Friday, February 1, 2008

Some Straight Talk About John McCain...

I’ve acknowledged that neither John McCain nor Mitt Romney are hardcore, nor even “Reagan-styled” Conservatives, although neither were Rudy and Huckabee. Well, I’ll also acknowledge here that neither John McCain nor Mitt Romney are “Liberal sell-outs” either.

In fact, McCain has always been what he is today, a strong Center-Right Republican.

Yes, McCain-Feingold (campaign finance reform) and McCain-Kennedy (amnesty for illegal immigrants) were very bad Bills, but they weren’t bad Bills merely because of Feingold’s and Kennedy’s participation, but because McCain-Feingold has resulted in violations on freedom of speech (political speech) and McCain-Kennedy was designed to continue to allow the cheap (below minimum wage) labor that has put a persistent, downward pressure on ALL prevailing U.S. wage rates to continue to flow into this country. Supporters of that Bill even refused to allow an Amendment that would’ve barred illegal aliens with a criminal records and suspected terrorists from getting amnesty under that Bill.

Still, such bipartisan cooperation is not at all rare, nor even (in all cases) wrong. Those two Bills are now disasters and McCain pretty much acknowledges that, just as he’s acknowledged that he was wrong in voting against the Bush tax cuts, cuts he says he’d now make permanent.

To his credit, McCain claims to have opposed the Bush tax cuts because there weren’t any spending cuts that accompanied him, BUT he’s come around seeing that those tax cuts actually RAISED revenues across the board and cut the deficit in half within their first three years!

Others have claimed that McCain disparaged Sam Alito as “too Conservative.” If that’s so, then why did McCain’s “gang of fourteen” give Sam Alito the up or down vote that resulted in Alito’s being confirmed 58 to 42, a vote that would NOT have stood up to a Democratic filibuster? McCain claims he never said that about Sam Alito and his actions seem to back that up.

McCain’s certainly no Reaganite, but neither is Romney, nor anyone else in this race, but he’s also not all that bad. I know supporters of Fred Thompson will be hugely disappointed, but Thompson never got on track and his message hardly galvanized the electorate. Isn't it better to take half a loaf rather than none?

I'll admit that I don’t put all that much faith in the polls that show McCain beating both Hillary and Obama head-to-head “if the election were to be held today.”

For one thing, the election isn’t going to be held today, nor even tomorrow. I believe that current Polls give both McCain and Hillary that edge because far more of the vast apolitical middle recognizes their names. By comparison, Obama and Romney are relative unknowns.

A lot can and almost certainly will happen between now and November, 2008, so there’s no way of knowing which side will benefit from those yet unforeseen events.

Frankly, I take great pleasure in the fact that the most Left-of-center candidates on both side (Edwards and Giuliani) are out of the race. I’d take either Romney or McCain over either Democrat at this point. I'm certainly not going to disparage McCain or distort his image, as some have done, because he "hasn't been Conservative enough." Hell, Ronald Reagan was a Democrat until he converted AFTER Goldwater's 1964 Republican Convention speech!

Before that he'd been a "JFK Democrat!" I think it's importat to keep such things in perspective.

As a side note, increasingly, it's looking like the U.S. may have something that it hasn't had in nearly half a century - a President who was not either a VP or a State Governor! The last Senator to be elected President was JFK in 1960. LBJ (JFK's VP) won his own full term in 1964. After Johnson, it's been Nixon (Eisenhauer's VP, twice), Carter (Gov of GA., once), Reagan (Gov of CA., twice), Bush Sr. (Reagan's VP, once), Clinton (Gov of Ark., twice) and G W Bush (Gov of TX.,twice).

In fact, going back to Teddy Roosevelt (former Governor of NY), elected in November 1900, only four Presidents since that 1900 election have been elected who weren't either former Governors or Vice Presidents. They were Warren G. Harding and John F Kennedy (both Senators before being elected President), William H. Taft (who'd been Teddy Roosevelt's Secretary of War from 1904 to 1908) and perhaps strangest of all, Herbert Hoover, who'd served as Secretary of Commerce from 1921 to 1928 and had been considered as a possible DEMOCRATIC Presidential candidate in 1920 by many Party leaders, including future President Franklin D. Roosevelt, before being elected President, as a Republican, in 1928!

