McCain = 4 more years of Bush! That’s the Democrats line and frankly it bothers me. I think that there are much better ways for Obama to attack McCain. For me, it's simply that this is the time for Obama. Like Pres. Clinton said last night: "... on the two great questions of this election, how to rebuild the American Dream and how to restore America’s leadership in the world, he (McCain) still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years.” John Kerry gave a great speech last night, full of four years worth of pent-up anger. Swiftboated and painted as a flip-flopper, Kerry was all too happy to call out his old friend, John McCain on his own political flips. A little too happy. I mean, McCain and Kerry are (were) long-time friends. Kerry came within a whisker of picking McCain as his running-mate in 2004, does no one remember this? Ah, Politics!
So, my question is this, is it true? If you judge by the current political rhetoric McCain is spouting, close, but still not quite. But if you go by the three decade long voting record of Sen. McCain, coldly and mathematically plotted on graphs, then no it's not. The other day Volokh linked to some very interesting data from political scientist Keith Poole mapping the ideological leanings of Bush, McCain, Obama, and Hillary Clinton, based on their congressional votes and, in the case of Bush, the Presidential Support roll calls.
Based on the data, Clinton and Obama are essentially ideologically identical, just left of the center in their party. In contrast, there's a major gap between Bush and McCain: McCain is on the left wing of his party, while Bush is out on the right, within spitting distance of the lunatic fringe.
Id feel much more comfortable with this argument. But that's just me, I guess.