Chipping Away At Maverick's Armor
We're actually starting to get some traction on John McSame, not only in the usual arenas but also in the traditional media. I think judging Presidential candidates based on their tax returns is of a fairly low priority; I really don't care how much you make compared to what you'll actually do for the country. But it's notable that McCain is not, for the most part, getting away with the gambit of releasing his tax returns, which make him look only modestly rich, without releasing the companion returns of his kajillionaire beer distributorship heiress wife (the one he picked up while still married to his first wife, who was disfigured in an accident. He's a claasy guy).
John McCain, who has clinched the Republican presidential nomination, reported $405,409 in income last year and paid $118,660 in federal taxes, according to tax returns made public today. He gave $105,467 to charity, the records show.
His campaign didn't release tax returns for his wife, Cindy, who is chairman of the Phoenix-based Hensley & Co., one of the largest beer distributors in the U.S.
"My wife and I, we have separate incomes, we have a prenuptial agreement, and her business is her business,'' McCain said in an interview. "I have never been involved in it since before I ran for the Congress of the United States, so I just feel that she has a right to a separate tax return.''
Come off it. McCain has used his wife's bankroll to get ahead in politics for 25 years. It's obnoxious to suggest that they're somehow separate incomes. Especially after Republicans went after Teresa Heinz Kerry for the same exact circumstance (Kerry eventually disclosed her tax return). And, Cindy McCain claimed she wasn't disclosing her taxes because of her children's privacy, which is kind of hilariously brazen.
But the traditional media actually managed to cover this one in a manner consistent with how they'd cover a Democrat trying to play this game. Again, I'd like to see them be as aggressive on McCain's actual statements, like his revisionist history on advocating for overthrowing foreign governments, which he called "rogue-state rollback"; the very funny flap over which earmarks he'd target for elimination, which got him in a lot of trouble this week once he realized that he was advocating cutting off aid to Israel and shuttering military housing for families; his statement that there has been great progress economically since George Bush took office, and his general flip-flopping on dozens of issues (Steve Benen is the keeper of that long list).
Still, at this point I'm happy to see any coverage of McCain that's not covered in hazy gauze. If the traditional media wants to feed their fetish and look into character issues they can pick up The Real McCain", which the McCain camp is trying furiously to suppress. I'd prefer it to be a legitimate look at his extremist record and promises of less jobs and more wars.
One thing I know is that we're not going to see anything like this tomorrow morning from our buddy Boy George.