What does it say to moderate Republicans that Colin Powell joins Susan Eisenhower, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, and such other lifelong Republican voters as William F. Buckley Jr. scion Chris Buckley, and former National Review publisher Wick Allison, in endorsing Senator Obama?

Can the case really be made, with endorsements by superbly thoughtful people like Warren Buffett and former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker that Senator Obama is a radical socialist who ‘pals around with terrorists?’

What does it say about the McCain/Palin candidacy that this is how they’re trying to win?

What does it say when lifelong Republican CEOs like Lennar’s Stuart Miller have switched to Obama? (Lennar is the nation’s largest home builder.)

When the Chicago Tribune endorses a Democrat for the first time in 161 years?

Writing, in small part:

Many Americans say they’re uneasy about Obama. He’s pretty new to them.

We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.

We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.


Everybody does know, don’t they, that both Joe the plumber and now his imaginary friends Phil the bricklayer and Wendy the waitress would pay less tax under Obama’s proposals than under McCain’s?

Could the McCain campaign have known this when they chose Joe to be their standard bearer?

Was it another case of inadequate vetting?

What really seems to have happened is simply this:

Step 1. Milking decades of Republican branding as the party of small government (except big wars and bridges to nowhere) and of fiscal responsibility (except 85% of our $10 trillion Nation Debt was racked up under their administrations) and of low taxes (except the overwhelming share of their tax cuts have gone to the best off) and of small government (I know I’m repeating myself, but did I mention that after their excessive deregulation of the financial system, thanks in good measure to key McCain advisor Phil Gramm, they have now in effect taken over the financial system?) – milking all that, the McCain campaign has persuaded many good Americans that Senator Obama will raise their taxes. Joe was one of those.*

*He may also have been one of the 70% of Bush voters led to believe Iraq attacked us on 9/11. The Republican Party has proven masterful at getting tens of millions of people to believe things that are not true.

Step 2. Having persuaded Joe of this falsehood, McCain now uses Joe’s misperception as proof Obama will raise taxes. Hey, you may not believe politicians, but surely you can believe Joe.

The fact that Joe has grudgingly acknowledged he would get a larger tax cut under >Obama’s proposal than McCain’s is ignored. (Joe the plumber, like Phil the bricklayer and Wendy the waitress – and like almost everybody else in America – earns very substantially less than $250,000 a year.)

The fact that only 2% – not 50% – of small business owners earn more than $250,00 . . . well, why should Senator McCain be even remotely truthful about this? Candidate Bush never was. Candidate Bush said in 2000 he favored a humble foreign policy, opposed nation building, would balance the budget and scoffed at Gore’s charge that his tax cuts went mainly to the rich. No, Bush swore, ‘the vast majority’ of his tax cuts would go to average Joes.

Average Joes believed Bush instead of Gore and the result is now both tragic and plain to see.*

The McCain hope – having, among other things, hired the same practitioners of personal destruction that Bush used in 2000 – is that lightning will strike a third term time.

*Though it has been a positively grand time to be rich and powerful.


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