Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pandering to Mega Churches?

"My friends" count during McCain's interview: 15

Grampa John sez: "Pull my finger!"
  1. Gay marriage: On gay marriage, they are identical. Although Obama didn't say it, if a state invoked full faith and credit, he would have to support a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
  2. Moral failures: McCain mentions his failed marriage (but not his adultery). Also no mention of the Keating Five scandal.
  3. Political independence: McCain invokes the memory of the dead Marines in Beirut and misses the figure by HALF (see below).
  4. Wise consultants: Gen. Petraeus. Rep. Lewis and the CEO of Ebay. (But see also Obama's picks!)
  5. Past Supreme Court nominees: (see below).

1. Gay Marriage
Warren: Define marriage.

Obama: I believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Now for me as a Christian [raucous applause] for me as a Christian it's also a sacred union. You know God's in the mix.

Would you support a Constitutional amendment with that definition?

No I would not.

Why not?

Because historically we have not defined marriage in our Constitution. It's been a matter of State law. That has been our tradition. I mean, let's break it down. The reason many people believe there should be a CA (some people believe) is because of the concern about same-sex marriage. I'm not somebody who promotes same sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that for gay partners to want to visit each other in the hospital, for the State to say, "That's alright," I don't think it an any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are. I think that my faith is strong enough and my marriage is strong enough that I can afford those civil rights to others even if I have a different perspective or different view.

Warren: Define marriage.

McCain: A union between a man and woman, between one man and woman. That's my definition of marriage.

We've got a bill right here in California, proposition 8, that's going on because the courts overturned this definition of marriage. Was the supreme court of California wrong?

I believe they were wrong, and I strongly support preserving the unique status of marriage between man and woman. I am a Federalist. I believe that states should make those decisions. In my state I hope we will make that decision. In other states, they have, to recognize the unique status between man and woman. And that doesn't mean that people can't enter into legal agreements. It doesn't mean that they don't have the rights of all citizens.

I'm not saying that. I am saying we should preserve that unique status of marriage between one man and one woman and if a federal court decided that my state of Arizona must observe what the state of Massachusetts decided, then I would favor a Constitutional amendment. Until then, I think the states should make the decisions in their own states.

2. Moral failures

Warren: Greatest personal failure?

I experimented with drugs... I drank... in my teenage years" ... I learned it's not about me
America's greatest moral failure in my lifetime - we still don't abide by that basic precept in Matthew (what you do to the least of my brothers.)

Warren: What's been your greatest moral failure and what do you think is the greatest moral failure of America?

They don't get any easier... [laughter] My greatest moral failing and I have been a very imperfect person is the failure of my first marriage - is my greatest moral failure. I think America's greatest moral failure has been throughout our existence perhaps we have not devoted ourselves to causes greater than our own self interests, although we've been the best at it of anybody in the world. I think after 9/11 my friends instead of telling people to go shopping or take a trip, we should have told Americans to join the Peace Corps, Americorps, the military. Expand our volunteer. Expand what you're doing. Expand the great missions that you are doing, that you are carrying out not only here in America, but throughout the world, especially in Ruanda and I hope we have a chance to talk a little bit about that later on.

3. Independence

went against Party loyalty:

(worked with John McCain) on campaign finance reform.
"I opposed the initial decision to go to war in Iraq"

Warren: Can you give me an example of where you lead against your party's interests - oh this is hard - [laughter] And really maybe against your own best interests, for the good of America?

McCain: You know, by a strange coincidence, I was not elected Miss Congeniality again in the United States Senate. I don't know why. I don't know why. I don't know why.

Climate change, out of control spending, torture... the list goes on on a large number of issues that I have put my country first and I've reached acrossed the aisle.

But I probably have to say that one of the time that probably was one of the most trying times was when I was first a member of Congress, a Freshman in the House of Representatives and very loyal and dedicated to President Reagan, who I still think is on of the great, great presidents in American history who won the cold war without firing a shot, in the words of Margaret Thatcher. He wanted to send troops to Beirut for a peace keeping mission. My knowledge and my brackground [sic] told me that a few hundred Marines in a situation like that could not successfully carry out any kind of peace keeping mission, and I though they were going into harms way. Tragically as many of you recall, there was a bombing of the Marine barracks, and well over a hundred brave Marines gave their lives. [NB! from Wikipedia: In the attack on the American barracks, the death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 Navy personnel and three Army soldiers.] But it was tough that vote because I went against the president I believed in and a party that believed maybe I was disloyal very early in my political career

4. Leadership: Wise consultants
Warren: Who are the three wisest people in your life and who are you going to rely on heavily in your administration?

Excluding you of course,

Warren: [and your wife]

Michelle (wise and honest), grandmother, (for the administration: Sam Nunn, Dick Lugar for foreign poicyl; (friends) Ted Kennedy, Tom Coburn!!! for domestic policy
- "a table where lots of points of view are represented"

Warren: Who are the three wisest people you know, that you would rely on heavily in an administration

McCain: [pause] The first one I think would be General David Petraeus, one of the great military leaders in American history who took us from
defeat to victory in Iraq. One of the great leaders... [applause] Fourth of July a year ago Senator Lindsey Graham and I were in Baghdad. 688 brave young Americans whose enlistment had expired swore an oath of re-enlistment to stay and fight for freedom. Only someone like General David Petraeus could motivate someone like that.

I think John Lewis. John Lewis was at the Edmond Pettus Bridge. Had his skull fractured. Continued to serve. Continues to have the most optimistic outlook about America. He can teach us all a lot about the meaning of courage and commitment to causes greater than our self interests.

[heavy sigh] Meg Whitman. Meg Whitman the CEO of Ebay. Meg Whitman, 12 years ago there were 5 employees. Today, there are one and a half million people that make a living off Ebay in America and the world. It's one of these great American success stories. And in these economic challenging times we need to call on the wisdom and knowledge and background of people like Meg Whitman who have been able to make such great American success stories part of the world's folklore.

5. Supreme Court
Warren: Which existing Supreme Court Justice would you not have nominated?

Clarence Thomas. Justice Scalia. John Roberts [whom Obama did vote against]

Warren: Which existing Supreme Court Justice would you not have nominated?

With all due respect Justice Ginsberg, Justice Breyer, Justice Souter and Justice Stevens... By the way Justices Alito and Roberts are two of my most recent favorites. They really are. They're really fine. And I'm proud of President Bush for nominating them.
Topics covered (with McCain responses in short)
Leadership - 3 wisest people
Character: moral failings - failed marriage
"a little pandering" ... "It's not about you" - "Serve a cause greater than your own self interest"
Bucked Party - Beirut
Changed opinion - offshore drilling
Gut wrenching decision - not to accept early release from prison camp
World view: what you Christian faith means to you - Christmas torture story
Abortion - baby entitled to human rights at the moment of conception
Define marriage - One man / one woman
Stem cells - pro stem cell research, but "wildly" excited about
Evil - defeat it... will follow Osama to the gates of hell (suicide bomber story)
Supreme Court nominations
Faith based organizations - should be able to discriminate in hiring (Katrina anecdote)
Education - teacher merit pay
Taxes - Define rich "I want everyone to get rich." (deer DNA study anecdote)
Security - collision of security and right to privacy
War - what is worth committing troops to - freedom and national security
Genocide - obligation to stop it where we can
Georgia/Russia conflict - "One of the most fundamental rights of any nation is territorial integrity."
Religious persecution -
Orphans - (anecdote)
Why do you want to become President - "I always put my country first"
Church and State

No comments: