Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

April 2, 2004

by V

Uncomfortable Republicans

John McCain isn't very happy with his right-wing masters:

BostonHerald.com - National News: Maverick McCain rips GOP
Sen. John McCain yesterday unleashed an attack on his own party, saying the GOP is ``astray'' on key issues and criticizing President Bush on the war in Iraq.

"I believe my party has gone astray," McCain said, criticizing GOP stands on environmental and minority issues.

"I think the Democratic Party is a fine party, and I have no problems with it, in their views and their philosophy,'' he said. "But I also feel the Republican Party can be brought back to the principles I articulated before.''

The maverick senator made the remarks at a legislative seminar hosted by U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Lowell) as he again ruled out running on a ticket with Democrat John F. Kerry.

The Arizona Republican took on President Bush for failing to prepare Americans for a long involvement in Iraq, saying, "You can't fly in on an aircraft carrier and declare victory and have the deaths continue. You can't do that.''

McCain said the U.S. should seek more U.N. involvement in Iraq. "Many people in this room question, legitimately, whether we should have gone in or not,'' he said, adding that that debate "will be part of this presidential campaign.''
The only questions I have are: what took so long, and where are the rest of the principled Republicans? The Party actually used to stand for some sensible policies, not for raw power grabs and class war. Kudos to McCain for speaking out; more should.

(And he's still his state's campaign chair for Bush, which I still find hilarious.)

Suggestion for a convention speech litany by some prime-time speaker (but probably not Kerry): "If George W. Bush were a true Republican, he wouldn't have ________" (and there are dozens of examples to choose from). End with something like: "George W. Bush is not a real Republican, he just calls himself one and tries to fool the fine Americans who admire time-honored Republican principles into voting for him. But take a good look, my fellow Americans. He is not a true Republican; there is no Republican in this race. He is an irresponsible leader and a bad steward who needs to be sent back to Texas and out of power." Needs polish, I know, but you get the idea.

Thoughts? Good/bad idea?
Posted by V at April 2, 2004 10:23 AM

McCain was at Wayne State University this week:

"McCain praised the efforts of former Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean for his efforts to raise funds from grassroots organizations while using non-traditional methods, such as e-mail for recruiting supporters. "I thought it was excellent, the most impressive display of Democratic involvement," McCain said of Dean's campaign funding. "That's what we want, small contributions from a multitude of people that all participate in the process."

I think he meant "Democrats" with a small "d" though. Either that, or he's more far gone from the GOP than we thought!

Posted by: NYCO at April 2, 2004 02:07 PM

I saw that too. I'm pretty sure he meant small 'd' as well. On the other hand, there's the quote from McCain in V's entry:

"I think the Democratic Party is a fine party, and I have no problems with it, in their views and their philosophy..."

Odd. But interesting! A signal that he won't resort to demonization of anything non right-wing wacko, at the very least.

Posted by: J at April 2, 2004 02:20 PM

I picked up on that comment as well J. It is so refreshing to hear a Republican admit that Democrats don't have to be demons just because they have a different idea about how this country should be run.

Posted by: Chris Andersen at April 2, 2004 05:17 PM

McCain was articulating much the same concerns with the direction the Republican Party has taken in his run for the Presidency in 2000. The party's bizarre decision to choose Bush - who truly does not represent any of the traditional foundations of the Republican party - over McCain is what propelled me out of the party after years of growing increasingly frustrated by them.

I am glad that he is continuing to speak up. He was an early victim of this administration's tactic of trying to assassinate the character of anyone doing battle with them, and he's proof that a solid ethical character can withstand it.

Posted by: LB at April 3, 2004 07:51 AM

McCain is the man!

Dean/McCain 2004! That's my dream team.

Posted by: Kevin@TIV at April 3, 2004 03:50 PM

But Bush was "electable," dontcha know.

Dean/McCain... has a nice ring to it. I have to laugh at Kos' "What is McCain up to" post - McCain is just being McCain, like Dean usually is just being Dean.

Posted by: NYCO at April 3, 2004 05:58 PM

Kevin -- Even Kerry/McCain would be explosive. I think that McCain really doesn't like Dean, but that he respects Kerry.

A Kerry/McCain ticket would tick off Democrats and the DNC of course, but I think it might be just the thing to kick the country out of its political doldrums and force a needed realignment of the parties.

Not to mention that for us political junkies, it would be hugely entertaining.

NYCO's probably right though -- he's not "up to" anything, he's just talking like a normal person.

Posted by: J at April 3, 2004 06:25 PM

Kerry/McCain would be interesting and very entertaining. It'd never happen, though. Ditto for Dean/McCain. Senator McCain, like so many others, is an Alpha Dog who simply isn't interested in playing second fiddle to someone else.

I absolutely agree with NYCO. McCain is just being himself. That's a huge part of his charm IMHO.

Posted by: Kevin@TIV at April 4, 2004 02:08 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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