Leave it to Republicans to stick to their misguided talking points at all costs—a hobgoblin of little-minded spokesmen. Yesterday, Brave New Films released McCain's Mansions, a short video juxtaposing John McCain's many multi-million dollar homes with the plight of Eileen Gillis, a systems engineer forced to take a second job as a sales clerk in order to make mortgage payments on her house. (Spoiler alert: Gillis, like many Americans, can't prevent foreclosure.)
The video caused a firestorm, spreading so rapidly by so many viewers on-line that it caught the attention of The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major news outlets. The video even prompted Alex Conant, spokesman for the Republican National Committee, to reply: “Considering Barack Obama lives in a multi-million dollar house bought with the help of his buddy, Tony Rezko, who is now a convicted felon, it’s odd that Obama’s supporters would choose to make the candidates’ homes an issue.”
What's so deceptive about Conant's statement is the sly but now standard Republican sleight of hand. Any time progressives mention McCain's ten luxurious homes, Republicans can make such uber affluence vanish, replacing it with Obama's minor Rezko connection. Bravo!
Only this time we're not falling for it. The point of creating McCain's Mansions was to illustrate the Grand Canyon-sized chasm between McCain's elitist world and the economically-crippled one in which the majority of us struggle to live. It's a chasm McCain could probably see from his wife's personal jet that flies him around the country, except that he has the shade drawn.
To be sure, McCain's attention is elsewhere. He's too busy being out of touch, proposing tax hikes on employer-based health care and economic plans that would create the biggest debt our country has had since WWII. He's too busy being out of touch, making not-too-funny jokes about what it means to be "rich," which he defined at Saturday's Saddleback Church forum as having a preposterous $5 million lying around.
By McCain's own logic and $5 million threshold, Obama is far from rich. Meanwhile the McCain household—worth at least 36.5 million—is obscenely wealthy. What's more, McCain's the candidate who talks of not taxing his fellow wealthy elite and blames foreclosure victims for the housing meltdown, not Obama. That's because McCain's so out of touch he doesn't even realize just how out of touch he is with hard-working Americans.
But sadly, the corporate media still refuses to present this side of McCain, which was another reason we created our video. As Frank Rich noted Sunday in the NY Times, "the public doesn't know who on earth John McCain is." According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 40 percent of Americans still don't know enough about McCain to make an educated decision this November. 40 percent!
Hopefully, now that McCain's Mansions is circulating so swiftly, Americans can be informed about the REAL McCain. That is, if they don't get sidetracked by Republican talking points.