Monday, April 30, 2007

Breaking News: Republican Presidential Candidates Switch Stances!

Yes, it is true. As sometimes-independent thinking Republicans such as Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and John McCain cater to the far right bases of the Republican Party, there stances on key domestic and foreign policy issues change in an instant. Besides Romney, who recently joined the NRA and decided that he was anti-choice on abortion, McCain is now in favor of Bush's deficit-increasing tax cuts (used to be against it), repealing Roe v. Wade (he told the SF Chronicle in 1999 that he didn't support a repeal), and now supports ethanol subsidies (was against them... Iowa, anyone?). Giuliani, besides being a political hack who gives Bush/Cheney talking points on Iraq, is also revealing himself to be a candidate of little consistency: He now is in favor of a flat tax when he used to be against it, has eased up on his gun control positions, and now is against partial birth abortions after being in favor of such access for women. Consistency, thy name certainly isn't Republican.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sen. McCain and Rep. Pence on Iraq: Delusional Republicans

If it isn't disappointing enough to watch Sen. John McCain do anything and everything to pander to the far right of the Republican Party, his recent assessment of Iraq, along with Indiana Rep. Mike Pence's, reveals a fundamental disconnect between Republican visions of grandeur (Cheney still calls Iraq a remarkable "success") and the realities on the ground. In particular, Rep. Pence, upon visiting a Baghdad market, stated that it reminded him of "normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime." Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Sen. McCain "declared that his ability to walk freely around the marketplace was a sign of a significant improvement in security in Iraq." McCain even went so far as to declare that ""Gen. Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed humvee." In contrast to McCain's rose-colored glasses, though, CNN's Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware, who has lived in Iraq for four years, quickly responded, "[I]n the hour since Sen. McCain's said this, I've spoken to military sources and there was laughter down the line. I mean, certainly the general travels in a humvee. There's multiple humvees around it, heavily armed." Sorry, Sen. McCain, no apology for misspeaking is going to suffice in justifying these bizarre, out-of-touch assessments of the situation in Iraq.

In fact, the marketplace where Pence and McCain took their leisurely stroll has often been the site of heavy bombings, and locals were less than kind in response to these two prominent Republicans delusional assessments. On the same day that both men were traipsing through the Baghdad market, schoolchildren were bombed in Kirkuk, unfortunately. Meanwhile, daily attacks on Baghdad's green zone have actually gone up rather than gone down, recently.
Pence and McCain should stop carrying water for the Bush administration and making blind assertions on the "success" of the Iraq invasion and instead focus on solutions for getting us out of this awful war.