General Question

augustlan's avatar

McCain character flaws?

Asked by augustlan (47720points) October 4th, 2008

I am this close to convincing my republican husband to vote for Obama. The last issue in the way is character. He mentioned Obama’s pastor, and ties with “shady” people. I need to show him that McCain is no angel, either. I know the info is out there, but I’m not finding what I need. PLEASE HELP!

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29 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

The only one I have noticed, really, is that he isn’t very good at picking VEEP candidates.

queenzboulevard's avatar

Didn’t McCain divorce his wife and then marry Cindy who is like 20 years younger than him?

eambos's avatar

Why are you so determined to make him vote democrat? If he wants to vote McCain, I’ll support him

susanc's avatar

First of all, yes, the Keating Five.
As for the immediate present, he changes his mind quite a lot, either because he’s confused or because he’s trying to
pander to ignorant voters. For example, three or so days before the stock market went completely to hell, he said the economy was fundamentally in great shape. Later he said he didn’t exactly mean the “economy”; he meant the “American workforce”.
First wife was in an accident while he was locked in a bamboo cage, and lost a leg or had her face scarred up or something. When he got home he dumped her and married Cindy, who besides being younger was terminally rich.
The first Mrs McCain has been living very simply since the divorce.
He says he’s a “maverick” and then votes for whatever the president wants 90 per cent of the time. When questioned about this, he and Palin change the subject.
Palin says the two of them are a “team of mavericks”. This is just silly. You know from the way she repeated it at least once that it’s a catchphrase they’ve made up. This means he’s aware of it. And it’s nonsensical.
Is this enough?
Eambos is fairminded – your husband should vote his conscience. But if he’s at a tipping point anyway and is looking at character,
he’ll be reassured by Obama’s clean record. The pastor was a normal pastor and then he went nuts and O had to repudiate him. What else? What “shady” people? Go online and look that up. There weren’t any.

trumi's avatar

What gets me is his new commitment to the Christian Right, changing his opinions to win the votes of the intolerant crazies that were supporting Huckabee. It seems that he will say anything to get elected. And now someone will say Obama did the same thing… Which he has… I hate politics.

Abortion is a good example of this change. From Wikipedia:
In 1999, McCain said of Roe v. Wade, “I’d love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.”[238][239]

However, on February 18, 2007, McCain stated, “I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned.”[240] McCain has said he supports amending the U.S. Constitution to ban abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or risk to the mother’s life.[241]

JackAdams's avatar

Republican candidates change their positions, as often as Mickey Rooney changed wives.

Ask 5 Republicans their opinions on one issue, and you’ll get 16 different answers.

The opinion of a Republican I subject to whichever way the wind is blowing. And I actually heard one respond to to a question at a “town hall” meeting, with this answer:

“Well, I really won’t know how I feel on that subject, until I see what the polls are saying.”

No, I am NOT joking.

Judi's avatar

I think that Biden had it right in the debate. A person of true character will not jump to conclusions questioning a persons motives, but he may question a person’s judgement.
Yes, McCain spent time in a POW camp, but the bigger Hero was so talented he never got shot down. I honor his service to his country, but he was not a general he never made the big military decisions, and his service does not qualify him to be the civilian Commander in Chief.

augustlan's avatar

@All: Thanks for the help. He knows about the Keating Five, and says I need not include that in my info. As far as “shady” people go, he’s talking about that Weather Underground guy.

@Eambos: If he believed in a single republican talking point, I’d respect his decision, too. However, he is: Pro-Choice, pro gay rights, separation of church and state, bottom up economics, etc. He is really a Libertarian who still believes that the “old” Republican platform more closely resembles his beliefs. And maybe it did, once upon a time. I finally got him to see that the party does not come close to being in line with his beliefs any longer…but he’s still struggling with the knowledge. His last ditch effort to cling to an outdated view is the character issue.

