Fighting Dems take attention off McCain

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 4, 2008

So much is going on right now that I thought I might pose to readers several topics and ask you to let me know what you might like to discuss at greater length.

As usual, e-mail me with ideas, help, even those freely given criticisms … they matter too.

Last week John McCain traveled to demonstrate his international and national security credentials. I think it fair to say his results were mixed.

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He did manage to suggest a relationship between Al Qaeda and Iran without recognizing that Al Qaeda is Sunni and Iran is Shiite, so they will not actually collaborate. Not a good beginning to the trip.

Things continued off track in his visit in Israel where he snubbed the Palestinians, half the political entities needed to bring about peace. But he seemed to find his footing in Europe by claiming to renounce the Bush “Cowboy” policy of leadership.

McCain came home to tell us he is considering vice presidential candidates and, yes, he knows that because of his age we will look closely at his selection.

Huh? You want people to note your age may limit your service as president?

OK, not the approach many would take.

Fortunately for McCain the fighting Democrats, eager to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, were hogging all the negative limelight, protecting McCain from being examined for his statements while traveling.

The cries for Hillary’s withdrawal are wrong, but they are cries that the bloodletting is damaging the party for this fall and Democrats would be better with an early candidate selection now if these two are determined to ruin a highly competitive race by forgetting that the opponent is the Republican, not each other.

And as if more fuel was needed for the flames, Hillary had to comment on Obama’s pastor … aren’t the political enemies of the party doing that well enough?

I received and electronic newsletter from Sen. Voinovich this week, declaring him the most frugal guy in the Senate. He may be, there is not much cost sensitivity in the Senate right now.

But George’s letter struck me oddly this week, claiming fiscal restraint while $12 billion dollars is being spent monthly, off budget, in Iraq. I have some advice for George, a guy I think is a good man: George there is an elephant in the room; the Iraqi war will break the nation.

Savings start there. While the Iraqi government sits on tons of cash our citizens keep footing all the bills using a Master Card and barely making the minimum payments.

This week we found out that the FAA told its inspectors to go easy on the airlines … so much so that they put flight safety in danger. We also found out that CDC cooperated with FEMA in hiding the toxicity of the trailers housing people from Mississippi and Louisiana.

And we have the HUD director resigning over financial mistakes he may have made benefiting others. All in all the Bush administration has demonstrated good success in either disabling our federal regulatory agencies or turning them into support vehicles for business and industry. Quite an accomplishment.

Treasury Secretary Paulson, on the heels of Bear Sterns, this week unrolled his new, Still No Regulation, plan for the markets. I guess the real plan is unlimited bailouts. Let the public beware and the markets expect protection.

And finally, last week Vice President said, “So,” as in who cares what the public thinks … explicitly on the war, more broadly on anything. Thank you Mr. Vice President, up until that statement you still had seven supporters. Now only one; the VP has a dog at home.

Jim Crawford is a contributing columnist for The Ironton Tribune.