Dear Senator McCain:
I’d like to believe that you’re somewhat rankled by Frank Rich’s column in this morning’s New York Times <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/opinion/20rich.html?ref=opinion>. If you haven’t read it, he all but accuses you of being the most inept economic policy-maker we’ve seen in this country in years. Hard to imagine anybody more inept than our sitting President, but Rich helps make it clear.
One essential difference between you and President Bush is that at least the President doesn’t really hide his agenda. It’s been clear since his first campaign, and certainly clearer in the era of lining the pockets of his wealthy friends, that his agenda is nothing but to make more money for the wealthy on the backs of everybody else. Sure, he occasionally maintains the pretense that he cares about what happens to anybody else, but most of us recognize that for what it is: pro forma yapping with no substance at all.
You, on the other hand, continue to maintain that you’re on the side of the working class, willing to buck the Washington insider establishment that has sold our well-being to the no-bidders. It’s time for you to quit lying about it. You’re about as maverick as a puppy that follows its person around the house waiting for treats and petting. You’ve sold your soul, such as it is, to those who do everything in their power to pillage the nation you (campaign on having) fought so valiantly to protect.
I can’t understand for the life of me how you can side with the elite interests that produce a military-industrial complex that profits from doing to our soldiers what our government did to you in Vietnam. If there’s anybody who ought to know better than to keep killing our soldiers in the name of corporate profit, it should be you.
I have written before that you scare me more than W because you’re smarter than he is, but now I’m beginning to wonder about that. If you can’t recognize the utter illogic and danger of the positions you support, you’re not as smart as I thought you were. If you recognize them and refuse to abandon them, then you’re a manipulative, lying monster–hardly the maverick Conservative whose principles drive you to take big risks and to stand against your own party (which we all know, based on your recent voting record, you no longer do, so quit saying you do).
You take economic advice from people who run their businesses into the ground and then write themselves big checks before they get run out the door. You and your staff attack American voters for being frustrated and scared about what your party has done to our ability to survive. You proclaim your principled stances but shift your positions faster than Halliburton can spend no-bid contract allocations without producing any results.
And it’s time for you to start responding to some of these charges directly rather than accusing your opponents of playing dirty politics. Sure, it’s tactically workable to dismiss criticism by attacking the critics, but to say that’s unprincipled, to say that’s not “straight talk,” might be the understatement of the century so far.
Start talking, Senator, and start by explaining how anything you’re currently advocating would help anybody besides the people who are already raking in profits hand over fist. To be honest, I can’t really imagine how that explanation might actually make any sense, which I suspect is the reason you won’t offer it, but it’s worth a try.