Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Maverick; Or How I Learned To Stop Worring and Love McCain

Most conservatives detest John McCain. Some absolutely loathe the man, and refuse to vote for him under any circumstances; others will vote for him only to prevent Barack Obama from winning the presidency. Very few actually like McCain.

I do. When I cast my vote for McCain, I will do so cheerfully and contentedly. I don’t agree with McCain on everything—I don’t agree with anybody on everything—but McCain shares nearly all of my most important values. McCain isn’t the best possible candidate, or even the best possible Republican nominee (from a conservative perspective, that would have to be Fred Thompson), but he is good enough. I will feel quite happy about voting for him—certainly better than I would feel voting for George W. Bush.

There are three issues that are central to conservative thought: an aggressive foreign policy, a limited federal government, and a commitment to social issues.

McCain is probably the most qualified candidate in politics to handle the War on Terror. Had the United States implemented the surge in Iraq when McCain first called for it (while facing considerable criticism from many conservatives), the Iraq war effort would have been made much easier. In fact, had McCain’s advice been followed, it is not impossible to imagine a situation in which the United States could have left Iraq before the 2008 elections. McCain understands the threat posed by radical Islam, and will almost certainly deal with it better than either of his two immediate precursors.

McCain is also strong on most social issues. He opposes gay marriage, believes that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, and thinks that abortion is immoral. His only social lapse is his support for embryonic stem cell research, and that particular kind of research is rapidly becoming obsolete due to scientific advances. McCain is strong on the issue of abortion, although oddly, he rarely mentions the issue.

That leaves the matter of limited government. McCain’s record in this area can (charitably) be described as “mixed.” In his favor, McCain does now support radical tax cuts, and is implacably opposed to earmarks. He does seem committed to slashing government spending.

On the minus side, McCain supports onerous and completely useless cap-and-trade standards, pushing the dreadful McCain-Feingold Act (which limits political speech) through Congress, and seems to favor punishing oil companies for high gas prices. His support for amnesty for illegal aliens displays poor judgment (although it should be noted that there is no good answer to the illegal alien problem, thanks to years of government incompetence).

McCain would be better than Obama on limited government issues, and would probably be better than Bush was as well. But this issue would certainly be his Achilles heel from a conservative perspective.

Even though McCain is, at worst, an average Republican presidential candidate, many conservatives still attack him every chance they get. It’s not hard to see why—McCain doesn’t seem to care what conservatives think of him, and refuses to do anything to attract him. He is ridiculously proud of his “bipartisan” achievements, which frankly aren’t all that impressive, and seems overly willing to compromise with Democrats while throwing Republicans under the bus.

Conservatives have legitimate grievances, but they should not let McCain’s attitude distract from his considerable strengths. It is not easy to find a candidate who supports low taxes, is pro-life, and is strong on the War on Terror. McCain does, and deserves conservative support.


At June 26, 2008 at 6:11 AM , Blogger Beth said...

I couldn't read past your second paragraph Daniel, I think you're losing me here.

At June 26, 2008 at 8:15 AM , Blogger DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

Excellent Blog Daniel, you have shown that you have the courage and strength of your convictions to stand up for what you believe in.
No matter what others say about it.
It is refreshing to see someone tell the truth about how they feel.
Having principles works both ways including the freedom of speech.
The Principle of freedom of speech is really what this Country is all about.
As for john McCain, sure he has his problems we all know that, we never said otherwise.
But he does have positive side as well. He supports the surge and argues that the United States needs to maintain its commitments to Iraq and that, in fact, the light is at the end of the tunnel. We're winning. So lets hope for the best.

At June 26, 2008 at 10:59 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"It is not easy to find a candidate who supports low taxes..."

Let me ask you an honest question. Let us suppose you had a child or two that you were trying to put through college. Now, as any sensible person will attest, putting kids through college is a ridiculously expensive endeavor.

So, let us then suppose the government was going to offer college tuition relief through some legislative measure okay....

Sounds like a good idea for any parent trying to afford their kid's college education right?

Well, what if by reigning in tuition costs, that same government was going to raise your taxes considerably.

Is that sensible fiscal policy? Can a legitimate argument be made that congress is really providing you and your family relief?


Your applying the exact same formula to McCain; touting him as some fiscal hawk because of his opposition to earmarks, etc.

