Originally Posted by chinaco
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):
But others pressing issues are:
- Energy cost/independence
- Illegal Immigration
McCain has either strong (opinions) policies counter to the masses on:
He has weak positions (lip service) or policies on:
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.