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John McCain: Bush's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Actions

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 12:39 am
by Aaron747
Do the Nation a Service
President Bush should be commended for using 9/11 to call the country to public service. If only his deeds matched his rhetoric

By John McCain
Special to NEWSWEEK


Sept. 15 issue — The attacks of September 11, for all the terrible suffering they caused, did have one good effect. For a time, they encouraged Americans to remember that as citizens of this good and great country we have responsibilities as well as rights that require our attention.

MORE THAN ANY time in recent years, Americans were unified not just in appreciation for our founding political convictions and the opportunities, prosperity and happiness they engender, but for patriotism that asks more of us than symbolic gestures of allegiance. We remembered that we are part of a cause greater than our individual self-interest, to which we, too, should proudly offer our services. And many Americans looked to their political leaders to welcome and help facilitate their desire for greater civic engagement.

Recognizing this, President Bush, in his 2002 State of the Union address, summoned Americans to serve causes “larger than self.” He asked Americans to dedicate a total of two years of their lives to public service. He announced the establishment of a cabinet-level USA Freedom Corps Council to oversee the work of the government’s volunteer programs. He promised to double the size of the Peace Corps, and to increase AmeriCorps, the government’s principal domestic-service program, by 50 percent. Since then, the president has often paid eloquent tribute to volunteers in the dozens of community and national-service programs that AmeriCorps supports. As well he should.

Those programs, which range from tutoring at-risk kids to building homes for low-income families to fighting forest fires to homeland-security projects, involve Americans of all ages, ethnicity and backgrounds. They are a credit to our country, and the best assurance that the cynicism about public causes, about the very notion of citizenship, that afflicted some Americans in recent times, especially younger Americans, crested before September 11 and does not threaten the continued progress of this nation.

Yet, since the president first promised to expand opportunities for national service nearly two years ago, I’ve detected little effort by his administration to persuade Congress to provide funds for the plan. The administration has withheld support for legislation that Sen. Evan Bayh and I introduced to increase AmeriCorps. We did win administration approval for a plan to encourage short-term enlistments in the military in exchange for education benefits, and to begin funding national-service programs that help communities with their homeland-security challenges. But beyond this modest support, his administration has neglected to match the president’s rhetoric with concrete steps to keep his promise.

Most disappointing has been administration silence that amounts to tacit approval for the House Republican leadership’s opposition to stopgap funding to help AmeriCorps keep operating at current levels. Due to the fiscal mismanagement of administration officials who ran the government corporation that oversees AmeriCorps, who accepted 20,000 new volunteers without adequate funds to support them, the program faces devastating cuts in its programs. The Senate, by a large majority, quickly appropriated $100 million to meet the shortfall, and new financial controls as well as new management were put in place to prevent the recurrence of sloppy accounting errors. But the House leadership refused to go along, and the White House acquiesced to their opposition. Thus, AmeriCorps has been forced to cut funding for nearly half its programs.

This discouraging lack of good faith means that Candace Spiller, a 19-year-old single mother, can no longer tutor poor children in the Mississippi Delta; Abraham Talbert, a high-school dropout who earned his GED and planned to go to college, will no longer build affordable housing for families in East Harlem, nor go to college, and Don Bullard, a disabled young man with a large heart, will no longer help other disabled Americans become self-reliant and valued members of their communities. These are three of the many thousands of volunteers whose patriotism has been spurned by Washington.

These good Americans have learned that serving a cause larger than themselves is as vital to their self-respect as it is useful to our country. They have kept faith with America. The president who called them, and the Congress that praises them, should keep faith with them.

John McCain is a Republican senator from Arizona

RE: John McCain: Bush's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Actions

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:05 am
by b757300
John McCain is a Republican senator from Arizona

This should read "John McCain is a RINO senator from Arizona" (Republican In Name Only)


As a note, it seems the Bush and U.S. bashers are out in force these last few days. Did Moveon.org and Democraticunderground.com crash or something?

RE: John McCain: Bush's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Actions

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:21 am
by mbmbos
B757300,

I'm curious, what qualifies Bush-bashing and U.S.-bashing in your world view? Will you please define your terms?

Thank you,

- MBM

RE: John McCain: Bush's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Actions

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:34 am
by KROC
B757300,

I'm curious, what qualifies Bush-bashing and U.S.-bashing in your world view? Will you please define your terms?


B757300 - I got this one. I'll handle your light work.

The answer is, anyone who does not completely stand behind Bush and the Administration. Anyone who dares question anything the Admin does, or criticise them. Basically anyone not blindly following the regime.

*And before you go off on me B757300. I'm a Bush and Admin suporter, BUT I do not follow blindly and will criticise and question where needed.

RE: John McCain: Bush's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Actions

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:46 am
by Aaron747
It's problematic that you even have to provide that disclaimer KROC, wouldn't you say?

RE: John McCain: Bush's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Actions

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:57 am
by N79969
McCain articulated one of the reasons I may be seriously considering Wesley Clark for President next year. I wish McCain would run. Though I support GWB, he has been disappointment in many ways. His dogged insistence on his tax cuts is particularly bad.

B753, I think John McCain is far closer to being an heir to Ronald Reagan than GWB and his legions of AEI think-tank weenies. There are is no such group as Bush democrats.

RE: John McCain: Bush's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Actions

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:39 am
by DeltaSFO
This should read "John McCain is a RINO senator from Arizona" (Republican In Name Only)

Shows how much you know. Wake up and smell the coffee.

McCain has been and continues to be my favorite politician in this country. The dude's got the balls to take on his own party, even his own President, when he feels something's wrong.

I wish he had taken the Republican nomination in 2000. This country would be a lot different now.

RE: John McCain: Bush's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Actions

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:49 am
by Aaron747
Abso-fuckin-lutely! I'd have gladly voted for McCain. I don't agree with all of his policy ideals, particularly in the foreign policy arena, but he's a man I deeply trust and respect. His heart is in the right place - America first. And the balls comment is an understatement. McCain has fucking rocks - he will criticize *anything* he feels does a disservice to the American public, even if it means making enemies in his own party.

McCain is a model of what most politicians are too chicken-shit to even imagine being.

RE: John McCain: Bush's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Actions

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 4:57 am
by lehpron
I liked McCain from the begining, I wish he went on to run in the 2000 election...maybe 04, I donno?

RE: John McCain: Bush's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Actions

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:22 am
by DC10GUY
The great Mr. John McCain makes me feel very proud to be an Arizonian. I'm a Democrat, but I support Mr. McCain because he speaks the truth.

RE: John McCain: Bush's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Actions

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 10:51 am
by Alpha 1
It's too bad he can't run again against Bush. Unfortunately, the neocon nuts and big Corporate $$$ won't let that happen.