I think what it would really take to convince him is known associates with sketchy pasts/backgrounds. I’m afraid I won’t find it in time.

Judi's avatar

Even his campaign manager being a lobbyist for Fannie Mae?

galileogirl's avatar

I think Senator McCain’s problem is that he isn’t flawed enough. His straight talk brought a lot of people to his 2000 campaign. I think he truly believes in the program he espoused back then and he felt that being open and honest was the way to get elected. He put his faith in the American voter.

In 2008 he has taken on the Bush “winning” team and is doing what is necessary to win but the honorable man inside cannot be suppressed. When he is talking about what he hopes to accomplish you can see the fire but when he finds himself being dishonest you see his face go blank or when he had to say untrue things about Senator Obama in the debate, he couldn’t even look his opponent in the eyes.

I don’t agree with Senator McCain politically but I feel sorry for the man nonetheless. If he loses he will have to live with soiling his reputation for nothing. If he wins I think he will find when you sell your soul to the devil, you can never renegotiate the deal.

basp's avatar

@galieogirl, good point.

hoosier_banana's avatar

If your husband is still a Bush fan then start there at the root of the problem. Then connect the 2, Karl Rove is a pretty big character flaw for both.

augustlan's avatar

Where is dalepetrie when I need him?!

loser's avatar

Where do I start…?

dalepetrie's avatar

I’m watching, I will get you a barnburner, hopefully today!

galileogirl's avatar

Evidently, the Republican plan for the debate on Tuesday is to change the topic from the economy to a personal attack on Senator Obama. I saw a discussion this morning with the local campaign reps where the Republican said they will ask Senator Obama to explain his relationships with Reverend Wright and William Ayers. They are going to question him about his tax returns and how he paid for his college education.

So now we know what the “October Surprise” will be, a version of swift-boating. Set off a landslide of lies and innuendo because they can’t win an honest election. They have already produced the campaign ads so we will be drowning in crap for the next 3 weeks.

This may actually be a turning point for American politics. If an unprecedented baseless smear campaign works, we might as well kiss the democratic system goodbye. If Americans demand a discussion of the issues and where politicians stand, we may have the chance for a government by and for the people.

dalepetrie's avatar

Gee, I thought it was the moderator’s job to ask the questions.

I have heard Obama’s explanations for these ridiculous things that a) shouldn’t need to be explained in the first place and b) are incredibly weak things which McCain has personally disavowed talking about in the past. Very bold (read: stupid) move if you ask me to question a guy about his pastor when not only has addressed it twice, once in a speech about race that is destined to go down in history as one of the best political speeches ever, but when your own running mate has her own preacher trying to innoculate her against witchcraft.

I say, bring it on, old man, you’ve lost every claim you’ve ever had to integrity, might as well put the nail in that coffin. This whole question might be moot once Augustlan’s husband sees that pathetic attempt at swift boating. I’d just love to see Obama say, “well John, I paid for my college education with a combination of hard work, student loans and scholarships….how did you pay for your, what was it, 8 houses…oh yeah, you wouldn’t know, since you’re not even sure how many you have.”

jlm11f's avatar

In the 2000 Presidential campaign, when McCain was running against Bush for presidency, didn’t Bush’s campaign advisers make a big deal about McCain’s Bangladeshi daughter saying that he had fathered a black child out of wedlock? (she was actually adopted from Bangladesh) The smear campaigns also called McCain a homosexual and Cindy a drug addict. These campaigns were highly effective and cost him his chance in 2000. Funny thing? These same campaign advisers that put out these horrible ads about his kid, are McCain’s advisers now. That’s a major character flaw in my opinion. source

galileogirl's avatar

Dale: as we saw last week, the moderator can ask the question and the participant claims the right not to answer it and just deliver the message they want to the audience. I don’t see Senator Obama responding in kind. He has been true to himself throughout this campaign. I am sure he will be respectful of the process and his opposition, but we are so into being “entertained” that dignity and honesty won’t be dramatic enough for the audience who want extreme fighting.

