McCain offers more of same

Vincent Stigliani/Opinion Editor
Ever since the campaign trail started, and especially so as of recently, it has been crucial that both Barack Obama and John McCain distance themselves from the horrendous presidency of George Bush. Americans are frustrated with the mismanaged wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, 47 million uninsured, decreased respect from the rest of the world and now one of the biggest financial crises ever seen. Voters want to know which candidate truly will bring the promised change.

Let’s first take a look at the facts: McCain voted with George Bush 95 percent of the time in 2007, stocked the vice-presidential pick’s campaign staff with at least half a dozen ex-Bush cabinet members, spent 26 years in the Washington establishment under a primarily Republican controlled Congress and under Republican presidents. This is the resume of John McCain, but these figures don’t fit the mantra of change that he and the GOP have been singing.

On the other side we have Obama: born of mixed race to a single mother, grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, and voted in line with Bush merely 40 percent of the time in during his second term in the United States Senate. These facts should be telling of who the true client of change is, but let’s take a look at some key issues.

McCain has perhaps been the staunchest supporter in the Senate of war in Iraq. Obama, even when it was a very unpopular move, chose to speak out against what he felt was an unjust war, calling for more attention on Afghanistan and the hunt for Bin Laden.

I once admired McCain for his position on the Bush tax cuts. In a 2004 interview with Tim Russert, McCain said, “I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans. I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts in order to help address the deficit.” But in 2006, the maverick wasn’t so quick to rock the GOP boat, and he supported an extension on these cuts and now supports making them permanent. Obama originally opposed these cuts for the wealthy and still does. So who is really going to offer change?

When asked which Supreme Court justices they would not have nominated, Obama chose Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, while McCain responded by saying, “With all due respect, Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, Justice Souter and Justice Stephens. And by the way, Justices Alito and Roberts are two of my most recent favorites, by the way. They really are. They are very fine. And I’m proud of President Bush for nominating them.”

In other words, McCain would not have nominated even one liberal or moderate judge on the court. This doesn’t sound like the bipartisan representation and change that McCain is promising.
Obama truly will offer this much needed change he has promised throughout his campaign. As for McCain, looking at his record I am not convinced.

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