Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Real McCain

Well, the Republican Party completed its suicide last night, finally pushing John McCain forward for the nomination. Mark my words: it will be the biggest landslide loss since Dukakis.

It will be sad to watch people in the coming days throw away their integrity and credibility by pretending that McCain is a good, conservative candidate. I won't be playing that game, and while I might ultimately hold my nose and vote for him, I'll never like him. Cries of "but at least he's not Hillary" are still ringing in my ears. Really? He's not? Whoop de doo.

Since there will be a lot of nonsense coming from the Republican Party establishment in the coming months about what a great Reagan conservative McCain is, I offer the following list for your future reference. You can print it up and carry it around in your wallet to counter all the lies Republican cheerleaders will be selling come summer. Despite the coming propaganda onslaught, when I look at McCain, I still see:
  • The unconstitutional McCain-Feingold law, which prohibits free speech in times closest to an election when it’s most important
  • That he flirted with switching parties in ‘01 (and in fact, his ’00 campaign political director did switch parties in ’02)
  • That he was one of the “Gang of 14” in the Senate that shut down the Republican effort to end filibustering on judicial nominees (the so-called “nuclear option”) and instead reached a compromise with Dems that led to a number of Bush’s qualified judicial nominees being forever cast aside
  • That he voted against allowing a full Senate vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment
  • That he has said that, while against abortion, he does not support the repeal of Roe v. Wade
  • That he has been called by the gay magazine The Advocate “notoriously pro-gay”
  • That he was endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans in ‘00
  • That he chaired the silly global warming Senate hearings in ’04 and supports global warming legislation
  • That he supported amnesty for illegals
  • That he was reported by more than one source to have said that he might not nominate the likes of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court because Alito “wore his conservatism on his sleeve.”
  • That he was one of only two Republican senators (the other was Lincoln Chaffee) to vote against President Bush’s tax cut in ‘01
  • That he was only one of three Republican senators to again vote against tax cuts in ’03.
Even on his supposedly biggest asset with social conservatives--his "pro-life" record--he's been highly overrated. In addition to the aforementioned support for fetal tissue and embryonic stem cell research and his opposition to overturning Roe v. Wade, he's given off signs that his ostensible opposition to abortion is less than ironclad. This very telling comment comes from a 2004 article in the liberal online Slate magazine, in an article written to assure liberals that John McCain is really one of them:
Democrats alarmed by crossover affection for McCain usually begin by complaining about his down-the-line anti-abortion voting record. But McCain's smoke signals spell out something different—an unsuccessful attempt to back away from a mandatory position he no longer believes in, if he ever really did. In August 1999, McCain said, "I'd love to see a point where Roe v. Wade is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations." This wasn't a fluke comment—McCain said the same thing more than once. But his trial balloon was quickly shot down by the theo-cons, prompting him to abandon the experiment. The same thing happened again following McCain's suggestion that the nutty Republican platform plank on the topic be rewritten, and again after he made the comment that if his daughter—who was 15 at the time—became pregnant, it would be up to her to decide whether to have an abortion. Despite his professions of fidelity, the pro-life lobby knows better than to trust him. Pro-choicers should similarly recognize that McCain is a hostage, not a hostage-taker, on this issue.
He's an utter disaster, and he's going to lose 40 states. Someday Republicans will again wake up and realize that conservatism wins. In the meantime, they should be preparing to get beaten this year like a trailer wife on COPS.

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