Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Deranged by McCain

I'm a political independent, so I don't have a dog in this fight until November, but I confess to having a problem understanding the hatred and vitriol currently being directed at John McCain by many talk radio hosts and other self-styled "true" conservatives. Under what criteria does 25 years of voting with conservatives eighty percent of the time make someone a liberal and a socialist? Those of Jason Lewis.

Why? After listening to his on-the-verge-of-incoherent ranting, it seems to be on five things.

  • McCain believes that there is such a thing as man-made global warming.
  • Immigration - supported naturalization for illegals, after legal immigrants have been processed first.
  • McCain-Feingold.
  • McCain opposed the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts.
  • The press likes him.
Here's my opinion on these items (in order):

  • The debate on global warming is at best unsettled. I think the Senator's proposals are premature, but do you really think the Democrats will produce something more sane? In what universe?
  • McCain has conceded his error on immigration - what more do you want?
  • What free speech has been stifled, really? The law has been unsuccessful and misguided, but the Supreme Court did not find it (in the main) unconstitutional, because money is not speech. More on the 1st amendment issue later.
  • On the tax cuts. McCain opposed the cuts on two grounds, that upper income folks gained disproportionately, and that there were no provisions to limit spending. Lewis only talks about the first, calling it "class warfare". He conveniently ignores the spending side of McCain's objections, which show McCain's conservatism on government spending. Does he really think Hillary/Obama will act the same on spending? Again, in what universe?
  • It is true the press is somewhat less hostile to the Senator than to some of his fellow GOPers, but that has much to do with him treating the press as something other than an enemy. Perhaps his opponents should try it. In any case, the Dems in the race get much better press than any Republican, according to Brent Bozell's media watchdogs.
In contrast to Jason's rants, let us take a look at McCain' s actions that conservatives should approve of:

  • Voted against the Medicare prescription drug requirement.
  • Has never in 25 years voted for a tax increase.
  • Has always voted pro-life.
  • Has authored/introduced a bill in the Congress to prevent the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine.
  • Stoutly supported winning the war in Iraq, and the "surge", even when it was politically unpopular.
  • In 25 years in Congress, has never used an earmark. He is one of the best in Congress at resisting unnecessary government spending.
  • Voted in favor of conservative judges, including Roberts and Alito.
  • Promised to work to retain the Bush tax cuts.
  • Acknowledged his errors in the immigration debate, and agrees that immigration enforcement must come first.

By Jason's lights, John McCain is liberal. Jason Lewis is an idiot.