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Monday, June 23, 2008

Countering the Bush Third Term Mantra: How McCain Distances Himself from Bush Properly

The strategy is clear. Everywhere you turn a Democrat is comparing the policies of George Bush and John McCain.

Now, the Democrats are trying to paint McCain's domestic and foreign policy record as the same as Bush's. Yet, it is my supposition that on each Bush's record has one glaring weakness and McCain has been against the President both times.

Domestically, Bush's most glaring weakness has been on spending. On spending, John McCain has been critical of the President's policies from the beginning.

In this video, he vociferously opposes the Bush tax cuts in March of 2003. We were just beginning the war in Iraq. The entire opposition here was budgetary. He spoke of on an already budget that was going deep into the red. We were already spending a great deal in Afghanistan. We didn't know what other trouble spots in the world. We had no idea on what Iraq was going to cost. The President was proposing a series of tax cuts with no cut in spending. How could any good fiscal conservative support such a notion?

On this single, though very important, domestic issue, John McCain has distanced himself properly from the President. For the most part though, there is no reason to run away from the President's record. The Democrats are trying to trash the idea of the tax cuts. What McCain should condemn is the idea of tax cuts without the proper spending cuts. Taxes aren't merely supposed to lower our tax rates. They are also supposed to make government smaller and more efficient. If you can't do these things along with cutting taxes, the tax cuts are meaningless.

Then, on foreign policy, John McCain has also distanced himself from George Bush effectively.

Bush's biggest foreign policy failure was not putting enough troops in Iraq and not realizing that the strategy he had was failing. McCain not only called for putting more troops on the ground and fighting a counter insurgency. That is exactly what is happening now and it is succeeding.

Again, the Democrats try and paint Bush's entire foreign policy vision as failed when what really failed was nearly four years of following the wrong strategy in Iraq. By bogging us down like that it made carrying out proper foreign policy nearly impossible. That doesn't mean the rest of the vision is wrong.
The Democrats think that we should give terrorists rights and if you disagree with him, you are merely carrying out the failed policies of Bush's third term.

These are the same guys who helped to engineer the distraction of the Iraq war at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9/11."...This is the same kind of fear mongering that got us into Iraq. It's exactly that failed foreign policy I want to reverse.

Barack Obama wants to talk unconditionally to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and if you disagree with him, you are merely carrying out Bush's third term. They tie all policies to the failed policies in Iraq.

There’s a reason the problems we face today are so much bigger than they were several years ago A big part of it is that George Bush and John McCain have been so focused on pursuing a flawed and costly war in Iraq that they’ve lost sight of our mounting problems here at home. Instead of working to fix our economy and lift up hardworking families, they’ve fought to extend a war that’s costing thousands of lives and billions of dollars without making us any safer — a war that has strengthened our enemies and distracted us from the real battle with Usama bin Ladin in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Of course, the strategy is no longer failing and thus the Democrats pretend as thought the facts on the ground are no different than they were 18 months ago. Here is how Nancy Pelosi summarized it.

President Bush’s troop surge has “not produced the desired effect.”“The purpose of the surge was to create a secure time for the government of Iraq to make the political change to bring reconciliation to Iraq,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “Late
Edition.” “They have not done that.” The speaker hastened to add: “The troops have succeeded, God bless them.”

The Democrats are trying to pull a misdirection. They are pretending as though the entire Bush policy is failing because of two glaring weaknesses. Furthermore they are pretending that McCain hasn't vociferously been against each of these policies from the start. As such, they are able to turn this perception and turn it into reality.

Of course, the Bush tax cuts secure borders, the surge, and free market health care are all good policy. These are policies to get behind and defend stridently. The Republican have in fact chosen the one Republican to criticize Bush's two main failings and the Democrats are trying to point him as Bush's third term. They will be able to turn that perception into reality unless these two very important differences are pointed out each and every time they do it.

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