Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The last temptation of McCain

It's official: There are no more positions remaining from the old John McCain that the media and many Democrats and independents fell for in 2000 that the McCain of 2008 hasn't repudiated for the sake of his presidential campaign.

This was the last one:

Sen. John McCain, a passionate advocate of limits on campaign finances, is turning down government matching funds for the primary to free him to spend more money as he prepares for a general election contest.

McCain, who appears headed to win the Republican presidential nomination, sent letters to the Federal Election Commission and the Treasury Department notifying them of his decision to withdraw from the presidential election financing system.

McCain had asked to participate in the public system last summer when his campaign, his fundraising and his poll numbers hit a low point that threatened to unravel his candidacy.

By not taking the money, McCain is free to raise more and to promote his presidential candidacy until the Republican nominating convention in September.

Campaign officials said McCain could still participate in the public financing system in the general election, when the nominees for the two parties would be eligible for about $85 million to spend between their nominating conventions and Election Day on Nov. 4.

"Passionate advocate of limits on campaign finances" was probably pushing it anyway. McCain's passion on the subject was always more about political positioning.

It's really hard to see why the fundamentalist right doesn't trust McCain. Sure, he's no Ronald Reagan, but then, neither was Ronald Reagan.

McCain's renounced pretty much everything he once stood for to curry the favor of the rightwing fundamentalist base on their pet topics: abortion, torture, tax cuts for the wealthy, Iraq--the list goes on and on. Campaign finance was only the latest, and possibly last, shoe to fall.

True, that list of flip-flops is a good reason they might not respect him, as if that were a relevant qualification for nomination. But it's hardly reason not to trust him--they've clearly got him under their thumb, right where they want him.

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