending standards to ensure that loans are affordable and fair.” McCain also refused to co-sponsor this legislation in the 107th Congress as well. [S. 2452, 12/12/2007]

Labels: , , , , , ,