Friday, June 20, 2008

McCain's Mountain is a Molehill

Apart from exposing how out of touch he is with the current voter's pulse, presumptive GOP Presidential Nominee John McCain also gave an indication of the relatively meager campaign funds he has at his disposal. An indication of inadequate support or interest for his own quest. By creating an image of his opponent going back on his word about accepting public financing, he portrays Barack Obama as a flip flopper, and suggests that he can't be trusted. Clearly, it's an attack that flopped.

It's a non-issue among voters who have gone out in support of the Democrat nominee since the primaries, raising a total of $265 million in small donations to McCain's $97 million. The publicly financed campaign would grant taxpayer's money to each candidate up to a little over $80 million, but Obama's camp believes it will limit their capability to counter special interest groups from smearing and attacking their candidate through "independent political advocacy groups"; who purchase issue ads independent of presidential campaigns - the so-called 527Groups. These groups spend millions of dollars in unlimited donations, which the Obama camp charged as being allowed by McCain to go on unchecked.

The 527 groups operate under Section 527 of the IRS tax code. These are organizations operated by interest groups and used to raise money to spend on issue advocacy and voter mobilization outside of the restrictions on Presidential Action Committees. Since these groups do not make expenditures to advocate the election or defeat of any candidate, they avoid regulation by the Federal Election Commission. However, the line between issue advocacy and candidate advocacy is the source of heated debate and litigation. Creating issues that favor one candidate , or those that demean another, is readily accomplished through such groups. The FEC ruled in 2004 that the law does not cover 527 groups, but it has fined several groups in 2006 and 2007 for direct advocacy for particular candidates - only after the damage has been done.

By agreeing to use public financing, Obama believes he will be at the mercy of the 527 groups supportive of the GOP. They also cited the Republican Party's and McCain's acceptance of lobbyist money, to illustrate the credibility of the person and entities casting doubt on their trustworthiness. Obama said that the public finance system is broken, and run by people who have become masters at gaming this broken system. He urged his supporters to declare their independence from it. The Obama camp believes that they have more than realized the objective of public financing, by setting up a system that raised awesome amounts from small donations over the internet.

By opting out of the system, Obama has evaded a trap to limit his campaign spending and to refrain from using all donations received directly from supporters. By using the small donations, he encourages involvement and commitment to his campaign. McCain's attempt to limit Obama while allowing 527 groups to proliferate ( since republicans do have deeper pockets) failed, and it gave Obama an opening to hint at McCain's hypocrisy since the system favors the GOP. In addition, McCain's push to discredit Obama's trustworthiness crashed coming as it does from someone who has lobbyist skeletons in his closet.

Unless Senator McCain moves out of the molehills he is wasting his efforts on, he will never dig himself out of the hole he's in - a lackluster campaign that generates no commanding presence, stymied by meager funds, a tired image, unfocused direction, and unresponsive to voter's current issues and concerns.



Kim said...

it all sounds really complicated Durano...
Obama a 'flip flopper'....
when I read that I actually envisioned him wearing things :)
I don't think I will ever understand American politics...
it sounds to me that the 527 groups are biased and corrupt....

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hello Kim,

It is really a complicated process, made even more so by all the legal niceties they themselves create that go around their own established laws.

Both parties use these 527 groups for their own interests. You're right about their being biased in favor of their supported candidates, but since they don't directly advocate for any, the issues they raise can smear another. Example: Would you want Islamic influence on our Democratic system of government? What can you say about the imposition of veils for women?

Clearly, an issue against Obama. On the other hand, an issue like "How would senility impact on decisions about the economy, war, and other global concerns? Would you risk giving the power to such a person? This is an attack against McCain.

The system can be manipulated. I hope that clears some things. :-) --Durano, done!

Guy Vestal said...

What makes either candidate worthy of being President?

Could there have been a better choice than the three that dominated the news during the nomination process?

Has the left & right considered that during all the screaming, fighting, and slandering that was done by BOTH sides, that a better candidate might have slipped past everyone?

Dugg, Stumbled, & Tagged.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Guy Vestal,


The questions you raised are valid. The media was enamored with the unfolding history - first black or first woman President; and the dying campaign of an old soldier revived up to the point of taking the party's nomination.

