Thursday, February 07, 2008

hey, McCain asshole, why do you hate seniors and vets?

The “Straight Talk Express” took a little detour through bullshitville yesterday. . . or maybe it was a scheduled stop.

During the last few weeks, Senator John McCain (Asshole-AZ) has been campaigning on the need to quickly pass a stimulus package, and on Wednesday, the Senate tried to oblige.

Problem is, a group of conservative Republicans (I know, redundant), blocked a vote on the Senate version of the stimulus plan because it included such “Christmas tree ornaments” (Mitch McConnell’s words, not mine) as additional money to help the elderly on fixed incomes and disabled vets, home heating assistance, and extended unemployment benefits. A move Wednesday evening to invoke cloture and force a vote failed. . . by one vote.

As recently as this morning, McCain again told reporters that he planned on returning to the Senate for this evening’s vote on the economic stimulus, stating that Congress needed to quickly pass legislation.

The measure, blocked by conservatives, fell just one vote short of the 60 needed to end debate. At the “last minute,” McCain decided to skip the vote, even though his plane landed in DC in time. McCain claimed that he was “too busy“:

“I haven’t had a chance to talk about it at all, have not had the opportunity to, even,” McCain said. “We’ve just been too busy, focused on other stuff. I don’t know if I’m doing that. We’ve got a couple of meetings scheduled.”

The other Senators on the campaign trail, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, were able to get back in time to vote for cloture and for helping those hurt by this Iraq War-damaged economy. What was the seemingly confused or disoriented 71-year-old McCain focused on instead of getting to the floor and fulfilling his campaign promise to his fellow vets and seniors? Most likely, it was his Thursday appearance at the hard-line conservative CPAC conference.

By not voting for bill, as he had promised, McCain caved to the right wing and turned his back on 20 million seniors and 250,000 disabled vets. As the AP notes:

Voting “no” with Republican leaders would have offended millions of Social Security recipients and the disabled veterans not scheduled to receive rebates. Voting “yes,” on the other hand, risked alienating Bush, GOP leaders and conservatives already suspicious of McCain’s political leanings. McCain was speaking Thursday before a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference, a group that booed him last year in absentia.

The Senate’s stimulus plan also contained incentives for green energy initiatives designed to jumpstart the economy by advancing technologies that might slow global warming. McCain often gets “straight talk” points for voicing concerns about climate change. But, as is painfully obvious, simply releasing a lot of hot air isn’t going to solve the problem. Senator Asshole might think talking the talk is enough, but without walking the walk—showing up for important votes, for instance—nothing about that talk is straight.

(cross-posted on The Seminal)

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