The McCain campaign (and much of the mainstream media) keeps trying to keep alive the myth of McCain the Maverick, but it is clearly on life support, and getting a bit crazy. In a conference call today, a McCain spokeswoman tried to compare McCain’s bipartisan cred with Obama’s, using the example of immigration reform:
It’s fairly significant that Senator McCain worked on the immigration reform legislation while he was pursing the nomination of his party. [He] reached across the aisle despite a heated primary campaign.
What’s hilarious about this statement is that after McCain’s legislation failed, he completely flip-flopped and has now said repeatedly that he does not support immigration reform. Even right-wing blogs see it that way. During the Jan 30 presidential debate, McCain said he would not vote for his own legislation.
In fact, if you take every example from the past 8 years where McCain has acted as a maverick and bucked his party’s position, he has since done a screeching U-turn and now completely supports the party line:
- He has changed his mind (repeatedly) on immigration.
- He voted against tax cuts for the rich, but now wants to make them permanent.
- He supported windfall profits taxes for oil companies, but now argues against them.
- He changed his mind on off-shore drilling (using an argument that is a blatant lie).
- He flip-flopped on the estate tax.
- McCain once called Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell “agents of intolerance”, but now praises them.
- He now agrees with Bush on the indefinite detention of terrorist suspects.
- He tried to take credit for the GI benefits bill after working to kill it.
- In 2007, he voted with Bush’s position 95% of the time, and so far this year it is 100%.
What really amazes me is that they are now claiming that Obama is not bipartisan enough. Yesterday, the McCain campaign released a memo saying:
There has never been a time when Barack Obama has bucked the party line to lead on an issue of national importance.
I don’t get it. I understand why McCain would want to claim that he is different than President Bush and his disastrous Republican policies, but attacking Obama because he hasn’t distanced himself from the Democrats? Who cares?
Besides, it’s obviously false — Obama spoke out against the war in Iraq when Democrats were falling over themselves to support Bush’s position. To me, that’s bucking the party line of both parties on an “issue of national importance”. And you know, Obama was right.
UPDATE: See also this video.