October 7, 2008
How McCain Can WinBy Patrick J. Casey
Even with their stumbles over the past two weeks, John McCain and Sarah Palin still have time to win the election and save our country. To do so, McCain must commit to taking the steps necessary to truthfully frame the issues in a way that will resonate with the voters, and then relentlessly take action against the two obstacles in his way -- the daily messages being spouted by Obama and the mainstream media.
Senator McCain must focus on getting several key points across to the American public. At the same time, he must emphasize the fact that it is the media who is trying to elect Barack Obama -- in essence, asking the public if they are comfortable allowing the liberal media to choose the country's next President.
McCain and Palin must repeatedly hit several key points concerning the following important issues: The Economic Crisis; The War in Iraq and on Terror; Bill Ayers and ACORN; the Keating Five Smear; Wasteful Spending and Lobbyists; Taxes and Economic Growth; and The False Promise of Government Intervention.
It seems like a lot to talk about, but in reality framing each issue in a way that benefits McCain consists of making a few simple, salient, and easily repeatable points on each issue that would be of interest to all Americans. Even this late in the campaign, most voters will be surprised by what they hear, and McCain should take advantage of that by pointing out that all of these issues would have been out in the public forum and debated for months now, were it not for the fact that the media is trying to elect Barack Obama.
McCain should also point out the ludicrous nature of Obama's attempts to refer to him as just another George Bush. All anyone has to do is go back and read news accounts about McCain, even in liberal outlets like the New York Times, and the public will clearly see that John McCain used to be respected by the media (until Obama came along) because the Senator has always been the anti-Republican Republican, and the premier anti-Bush politician on the right.
On to the issues:
The Economic Crisis
If the underlying sub-prime mortgages that are either in or soon to be in default were granted to people who were capable from the beginning of paying those mortgages back under the terms that they agreed to, there would be no current Wall Street crisis, housing crisis, or credit crisis. Mortgage securities would still be trading, people would still be in their homes, and the economy would be moving along steadily.
This crisis was created by policies enacted by the government, specifically Congress and the Clinton Administration. It can even be argued that significant responsibility goes all the way back to the Jimmy Carter and his Community Reinvestment Act of 1977.
Even the New York Times, in an article in 1999, predicted the eventual collapse of the mortgage markets due to legally mandated relaxed mortgage underwriting standards. Lending to unqualified borrowers wasn't a risky strategy devised by Wall Street -- it was ordered by the Clinton Administration and Democrats in Congress such as Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. And any business or bank that failed to give loans to unqualified individuals was subject to criminal charges under the guise of "lending discrimination".
Any time any Republican, including Senator McCain, tried to address the coming economic disaster they were stopped in their tracks by the Democrats. There is ample public record explaining these facts - the media had purposely decided not to do any substantial reporting on it to protect Obama and the Democrats prior to the election.
The War in Iraq and on Terror
All wars have unforeseen costs and unintended consequences. Battlefields and war plans are never static and unwavering -- they are in constant flux. While disagreements about events surrounding war are common, and should be aired, such dialogue should never reach the point where it either damages the troops in the field or risks the ultimate success of our efforts. Democrats, in a partisan frenzy, have violated both of those tenets of decency. Starting shortly after the war began, Democrats chose to use any setback or incident as a weapon against the Bush Administration, ignoring the negative international impact and assistance to the enemy that such partisan whining created. All in a quest to increase their own political power and standing.
Last year, the Democrats even went as far as declaring as fact to the rest of the world and to our enemies that the war was irretrievably lost -- at the same time that our troops were fighting, and dying, for victory. Barack Obama agreed with both that assessment and the Democratic partisan attacks against the war effort while our troops were engaged in battle overseas and our soldiers were dying. Neither he, nor the Democratic Party, has ever talked of this war in terms of success or victory -- only in terms of failure, retreat, and surrender. There is a huge difference in winning a war and stabilizing a region vital to our national interests versus what the Democrats and Obama have promised over and over again and attempted to do through legislative trickery. In essence "ending" the war by retreating and surrendering to our enemies, with no regard for the long-term consequences to our nation, the region, and the world.
Bill Ayers and ACORN
It has been said that Barack Obama has no executive experience. While that is apparently so when one looks at his campaign website, resume, much touted biographies, and his adulations from the mainstream media -- in truth it is not. It's just that Barack Obama has kept his particular type of executive experience hidden. Why? Perhaps because if his "experience" was fully disclosed and examined, Obama's claim to be an agent of change and a new kind of post-partisan and post-racial politician would be proven to be a lie.
With his political mentor Bill Ayers, Obama has several years of executive experience under his belt -- first at the Woods Foundation, then running the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Barack Obama's other major executive experience is with ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
Why is this important, and why has Obama attempted to either hide or minimize his associations with these individuals and groups? Well, even the New York Times just admitted that Bill Ayers is an unrepentant domestic terrorist. The Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an attempt to improve education in Chicago, by its own account failed miserably. And that ACORN group? According to recent media accounts, it's just a corrupt radical left-wing non-profit engaged in systemic massive voter fraud benefiting the Democrats. Oh, and ACORN was one of the leading groups that pressured Congress and the Clinton Administration to force lenders to give money to people who couldn't repay it. In other words, when you take a look at the ultimate cause of this current economic crisis and housing and mortgage meltdown, ACORN is at its center.
So, Obama's executive experience in the "real" world is following the political direction of a domestic terrorist, running a $50 million failed educational experiment, and in training members of a radical left-wing group that openly engages in fraud, deceit, and strong arm tactics to benefit the Democratic Party.
