McCain and his ilk are cons, pure and simple - they're out for personal gain, manipulating narrow-minded godblind fuckwits and pandering to selfish corporations in order to accumulate and retain as much power as they can lay their greedy little hands on.
Rep. Jim Leach is a Republican.
I imagine we'll be welcoming him into the arms of the Independents soon, because he crossed the Rubicon and spoke at the Democratic National Convention, giving one of the most ringing endorsements of Barack Obama I've ever heard. He will, no doubt, be demonized and eviscerated by the rabid neocons who have hijacked his Grand Old Party.
It's really too bad, because he's one of the only ones left who knows what it means to be a Republican:
As a Republican, I stand before you with deep respect for the history and traditions of my political party. But it is clear to all Americans that something is out of kilter in our great republic. In less than a decade America’s political and economic standing in the world has been diminished. Our nation’s extraordinary leadership in so many areas is simply not reflected in the partisan bickering and ideological politics of Washington. Seldom has the case for an inspiring new political ethic been more compelling. And seldom has an emerging leader so matched the needs of the moment.No, Jim. Thank you. Thank you for the beautiful vision of what Republicans should and might have been.
The platform of this transformative figure is a call for change. The change Barack Obama is advocating is far more than a break with today’s politics. It is a clarion call for renewal rooted in time-tested American values that tap Republican, as well as Democratic traditions.
In troubled times, it was understood that country comes before party, that in perilous moments mutual concern for the national interest must be the only factor in political judgments. This does not mean that debate within and between the political parties should not be vibrant. Yet what frustrates so many citizens is the lack of bipartisanship in Washington and the way today’s Republican Party has broken with its conservative heritage.
The party that once emphasized individual rights has gravitated in recent years toward regulating values. The party of military responsibility has taken us to war with a country that did not attack us. The party that formerly led the world in arms control has moved to undercut treaties crucial to the defense of the earth. The party that prides itself on conservation has abdicated its responsibilities in the face of global warming. And the party historically anchored in fiscal restraint has nearly doubled the national debt, squandering our precious resources in an undisciplined and unprecedented effort to finance a war with tax cuts. [emphasis added]
The portfolio of challenges passed on to the next president will be as daunting as any since the Great Depression and World War II. This is not a time for politics as usual or for run-of-the-mill politicians. Little is riskier to the national interest than more of the same. America needs new ideas, new energy and a new generation of leadership.
Hence, I stand before you proud of my party’s contributions to American history but, as a citizen, proud as well of the good judgment of good people in this good party, in nominating a transcending candidate, an individual whom I am convinced will recapture the American dream and be a truly great president: the senator from Abraham Lincoln’s state—Barack Obama. Thank you.
(Tip o' the shot glass to Dday and Steve Benen, who are absolutely right. As always.)