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1 Burnside American Studies- Politics

The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn't


The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn't Cover

ISBN13: 9780979482298
ISBN10: 0979482291
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Thinking about voting for McCain? Read this book. Cliff Schecter's hard-hitting profile explores the gap between the public record of Senator John McCain and his media image. Drawing on a range of sources and adding his unique perspective and humor, Schecter guides the reader though McCain's long history of expedient flip-flops, especially on his signature issues of national security and campaign finance reform. Far from a straight-talking maverick, McCain emerges as a temperamental political chameleon who will do or say virtually anything to become president of the United States. On issue after issue - including the invasion and occupation of Iraq, torture, abortion, and gay rights - The Real McCain reveals a politician who started as a Goldwater Republican, experienced a brief period after sanity after his loss to George W. Bush in 2000, and began pandering to the very groups he challenged after deciding to run again in 2008.


A hard-hitting profile of a political celebrity, this book analyzes John McCains out-of-the-mainstream stances and expedient flip-flops on the economy, campaign finance reform, the Iraq war, and other key issues.

About the Author

Cliff Schecter is a Knight-Ridder columnist, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, and the principal contributor to Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films website, which hosts the popular blog, He is a regular guest on NPR, CNN, and many other venues that cover national politics.

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Patch Adam Perryman, June 7, 2008 (view all comments by Patch Adam Perryman)
"I bought [The Straight Talk Express] once. I gave the man a campaign contribution... back in 2000, when I thought he held informed, principled positions high above the fray of partisan politics. That moderate McCain (McCain 1.0) quickly vanished in the late 1990s. Who knows what will follow?"
"This book is more than a cautionary tale. It's enough to make you vote for someone else."

Being Cliff Schecter's first book, it’s reassuring that he doesn’t focus on scrutinizing McCain’s public characteristics with malevolence. Instead, he plainly examines the senator’s frequent political maneuvers and how they have shaped and reshaped public opinion of him.

In 150 pages of clear, researched and witty language, McCain’s reinvention of himself is adeptly detailed. This book contains a gauged chronology, comprehensive voting record, direct interviews to explain why the Gentleman from Arizona’s character-shifting should be anything but polyamorous.

"As Jacob Weisberg said in Slate, there have been three McCains, so far... A conditional friend to conservatives, an appealing maverick to independents, and a noxious Bush apologist to Democrats.”

“Common opinions” of Arizona’s Senator, John Sydney McCain, III, have varied over the course of his over 25-year congressional career. However, when adding in his storied background involving Vietnam as naval aviator and Viet Cong POW, you get the makings of a complex man and an increase in the leniencies people afford him. Most of this is known to the savvy and blog-friendly folks with whom Cliff Schecter is very familiar as a contributor to the Huffington Post and MSNBC. He writes in a manner that reads as succinctly as any blog or biographical work should while not requiring a particular fancying of either as a precursor.

Any undecided voter could read this quickly and fully and come away thinking that (though biased against McCain’s campaign for President,) having respect for McCain’s past military service is not reason enough to vote for him in November. For this service in the Navy, as Schecter contends, has, “...everything to do with how [McCain] is perceived but little to do with what he has become.”

Each chapter of the book outlines particular aspects of Senator McCain’s shifting positions, demeanors and alignments among Washington groups and individuals. The summation of these marks him not as a maverick who thinks outside or inside of partisan politics, but as an opportunist and panderer who seeks only to gain every advantage that best improves his position and self-interest – even if (and sometimes specifically because) it contrasts with a previous position he’d held.

As a perfect example of McCain’s inconsistency, Schecter contrasts the signature issue of McCain’s steadfast support for the invasion of Iraq. Schecter quotes a then-Congressman (AZ: CD-1) McCain’s 1983 stance during a House debate as to whether or not Congress should authorize President Reagan to deploy troops in Beirut, Lebanon:
”The longer we stay... the harder it will be for us to leave. We will be trapped... what can we expect if we withdraw? The same as will happen if we stay.”

Congressman McCain then voted against the resolution to mobilize the Marines. Dreadfully, this did nothing to prevent 220 of them being killed only a month later. Schecter creates a basis for us to sharply contrast what a past “GOP Maverick politician” as McCain appeared to be in the 1980s, with a deeply flawed Senator McCain of today. One who writes with vitriol in The Weekly Standard of the need for a "Rouge State Rollback" or accepts money from major 527 contributors like Bob Perry of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

”Candidate McCain would have us believe that his experience and leadership will help in Iraq. But if it weren’t for McCain and his colleagues, we likely never would have gone in there.”

Schecter also hits the high points time and time again in this book. From McCain's Congressional voting record:

[Paraphrased] By March of 2008, McCain had missed 261 out of 486 votes, or 56%. Only one Senator had a worse record than this. Tim Johnson, and he had been incapacitated for months due to a brain hemorrhage.

In the end, The Real McCain is a versatile resource to call upon when confronted with those who are leaning toward McCain based on an outdated opinion of him, or for those who may have trepidation toward the Democratic Party nominee or even for voters who state they'll, "Vote for McCain before they vote for the Democrat."
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Product Details

Schecter, Cliff
Polipoint Press
Political Ideologies - Conservatism & Liberalism
Presidential candidates
United states
McCain, John,
Politics - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
8.40x6.20x.53 in. .58 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Political
History and Social Science » Politics » Conservatism
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics

The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn't Used Trade Paper
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Product details 200 pages Polipoint Press - English 9780979482298 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A hard-hitting profile of a political celebrity, this book analyzes John McCains out-of-the-mainstream stances and expedient flip-flops on the economy, campaign finance reform, the Iraq war, and other key issues.
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