And yet, this argument dismisses the grotesquely excessive amount of tax increases backdoored and then to be shouldered by Americans vis a vis his the initial Cap and Trade nonsense with Lieberman and his dreaded Amnesty Bill.

Certainly the argument could be made that neither piece of legislation really gained any traction.

Even still, such policy positions do not bode well for one's propensity towards building one's credentials as a fiscal conservative.

At June 26, 2008 at 11:29 AM , Anonymous Doug said...

While Barr seems, in some ways, to be among the more libertarian-leaning conservatives, he is not a libertarian on the most important issue of our time –– foreign policy. I have yet to hear an unambiguous commitment to immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Unlike Ron Paul, he also has not promised to remove our troops from the other 150 countries in which they are stationed. Barr’s campaign website uses the rhetoric of non-intervention, but a perusal of the articles available on that same website gives the lie to any idea that he opposes foreign intervention”
“Barr calls for use of foreign aid –– money stolen from Americans –– to achieve better drug enforcement –– forcing Americans to pay in order to be foiled as consumers. He has praised Bush for the surge, which “is working,” supported the use of military tribunals, and argued for reauthorization of the Patriot Act –– an act for which he voted”.
“Much is made about Barr’s libertarian voting record in the US Congress. Yet the man who claims to be for privacy, who runs the Privacy Watch List, voted for what was, at its time, the most egregious violation of privacy on the books. Even if he now says he regrets this vote, what does it say for his judgment, for the positions he will take in the future? Besides, to what extent can he truly regret voting for the Act if as recently as 2005 he was advocating for its reauthorization? The Patriot Act was not a difficult decision, and he made the wrong call on it. As President, he will face more subtle and difficult decisions. He has given us little reason to trust him.”
Not unlike McCain, Barr has been given a free ride, and not unlike McCain, many of the facts about Barr are not being reported by the MSM.
Once again I will state, and I agree with Daniel , the LP needed to put forth a consistent, principled libertarian, one well-versed in the libertarian scholarship, in order to continue the educational task……
The LP failed us with their Presidential nomination of Barr. They confused their priorities with the possibility of short term success; they will fail with the long term return of freedom to our nation.
Bob Barr is not going to be President. He is a tool to help spread Ron Paul’s freedom message. He is a tool to set the stage for future elections for liberty minded candidates of all parties.
Barr is not going to be the next President so him wavering on the periphery of Ron Paul’s platform doesn’t carry much weight with me.
Why does the Libertarian Party like the Constitution Party latch onto every single nut, goofball and wacko that comes along?
So let me say this to Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr and Ron Paul.... don’t let the door hit you on the backside on your way out!


At June 26, 2008 at 11:31 AM , Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

I think President Bush is catching to much hell on this one.

If it werent for President Bush we would have been attacked repeatedly.

I dont agree with President Bush on every single issue and I dont agree with McCain on every single issue but Bush has been right 85% of the time.

At least Bush had the balls to go after the terrorists that no one else had the balls to do prior.

And McCain will certainly follow in Bush's footsteps at least on that issue. And that makes me happy.

I love President Bush as you can tell and I respect that man deeply.

I believe as well that I can learn to love McCain. I had better I guess I am voting for him lol

Danny if you have time today stop by my place and witness the Historic Telethon for the Troops and donate if you can :-)

At June 26, 2008 at 11:46 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

While much of your assessment is correct Doug with respect to the Libertarian Party and their inability to gain significant traction on the National scale, the same argument misses a very critical aspect. And, that is the fact that Ron Paul (while deemed a wacko/nut job, etc.) espoused some of the most sensible domestic and monetary policies of any of the candidates that ran.

But, more importantly and what mustn't be forgotten is the fact that his message was an inspiration to many. And, some of those individuals who were inspired by his message and his campaign are now running for political office themselves under the pursuit of Freedom, Liberty, limited government, et al.

You know...the very things that the Republican party at once stood for but at present have wandered off the reservation from.

Dare I say, it's like Goldwater all over again....

At June 26, 2008 at 11:52 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"If it werent for President Bush we would have been attacked repeatedly."

Truth is, we don't know that for sure. But, you can damn well bet the Republican party is going to engrave that notion into your brain. It is the politics of fear; nothing more, nothing less.

You adopt this belief and you're duped. Once you do, you will sacrifice every last liberty and freedom you ever knew under some fallacy that you are safer as long as you keep toeing the party line.

Let's not forget shall we:

"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."

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