So long as Mitt Romney doesn't win the 2008 election, we will have only the fifth President, since 1900 to be elected without having been a Governor or VP! In fact, a McCain, a Clinton or an Obama would be only the third President to ascend from the ranks of the Senate during that period.


Barry said...

Nice, balanced, rational, conservative analysis of John McCain. Damn, do you know how rare that is? ;-)

I pretty much agree with everything. McCain has disappointed us in the past, and he will no doubt disappoint us in the future. I do, however, believe that if McCain becomes president, he will, at the very least, be more or less the same John McCain we see now.

But what would a President Romney look like? God only knows. But does anyone doubt that he's already poised to spring hard to the left in the unlikely event he pulls off the nomination? Does anyone doubt that he won't shed his new-found conservative trappings just as abruptly as he donned them, the first second it's convenient? I don't.

Anyway, I'm also glad Edwards is out and Huckabee has no shot. If it's neither of them, there's a limit as to how bad it could be. ;-)

JMK said...

I'm not sure (how far to the Left either would go), in either case Barry.

McCain may well disappoint on some issues, as I'm sure he'd also come through on some other issues, as well.

And I don't know how far Left Romney would go. I certainly did NOT like his Romney-care (a real bust), but I like his other credentials and his ultra-slick persona. Though for some, he may appear too slickly packaged.

The idea that "the media loves McCain" is a canard. Conservatives should not buy into that, at least in my view.

The MSM "loves McCain" now, but they'll savage him ("tired, old, angry," etc.) once he's up against a beloved Democrat (whomever that eventually is).

I never held out any illusions that anyone in the 2008 was a "real Conservative."

One sad thing that's happened (at least for me) is that Ron Paul has greatly diminished any of the respect I once had for him (from a distance)....the closer I looked, the more of a train-wreck that guy's become.

That almost makes me glad I've moved more to the Right from my initial Libertarian leanings.

Don't get me wrong, the Libertarian ideal is indeed the "shining beacon" of what we COULD BE, but the reality that we don't have a populace educated enough, informed enough and independent/individualistic enough to thrive in a truly Libertarian world, has to temper that ideal a little, if not quite a bit.

Personally, I wouldn't mind a McCain administration, with Rudy replacing Chertoff and Romney as some sort of economics czar (like the position Robert Rubin played with Clinton) and Bill Bratton as AG.

I HAVE heard some people (women particularly) say that if it comes down to McCain-Clinton, they'd vote for Hillary, including my own sainted Mom (and she is a saint for raising me and my brothers) this point, I can't tell if that's merely a gender thing, or if it's something else at play.

Whatever it is, I truly believe the events that will most shape the next election have not occurred yet.

P.S. I too am glad that Edwards, Giuliani and Huckabee are either OUT or fading. Rudy didn't have the temperment, Huckabee (could make a decent VP), but as a frontrunner suffered from a relative lack of name-recognition and from Blue-State anti-religious paranoia. Huckabee wouldn't garner many votes from that vast apolitical center, that's for sure.

Barry said...

You're probably right about Rudy's temperament, I'm sad to say.

And yeah, you're right about Ron Paul too. That's exactly why I never jumped on the Ron Paul bandwagon. As much as I like libertarian ideas, I knew the company Ron Paul kept and the kind of paleo-Right ideology he represents. I'm a bit pissed off at him, because he's likely set the libertarian cause back a decade.

JMK said...

I didn't really know much about Ron Paul's background.

I did like some of Murray Rothbard's and Lew Rockwell's Paleo-Libertarian ideals earlier on, but I think I convinced myself that "they don't really believe that the military and law enforcement arms of government are as suspect as the social service arm," but I guess I was wrong there.

