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McCain and Iraq
Old 03-20-2008, 03:40 AM   #1
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McCain and Iraq

I think McCain is a good man.

But he has one fatal flaw. He thinks it is likely we will need to stay in Iraq for another 2 decades. (His comments from an interview).

There is an element in the government that wants to play international politics rather than focus on domestic concerns.

John is likely to lose the election. No matter who runs against him.

Who wants to be In Iraq for 20 years?

I would much rather focus our USD and energy on energy independence and other domestic issues.

The two most immediate issues on most voters minds (according to polls):
  • Economy
  • Iraq
But others pressing issues are:
  • Energy cost/independence
  • SS
  • Medicare/Healthcare
  • Illegal Immigration
McCain has either strong (opinions) policies counter to the masses on:
  • Iraq
  • Illegal Immigration
He has weak positions (lip service) or policies on:
  • SS
  • Medicare/Healthcare
  • Energy
He know what will happen if the economy is not healed... so he will pay attention to that domestic issue.


While I respect the man (which I count separate from the party), I do not think I can vote for him. I am likely to vote against him.

I am not a big Obama booster... but my vote might be against John because his focus is on the wrong areas (IMHO). Which means a vote for his opponent.

I am going through the decision process right now about who to support in the general election. My vote is likely to be based on who I believe to be the better of the imperfect 2.
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Old 03-20-2008, 04:58 AM   #2
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To be fair, I think the context he meant about being there 100 years was more like South Korea, Okinawa, whatever. But he has surely not shown any desire to leave Iraq anytime soon, nor stated what would qualify enough as "victory" to say we are done.

Much more troubling is that he seems to not even know who the factions are in Iraq/Iran. Just this week on his campaign trip over there, he had to be corrected by Lieberman after he twice stated that Al-qaeda fighters were going into Iran to train and then returning to fight in Iraq. This is either just him being clueless that Iran doesn't support Sunnis like Al-qaeda, or it is a deliberate attempt to paint Iran with the scary Al-qaeda brush cause we need to attack them, and pronto. Cheney said it, so it must be true. And McCain seems to be perfectly willing to carry on with more "success" a la Bush/Cheney.


Also consider that when McCain has been asked questions about the economy, he doesn't seem too solid:

"I'm going to be honest, I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." (3years ago)

"The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." (late last year)

It doesn't seem like he educated himself much in those 3 years.

He has had other episodes where he was quoted telling a reporter that he'd have to get back to them to give his views on a fairly common topic he was asked about. Now, I know presidenting is hard, but it kinda seems like you ought to have your platform ready and be able to remember what it is...
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by igsoy View Post
To be fair, I think the context he meant about being there 100 years

I was being fair. I was not referring to that 100 year rhetorical statement to show his commitment to doing (what he believes) the right thing.

He thinks we will need to be there for a couple for another decade or two. It was his non-rhetorical assessment of the situation.


His fatal flaw is running with a pro-war platform when the masses are not behind it.

About the economy, I think his policies will be colored with the classic republican point of view and approach. But I have confidence that the economy will be corrected regardless of the particular presidents (Dem or Republican). They will do whatever it takes to keep it going. I would not give either parties candidate a preference for getting the basic economy going.

But on longer-term issues that affect the economy and all of us.
  • Energy
  • Health Care
  • SS
Which are pressing issues of the day... I do not believe he will do anything much different than the current administration... or for that matter any republican administration. The Republican Party is against SS, Health Care Reform and SS (there are element of the republican party that would like to get rid of SS and Medicare all together)...
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
I think McCain is a good man.

But he has one fatal flaw. He thinks it is likely we will need to stay in Iraq for another 2 decades. (His comments from an interview).

There is an element in the government that wants to play international politics rather than focus on domestic concerns.

John is likely to lose the election. No matter who runs against him.

Who wants to be In Iraq for 20 years?

I would much rather focus our USD and energy on energy independence and other domestic issues.

The two most immediate issues on most voters minds (according to polls):
  • Economy
  • Iraq
But others pressing issues are:
  • Energy cost/independence
  • SS
  • Medicare/Healthcare
  • Illegal Immigration
McCain has either strong (opinions) policies counter to the masses on:
  • Iraq
  • Illegal Immigration
He has weak positions (lip service) or policies on:
  • SS
  • Medicare/Healthcare
  • Energy
He know what will happen if the economy is not healed... so he will pay attention to that domestic issue.



I am going through the decision process right now about who to support in the general election. My vote is likely to be based on who I believe to be the better of the imperfect 2.
Good summary of the problems that McCain faces. As long-time supporter of the guy let me address a couple of points

The context of McCain's 100 year war quote, comes form NH townhall meeting.

The important point that McCain made is Americans don't really care how long we have troops in a place as long as nobody is dying. So while 100 years is long time, it isn't a crazy as it sounds. Lets take a look at how long US troops have been keeping the peace between potentially warring parties.