dalepetrie's avatar

PnL’s comment is the first thing I would have mentioned, because I think it is the most major character flaw and the first one I noted about John McCain. The deal with the Bangladeshi daughter is this. There is a tactic known as push polling…this is when someone calls voters under the guise of conducting an opinion poll, and asks “leading” questions. For example, in this case, Bush’s advisers (the same ones working for McCain today) called up Republican voters in South Carolina during the Primary. And remember, that Bush was not doing well until the South Carolina Primary…it actually looked like McCain was going to win the nomination prior to South Carolina. So, these Bush advisers contracted pollsters to call people in South Carolina (which does have a fairly large number of racist whites…more in 2000 than today, but still like most states in the deep south, there are more racist whites than in other parts of the country). One of the questions they asked was something along the lines of, “would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?” These same campaign advisors as I remember were also responsible for such tactics as sending out reminders to Democrats with the wrong election date on them. And don’t forget that the people responsible for helping Bush get elected (the same people that McCain now employs) helped Bush to secure his “victory” in Florida by illegally purging the names of 150,000+ Democrats from the voter rolls. And as PnL pointed out, it wasn’t JUST McCain’s daughter they attacked, they attacked him and his wife personally, and they went as far as to smear his POW record.

Having these campaign workers craft his campaign is bad enough, but the fact that McCain campaigned for Bush in 2000 and again in 2004 is just sick to me. A person with strong character wouldn’t have said, “oh well, this is how politics works” and just let it go. Now once the election was over, McCain was all too happy to refer to Bush as a “Pat Roberston Republican”, which when you consider that he once lumped Robertson with Jerry Falwell, referring to them as “agents of intolerance” (after they distorted his record). Of course, that was said in the aftermath of them helping to destroy his chances in 2000. But fast forward to 2006 after McCain threw his hat in for the 2008 election, and he met face to face with Falwell, made peace with him and said that he had spoken “in haste” back in 2000. He even went as far as to tell Falwell that he was committed to pushing for a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, which is inconsistent with positions he took previous to this.

Which is another McCain character flaw. The positions he supported when he wasn’t running for President are in many cases completely different than the positions he holds now. Abortion is a good example. In 1999, McCain said, “But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.” Today, John McCain’s website says, “John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench. ”

McCain has not only flip flopped on gay rights and abortion, but on taxes as well. In a statement on the Senate Floor in 2001 in opposition to Bush’s tax cuts for the top 1% of wage earners, he said, “I am disappointed that the Senate Finance Committee preferred instead to cut the top tax rate of 39.6% to 36%, thereby granting generous tax relief to the wealthiest individuals of our country at the expense of lower- and middle-income American taxpayers.” Today he argues that ALL of Bush’s tax cuts MUST be made permanent.

On immigration, in May of 2003, John McCain said that “amnesty has to be an important part of” any solution. He was part of a bipartisan coalition that tried to pass amnesty legislation in 2006 and 2007. He voted to kill the border fence in 2006 and he sponsored the Dream Act which would have offered in state tuition to illegal aliens. Yet even though it was his OWN BILL, he skipped the Senate vote and said he’d have voted against it. He’s now aligned with the ‘secure the borders first” faction.

On the Iraq war, he voted for it and said it would be a quick, get in and get out thing, but then when it was taking too long, he said that it was not working…he was HIGHLY critical of the Bush Administration at first, but then he favored the troop surge, now he says we need to need to stay in Iraq if it takes us 100 years.

So, why would he change his positions? Well, my theory is this. McCain once said, “The only cure for Presidential ambition is embalming fluid.” He has a career history of being at odds with the Republican establishment, and to the far right wing of the party which is more aligned with Bush and the neo-conservative agenda (the one that favors pre-emptive war in order to transform the middle east into a Western friendly Democracy that will provide us with access to their oil reserves) and which is betrothed to the religious interests which were agents of intolerance when they were against him, but which are just fine with him now that they can help him get elected, he is not an “acceptable candidate”. So, he has done all of these things to try to curry favor with them because they are the ones who are passionate about changing the world into the world they want it to be, and they will be more than happy to open their pocketbooks.