Someone,a better candidate than all three, may not have surfaced due to lack of attention. Perhaps he/she will surface at a later date.

The left and the right are so in love with themselves, so wrapped in their own concepts to bother with the needs and concerns of the general population.

I'm sure somebody slipped by because it is inconceivable to think that these people who hugged the limelight are the best that America can offer. When He will surface and who he is I cannot venture to say. I just hope he comes out soon. :-) --Durano, done!

Blogtommy said...

To the question of whether or not a better candidate exists I guess I'd have to disagree (being the left wing radical I am...from the dem perspective anyway)....I honestly believe the two best democrats fought it out (sometimes against all odds and rules) and the best candidate won. For the Republicans I'm guessing as I said sometime ago that this is a throwaway election. They've thrown McCain away before and now they're doing it again. His military background apparently allows him to get used that way by the GOP. Having said all that, the election is far from a foregone conclusion. Lots can, and I expect, will, occur between now and then. As you discussed in the Texas post prior, this is a fundamental problem for America. Racism on all levels is alive and well.

Having spent 5 hours at a gang conference Thursday and having the history of the EME and NF revisited for me, not to mention the White supremacist groups, I am painfully aware of how these things get promulgated at least from the criminal end of things...prisons....

Peace D


Tapline said...

Brad, Ob scare the be jesus out of me. He is an empty suit who is like the pied piper....YOu are judged by the company you keep and I will say his company leaves much to be desired, aside from having much money or questionable patriotism. I could go on, but chose not to...McC on the other hand has been dragging too long on the need of short term solutions for a long term problem and thats energy. This is causing a big problem for the economy, No big surprise here, but I feel that, this winter, it will be a question of, do I eat, take my medication or heat my house. The unnecessary deaths that occur will be on the heads of those who continue to allow this to go one without offering real relief. I ramble again....stay well...

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Tommy,

I have no disagreements with your statements about racism and its reemergence with unimagined hostility in this coming elections and thereafter. I have said this often enough in many previous posts. It will be so divisive that it may endanger the unity of American society and the effectiveness of governance. America currently satisfies the 7 stages for a revolution, whether it will be a bloody one or a bloodless one, I am not qualified to say.

As far as the best candidate that may have slipped by is concerned, I do not refer to Dodd, Richardson, Huckabee, Giuliani, Edwards, nor Romney; not even Spitzer :-), but to some unknown person who may not have surfaced or who may have refused to surface because it wasn't the proper time. He could be any person of any color, of any church. I would agree that based on organization, fund raising and bandwagon, those that surfaced may be the best during this period. Just looking at the possibility that someone who was qualified, who may not even be a politician, may be somewhere in the wings. Call it wishful thinking, but the possibility exists.

The two best democrats you mentioned may be so classified based on the standards of measure we have at this time. I have no disagreements here either. I just feel a certain degree of weakness along different factors for each of them which could prove disastrous at some points in their conduct of the affairs of state.

However, looking for a perfect candidate that has everything for today's needs and the unforseeable future may be asking too much. I concede that:-). But if there is such a person, I hope whoever wins finds him, because the next president would need all the talent and help he could get. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Tapline,

There are times when I think Americans are scaring themselves for or against a particular candidate or party or issue. Some associations are so flimsy, others are contrived, and the rest are made up.

When I was a younger, my excitement at knowing how the world ticks made me embrace all sorts of people, to the point when at the time, I believed everything that we were doing based on the supposed principles behind these.

After college, I realized that in wanting to be a part of something worthy or a group that worked to ease suffering, I took in certain beliefs which by itself did not value life, and covered brutal revenge with principles to make these palatable. I have long since abandoned such beliefs and reinforced my convictions about the value of any life. Some of those I knew then are still alive and we at times meet on some occasions, chiding each other for past incidents in jest, but respecting each others belief and convictions. To associate me today for what they still stand for is so blatantly wrong.

The recklessness of youth in pursuing idealism must not be rated against the maturity of discernment at a later age, but rather as an experience that would provide insight into the mindset of such old radical thoughts, to better understand how to speak and deal with them in a rational and peaceful manner. :-) --Durano, done!