Senator John McCain tells NBC’s Chuck Todd we need:

[A] free and sometimes adversarial press. Without it, I’m afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started… They get started by suppressing the free press… I’m not saying President Trump is trying to be a dictator, I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.

Classic. “I’m not saying this thing I just said.”

Well, sometimes dictators get started by co-opting the press. Sometimes the press sycophants enlist themselves. The press is free to print what it wants; but if it becomes immune to criticism that’s when it becomes the enemy, and when it acts like a hive mind, that’s when the possibility of dictatorship emerges.

We all remember the fiery outrage Senator McCain expressed when former President Obama wiretapped the Associated Press in 2013. We can never forget his impassioned speech when Fox News’ James Rosen was on Obama’s DOJ enemies list.

Well… No. We can’t remember outrage that was never expressed, nor can we forget something that never happened. Donald Trump called the press “the enemy of the American people” in a tweet – that got Mr. Straight Talk Express to sit up and take notice.

Given Senator McCain’s estranged relationship with GOP Presidents, we shouldn’t be surprised he’s bashing Trump. You may remember some of Senator McCain’s collusion with Democrats against President George W. Bush. It’s worth a review to recall the full picture.

At best that was about policies. At worst, it was McCain building his own ego. It’s quite another thing to glibly toss about the word “dictator” in response to a question about POTUS criticizing the MSM. The answer to Todd’s question is, “Yes, the press is the enemy of the American people who elected this President, and anyone else who doesn’t agree with their Progressive agenda. Get a clue.”

Given Senator McCain’s estranged relationship with the First Amendment, we shouldn’t be surprised he’s selective in citing it. He is, after all, the co-author of the anti-First Amendment Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, eponymously known as McCain-Feingold. Don’t take my word for its unconstitutionality – the Supreme Court has overturned major portions of McCain-Feingold in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc., Davis v. Federal Election Commission, and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

If John McCain understood that the First Amendment protects free speech (especially political speech) for all of us he would be too embarrassed to be currying MSM favor by implying Trump is suppressing the free press.

Powerline’s John Hinderaker sums it up nicely,

John, John, get a grip! Who is “suppressing” the press? Do you seriously not understand the difference between criticizing the press and suppressing it? The press is not above criticism. On the contrary, it deserves to be called out constantly for bias and inaccuracy. President Trump has taken a good step in that direction, but a great deal more press criticism is in order.

Also: not calling on CNN in a White House press conference does not constitute “suppressing” CNN.

The Vice of Selflessness

I have no brief for John McCain. My praise to criticism ratio is probably similar to MSNBC’s – around 1 to 1000. I expounded on McCain’s “selflessness” here in 2006. You may find it of interest after reading the following.

John McCain’s regard for his selfless image is his biggest single problem. It has damaged his campaign and distorted his responses to crises during that campaign. This narcissism, however, is of an entirely different order than Barack Obama’s. I hope any undecided voter reading this may be persuaded that the difference is consequential.

McCain does not suffer from Obama’s all-consuming narcissism – where the Presidency is simply a prop on the stage of Obama’s ego. No, McCain is obviously humbled by the prospect of being President. He respects the office in ways Obama can’t imagine: John McCain would never have presumed to design his own Presidential Seal or have faux-Greek styrofoam columns built for a convention acceptance speech. John McCain would never have delivered a speech in Berlin criticizing his own country, claiming to be a “citizen of the world,” in a calculated move to bask in the reflected glory of John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, especially not as a barely one-term Senator who had spent most of that term campaigning for President. John McCain would never say of securing the Presidential nomination, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Obama did say that. The evidence is overwhelming that he actually believes it. What is the Presidency in comparison?

Still, McCain does sometimes seems confused about core principles when he encounters a novel question: What he displays instead is situational moral outrage. Fortunately, he has been in so many situations we know what to expect. So, if “situational moral outrage” seems a scary characteristic for a Commander in Chief; remember, you KNOW infinitely more about McCain in this regard than you do about Obama (aside from Biden’s guarantee of an International crisis).

