Monday, May 5, 2008

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.

14 Comments:

At May 6, 2008 at 4:07 AM , Blogger Beth said...

You call the Gang of 14 a stupid move by McCain, then why are you so confident he will pick the right jutices to the Supreme Court?

 
At May 6, 2008 at 4:17 AM , Blogger Beth said...

And, without a line item veto, I don't think McCain will have much of an impact on pork, either.

 
At May 6, 2008 at 6:44 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

You literally stole my thunder Beth. But, I'll put it out there anyway.

"there are at least three key issues that must be addressed in the next four years. First, we must win in Iraq;"

Allow me to address them:

First: The case for McCain and Iraq is predicated almost exclusively on the "surge" argument. While the surge was indeed successful in cutting troop casualties, evidence points to it being short lived. Troop casualties have risen yet again. This fact begs the question, will another surge be necessary? There is little question that American Military power is demonstrably superior to that of our foes. However, as I've asserted previously, our struggles in Iraq are one of politics and not necessarily one of military prowess. The surge effort cannot rise and fall in perpetuity given the political struggles within Iraq. At least not without leaving the forces stretched to the point where America's safety is at risk. If we want to make a legitimate argument that lack of defense spending under Clinton was a direct result of our shortcomings with respect to defense and intelligence gathering, we can't very well expect different results if we're spending newly acquired defense dollars into two wars rather than putting that money into R&D for the military's future needs.

"...second, we must succeed in putting another pro-life justice on the Supreme Court;"

Gang of 14 says it all. John McCain has had the chance to get conservative judges confirmed across the board and opted to please the Senate instead; hi-jacking the will of the GOP for his Gang of 14. He's had the chance to show he will appoint judges based on philosophy, not specific issue positions, and has chosen the later. Of course the argument may very come that McCain will preserve the "Life" aspect of whomever he appoints. On that point I ask, is it worth preserving the singularity of the Life issue if the appointed Judge is overwhelmingly liberal on all other accounts?? There are in fact pro-life liberals on both sides of the aisle. There are those that invoke "life" and then seek out policies which limit and stifle the liberty with which such life is directly associated with.

"...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."

On the first, possibly. He will at least try so I'll give him that. On the second...other than rhetoric, there is nothing that suggests that your assessment is true. Even legal and constitutional scholars have analyzed McCain's record on the judiciary and have said as much.

Now on the third...

As I've said before, John McCain touts himself as a hawk on earmarks. I don't think you'll find too many people that will argue that there's a whole lot of illegitimate spending going on in Washington. However, pork projects aren't the bulk of it.

They only account for about $16 Billion out of a $3 Trillion budget (alot of money indeed but comparatively not so much).

What's more, so what if McCain was able to get pork barrel projects down. Let us not forget that he authored up that amnesty bill. According to the Heritage Foundation and many others, had that passed, it would have been the largest welfare increase in 35 years (putting the American Taxpayer on the hook for a $2.6 Trillion tax increase over 30 years)!!!!

That said, it would behoove one to now take a look at the economic impact of his Cap and Trade legislation.

So again I ask, what good is it to be a hawk on earmarks when you've got something else to fill the vacuum (and then some)???

One out of Three ain't bad. And the one isn't even a given. I think it proves the point quite matter of factly why Conservatives ought to feel vindicated in withholding their support for McCain.

 
At May 6, 2008 at 7:02 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Unfortunatley Soapie there is lots of thunder when it comes to McCain.

What about his position on Guantanamo Bay? What about him going soft on things like waterboarding? You want terrorists being tried in our courts? You think if we are nice to the terrorists they will be nice to us in return? McCain does.

As for Iraq and the Democrats, both Hillary and Obama have backpeddled on pulling out of Iraq. They now say they will consult military advisors. Really, they know if they inherit the war, and it goes badly, they will be on the hook. They can cry about Bush starting it, but if they mess it up, they will lose in the end.

 
At May 6, 2008 at 7:05 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Furthermore, as a Catholic, I don't like McCain accepting Hagee's endorsement without him denouncing any of the things Hagee has said about Catholicism.

 
At May 6, 2008 at 7:27 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

The other thing with respect to Pro-Life appointees and the overturning of Roe v. Wade is that, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, that is not to say that abortion will cease to exist.

The overturning of it merely returns the issue to the States. Individuals who make it their signature issue would then still face an uphill battle, it would just be a battle on the state level.

 
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