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January 20, 2006

GOP Re-embracing John McCain?

Republicans frightened of the Abramoff fallout are hoping Senator McCain's "maverick" status rubs off on them.

Methinks this could be the most awkward embrace since Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa hugged each other on the beach:

Republicans also turned to McCain, the occasional party maverick with the gold-plated reformer's resume and a demonstrated appeal to independent voters. GOP leaders covet that appeal as they look ahead to fall elections that will test their grip on power.

"Obviously, when you're looking at the issue of congressional reform, the first person you turn to in the United States Senate is John McCain, and we've done so," said Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.

That was Tuesday, the same day that California Rep. David Dreier walked across the Capitol to see McCain about legislation House Republicans are trying to pull together to curb the influence of lobbyists.

Not that many years ago, Republicans were furious at the Arizona senator for his ceaseless, and ultimately successful, efforts to pass legislation designed to reduce the impact of big money on politics.

Hmmm. I may need a dictionary to understand the meaning of the word "successful" in this context.

I mean, whether you were for or against McCain's campaign finance reform-- I was against it, strongly-- what has it done to "reform" politics? It certainly has done nothing to stop lobbyists like Abramoff-- the ultimate "special interests"-- from exercising their influence in Washington.

I have no problem with money in politics. I have a problem with *secret* money in politics. Full disclosure, whether of individual contributions or large-scale contributions of the Abramoff variety, is enough for me. Hell, I'm perfectly okay with having a single person bankroll a candidate for office, as long as we know where the millions came from. Let the voter decide who is dirty and who is clean, instead of relying on this endless cycle of ethical pin-dancing. A cycle, mind you, that engenders not only constant partisan sniping ("He's dirty! No, she's dirty!"), but also reduces American confidence in the transparency and honesty of our government.

But why bother doing something as simple & straightforward as that, when we can instead institute even more complex bureaucratic rules dreamed up in the mind of John McCain? I'm sure those rules will work just as well as the last ones.

Well, work at getting John McCain the glowing press he so desires. But that's the point, right?

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posted by Dave From Garfield Ridge at 07:00 PM

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