But all of McCain’s flip flops (and think about how many years he held these positions only to COMPLETELY do a 180 on them, AFTER he announced his candidacy in 2006), were not enough to make Republicans passionate about him. And in what should have been his first Presidential level decision, picking a running mate, rather than picking someone who would be a seasoned professional, someone competent, he picked a religious conservative without even checking the archives of the newspaper from her hometown, someone who was also a woman, which in a way represents another flip flop. As recently as a few months ago, McCain opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Act, legislation designed to bring parity to pay for women, as women earn something like 78 cents for every dollar a similarly qualified man would make. He stated that there WAS no wage disparity, and that women essentially just needed to have more training and education to be “worth as much” as men. The other thing about his running mate being a woman is that there were many disaffected Democrats who were still disappointed that Obama had beaten Clinton for the nomination. It was a cold, cynical, and dare I say “sexist” move to act as if all women are somehow interchangeable, that despite their being diametrically opposed on every single issue, Palin and Clinton would appeal to the same people.

And were these two examples of sexism the only ones in his life, that would be one thing, but McCain exudes sexism. Take a look at how he stares at Palin when he’s on the stage with her, like an oversexed, dirty old man. And remember that McCain was going to allow a fundraiser to be hosted by a man who once “joked” that a woman being raped by a gorilla was like a hurricane, you might as well just lay back and enjoy it. McCain himself once quipped that Chelsea Clinton was so ugly because Janet Reno was her father! McCain was part of an old boys network in the Navy, he has a caveman-like mentality that he simply can’t help. This is why when he was stuck for 6 years in the Hanoi Hilton and dreamed daily of getting back to the beauty queen he married, he was not exactly pleased to learn that she had become partially disabled, and had aged considerably from the stress of having him in a POW camp, raising kids on her own, and recovering from her own nightmare. She was the same person, but she didn’t look like the same person. Within a year, he was divorced from her and married to a rich trophy wife, showing once again, one woman is replaceable by another.

And I don’t think it’s much of a stretch from sexism to racism, considering that he voted against making MLK day a national holiday. It seems to me that in McCain’s world, unless your’e a rich, white man…the kind of guy who tells off color jokes with his Navy buddies, you’re not quite worth as much. But of course, he IS a war hero. Seemingly because he didn’t violate the code that says, you are released in the order you are taken. You see, his father, an admiral, pulled some strings to get him released early, but McCain, in the admittedly mistaken belief that the war was almost over, refused to be let go earlier than people who were taken before him, though he says he might not have kept his integrity in tact had he known how much longer he’d be there. And how did he become a POW? By crashing this FOURTH plane! McCain wasn’t the warrior he makes himself out to be…he was a reluctant follower in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, but when he actually wen tot he Naval academy, he graduated 894 out of 899 cadets and was written up for bad behavior several times. He did not want the path his father and grandfather took. He decided he’d rather take his newfound wealth and reputation as a POW to Washington when conveniently the incumbent was stepping down.

Through his life, he’s been somewhat of an opportunist, but whereas at times he may have had integrity, when he’s really wanted something (a prettier wife or the Presidency), his morals have proven to be a mile wide and an inch deep. His campaign has been called one of the dirtiest, most dishonest and disrepectful in American history, and THAT’S saying a lot. He campaigns as a reformer against lobbyist influence, but his campaign is run and funded by lobbyists. He promised to run a respectful and honest campaign, but he has run ads claiming that Obama supports sex ed for Kindergarteners, when Obama actually supported teaching young children about good touch and bad touch…and when called upon it by, he says he agrees to disagree with them . He essentially says he agrees to disagree with the facts. He has claimed that Obama will raise taxes on people making $42k a year, but all economists agree, the real figure is $250k. And NOW after he said Obama’s former pastor should be off limits, he is planning to push on this front. He claims to disavow the smear campaigns floating around the internet, but he is now embracing them.

