As the Double Talk Express careens along, wheels still flying off the bus on the eleventh day, some of the ick is sticking to McCain’s fatally flawed campaign for the Presidency.  But this remains a critical time for Democrats: we must accelerate our efforts to brand McCain with the six Ells that stain his campaign.  These are: Lobbyists, Lawbreaking, the Lord’s Messenger Hagee, Less Jobs, and his Love of War.  Oh, also — his Love of Bush.

Lobbyists: Forget Vicki Iseman.  America apparently has.  There’s a bigger story here — a story Americans fed up with a bought-and-paid-for DeeCee culture understand.  McCain is owned by lobbyists.  They run his campaign, they run his his Senate office, they make business calls using the phone on the campaign bus.  Media Matters:

  • Lobbyist fundraisers. Two of the co-chairmen of McCain’s national finance committee were registered to lobby Congress as of year-end 2007 (the latest disclosure data available), and a third previously lobbied Congress. Another co-chairmen is one of Florida’s "most powerful lobbyists" (St. Petersburg Times, 10/1/06). McCain’s "top fundraising official" (Washington Post, 2/22/08), one of the two co-chairmen registered to lobby as of year-end 2007, is the founder of a prominent Washington lobbying firm that has made "millions inserting earmarks into spending bills" (Politico, 2/8/08).

McCain’s reliance on lobbyist fundraisers, which according to Public Citizen includes 59 former and current lobbyist bundlers, follows a multi-year effort by McCain of "reaching out to K Street to strengthen his national fundraising network" (The Hill, 3/8/06).

  • Lobbyist advisers and staffers. At least 24 McCain staffers or advisers were either registered to lobby Congress (as of year-end 2007) or were previously lobbyists, according to a Media Mattersreview. Former and current federally registered lobbyists include McCain’s campaign manager, deputy campaign manager, chief political adviser, senior policy adviser, more than half a dozen economic policy advisers, and numerous national and state co-chairmen.

A June 2007 Huffington Post report by Tom Edsall on lobbyist staff and advisers to McCain found that while "lobbyists are playing key roles in both Democratic and Republican bids … all the campaigns pale in comparison to McCain’s, whose rhetoric stands in sharp contrast to his conduct." 

So when it comes to lobbyists, America needs  a constant reminder of the rebranded Straight Talk Express.

Created by the fabulous tw3k

Lawbreaking: Listen to the Doctor. Howard Dean has John McCain in a box full of lawbreaking, and he’s not about to let him out:

“The law is very clear. He can not withdraw if he has used the promise of matching funds as collateral for his loan,” Dean said, “John McCain cannot unilaterally withdrawal from the spending limitations.”

John McCain wrote the campaign spending laws.  Americans think Russ Feingold’s first name is McCain, for pete’s sake.  Let’s be sure Americans understand that John McCain can’t follow the law with his own forking name on it.

The Lord’s Messenger: The Rev. John Hagee’s endorsement was one St John eagerly sought. Now America is starting to see that there’s some weirdness associated with Hagee, and that maybe they don’t want a President who’s quite so eager for an endorsement from a wackjob like him. Glenn Greenwald gives us the three highlights of Hagee’s belief system:

* All Muslims are programmed to kill and we can thus never negotiate with any of them. From an NPR interview Hagee gave to Terry Gross in 2006:

TG: If you use the Bible as the basis for policy, is there any room for compromise? And if you use the bible as the basis for policy, should Muslims use the Koran as the basis for their policy, and then again, what possible basis is there for compromise at that point?
JH: There is really no room for compromise between radical Islam –
TG: I’m not talking about radical Islam. I’m just talking about Islam in general.
JH: Well Islam in general — those who live by the Koran have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews.

* God caused Hurricane Katrina to wipe out New Orleans because it had a gay pride parade the week before and was filled with sexual sin. From the same interview:

JH: All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.
The newspaper carried the story in our local area, that was not carried nationally, that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it would was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other gay pride parades.
So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the Day of Judgment, and I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.

* The End Times — Rapture — is imminent and the U.S. Government must do what it can to hasten it, which at minimum requires: (a) a war with Iran and (b) undying, absolute support for a unified Israel, including all Occupied Territories (hence, Joe Lieberman’s love affair with them).

From Christian Palestinian Daoud Kuttab in The New York Times (h/t PZ Meyers):
A small minority of evangelical Christians have entered the Middle East political arena with some of the most un-Christian statements I have ever heard. . . . [Rev.] Hagee, a popular televangelist who leads the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, ratcheted up his rhetoric this year with the publication of his book, "Jerusalem Countdown," in which he argues that a confrontation with Iran is a necessary precondition for Armageddon (which will mean the death of most Jews, in his eyes) and the Second Coming of Christ. In the best-selling book, Hagee insists that the United States must join Israel in a preemptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West.

Less Jobs: Joe Scarborough put this one quite succinctly. We all need to be sure Americans understand that this really is McCain’s primary election platform:

SCARBOROUGH: We’re gonna start a lot of wars! He has promised, for the record Keith, John McCain’s platform — and it certainly looks inviting for the fall — he has promised less jobs and more wars. Now that’s something we can all rally behind.

Love of War: Hasn’t Robert Greenwald covered this topic very well in the video at the top of the post? Be sure you do your part to help it go viral. John McCain wants lots more wars; he’s promising them on the campaign trail! American, weary of war, won’t want to vote for more wars.

Love of Bush: John McCain’s campaign slogan might as well be "Four More Years." Our slogan can be "No Third Term." People understand what that means. Our job is to bind McCain close to Preznit Nineteen Percent. This close:

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No, this close:

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Got it? Six Ells: Lobbyists, Lawbreaking, the Lord’s Messenger Hagee, Less Jobs, Love of War, and Love of Bush.

It’s very easy to remember: L is for Loser.

Update: St John will be interviewed on 60 Minutes next Sunday.  Suggest your questions at the bottom of their webpage.