Thursday, August 04, 2005


The Two Faces of John McCain

No, the title isn't meant to be either a cheap shot or ironic.

First, we have a representative example of
McCain The Evil -- stack the FEC on ideologically bi-partisan lines: In other words, you can be a Republican or a Democrat -- just as long as you agree with McCain's view of money in the political process. (The fact that Washington campaign finance experts "consider the New Jersey Election Commission, the Illinois Board of Elections and the New York City Campaign Finance Board aggressive regulatory bodies" adds a sense of hilarity to the issue. When Illinois and New Jersey are mentioned, tell me that the phrase "clean and honest elections" comes to mind!)

On the other hand, here is an example of
McCain The Good -- shining a light on one of the most underreported foreign policy stories: The increasing authoritarian nature of Hugo Chavez' Venezuela. McCain, Madeline Albright and former Rep. Vin Weber wrote Chavez urging that he drop the prosecution of opposition campaign workers. (Keep in mind Chavez beat the opposition last year in a referendum that good ole Jimmy Carter prematurely declared clean and in "good faith" -- despite widespread evidence to the contrary. Despite the win, Chavez, Fidel Castro's best friend in Latin America, is out to crush the opposition.)

McCain has been the long-time chairman of the International Republican Institute -- a Congress-funded organization that promotes democracy-building around the world (Yes, there is a Democratic Party-affiliated counterpart). This letter bringing some attention to the Venezuela situation is in keeping with his commitment to these issues. (Full disclosure: I was part of an IRI-sponsored observation team for the 1999 presedential election in Nigeria.)

For those of us who still find a lot to
admire in John McCain, there is nothing but visceral frustration at seeing a man committed to developing free elections processes abroad unable to recognize how his signature issue stifles debate at home.

A good comprehensive site on the many facets of the Venezuelan political situation can be found

Bookmark and Share

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Technorati search
Search Now:
Amazon Logo
  •  RSS
  • Add to My AOL
  • Powered by FeedBurner
  • Add to Google Reader or Homepage
  • Subscribe in Bloglines
  • Share on Facebook