Dallas Morning News
Lead Editorial: We recommend John McCain for president
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The United States is in crisis. The economy is melting down. Our military is at war on two fronts. Americans approach this election in understandable fear and anger, especially at the incumbent Republican president who, however unjustly, bears the brunt of the blame for the crisis.
Americans want change, yes, but banking on change alone is a risky proposition. Both Barack Obama and John McCain offer new deals to a tense, weary nation.
In better times, America could afford to consider entrusting the White House to an appealing newcomer like Mr. Obama and giving control of the presidency and Congress to the same party.
But in this time of great anxiety, the American people need a leader of experience guiding the ship of state. Mr. McCain offers the continuity, stability and sense of authority people want, as well as a decisive break from the Bush years.
The Democrat talks about change, but only the Republican has made change happen. Only one candidate has a solid record of standing up to his own party on principle and working hand in hand with legislators from the opposing party to get things done.
That candidate is John McCain, a progressive conservative we recommend.
The experience gap
It's easy to see why the admirable Barack Obama has won so many hearts this year. He's as smooth and charismatic as his opponent is raw and irascible. But voters aren't electing a debater-in-chief. They should keep their heads – and their eyes – focused on the record.
Mr. McCain has shown the bipartisan leadership Americans want. For example, the Republican maverick has worked with Democrats on campaign finance laws, immigration reform and climate change. When party infighting brought the Senate to a standstill on judicial nominations, Mr. McCain led the way to an audacious compromise that broke the logjam.
Moreover, Mr. McCain has often opposed his own party when he believed it was the right thing to do. For example, though he supported the Iraq war, Mr. McCain emerged early as a critic of the Bush strategy at a time when the safe Republican move was go along to get along. His leadership was arguably a key factor in forcing the Bush administration to change its ways, adapting a strategy that finally worked.
The Arizona senator's change agenda didn't always bear fruit – but he fought nobly even in defeat. For example, Mr. McCain believed so strongly in comprehensive immigration reform that he nearly destroyed his presidential campaign to fight for it.
That takes guts – the kind America will need from its leader in the difficult days ahead.
How difficult? Beyond the immediate credit crisis looms a monumentally larger threat, a $53 trillion entitlement-spending catastrophe that threatens to sink the nation under a sea of red ink. Mr. McCain has a solid record of trying to control Washington's spending habits. This issue, more than any other, is why Americans should put Mr. McCain in the White House.
He clearly has set himself apart from Mr. Obama on federal spending. Mr. McCain is the one who promised to freeze domestic spending his first year and then limit it to 2.4 percent growth the rest of his term. He also has been clear about the urgent need for entitlement reform.
You don't see that kind of independence with Mr. Obama, who has marched in spending lockstep with his party and mostly ducked questions about entitlement reform and budget cuts.
The last time the nation saw Washington make real progress on deficit reduction was the 1990s, when a Democrat controlled the White House and Republicans held Congress. True, Republicans failed to cover themselves in deficit-reduction glory when they held the executive and legislative branches, but we read that as an argument in favor of divided government.
As inspiring as Mr. Obama's history-making presidential bid has been, it is risky to take a chance on an untried leader at this point in our history.
To be sure, a McCain vote also involves an element of risk. His bellicose temperament causes concern, chiefly about his impulsive judgment. If this election were about congeniality and cool, Mr. Obama would easily prevail.
But electing the president is not a popularity contest. Mr. McCain has better policies. He has more experience. And he has proven independence of mind.
In these tough times, John McCain is the right man for America.
Quilt Tip of the Day
Needle in the haystack...otherwise known a needle in the foot or the behind...
So are ya doing any hand piecing or hand quilting these cooler autumn evenings? I am. I'm working on my 1" hexagon quilt and I sit in my chair in front of the tube. So many times in the past, I have laid down my needle and it ends up in the seat cushion or on the carpet. Ouch! I have come up with two ways to avoid that from happening. Either use a pink rubber eraser to stick the needle in, or a small flat refrigerator magnet, with the magnet side laying face up. Both work really well and will keep your pins or needles in your selected spot! Happy Quilting!