Barack Obama stooped to a new low in his campaign of division and distraction on Saturday when he scraped the bottom of the barrel in his inference that John McCain may be partially to blame for levee collapses throughout the region. In a prepared statement Obama stated, “I know that Sen. McCain felt as strongly as I did, feeling enormous sympathy for the victims of the recent flooding. I’m sure they appreciated the sentiment, but they probably would have appreciated it even more if Sen. McCain hadn’t opposed legislation to fund levees and flood control programs, which he considers pork.”
Obama’s attack on McCain, even as flood waters continue rise in Illinois and Missouri, is a new low for Obama, as his attack on John McCain also through top Democrat Russ Feingold (led the opposition to the bill) under the bus. The McCain campaign justifiably returned fired by calling out Obama’s distortion and failure to disclose the facts concerning the bill.
Just The Facts:
#1) In his speech Obama conveniently failed to mention the bill actually passed, despite opposition by a small Bi-Partisan group pointing out the fact that the bill failed to address needed reforms in the waterways protection system.
#2) John McCain never voted against the bill, in fact on the final senate vote and the veto override vote neither John McCain nor Barack Obama cast a vote.
#3) A Small group of Senators led by Russ Feingold opposed the bill because if failed to reform the process by which projects were prioritized and monitored, failed to reform the Army Corp of Engineers, and failed to establish a waterways commission; all of which were called for in the years prior too and after Katrina, as necessary reforms by the GAO, other oversight agencies and independent studies.
The bill which provided funding for water projects in all 50 states was opposed on principle by a small bi-partisan group on the basis that the bill essentially threw money to water projects without calling for accountability and reform within the agencies responsible for the nations waterways. The small group led by Russ Feingold, including McCain, did not oppose the funding of these projects and sent an amendment to the floor that would create a bi-partisan waterways commission to provide oversight, prioritization of projects, and implement reforms within the Army corp of Engineers and other watershed agencies.
Feingold stated in a speech on the Senate Floor, “After a decade of government and independent reports calling for reforming the corps and pointing out stunning flaws in corps projects and project studies, and after the tragic failures of New Orleans levees during Hurricane Katrina, the American people deserve meaningful reform. How many more flawed projects or wasted dollars will it take before we say enough is enough?”
The amendment, which Senator Obama voted against, unfortunately failed.
Senator Obama’s attack upon McCain on Saturday is unfortunate and misleading. His inappropriate politicizing of the disaster in the Midwest is paramount to scraping the bottom of the political barrel. If anyone should be criticized for their voting record, support or opposition on this bill, it should be Obama. After all, the Senator opposed an amendment that would have created necessary reforms that private and government studies have called for, for years. The water-shed bill and Obama’s opposition to genuine government reform and politicizing of the unfortunate flooding in the Midwest, is just another example of his “old school bossism” style of Chicago politics aimed at manipulating the facts and blaming the opposition for every problem that exists within our nation.
Please Visit Politically Drunk On Power for more articles by Jarid Brown
Originally Posted at PDOP on June 22, 2008 – Reprinted With Author Permission