Friday, February 15, 2008

McCain for number 44

Right, I know two readers of mine who won't approve, but John McCain's got my vote for the Oval Office. I was set to endorse Mitt Romney, my home state's former governor, but then he dropped out. Romney, however, has since endorsed McCain, and so shall I. I also looked favorably upon McCain during the 2000 primaries.
I supported Bush throughout his presidency, and was proud to do so, but I believe his second administration has been a mixed bag. The man dug himself a hole with conservatives and didn't quite know how to work himself out of it. His constant attempts at a Constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage to satisfy his social conservative base smacked of desperation. What he should have done was concentrate on illegal immigration, but, instead, backed that disastrous but thankfully failed immigration bill.
John McCain is no better on the subject of asylum status for illegal immigrants. What does it say to legal immigrants, who jumped through all the hoops, when they too could have just snuck in and been rewarded for it? McCain should know better to have voted for that bill and I take issue with him over it. But, to be fair to him, McCain did vote yes on making English the official language in government, yes on the Mexican border fence, and yes on limited welfare for immigrants.
Conservatives also don't trust his stance on the economy and rightly so. McCain voted against Bush's tax cuts, therefore raising the suspicion that he takes a lax view toward government spending. On this issue, I also take issue with him. But again, to be fair, he advises the use of veto power to reduce government spending, supports a Balanced Budget Amendment, and voted yes on the 1998 GOP budget.
However detestable I find Mike Huckabee—the man's a hypocrite to have made a career out of lecturing people to love thy neighbor and respect life while killing, frying and eating squirrels—he has elected on staying in the race in order to hold McCain's feet to the conservative fire. In this, Huckabee is performing a service to financial and social conservatives and we can only hope that McCain takes notice and acts on it.
There's a feeling amongst conservative Republicans that McCain is a neoconservative: strong on foreign policy, weak on domestic policy. If we social conservatives reward him with our vote, even if we hold our noses while doing so, he needs to return the favor and start listening to this important sector of the Republican electorate, on taxes and on illegal immigration.
But, our war against the Islamofanatics is far from over, and it's refreshing to know that McCain takes a tough stance. He supports the Afghanistan and Iraq efforts and has been very honest regarding said support.
McCain has also supported the repeal of Roe v. Wade, voted to bar HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions, and voted no to sex education programmes that put emphasis on contraception as opposed to abstinence. McCain has also voted yes to a ban on human cloning.
McCain opposes a ban on same-sex marriage, prefering to leave the matter to the states which is what I too have always argued, though he did vote yes on prohibiting gay marriage. He voted yes on an anti-flag burning amendment and voted yes on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. He has said that the First Amendment is not a shield for hate groups. The fact that he earned a big fat zero with the ACLU is all we need to know.
On crime, McCain supports the death penalty and more prisons. Although he supports restricting methadone treatment for heroin addicts, he has said that the drug war is being lost (which it is) and that more emphasis should be put on Reaganite "just say no" intiatives.
Some social conservatives don't like the fact that McCain believes in evolution, but he is no athiest. He has stated that he sees the "hand of God in nature." To deny that there's a Higher Power is absolutely ridiculous, and McCain knows this, but to deny the evolutionary process is equally ridiculous. It is an uncomfortable fact of political life that some in the Republican Party honestly believe that the Earth is only thousands of years old and that the sun orbits us, not vice versa. Reality check, anyone? Believe what you like, but don't expect any President to try to enshrine this nonsense in our Constitution.
Conservatives also bemoan the fact that McCain has criticized Guatanamo Bay. I support the Cuban dentention camp myself—and the upcoming trial of the six 9/11 planners may yet vindicate Guatanamo. But McCain is a victim of torture himself, having been captured by the North Vietnamese. It is hard for us to know, those of us who've not experienced torture ourselves, how strongly a man might feel about torture as a means of acquiring information when he has experienced it himself. So we must give McCain a pass when it comes to his antipathy toward Guatanamo.
McCain is also seen as liberal on the environment, but I am not so sure. As a "green" conservative, I appreciate McCain's support for greenhouse gas reductions and his stance on preserving natural resources for the future. McCain supports an end to commercial whaling and the illegal trade of whale meat, and he scored 40% on the Humane Society Scorecard on animal protection. But McCain has stated that we should focus on environmental results, not regulation and voted yes on confirming Gale Norton, not a popular figure with environmentalists, as Secretary of the Interior. The League of Conservation Voters rates McCain as having a mixed record on the environment. However, I think McCain can be trusted with environmental issues and will look for solutions that don't involve the usual undercurrent of Marxism that so often defines the environmental movement.
If we want the White House to remain in Republican hands, along with an amelioration in the world's attitude toward a Republican government, we could do worse than McCain. McCain will remain tough on America's right to protect itself while at the same time promoting a more positive image of the U.S.
The nightdragon endorses John McCain for the Republican candidacy and the Presidency.


kristen said...

