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January 19, 2006

Anybody But McCain

Ankle Biting Pundits reports that conservatives are warming to John McCain. Well, not this conservative.

Here is a shortlist of my problems with McCain.

1. His media whoreness. I just can't deal with someone who loves getting his mug on tv. If the cameras are on, McCain is talking. I realize this isn't an issue-based opposition, it's just a pet peeve.

2. Campaign Finance Reform. McCain decided that Americans were sitting on the edge of their seats wanting campaign finance reform so, he ran on the issue in 2000. Don't get me wrong, I blame Bush for signing the debacle into law with a 'wink-wink no way will this pass Constitutional muster', but it was McCain who forced this to become a priority. Of course, nothing changed with BCRA (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002), except that free speech became less free and people who wanted to influence elections now need to hire additional lawyers to bend the new rules. When people complain that the public is disengaged from politics, they can look to BCRA for an explanation of why that is. I have a Master's in Political Management, which included a class in Campaign Finance with one of the top Campaign Finance lawyers in the country, and I couldn't tell you all the rules and regulations regarding political speech. That's a problem.

3. I hate mavericks. A maverick is unpredictable. And, while I'm sure that's very exciting in a friend or boyfriend, I'm not looking for a president to be so erratic. I'm not saying that people can't change their minds. I realize Bush began his presidency as something of a isolationist, but then became a different person after 9/11. That's fine. Events should change our ways of thinking. But McCain is just all over the map to start with. Additionally, because of his media whoreness (see item 1), he's turned the word 'maverick' into code for 'will stick finger in the eye of president Bush whenever given the opportunity'.

4. His compromises always seem to hurt Republicans. He was one of the 'Gang of 14', a group of Republicans that gave away the right to filibuster in return for...well, no one is exactly sure but it seems that Democrats have promised to actually look at nominees and maybe even give them a vote. Now, call me crazy, but don't voters expect, at the very minimum, that their elected officials will check out nominees and give them a vote? Shouldn't this be the least we expect from people to whom we pay a six-figure salary?

5. He says he's pro-life but he supports pro-choice causes. Whatever you think of the abortion issue, I'm sure we can all agree that we'd like consistency from a potential president.

I realize that if McCain is the nominee, I'll have little choice but to support him. I know most conservatives and Republicans will do the same, especially if his opposition is one wife of an ex-president. That's why it's important for conservatives to stop McCain in the primaries. If he makes it to the general, he'll have to be our guy. If we can stop him in Iowa and New Hampshire, he won't.

Posted by Karol at January 19, 2006 02:27 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

I'm glad I'm not the only conservative who's not terribly McCain-happy. My concerns overlap 2-5, as well as his economic populism, which make for. . . well. . . bad economics.

As for 1, I really wouldn't mind having a President who decided to present his case to the public occasionally instead of sitting around in cabinet meetings waiting for bloggers to defend him. That being said, McCain sure loves him some camera.

Posted by: Nikhil Bhat at January 19, 2006 03:12 PM

All of what Karol says is true. I'd also add that McCain is one of the favorite candidates of the Trotskyites and the America Last crowd over at the Weekly Standard. While I'd vote for McCain over a number of the other Republican candiates (I would not vote for the anti-life and pro-sodomy candidates be they Rudy, Pataki or Rice), I really would do so very reluctantly.

The problem is there is no "big name" conservative. Tancredo has a lot to say on immigration and nothing to say on anything else. Brownback is another darling of the Trotskycons, is horrid on immigration, great on life but it is hard to see him being one of the last remaining candidates. Romney has been even more inconsistent than McCain on life. Allen is a wannabe good old boy who has risen far on his daddy's name and seems to have little convictions, so much so that he may support big government (sound familiar?). Frist has jumped around too much on some issues and showed in 2005 that he can not run the Senate. Newt has some interesting ideas but he's got so much baggage it aint funny. Hagel is even more a maverick than McCain. It is hard for me to imagine Huckabee as presidential.

The problem is I see this coming down to McCain vs Rudy in which case I have to vote for McCain or McCain vs. Allen. Neither of them are situations that I care for. I'll probably vote for Tancredo or Brownback or Newt and then the lesser of evils be it McCain or Allen.

And then probably whoever the Constitution Party puts up since my vote does not matter that much in Kansas.

Posted by: Von Bek at January 19, 2006 03:24 PM

Isn't Lyndsey talking about running? I think conservatives would like him.

Posted by: Daniel P at January 19, 2006 03:58 PM

I'll give you the McCain-Feingold bill. That thing really chaps my ass.

As far as the Gang of 14 thing goes, you should talk to your bud Taranto about who got the short end of that stick.

Posted by: ken at January 19, 2006 04:37 PM

I concur. If this back-stabber somehow gets the nomination (God forbid) I will stay home on election day.

Posted by: DJ at January 19, 2006 04:41 PM

It would take a really terrible alternative to make me vote for McCain. It just isn't happening.

Posted by: J.Kende at January 19, 2006 04:45 PM

Uh, all politicians are "media whores" by definition. You are in the wrong profession if you don't like politicians to be media whores.

Posted by: Dave at January 19, 2006 05:11 PM

Dave--but even by politician standards, McCain stands out as a media whore. He's basically on at least one of the Sunday shows every week, and he seems to want to get his name in the papers/on TV more than the avg. politician.

That being said, reasons 1 and 2 (above) are enough to turn me off to McCain. I'm also concerned by his "maverick"-ness--as it's not that I have a problem with mavericks per say, but rather, I want to know where a candidate stands on issues. The candidate should have a solid grounding in a position.

Posted by: jaws at January 19, 2006 09:17 PM

Consistency from a potential president?

You obviously have no appreciation for "nuance." I think McCain learned nuance fron John Kerry.

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