Friday, September 12, 2008

So Much Deception In A Single 30-Second McCain Ad

We already know beyond any doubt that John McCain long ago abandoned any semblance of the honorable campaign he vowed to run against Barack Obama. But the faux maverick has reached the point where he can't even manage to run a 30-second television ad without a single lie included.

Take a look at this television gem that McCain has been running for about a month in which he does everything he can to dishonestly paint Obama as unsupportive of America's military men and women:

There's so much deception in this one ad that I'm going to have to deconstruct it in two parts today and tomorrow.

Let's take the most glaring lie first as it can be easily shown as false via an examination of McCain's well-known penchant for voting against the troops and Veterans.

McCain claims he has "always supported our troops." Really?

I guess that depends on what he means. If he's referring to voting constantly to keep them in Iraq fighting a war-for-nothing, yep, he's been right there at all times. If he's talking about the times he wants people to think he has cast Senate votes that would benefit the troops or their families in any way, it's an out-and-out lie.

In the 109th Congress (2004-2006), when the Iraq quagmire was at its worst and Democrats were in the Senate minority, John McCain followed right along with the Republican leadership and his master in the White House, denying every effort by Democrats to help the troops, military families and Veterans.

Here's where McCain just said "no."
  • In 2005, Daniel Akaka (D-HI) introduced S. Amdt. 149, in which he sought to increase Veterans medical care by $2.8 billion the following year and S.Amdt. 1852, which would have set aside $10 million for "readjustment counseling services" for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. He tried again in 2006, requesting $1.5 billion for Veterans medical care and an additional $430 million for the Department of Veteran Affairs for outpatient care and treatment for Veterans.
  • Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) proposed S.Amdt.2735 in 2006, which was intended to “…support the health needs of our veterans and military personnel…" In short, the measure proposed additional funding to shore up the failing infrastructures at Veterans hospitals all over the country -- think Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
  • In August 2006 Republicans defeated S.Amdt. 4781 from Dick Durbin (D-IL) to support research for Traumatic Brain Injury -- the signature wound of the Iraq war -- with a measly $2 million in funding
  • John Kerry (D-MA) introduced a bill, S.Amdt. 3143, in 2006 that would have capped TRICARE fees and protected Veterans from escalating prescription drug costs.
  • Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) both had legislation killed in 2005 -- S.Amdt. 2634 and S.Amdt. 344, respectively -- that would have funded additional medical care and readjustment counseling "…for [Iraq] Veterans with mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance use disorder."
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) stepped up for Vets, proposing S.Amdt. 1937 in 2005 and then again in 2006 that would have indexed the Veterans' health care benefits pool to take "…into account the annual changes in the Veteran's population and inflation."
  • In February 2006, Jack Reed (D-RI) sponsored S.Amdt.2737, which would have rolled back capital gains tax cuts to purchase much-needed equipment for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
John "Support-The-Troops" McCain voted against all of those while offering no similar measures of his own, failing to push his party to find their own way to help America's troops and Veterans and being entirely willing to spend $12 billion a month to keep them in harm's way.

McCain even proved a hypocrite on legislation like the 2005 Durbin measure that would have exempted military people from some facets of the hideous Bankruptcy Bill by disallowing "… certain claims by lenders charging usurious interest rates to service members, and to allow service members to exempt property based on the law of the State of their pre-military residence."

McCain didn’t even believe people serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and making tiny military salaries should be shielded from that law.

And if all of that doesn’t make McCain's claims of being the troops' candidate as flimsy as Sarah Palin's resume, let's have a look at what Veterans themselves say. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in 2006 published their scorecard detailing the 155 Senate votes taken since September 11, 2001 that they say reveal precisely how much a member of Congress truly does support the troops.

The IAVA Congressional Rating calculated the grades of each member of Congress by looking at "…each piece of legislation that affected troops, veterans or military families" and matching each Representative or Senator's votes with the organization's own view of what constitutes true support for active troops, Veterans and their families.

And what grade did the IAVA give John McCain? A big fat D.

The IAVA gave Barack Obama a B+ for his support of legislation affecting the military and Veterans.

"Politicians' choices in Washington have a real human cost," wrote IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff, when the study was released. "… troops on the streets of Iraq with inadequate body armor, Veterans waitlisted for treatment at the VA and military widows facing cuts in their survivor benefits. There is no excuse for a low score."

Especially not from a Presidential candidate who claims he's "always supported our troops."

Tomorrow we'll look at what else John McCain is misleading Americans about in one 30-second ad.