The US Senate, where both candidates work, is in session every month of the year except for August. Sen. John McCain has served as a member of the senate since 1993 and Sen. Barack Obama since 2005. Some people might find it relevant that during his entire senate career-which began Jan 6, 2005-- Obama has missed 24% of his votes. On the other hand, during his entire senate career --beginning Feb 4, l993-- McCain has missed 18% of his votes. For their performance, (as of 2006, unless he or she is a Senate Leader) our elected senators earn $165,200 per annum --a figure that Sen. Obama considers a middle class income, a salary that would warrant a tax cut if he is elected the next president of the United States.
In light of the above statistics, a case might be argued that when a presidential candidate is running a campaign, he or she cannot possibly devote enough energy to continue representing their constituents in an elected capacity. The question begs to be asked, how has their attendance (or lack, thereof) affected their ability to perform in their role as senators? The answer, it would seem, in Sen. McCain's case, is not negative. On the other hand, for the Junior Senator from Illinois, this absence has most definitely hindered his influence in the Senate.
Since 1993, Senator McCain has brought 30 bills to the floor-all of which have been enacted. This indisputable fact lends credence to his reputation for bipartisan cooperation, necessary to compromise and passing legislation. This might explain why he found it necessary to go back to Washington and take part in the conversations around the bailout bill -which passed. It's important to note that the ability to listen to each other and make concessions is essential to getting the job done in Washington. While Barack Obama claims he has the ability to listen to all sides of an issue, John McCain has demonstrated that he has the skill necessary to work with all members of the Senate, to negotiate with people of all different opinions and to find the area where everyone can agree. This is what all of our legislators are elected to do --all of the time.
Out of the 115 bills sponsored by Sen. Obama, the number enacted is zero. This fact alone would lead many to conclude he isn't very good at representing the voters in Illinois. What's more, instead of working with everyone in the Senate, he only votes along party lines. Many could argue that if he is representing Illinois, he should take into consideration all of the voters in Illinois, not just the Democrats. James Madison believed that the ability to compromise and take into consideration many different points of view would prevent extremism and factionalism in the federal government. Sen. Obama brings with him an extreme ideology which affects his ability to moderate his vote in a manner that considers all of his constituents.
To cement this conclusion, one need only consider the Senator's "associations" with socialists and black liberation theologists, that he is known for voting "present" when he served in Springfield and that as a US Senator, he voted 94 times to raise taxes (or at least not to lower them). Though this number has been disputed, it captures his modus operandi. He wants to redistribute wealth. He doesn't understand that our founding documents were intended to provide people the equal right "to pursue" life, liberty, and happiness. He doesn't fundamentally believe in Capitalism. He was a member of the Socialist Party.
Maybe the constituents of Illinois should be relieved that when Barack Obama was representing them in Springfield, he only voted present. Maybe we should be glad that he has been at best ineffective during his tenure in Washington. How does the old expression go, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me?" Sadly, in the two years that the mainstream media had to provide the voters with all they need to know about the candidates, they have been extremely slanted and negligent in their responsibility to provide the facts necessary to make an informed decision. "I'll get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again."
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Nancy Salvato is the President and Director of Constitutional Literacy Program for Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) research and educational project whose mission is to re-introduce the American public to the basic elements of our constitutional heritage while providing non-partisan, fact-based information on relevant socio-political issues important to our country, specifically the threats of aggressive Islamofascism and the American Fifth Column. .