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The Pain That Is McCain

avast ye landlubbers!

As a Republican, it is so easy to be deeply conflicted about John McCain, and Republican reluctance has lately diminshed his poll numbers. He is by far the most presidential of all the candidates on either side of the aisle, and if the presidency were decided on biography alone he should be moving into the White House. He is like a supremely talented fullback who drops the ball too often, however. The McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law was long ago a deal breaker for me, as it is apparently for many other people as well. McCain-Feingold works on so many faulty assumptions - and violates the First Amendment (the Supreme Court was simply supremely wrong in upholding it) - that it puts into question everything about John McCain. It makes one ponder where McCain thinks the problem of corruption lays: with the tempters, or the tempted? In imperious fashion, M-F holds that free speech must be squelched because politicans shouldn't be held to account. Such damage to the Constitution should not go unpunished.

One has to question the judgment of a man who thought it was a good idea, at the very least.

There is also the Gang of 14 problem, and McCain's penchant for throwing his party and President under the bus if he can earn a few coos from a liberal media that only likes him because of his turncoat tendencies.

McCain has positives on the other hand, including something the press preaches to us about McCain that we aren't supposed to like, namely, his penchant for blowing up at people. Why Bill Clinton's morning purple rages were never highlighted this way demonstrates a certain divergent method of handling such issues by the press. It is supposed to be a bad thing, but . . . I like a President who can show a certain amount of elevated anger when required. He is POTUS, people are supposed to jump for him. I liked that Clinton had the capacity to get really angry, I just didn't like the press pretending that he is nothing but sweetness and light. As for McCain . . . you try dangling from a busted shoulder for five years in a POW camp and see if you don't snap at a waiter once in a while.

There are of course a great many other things to really like about McCain. He has tremendous honor and courage, and survived the direst consequences of serving under arms for this nation. Man, that does count for a helluva lot, and almost makes the McCain-Feingold thing a wash. He is incredibly serious about the war, and came out foursquare for The Surge. He is gravitas. He seems genuniely likable, with an equanimity that belies his background. He can certainly work the press.

Repudiating McCain-Feingold would work wonders for him, giving him his own surge in the polls.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 1 March 2007 08:02 PM


McCain's done.

Posted by: Maggie at March 2, 2007 09:59 AM


Posted by: zsa zsa at March 3, 2007 08:15 PM

McCain took a real stand in 2000 against the Christian Conservatives that wanted a social conservative which McCain is only begrudgingly. The Bob Jones University stuff and some of the happenings between Bush and McCain in the primaries were brutal and really tested the ability of the Republican Party to keep all of us under one tent.

Problem is that there are two major wings of the Republican Party. There is the Libertarian Wing (of which I am a proud member) that want personal liberty and freedom above all. Moreover, we view all of the morality debate as secondary to the underlying issues such as Judicial Activism. Roe, Kelo, Gay Marriage, and Medical Marijuana are all about the same thing... namely freedom and the 10th Amendment. On the other hand, the Religious Right has a whole different agenda.

McCain has nothing to offer either group. His antagonistic stance in 2000 as well as his social moderate policies and lack of talking the talk about faith make him unappealing to the Religious Right, and his support of M-F and some of his other decisions alienate the Libertarian folks. He wants to come off as a "Maverick", but instead looks like an "opportunist". Same with the Clintons. Hillary votes and says what the polls tell her too. McCain throwing Rummy under the bus a couple weeks back is an example.

Rudy or Romney are the guys I support over McCain, who happens to be my Senior Senator here in Arizona.

Posted by: Justin B at March 4, 2007 01:51 AM

I love Arizona! BUT I would rather see Jeb Bush!

Posted by: zsa zsa at March 5, 2007 02:56 PM

I essentially agree with Justin B, but would add that the Christian conservatives include many federalists, who would gladly see the social issues be resolved at the state level. We can usually make common ground with libertarians on that.

I don't see McCain as much of an opportunist as a person who is just convinced that he's the conservative who's correct. Thus, the deals and compromises he's willing to make we should just go along with. When you're the president, you get to take a bit of that attitude. When you are majority or minority leader in a branch of Congress you, get some slack there as well. But when you are only fashioning yourself to be a spokesman or Senate leader, then it's presumptuous. I have liked many of his positions. I have not liked his attitude that we should just go along because it's him.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at March 5, 2007 04:59 PM