And you hear that stat about McCain siding with Bush 90% of the time? McCain says he is different than Bush, and whether he is or is not, that’s not the character issue so much as is the fact that when McCain was NOT running for President, he sided with Bush as little as 70% of the time. But the year he threw his hat in the ring (2006), it was in the high 80s. In 2007, it was 95% of the time. And this year, he has YET to break from Bush. And that is because he needs to curry favor with the radical right wing, who don’t resemble the small government, fiscal conservatives of the past. The fact is, Bush has turned a $600 billion surplus into an $11 trillion deficit. We have borrowed more money under the Bush Administration than we had under every President combined throughout American history. We have gone from using our military for defense, to using them pre-emptively, and borrowing to do it. Government is larger under Bush than it has ever been. And that’s what the Republican base WANTS, not what “real” Republicans want. McCain was at one time a person who might have been aligned with what Republicans once were. But in his blind, naked ambition to get to the highest office in the land, he has taken the lowest road imaginable, and turned himself into a person who has gone along with the downright criminal mindset of the current neoconservative orthodoxy.

And were it a matter of McCain just saying one thing and intending to do another, that would be one thing. But when you have had your campaign completely financed by the people who actually WANT this to be our country, and their lobbyists, well, he’s slept with the Devil now, there’s no going back. McCain is not going to be able to thumb his nose at the people who got him there, he is no longer running his campaign…his campaign is running him, and it will run him the same direction it ran Bush, another person who was willing to go along with it, not out of the need for power, which is what drives McCain, but because Bush was molded for this job, he was told he would be able to get back at the guy who tried to kill his daddy, and that’s exactly what he did…everything else…those were the ideas of the Project for a New American Century.

Bottom line, McCain has lost his center. He may have once been honorable in some ways, but when push came to shove, he could not live up to his own ideals. How can we expect him to lead our country, when his ideals are for sale?

I’d tell your husband, McCain does not represent either the ideals of the Republican party, or his own ideals…he represents whatever ideals will satisfy his Presidential ambitions, whatever he’s told those ideals are to be. Even my own father, a 67 year old Vietnam vet, and a man who had no qualms about using the word nigger or telling off color racist jokes while I was growing up, a man who ALWAYS votes for Republicans because they represent a “strong military”, will be voting for Obama, even though his age group is where McCain’s greatest support comes from, and he has a LOT more in common with McCain and Obama, and even though McCain, like my father is a veteran (and old and white). McCain is not what he wants you to think he is. He is a man who has sold his morals for a chance at immortality, and we can not afford that.

trumi's avatar

Most people read the paper on Sunday morning. Dale writes a paper.

gailcalled's avatar

Gail reaches for her eye drops. PIty that I find reading long texts difficult on the screen.

dalepetrie's avatar

I was personally asked by the question asker to provide one of my patented long winded answers.

dalepetrie's avatar

Augustlan, if your husband is up to watching some videos, have him check these out:

augustlan's avatar

Thank you Dale, I appreciate your help!

dalepetrie's avatar

You are welcome, and also, one thing I forgot to mention is McCain on Veteran’s issues. One thing he was ALWAYS known for was being the voice of reason when it came to issues of torture of enemy combatants, and rights for Veterans. Then since he started running for President, he reversed his stand on whether or not waterboarding was torture (he took a stand against torture, then said he was for aggressive interrogation tactics like this). And he came out against the new GI bill! Huh?

EmpressPixie's avatar

Obama’s people just put up a nice site at that explains the Keating 5 and why it is still relevant. Especially how it relates to our current economics crisis.

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