China vs Taiwan 60 years
North Korea vs South Korea 55 years
East Germany vs West Germany (or Russia vs Europe) 45 years
Israel vs Egypt 26 years
North Vietnam vs South Vietnam 12-15 years
Serbia vs Bosnia 12 years
Saddam vs Kurds 12 year
Kosovo vs Serbia 8 ears
and of course Iraq 5 years

Now most of these operations had a active shooting phase which was generally unpopular and a longer peacekeeping phase were casualties were fairly, but they are still all potentially dangerous. I am pretty sure that average American neither knows nor cares much about this or the numerous other deployments of American troops. I suspect depending on how you frame the question you'd get different responses to is it a good idea.

For example, Survey person to Average Joe. "Did you that it has cost more than $1 trillion dollars to defend South Korea that is more than $3,000 per person" Do you support keeping troops there? Joe wow the wife kids could sure used $12,000 Bring em home.

Or Survey person to Average Joe. "Did you that each $1 the average US taxpayer keeps 2 million South Korea, from being rule by the lunatic North Korean ruler with the really bad haircut. Do you support keeping troops there.? Average Joe, ya that guy is dangerous.


I agree that McCain is really focused to much on Foreign Affairs. On the other hand the President is super powerful as chief diplomat and Commander in Chief. His power as you point out to effect the economy is virtually non-existent and on other domestic issues, it is really up to the Congress and or State and local government to do most things.

Still I think McCain has very good middle of the road approach to Energy.
Use government incentives to get private enterprise to do develop alternative energy, build more nuclear power plants, and work with other nations to address global warming.

On Social Security, his basic philosphy is that it critical to get bi-partisan support. His model is the Ronald Reagan/Tip O'Neal/Alan Greenspan reform, which while not permenantly fixing SS at least kept it solvent for several more decades. In some ways passing big problems off to a bi partisan commission is a cop out. On the other hand it has been sucessfull, the base closing commission, 9/11 commission and Greenspan's SS commission, all resulted in positive changes.

The problem with a partisan approaches is they get rejected even when they have some good ideas. For instance, eventually after many iteration Bush came up with idea of opening up the Federal Employees TSP program to social security payers, and allowing people to optionally invest a portion of their SSN into a TSP account. Of course by the time he proposed that private SS accounts were so villified it didn't stand a chance.

As far as Health Care, goes I think his plan is short on specific, beside providing a tax credit to people for purchasing health care insurance.

Finally regarding immigration McCain's proposal was out of step with very conservative wing of the Republican party. I'm not sure that plan which provided funding for decreasing illegal immigration, making it tougher for employeers to hire illegal, while at the same recognize that we have tens of millions of illegal immigrants who can't realistically all be deported and need to be dealt with in a humane fashion is really unpopular with the general public.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by clifp View Post
Good summary of the problems that McCain faces. As long-time supporter of the guy let me address a couple of points


I respect you thoughts and talking points.

I do not dislike McCain... but I see the glass as half empty.

On Iraq... McCain indicates it will probably be decades before we can withdraw. That is too long, too much money and too many lives. I think we need a more aggressive withdrawal strategy.

I think we should set a time table for pulling out of NK also.

Our cold war strategy is dying a slow death and it is costly. Time for a different approach. Mind you, I am a military booster... I believe in a strong military capability. I think we need to approach it differently.

His other programs are status quo oriented. IMHO - we need change.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by igsoy View Post
Also consider that when McCain has been asked questions about the economy, he doesn't seem too solid:

"I'm going to be honest, I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." (3years ago)

"The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." (late last year)

It doesn't seem like he educated himself much in those 3 years.

He has had other episodes where he was quoted telling a reporter that he'd have to get back to them to give his views on a fairly common topic he was asked about. Now, I know presidenting is hard, but it kinda seems like you ought to have your platform ready and be able to remember what it is...
I think he was being honest about that, which to me is refreshing. I for one am sick of "know-it-all" Senators that have NO clue about economics, vote in a way that proves it, but try to baffle us with their BS about how to "fix" an economy. Obama and Clinton have no more knowledge about "fixing" the economy than McCain or anyone else........
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:20 AM   #7
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I think he was being honest about that, which to me is refreshing. I for one am sick of "know-it-all" Senators that have NO clue about economics, vote in a way that proves it, but try to baffle us with their BS about how to "fix" an economy. Obama and Clinton have no more knowledge about "fixing" the economy than McCain or anyone else........
True enough.

But they will take credit for it.

Most politicians will seek to heal the short-term business cycle down-turn or crisis.

Where they fall short is on long-term planning.

We have at least three threats to citizens and our economy that clearly need to be addressed
  • SS
  • Medicare
  • Energy
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