The Case for McCain
Whenever either major party nominates a candidate, there are invariably those who find fault with that candidate and threaten to withhold their support. Usually, these people represent the extreme right or left wing of their party, and are the sort who could never be satisfied. They usually (but not always) represent the party’s extreme lunatic fringe.
The nomination of John McCain is an exception—many mainstream conservative leaders dislike him intensely. His biggest detractors in the Republican Party are not loons like Michael Savage; rather, they are respected conservative voices like Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin. Many of McCain’s most vocal detractors are pillars of conservative ideology; people whose opinions are universally respected across the movement.
They certainly have legitimate reasons to oppose McCain. His lapses have ranged from unconservative (greenhouse gas caps and penalties) to stupid (the Gang of 14) to potentially disastrous (the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill). He favors closing Guantanamo Bay, giving due process rights to terrorist detainees, and opposed the Bush tax cuts, all, stupid, inexcusable mistakes. Conservatives should vote for him anyway.
Why should conservatives vote for him? Three words: President Barack Hussein Obama. (Yes, you read that right. Liberals tell us that it is forbidden to even think about Obama’s middle name, so that word doesn’t count). That thought alone should be enough you send you running to vote for McCain.
Apparently not everyone agrees, though, as many conservatives still are seriously withholding their support because of McCain’s conservative transgressions. There is no excuse for these blunders—quite simply, John McCain is not a full-fledged conservative. Anyone who wants another Reagan will not get their wish.
Conservatives need McCain because there are at least three key issues that must be addressed in the next four years. First, we must win in Iraq; second, we must succeed in putting another pro-life justice on the Supreme Court; and three, we must (at least) start cutting federal spending. McCain will accomplish the first, and will probably complete the second. The third issue is more doubtful, but he will be better than the Democrat nominee.
Since Roe v. Wade was decided, the pro-life strategy has been based on appointing enough constructionist Supreme Court justices to overturn that ruling. Rove vs. Wade was decided by a 7-2 margin, now, the margin is a meager 5-4. Pro-abortion justice John Paul Stevens is almost ninety—it is almost a certainty that he will retire in the next four years.
If a pro-life justice is appointed, there would be an excellent chance that Roe v. Wade could be overturned. If a pro-life justice is not appointed, then the pro-life cause would be set back decades. If McCain is elected, the pro-life cause will have an excellent shot at an inspiring victory; if not, it will be dealt an absolutely devastating blow.
In 1983, President Reagan ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from Lebanon after they were hit by terrorist attacks. Those responsible were emboldened, and struck again and again. In 1993, President Clinton left Somalia after the Black Hawk Down episode—again, those responsible gained confidence and respect, and struck again. If we leave Iraq, it will be a PR coup for Al-Qaeda that would dwarf any previous victories. It would be definite proof that the United States can indeed be defeated, that those who extremists who died did not do so in vain. It would be a devastating, perhaps fatal, blow to the United States fight against radical Islamic terrorism.
John McCain was right on Iraq at every step of the way. In the darkest days of the war, while most conservative politicians skirted the issue, McCain embraced it and dared to make it his signature issue. When most politicians debated the best way to take troops out of Iraq, McCain expressed the need to put more troops in. He advocated the surge long before it become popular, and spoke out against the failed Rumsfeld strategy.
Now, McCain is vindicated, as violence in Iraq is down and Al-Qaeda seems to be on the run. If this trend continues into a McCain presidency, the United States will probably win the war.
On the other hand, if Obama is elected president, America’s chances don’t look so good. I’m not sure exactly what Obama’s plan for Iraq is, and I’m not sure that he is either, but is does involve withdrawing troops, even in the absence of victory. An Obama presidency would be a disaster for American foreign policy.
America currently faces a massive national debt (around 9 trillion), and owes trillions more in entitlements. Eventually, the United States must get its entitlement system under control. Is McCain the man to do it? Probably not. But would his presidency make the job of the president who does do it (if there ever is one) easier? Yes. John McCain is death on wasteful spending. If nothing else, he will ensure that wasteful pork barrel projects are unfunded. It will not solve our fiscal crisis—but it would be a start.
When pondering whether to vote for McCain, project four years into the future. In the McCain future, another pro-life justice sits on the Supreme Court, Iraq becomes an American victory, and the worst of wasteful spending no longer exists. In the Obama future, one (or perhaps even two) pro-abortion justices are appointed, we lose in Iraq, and pork barrel spending goes through the roof. The stakes are too high to demand a perfect candidate. McCain isn’t perfect—but he is good enough.