Sunday, 23 May 2004
Voices of Reason. I don't think putting John McCain on the ticket would be good for the Democratic party — I think we can win without him, and there are plenty of Democrats who could fill the VP role — but how can I deny a man who says this about deficit spending?
McCain gave a speech Wednesday to the Progressive Policy Institute calling for sacrifice during time of war.
"From pork-barrel spending to expanding entitlements to tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens, both parties have proven who they are working for and it's not the American taxpayer," McCain said. "My friends, we are at war. Throughout our history, wartime has been a time of sacrifice."
That provoked House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., to question the senator's Republican credentials. Then he went a step further and questioned the patriotism of the decorated veteran who spent five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam by suggesting he visit the wounded troops from Iraq and Afghanistan at military hospitals.
"If you want to see sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda," Hastert said. "There's the sacrifice in this country."
McCain fired back with his own definition of being a Republican.
"I fondly remember a time when real Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility," he said. "Apparently, those days are long gone for some in our party."
McCain and three other moderate Republicans (that rarest of endangered species) are holding the fiscal line against Bush's proposed budget, which proposes a $367 billion deficit and up to $55 billion in tax cuts. I've said before that deficits are the only way to make me a single-issue voter — and McCain's stance is music to my ears.
The Washington Post got it right today when they said McCain was "perhaps the most popular Republican legislator in the country, except among Republican legislators" — if the GOP had nominated McCain in 2000 instead of a one-term wonder like Dubya, they'd be riding his coat-tails to re-election right now.