You should only be frightened of McCain as CinC if you think we should have abandoned Iraq on Obama’s timetable: In which case you haven’t read this far. McCain is highly trustworthy as CinC, both because he is not naive about evil and because he has been intimately acquainted with the inside of War. Maybe that’s redundant. Nevertheless, this is the area where Obama has clearly demonstrated the principles of a water-moccasin.

It is not personal glory with which John McCain is obsessed. His hubris is of a less malign sort. He is possessed of an internally defined moral certitude that can divert him from considering principle when the certitude is challenged. This is probably what makes you fear voting for McCain. It does me. I’ve simply recognized that Obama is far, far more to be feared.

The good news is that McCain has been around so long we’ve been exposed to 99.9% of the major mistakes of principle he will make – and he’s demonstrated moral certitude that many of Obama’s worst promises ARE mistakes. Insofar as we well know McCain, we can trust him to screw up in predictable ways.

Bottom line – Obama is far the more dangerous narcissist. He is a megalomaniac with insufficient respect for the office he seeks. He does have a better grip on his principles, perhaps, but since they derive from people like Saul Alinsky, I am afraid of what an Obama Presidency means for my grandson.

Updated & bumped 3-Nov 7:25 Reagan/Kennedy line added

It’s not over until the polls close – Vote!

McCain for President
By Charles Krauthammer

McCain for President, Part II
By Charles Krauthammer

Ego and Mouth
by Thomas Sowell

A closing argument for John McCain
By John H. Hinderaker and Scott W. Johnson

By Neal Boortz

The comprehensive argument against Barack Obama
By Guy Benson and Mary Katharine Ham
Editor and Contributor, Ed Morrissey

Fred Thompson election message


I said I would never do this…

…But, I have reluctantly come to a decision to try to vote for John McCain.

“Reluctantly,” because McCain represents the first half of the choice between statism and socialism. Rewarding McCain sends the wrong message. “Try to,” because I know that moment of truth in the voting booth will be a challenge.

Because my resolve is necessarily weak, I’m word-for-word memorizing Obama’s redistributionist comments and his calls for surrender in Iraq. I’ve been slopped in the fetid swamp of ACORN and dunked in Obama’s Chicago-style definition of campaign finance deform. I’m making up a mnemonic of his Chicago allies’ names in order to repeat them to myself. Even so, blackening the box next to McCain’s name will be a close run thing.

This choice eventuated from the machinations of RINOs who wanted a pavilion lavish enough (a tent would be insufficiently grand) to effectively include liberal Democrats, and who, like Colin Powell, Chris Buckley, Ken Adelman and Doug Kmiec are even now jumping ship to preserve their access to dinners at the White House. They’re besmirching even the reputation of “country club Republicans.”

McCain’s nomination and his (if not Sarah Palin’s) subsequent campaign rhetoric have included shameful repudiations of principle – bashing free market concepts for actual government failures as a prime example. This is as shameful as George Bush’s failure to veto McCain-Feingold, his imposition of steel tariffs or his enabling of the largest increase in entitlements of all time. However, Bush was already elected when he commited failures of principle. John McCain, as the nominee, has been the standard bearer of an effort to redefine the principles into oblivion – in order to satisfy his “maverick” self-vision as much as to appeal to Democrats and Independents.

Don’t mistake the angst of my vote, it’s not that I think McCain is your classic lesser-of-two-evils, he’s set new standards; it’s just that Obama has also set new standards – as the greater evil.

If you are looking for a cynical and corrupt Chicago ward-heeler who has the least relevant experience of any Presidential nominee in two generations, Barack Obama is your man. He sports the most leftist voting record in the Senate, lies about how he regards the 2nd Amendment and has voted in favor of what can only be described as infanticide. The damage of which he is capable is dismaying. And he’ll not be doing it alone.

