Thursday, February 7, 2008

Of John McCain, Kos Coulter and the Goldwater Myth

A vociferous element of the Republican Party, epitomized by Ann Coulter, would destroy the Republican Party rather than see McCain become president. It seems more of a tantrum displaying the irrationality I had thought was only associated with the far left. It is, I believe, incredibly foolish.

McCain was not my first choice for the Republican nomination. No matter. He will be the Republican nominee. I will support him wholeheartedly.

To say that I am appalled by the reaction on the conservative side with the reaction to John McCain being the likely nominee would be understatement. As a threshold matter, much of what I am hearing is a distortion of McCain’s record.

On the single most important issue we face, national security, no one questions McCain’s credentials. McCain was correct in his calls for an increase in troop strength far before 2007. He also supported Iraq and the surge when it appeared that it would end his Presidential bid. That is principle, folks. Most politicians do not have it. If McCain is in the White House, we stand a chance to win the war against terror. Most politicians, Republican’s included, would have folded up in Iraq in 2006 in order to win the Presidency.

On the economy, McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts not because he was against tax cuts, but because he wanted concomitant spending cuts. That is called fiscal responsibility. That is also far more Reganesque than anything we ever got from Bush. Bush has spent like a drunken Democrat, along with the rest of the Republicans in Congress. If he had imposed some fiscal discipline, Republicans may well not have lost the Congress in 2006. Moreover, McCain promises to end earmarks.

On trade, McCain is the single strongest advocate of all the candidates for free trade.

On subsidies, McCain went to Iowa and said it was time to end farm and ethanol subsidies. That’s honesty. That is integrity. That is precisely correct.

On immigration, McCain’s proposal was . . . Reganesque. Don’t claim McCain is not a conservative for proposing this plan. It may be inappropriate for a host of reasons, but so is the frothing of the mouth because McCain proposed it and then claiming him a traitor. Christ, get a grip.

McCain Feingold – McCain made a mistake on this one. He has, as I recall, admitted as much. Get over it.

McCain Lieberman – Someone need to get beat McCain over the head with a two by four on this one.

The gang of fourteen – Get over this one. McCain can reach across the aisle. We got most of what conservatives wanted out of it and we did not create a scenario that could later come back to haunt Republicans in a big way.

Supreme Court Judges - The primary manner through which the socialist left has pursued their agenda over the past several decades is through the courts. In just the past two years, liberal justices have competely gutted the Fifth Amendment right limiting the government's ability to take private property. A few years before that, the liberal justices began looking to the modern laws of other countries to decide how to interpret the Constitution. Both are an incredible travesty. With that in mind, do you want more Scalias or more Ginsbergs. In the end, this may be as important as the issue of national security in whether to support McCain.

What I am hearing now – this utter refusal to support McCain, is a temper tantrum worthy of the far left. Indeed, some, such as Ann “Kos” Coulter, threaten to campaign against McCain. Is she taking a page from Kos and Ned Lamont. That was a real victory, wasn't it. Likewise, the plan to sabotage McCain’s run for the Presidency in order to remake the Republican party into some sort of purist Conservative heaven is dangerous fantasy indeed. The belief that we are reliving the Goldwater years is a myth. Nixon followed Goldwater – and took us out of Vietnam in the name of “surrender with honor” or something like that. He imposed price controls. He was as far from a conservative as you can get.

The belief that if we keep out McCain now and let either Hillary or Obama have at it for four years, that we can then run a “true” conservative as a savior, much as what happened with Carter and Regan, misses a very important point. One, there is no Regan on the horizon. Two, we are still paying for Jimmy Carter's presidency, and the price will likely outlive us. Carter allowed Islamic fundamentalism to take hold by allowing Iran to fall to Khomenei. An Obama or Clinton could well undo the gains we have made against this scourge and, indeed, a precipitous withdraw from Iraq could make it far worse. McCain will not make that mistake. But if a Democratic President does, we will greatly compound the problems our nation must face.

The last thing we need is another middle class entitlement program. The history is that such programs are difficult in the extreme to get rid of once in place. How about trying to unseat Hillary after Hillarycare is in place.

I apologize for the rambling on this one. This is all stream of consciousness under a time crunch at the moment. But regardless, the point is that this outpouring of hatred towards McCain is largely unwarranted and problematic in the extreme. The Republican movement is more than just people who want all illegal immigrants boxed up and sent home yesterday. To the extent some of us would establish a litmus test, we may find the pure conservative Republican party at the end of that road to be very small indeed - and wholly irrelevant.

Update: Other bloggers or articles drawing similar conclusions include:

Daniel Henninger in the WSJ


Hugh Hewitt

Dr. Sanity

Victor David Hanson.

Soccer Dad - Campaign Consultant Kang Speaks

The Glittering Eye - The Anti-McCain Republicans

Big Lizards - Why Should We Care Whether Hillary or McCain Wins?


nonditto said...

The conservative wing waited much too long to find their candidate. Much of the belief was that somebody would adopt the far right line and become acceptable to them. The conservatives had problems with everyone running, even to the point of eliminating the field of candidates. Nobody could embody everthing they wanted, and now they are stuck with the man who least embodies their delusional requirements.

Wellnow said...

"Nobody could embody everthing they wanted..."

How about someone who actually enforces our current immigration laws?