Profiles in putting country first: McCain misses FISA vote, Kennedy flies in from tumor tx for Medicare vote

Politicker quotes State Representative Josh Mandel as speaking on behalf of the Ohio Republican Party for John McCain in regard to a television ad from the AFL-CIO:

The AFL-CIO’s Ohio local is up with a television ad attacking John McCain’s Senate record, tying him to President Bush. The ad began airing yesterday.

State Rep. Josh Mandel (R-Lyndhurst), an Iraq war veteran, responded on behalf of the Ohio Republican Party yesterday in a statement.

“This ad continues the long line of smears and distortions coming from the Obama campaign and its partisan allies.  It’s clear that Barack Obama’s call for a new kind of politics is nothing more than empty rhetoric from a typical politician.  The Obama campaign represents politics as usual, but John McCain has always worked in a bipartisan fashion to put his country first,” Mandel said.

But if he is going to assert that McCain has always worked in a bipartisan fashion to put his country first, then perhaps Mandel can explain the part of McCain’s Senate record that includes his failure this week to vote on FISA – something Barack Obama did, much to the chagrin of many of his supporters.

Where was McCain when he should have been in the Senate with all his colleagues?

In Ohio. With VP buzz object Rob Portman.

PS I have no trouble believing that Mandel knows about empty rhetoric.

PPS The New York Times demonstrates again just how gently the media manages its reporting on McCain:

Senator John McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee, was campaigning in Ohio and did not vote, though he has consistently supported the immunity plan.

Here, the implication is that McCain doesn’t really need to vote on the FISA bill given that “he has consistently supported the immunity plan.”  Third Party candidate Ralph Nader’s campaign tried to get the McCain campaign to say more than that, but they refused.

Well, guess what? Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy is battling a brain tumor and flew to DC this week to vote on a Medicare bill that in the end didn’t even need his vote.  Why did he fly there to vote? Because that’s what elected officials who say they put their country first actually do – they don’t rest on their past actions, no matter how laudatory.

Sigh. Thank you John McCain for another example of empty rhetoric courtesy of the ORP.

10 thoughts on “Profiles in putting country first: McCain misses FISA vote, Kennedy flies in from tumor tx for Medicare vote

  1. Pingback: John McCain Wants To Be A Senator Again (Albeit Briefly) [News Roundup]

  2. Pingback: John McCain Wants To Be A Senator Again (Albeit Briefly) [News Roundup] |

  3. In a Wash Post story, each of the candidates percentages for being present and voting were reported: Obama voted 56.5% and McCain 38.2%.

    They also however point out there is a precedent for candidates missing roll call votes, historically.

  4. In comparing Obama and McCain on FISA specifically, is it better to flip-flop completely on the issue for the sake of political expediency or miss the yea-nay vote when you know your vote won’t even be necessary?

    I’d love the Obama campaign to use McCain’s absence on the FISA vote as a line of attack, given their own candidate’s 180. But alas, they’re much smarter than that. They want to sweep the FISA issue under the rug ASAP.

  5. Ben – I will, like Bad American, disagree with you there. I think it does matter – and if the tables were turned, I imagine the McCain campaign would be on it immediately.

    I’m not saying that they should or should not be on it. But I do think that when something really means something to someone (or someone’s constituents), you take action. Isn’t that why you vote for someone in the first place?

  6. Actually I think it does – in BOTH McCain’s and Obama’s cases. They may be running for President but the job they are still drawing a taxpayer funded paycheck for is to be a US Senator. And they should be there for important votes.

    As for FISA, I can’t think of too many greater instances of treason to the Constitution and the country as that vote.

    Hedges perspective is right on:

  7. I am not trying to bring on any challenges. I am just saying that going after a candidate for missing a vote who is running for Presdient probably doesnt have a lot of traction.

  8. Ben – I can understand the desire to shift the focus, but it’s on McCain here and this very specific instance of FISA juxtaposed with an assertion of him putting his country first AND not using empty rhetoric, like leaning on past acts or deeds as implying what he would do, rather than him going and actually doing it – that is, voting for FISA.

    But if you want another “right now” example of great import to 51% of the population, how about equal pay for equal work?

    From Think Progress: (which has a video of this)

    “Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) participated in a town hall meeting in Wisconsin. During the discussion, he claimed that he is a strong supporter of equal pay for women and other workers:

    We haven’t done enough. We have not done enough. And I’m committed to making sure that there’s equal pay for equal work. That there is equal opportunity in every aspect of our society. And that is my record and you can count on it.

    “In fact, McCain seems committed to just the opposite. In April, he skipped the vote on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would have rectified the Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear “that made it much harder for women and other workers to pursue pay discrimination claims.”

    “In fact, on that very same day, McCain said that if he had been in the Senate, he would have voted against it because the bill “opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.” He also dismissed the importance of equal pay, saying that women simply need “education and training“:

    “They need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else,” McCain said. “And it’s hard for them to leave their families when they don’t have somebody to take care of them.

    “The issue is not “education and training.” When denied equal pay by her supervisor, Lilly Ledbetter was doing the exact same job as her male counterparts and received numerous performance-based awards.

    “As the Wonk Room notes, in 2000, McCain also opposed an amendment aimed at providing “more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex.” In 1985, McCain voted against a study to investigate pay differences among federal employees and determine whether they were the result of discrimination.”

    Ben – if you want to bring on the challenges to Obama’s voting record, you can start with my blog – I wrote twice about him missing votes and how it really pissed me off.

    But here – the focus is McCain – and the fact that he was in Ohio during that vote only makes it worse.

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