The Democrat oligarchy, emboldened by the the prospect of an Obama administration, is proposing to nationalize your 401(k), cut defense spending by 25% and is openly bragging about raising taxes… Eventually. They don’t think it’s such a good idea to raise taxes now, when the economy is as much in the tank as the media. The assumption seems to be that raising taxes discourages economic growth. So if raising taxes when times are bad is a bad idea, why is it ever a good idea? As Joe Biden might say, two words: “Redistribution of wealth.” You might say “purchasing of votes.” And you can count to three.

Democrats also favor eliminating the secret ballot in Union organizing votes and want to reintroduce free speech restrictions via the “Fairness Doctrine.” (Note that if the fairness of media was the point, there would already have been outrage from the left about the Obama cheerleaders in the Maim Scream Media™. Even some of the media are ashamed, though the Democrat party proper is not.)

With Obama and a Dem majority, you get all this and increased looting, too:
Frank envisions post-election stimulus from Democrats

Meanwhile, we’ve learned Obama was less circumspect about redistributing wealth in a 1995 NPR appearance than he was in answering Joe the Plumber’s question. He obliquely blames the founders for not including “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” in the Constitution.

Finally, we need barely touch on Obama’s feckless foreign policy ideas which would see us withdraw immediately from Iraq in order to attack Pakistan while Obama is having an unprecondtional kumbaya roundtable with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez and Kim Jong-Il to explain the invasion is because he needs to establish a reputation for toughness. Could be the crisis Biden is predicting.

In sum: John McCain may not deserve to win, but this country does not deserve to lose.

PS, If you can’t bring yourself to vote for McCain, at least try to get non-Democrats into the House and Senate. That could certainly include rejecting putative Republicans; a Joe Leiberman, for example, would be far better than a Lincoln Chafee.

Clown watch update

Here are some more bozos for McCain on the credit crisis:

While Andrew Cuomo, McCain’s choice to replace Chris Cox as SEC head, was secretary of HUD he wanted Fannie Mae in the subprime market.

From a McCain speech: Fannie & Freddy were, “forcing mortgages on people who couldn’t afford them.”

Mr. McCain’s campaign manager adviser Rick Davis was paid $2 million as a lobbyist for Fannie and Freddie. This looks worse on McCain than Raines and Johnson do for Obama, even if they were consecutive Fannie CEO’s. McCain’s brand is damaged more.

3 bozos for Cuomo, 4 for the “forcing people to take mortgages” comment and 2 for Davis.

McCain 69.

Obama 86.

Comrades rejoice!

This week we have witnessed the nationalization of the largest insurance company in the world AND the assumption of an unknown amount of really bad debt (I’m guessing a trillion dollars) by the United States government. This means you.

In some ways this is poetic justice, since it’s the government that caused the problem, no matter what discussion of greed on Wall Street may issue forth from the Obama or McCain campaigns. This means you are experiencing poetic justice.

Americans have voted, over many years, for the people who created this mess. Americans don’t know their de Tocqueville.

The prospects for a successful democracy might be defined in modern terms as directly proportional to the percentage of informed citizens who look to their self-interest beyond the next paycheck divided by the percentage of all those who view themselves as “victims.” Call it the democracy/personal accountability acceptance ratio.

There is no country with a high rating, and ours continually degrades. This was a week where some vultures came home to roost.

As John McCain lurches from one contradictory position to another, forgetting even the minimal credentials he once had on economic issues, Barack Obama remains bereft even of “principles” among which to vacillate. The credit market crisis has been illuminating.

On the moderately statist wing, McCain’s deregulation credentials have been tossed under the bus in a fit of panic where he pretended calling for the firing of the SEC head actually contributed to discussing the problem. And where’s the guy standing up for his vote for GrammLeachBliley, a deregulation that arguably helped in the current crisis (see the 3 previous links)?

In the statist wheelhouse, Obama hasn’t had to distance himself from Franklin Raines (economic advisor) or Jim Johnson (resigned head of VP search committee), both former Fannie Mae CEOs. He hasn’t had to answer any questions about lobbyists, despite being recipient of the 3rd largest amount of Fannie/Freddie campaign contributions in his short and unexceptional career as Senator.

The Federal Reserve, the SEC, and especially Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac didn’t work right. We had sufficient regulation in place, but populist politics, not the market, trumped common sense.

For example, both McCain and Bush called for reform of Fannie and Freddie as early as 5 years ago.

Here’s the lead of a New York Times story on Sept. 11, 2003: “The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.”

Bush tried to act. Who stopped him? Congress, especially Democrats with their deep financial and patronage ties to the two government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie and Freddie.

“These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Rep. Barney Frank, then ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. “The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

It’s pretty clear who was on the right side of that debate.

As for presidential contender John McCain, just two years after Bush’s plan, McCain also called for badly needed reforms to prevent a crisis like the one we’re now in.

“If Congress does not act,” McCain said in 2005, “American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole.”

Sounds like McCain was spot on.

But his warnings, too, were ignored by Congress.

The “reform” that did occur was watered down by Barney Frank (see also), who has a lot to answer for.

While we’re on Democrats who have a lot to answer for, and while the entire mess can’t be blamed on the Carter era Community Reinvestment Act, that Democrat inspired law was the genesis of most of today’s credit market problems. It required lenders to issue the type of loans now defaulting. Add to that overly-cheap credit from the Federal Reserve for overly-long, laxity at the SEC in administering leveraging rules for Merrill, Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, and Lehman, and frost it with cozy government “run” “lenders” encouraging corporatists like Angelo Mozilo.

There was plenty of “regulation,” but typically, it was a lack of regulation of politicians that caused the problems. Not the market. Not capitalism.

The regulation of politicians is provided for in the Constitution. It’s why they ignore and denigrate it. American’s populo-tropism enables them, and it’s at the bottom of this reality check. That’s why McCain and Obama both took refuge in Huey Long territory in a crisis. That’s where the votes are.

So, Obama and McCain each get 50 bozos for their stupid populist pandering.

Obama gets bonus bozos for Raines, Johnson (5 each), his $105,000 in campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie (2 each) and his redistributionist “tax-cut for 95% of the middle class” when only 40% of those he targets even pay taxes (5 for the socialism and 5 for the newspeak he applies to the term “tax-cut”).

McCain gets another 5 for pushing me back toward a 3rd party vote. He reminded me why I dislike him so much: When he self identifies with any problem, there’s no limit to his abandonment of principle – including the Constitution (which he’s seen fit to trash in the past). A call for regulation from John McCain is a call for the pragmatic suspension of civil rights.

He gets a 1 bozo reduction for calling for oversight 3 years ago that might have somewhat mitigated Fanron/Fredron.

McCain 60.

Obama 86.

Barney Frank Update 10:50 PM

And another from Arnold Kling.

Riskophiliacs Anonymous

They’re both out of touch, and they both think we’re ignorant. Unfortunately, they’re right about many of us.

While Barack Obama and John McCain try to out-populist each other by blaming the current financial crisis on the “greedy people” they practically forced to make bad loans by A) always bailing the assholes out, and B) supporting federal policies encouraging loans to people who could not pay them back; there is some unsettling anti-populist news for Obama from the Onion:
Portrayal Of Obama As Elitist Hailed As Step Forward For African Americans

I’m waiting for Charlie Gibson to ask either of these dolts what association tulips have with economics. It’s a hell of a lot clearer than the “Bush Doctrine.”

The Obama and McCain camps each get 4 bozos today.

Obama gets 1 extra for the MSM participation in his BS, and McCain gets 1 extra for the Keating 5 and another for pushing Sarbanes-Oxley.

Obama 10. McCain 6.

Broken imbed fixed. 24-Sep