At least we're both sad that Romney is out.

You make some great points and did your homework, and you pointed out some positives for McCain (anyone who gets a 0 from the ACLU is a hero in my book!); but I still have issues with the guy:

--supported amnesty for 20 million illegals

--considers judges like Alito too 'conservative'

--McCain-Feingold, 'nuff said

--wants to shut down Guantanomo and be nice to POWs. I don't care that he was once a POW. To go soft on terror emboldens our enemy.

--opposed ANWR and supports the global warming cult.

--considered running under the Kerry ticket (I mean, which side is he on?)

We could go on. I remember reading somewhere that he didn't support the repeal of Roe v. Wade, and that he supports using govt funds for embryonic cell research.

It's hard to know which of the viable candidates left are more conservative. McCain to me is a Democrat in Republican clothing.

Nightdragon said...

Well, K., as you probably already know, you're more conservative than I am. The fact that McCain has a bit of a liberal streak to him (as I do) is proof that he's an independent thinker, not tied down in chains to a few rigid ideologies: to me, that's a good thing.
A 100% conservative president will be expected to serve the likes of the NRA, whose loyalty to the second amendment I find commendable, but whose ignorance on even the most basic gun controls contemptable), might well shrug his shoulders at the environment and take a profit-before-preservation mindset, and will be at the behest of those Creationist morons. Not attractive in my humble opinion.
A mostly conservative president, with some sympathy toward some liberal issues, is far more approachable. It doesn't mean he's going to sell the farm. I really do like and admire the fact that McCain is a maverick.
Now then, it's also good that we will keep the Presidency in the hands of the GOP. I've heard it said by grumbling, grouchy conservatives that we might as well elect Hillary or Barack, wait them to completely f*** things up and self-destruct, and then a Republican will once again be swept into power and clean things up 2012. However, no-one's stupid enough to believe that just because McCain may be too liberal for some conservatives' tastes, that Republicans are going to suddenly abandon the party and vote Democrat. Just won't happen. Four years of McCain aren't going to cause that huge a sea-change in party loyalty. And, the mess (if any) that McCain leaves behind will be a lot easier to mop up than will the dump that Hillary or Barack will take.
Besides, I have the satisfaction of watching the reaction of anti-Bush dopes, like the one I work with, to a McCain presidency. If McCain does prove more approachable, this guy might well say to me, "Say, this McCain bloke is doing really well. Wot's he, a Democrat?" Then I'll have the pleasure of looking him in the eye and replying, "No. He's a Republican." I'm loyal to the GOP and I would like to think that party image is as important as policy and that the world has a more positive image of us, not that we're completely controlled by shootin', huntin', ball-stratchin' hillbillies which is the image that Republicans now have. A stereotype, perhaps, but not one that's completely unwarranted.
But if you give up your right to vote, K., that's fine. It's a person's right not to vote. I'm not one of these people who shout, "Vote! People die in other countries for the right to vote!" Well, perhaps those poor souls feel they have a choice. You don't feel as if you have any choice at all, so by all means stay home on Election Day if you must. No-one can force you to vote if your heart's not in it.

kristen said...

Oh, I'll vote. I'll more than likely write someone's name in (for the first time ever).

I've actually come across many people who say that if Romney doesn't make it (which is now evident) they will swing to Obama. I do NOT understand this logic one bit....for they are on two totally opposite sides of the fence. To me that's just idiocy.

I definitely agree that McCain will leave a smaller mess than the other two, but he could be in the White House for 8 years, not 4....when we could have the chance to regain control in 2012. I've heard many say that Hillary is the most conservative of the three, and I kinda see their point.

I don't know. It's still too early to completely decide.

And it still bugs that Bush has been given such a bad rap. Although imperfect, he was a heck of a lot better choice than Kerry or Gore. And it bugs me that these anti-americans think we ought to be sitting ducks while Islamofascists attack us. Grrr....