The world is full of predators. That doesn't mean the majority of people are predatory at all, all you need are 3% to 5% to wreak havoc, but we still need a "referee" in government..

The part that they're right about is that just as many predators (predatory people) find their way into government, as into business. In fact, they wreak a lot more havoc from government.

Paul really turned me off, from his Kucinich-like views on the WoT, to his "9-11 Truther" views on the attacks of 9/11/01.

Yeah Ron Paul didn't help himself OR the Libertarian cause.

WomanHonorThyself said...

hiya JMK..I'm almost tempted NOT to vote at all..imagine wanting Guantanamo terrorists to be allowed in our country and gain legal rights!..arggg@McClame!!

JMK said...

Angel, there have been a lot of distortions on all sides.

I believe McCain's position is that the U.S. should try those Gitmo Detainees that they can make cases against in Military Tribunals and cut the others loose....not here in the USA (not even the legendary dimwit John Edwards supports THAT), but out of Gitmo.

Look, I disagree with McCain on closing Gitmo and I disagree with him over waterboarding, BUT, I do acknowledge that those are very controversial and highly debatable issues.

Our Constitution DOES guarantee persons the right to (1) be charged with a crime and know what they are charged with, (2) face their accuser in open court and defend themselves legally and (3) the right to some semblance of a "speedy trial."

My position is that (1) these people were picked up off the battlefields of Afghanistan, (2) are NOT POWs, they are, according to the Geneva Accords, "Illegal Combatants," and as such, are not entitled to any of those things, BUT, the case can be made for the other side and so long as it's made rationally and without rancor, both sides can argue the merits and demerits of each.

I understand the sensibilities that John McCain (who was tortured in a N. Vietnamese prison) has on this issue, but my own view is that "Our guys are going to get tortured or worse no matter what, so you don't look to barter or bargain with an enemy without honor."

Myself, I'd support a "take no prisoners" approach to this entire war effort, but I can understand that there are others who feel passionately that that isn't right.

All I'm saying is, "Let's not get hysterical here. Neither Romney NOR McCain is all that "Conservative." BOTH those guys have a lot of baggage. McCain has a bunch of bad Bills with his name on them and Romney has "Romney-care," which doesn't differ substantially from "Obama-care," or "Hillary-care."


How crazy is that?!

I mean if John McCain is unacceptable for forging and endorsing McCain-Kennedy (the ill-fated "Shamnesty" Bill), then how can G W Bush be any more acceptable, given how hard he fought to get that Bill passed?

I suppose what I'm saying is that I always vote for the most Conservative candidate available and yes, quite often that comes down to the lesser of two poor choices, as it will this time whether it's Romney or McCain.

I do appreciate your stopping by and I always welcome disagreement and debate.

WomanHonorThyself said...

hope alls well with u JMK~!

trampjuicerocks said...

Well I think there is a big disconnect here.

I do not see how illegal immigration can be at the top of so many voters lists, yet we seem to be left with nearly all of the candiates who are going to declare a amnesty in some form.

We even have the architect of the open borders policy, Ted Kennedy popping up 'endorsing' Ombama's campaign after the long slog working with McCain trying to pass the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill!!!

It's very unsettling to see this, and I hope the conservatives do not choose McCain just because he is viewed as a 'electable' republican liberal appealing to democrats.

JMK said...

"I do not see how illegal immigration can be at the top of so many voters lists, yet we seem to be left with nearly all of the candiates who are going to declare a amnesty in some form." (trampjuicerocks)

I don't see it either.

The problem is that so many wealthy people profit from the cheap labor of ILLEGAL immigration.

The Democrats have long sold out to those forces and have used "political correctness" as their guise.

The GOP is split between the tradional American Conservatives and the "Moderates"/Country Club Republicans who support it for the same reasons wealthy Democrats do - "Cheap labor benefits the truly wealthy, while putting a persistent downward pressure on ALL prevailing U.S. wage rates."

As far as McCain goes, now that Romney's dropped out, the GOP nomination is pretty much all his.

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