No wonder why Obama doesn't want this on his resume, and the media doesn't want to report it.
Battling Back on the Keating Five
Obama's starting to pull out John McCain's connection with the Keating Five. Senator McCain should thank Obama for bringing the subject up. McCain should then follow up by giving a very quick, and easily verifiable, synopsis of the incident and how it changed him. Keating Five represented a low point in his life, but gave birth to his desire to reform the political process -- something that he's been working on ever since. The Senator should going on to point out that the Democrat-led Senate Committee charged with investigating Keating Five found that although McCain had attended one inappropriate meeting, he was, according to the New York Times, "exonerated" of any wrongdoing. The New York Times also stated for the record that since McCain was innocent of any wrongdoing, he would have normally been dropped from the investigation entirely, but the Democrats refused to allow it -- because then the Keating Five would have become the Keating Four, and a Democrat-only scandal.
The Times also helpfully points out that it was the Keating Five mess that turned McCain into the politician he is today -- almost obsessed with getting money and corruption out of politics, in direct contrast to any inclination shown so far by Obama.
Wasteful Spending and Lobbyists
Senator McCain should do two things with this particular issue. First, point out that ever since he learned his lesson from the Keating Five, he's been almost maniacal in attempting to weed out wasteful spending and corruption in politics. Barack Obama has no public record of attempting to do anything substantive about either issue, other than signing on to a few contrived bills offered by his Democratic Senate allies subsequent to Obama declaring his run for President two years ago.
McCain then needs to point out that lobbying in of itself is not illegal. In fact, the First Amendment guarantees the right of American citizens to petition all branches of government. At its core, that's what lobbying -- good lobbying -- is. The problem that McCain has fought for decades is that lobbying has become corrupted. As for the McCain campaign having former lobbyists in its employ, he should state clearly that there are good ones and bad ones -- and then go on to point out that until Joe Biden was named Obama's running mate, lobbying was the Biden family's second profession. Perhaps McCain should mention, almost in passing, that he's wondering if anyone in the Obama-centric media is planning on doing any investigative reporting, before the election, into the Biden family's problems with lobbying and hedge funds. Voters might be interested in that.
Taxes and Economic Growth
Everyone agrees that the current economic crisis is based on the housing mess, and certainly not because taxes are too low. The most recent federal data shows that the top 5% of taxpayers already pay 60% of all income taxes while earning only 37% of all gross income. They are also the people who fuel economic expansion -- those taxpayers are the ones who own small businesses, employ people, and invest in our capital markets. What does Barack Obama want to do? Make the top 5% pay all income tax? Taxing those individuals more -- in effect punishing them for being successful -- will slow job creation and economic growth, not promote it. Forced income redistribution is not the answer, and even Gallup polls show that the American people are opposed to massive income redistribution to fix the economy when it's described in those terms.
The False Promise of Government Intervention
The government had the best of intentions when it spoke of making home ownership available to all, but in practice any such programs and solutions are never thought out nearly enough by government officials, and therefore almost always fail -- creating worse problems for our nation. That's what's happening now. That's what happens with almost all government programs.
With the current economic, housing, and credit crisis, we are living through a textbook example of how government intervention into things best left to the private sector can severely harm our country. Forcing lending institutions, by government fiat, into giving loans to individuals who were never going to be able to pay them back has almost destroyed our economy.
The solution passed by Congress -- yet more government intervention authored by the same individuals who got us into this mess in the first place -- got through not because it was the correct way to deal with the crisis, but because of the growing panic (fueled by the media) that something had to be done to psychologically give the credit markets a boost. The "rescue" bill did not even begin to address the underlying causes of this current economic mess -- in many ways it has just perpetuated them. To really solve our problems, Congress -- specifically the Democrats and Obama -- would have had to admit culpability and revisit and substantially modify how we deal with such issues as sub-prime mortgages. The media was not about to allow that so close to election time.
Forcing a massive "rescue" onto the American people that does not address the core issues, and creating a media atmosphere where opposition to the "rescue" was portrayed as being in favor of the economy collapsing, was foolish. Doing so two weeks before members of Congress adjourned to go home and get themselves re-elected -- the same Congress that created this debacle in the first place -- was criminal.
Even though McCain voted for the package, he should not be afraid to point this out. While at the same time pointing out that he had to vote for it because it was the only "rescue" plan allowed on the table.
Obama's first instinct -- and knee-jerk reaction to this crisis -- was more government intervention. It gives us an interesting perspective into how he would handle several much larger crisises almost upon us, including problems with funding Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. He and his fellow Democrats would put off all attempts to reform until the last minute. That way there would be little time for substantive debate about the pending crisis, how we got there, and the best possible ways to proceed forward. Obama, much like President Bush, would then declare that there exists an emergency so dire that it requires immediate and massive government intervention with no delay. Nationalizing and socializing all facets of our economy is a prescription for disaster - and that's exactly what Obama would give us.
These are the major issues and points that Senator McCain and Governor Palin need to repeatedly bring up for the next four weeks. By doing so consistently, the media will be forced to cover it, although they will attempt to disdainfully downplay it -- as is their wont. But repeated often enough, the public will begin to notice. Once that happens, voters -- 57% of whom distrust the media already -- will start to demand explanations. And they won't like what they find out.
The McCain-Palin ticket has no choice but to play hardball from now until Election Day. The press is going to attempt to destroy McCain over this, so it's imperative that McCain frame the "negativity" issue over the fact that he wouldn't have to be so aggressive now had the media done its job with Barack Obama over the past months, instead of supporting the Democrat and raising the Democratic candidate on his own pedestal.
We're about to see how much John McCain wants to be President.