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« Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 9. | WILLisms.com | Checking In On That Emerging Democratic Majority. »

Make Or Break Moment For John McCain.

Tonight, ultra-liberal, anti-reform AARP tagalong (Rock the Vote) celebrates 15 years of lame laughingstockness, along with its one fleeting moment of glory and relevance (1992: "boxers of briefs").

Because Rock the Vote gains significant financial advantages by operating as a "non-partisan" and "non-profit" (Contributions to the 501c3 Rock the Vote Education Fund are tax deductible.) organization, it plans to honor not only the Black Eyed Peas, Barack Obama, and William Jefferson Clinton, but also Republican John McCain.

McCain, the beard, the token, the lone "maverick" Republican worthy of Rock the Vote.


McCain is to receive a "Rock the Nation" award (Obama is also receiving one; apparently, by winning a single Senate race against another African-American, he "represents the promise of a new generation that is more tolerant than any generation to come before."). RTV explains why it chose McCain:

This award is given to an individual who demonstrates the very essence of what it means to effectively work towards changing the world, usually working on a national level or on an issue that brings about national influence and change. Senator John McCain’s courageous leadership for campaign finance reform has helped restore young people’s interest and faith in politics and government. Few national political leaders have captured the imagination of America’s youth as Senator John McCain, and his consistency to his own values and beliefs has served as a model for public service to Americans of all ages.

Campaign finance reform (a.k.a. BCRA 2002; a.k.a. McCain/Feingold) has been a thorough failure in achieving its stated purpose; in the meantime, it spawned a variety of 527 organizations, through which ultra-wealthy donors like George Soros could give tens of millions of dollars in one fell swoop. If the point of campaign finance reform was to get big money out of politics, reassuring the public about the integrity of campaigns and governance, it failed miserably. Meanwhile, campaign finance reform has had rife unintended consequences, even, potentially, FEC crackdown on blogs.

Think about that. The law of unintended consequences in action.

In other words, Rock the Vote chose McCain for all the wrong reasons.

Americans For Prosperity's "Rock The Hypocrisy" is calling for John McCain, a purported supporter of Social Security reform (and personal accounts), to tell it like it is to Rock the Vote:

WASHINGTON – The free-market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity Foundation today called on U.S. Sen. John McCain to use his acceptance speech at this week’s Rock the Vote Awards Dinner to confront the left-leaning organization about its hypocritical opposition to Social Security reform. Sen. McCain, a supporter of Social Security reform and allowing young workers to invest some of their Social Security taxes in higher-yielding personal retirement accounts, is scheduled to accept the “Rock the Nation” award from the anti-reform youth group on Wednesday night.

“Senator McCain has a built a reputation for straight talk, and we certainly hope his ‘Straight Talk Express’ rolls into Rock the Vote’s Awards Dinner on Wednesday night,” said Americans for Prosperity Foundation Executive Vice President Michelle Korsmo. “Young workers have the most to lose if the current Social Security system is not reformed, and Rock the Vote is not acting in the best interests of young people when they fight against letting them have a little more control over their own tax dollars. Hopefully, Senator McCain will confront Rock the Vote’s hypocrisy head on.”

This is a make-or-break moment for John McCain. If he fails to seize the moment, if he fails to advance the cause of Social Security reform, he will have missed an opportunity to impress 2008 GOP primary voters. Rock the Vote is honoring McCain because he, unlike RTV, "demonstrates the very essence of what it means to effectively work towards changing the world, usually working on a national level or on an issue that brings about national influence and change."

Ahem, cough, Social Security, anyone?

As Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman recently iterated on Meet The Press, when asked about John McCain's 2008 hopes:

I think what voters in--who are going to think about things in 2008 are going to say is, "In 2005 when you did do to help make sure we confirmed good men and women as judges? What did you do to help save Social Security? What did you do to help make sure that we have those tax cuts and make them permanent? What did you do to help make sure we continue to win the war on terror?" And then next year, "What did you do to protect and preserve the majority?" I think that these are very important questions that come out before people start thinking about the long term.


Mehlman added later:

...in many ways the first primary of the 2008 election cycle is what you do this year, and the second primary is what you do to protect the majority next year.

It's a make or break moment for John McCain. Will he bask in Rock the Vote's fawning adoration over campaign finance reform? Or will Senator McCain begin proving himself as someone Republican primary voters can trust to advance a free-enterprise agenda?

Incidentally, does anyone else find it funny (yet typical) that AARP is the top 2005 "Rock the Vote Awards Dinner" sponsor:


Who drives Rock the Vote's agenda?

Left-wing blogs
, left-wing activist groups, and retired persons, that's who.

John McCain:

We, the actual young people of America, are watching. Will you willingly go along with Rock the Vote's masquerade, or will you stand up for your professed convictions on Social Security?

Be a leader.

Give Rock the Vote a ride on the straight talk express.


McCain marginally passes.

Posted by Will Franklin · 8 June 2005 10:52 AM


I couldn't agree more.

McCain's voting record couldn't be any more typical as far as Senate Republicans, and he's a hero in many ways, but he always seems to sell out his own party when it comes to the PR war.

If McCain makes this one count, I'm willing to give him a serious look in 2008.

And, you're right, Social Security is the perfect issue here.

Take a stand, John.

Posted by: Mick Wright at June 8, 2005 01:24 PM

McCain seems to be a bit of a "cave man" to me! It seems he isn't what he appeared to be once upon a time... Maybe it is just me, but I can't tell where he is going or where he is coming from these days...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 8, 2005 02:10 PM

I hope WILLisms.com doesn't have another melt down on Reform Thursday again! Our Rock The Vote friends could use some WILLisms.com Reform Thursday facts!

Posted by: Wicked witch of west at June 8, 2005 08:42 PM

The fact that his daughter Sid McCain is a big in the record biz is pure coincidence. Nothing to see here... move along.

Posted by: Karl at June 9, 2005 12:27 PM

AARP is such a big dud!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 9, 2005 01:53 PM

Any follow-up on this?

Posted by: Hoodlumman at June 9, 2005 01:55 PM

WOW!... Talking Points Blog is really strange! Josh Marshall sounds like he is sitting around trying to figure out how to knock out the GOP! ... I didn't see anything that was about the politics of the day! It was all about the next strategic move against the GOP! Very odd Blog! Interestingly typical of what I always believed most DEMS. are about!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 10, 2005 10:05 AM

WILLisms.com, I like the way you give facts!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 10, 2005 10:46 AM

Rock The Hypocrisy and WILLisms.com together? Wow, might be hope for reform yet!

Posted by: Chip at June 10, 2005 04:00 PM