Wednesday, January 30, 2008

McCain on the issues

As you know, John McCain was certainly not my first choice for the Republican presidential nominee. However, since it increasingly appears he will win it, we need to answer the question, can we vote for McCain?

Despite the conservative talk show blitz to demonize John McCain (and Mike Huckabee), is he really that liberal? I'll summarize some of his positions from McCain's official campaign website:

Overturn Roe v. Wade. Move toward ending abortion. Appoint Supreme Court justices who will interpret the law as written, not legislate from the bench. Supported Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Alito.

Lower taxes. Repeal the AMT. Require a 3/5 majority vote in Congress to raise taxes. Low taxes on dividends and capital gains. No Internet taxes. R&D tax credit. Reform Congressional budgeting.

Reduce barriers to trade.

Health Care
No universal health care. Put families in charge of their health care dollars. Reform the tax code to eliminate the bias toward employer-sponsored health insurance. Promote open health care markets to encourage competition.

Bolster troops on the ground. Implement new counterinsurgency strategy. Strenghthen the Iraqi armed forces and police. Keep senior officers in place. Call for international pressure on Syria and Iran.

National Security
We need a strong military. Confront violent Islamic extremism and other terrorists. Increase the size of the American military. Modernize the armed services. Smarter defense spending. Effective missile defense.

Co-sponsored the Kennedy-McCain immigration bill built upon President Bush's proposal for a guest worker program. A lot of people called this amnesty. I suspect this is where you may take issue with McCain (as well as Bush).

Second Amendment
Protect the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. Gun control is a proven failure in fighting crime.

Again, John McCain isn't my first choice, but if he wins the nomination, is he really so liberal we can't even vote for him?

I guess Rush and the rest of the conservative talking heads must think so. Is this just more idle chatter and whining, or are they really willing to lie down and let Clinton/Obama win?

If not, Republicans probably need to start rallying behind McCain pretty soon.


Mark said...

You'd better believe I will be voting for McCain instead of Hillary or Obama!

His written platform is mostly palatable to me and I would say many conservatives. It is his actions (especially legislation and votes in the Senate) that disturb me:

*McCain-Feingold limits free speech
*McCain-Kennedy proposes amnesty
*Voted against Bush tax cuts

Also, it is not so much that he is a liberal per se, he just attacts them unto himself! The fact that the liberal media seems to love him for being a "maverick" sends me a signal to watch out.

Travis said...

My top choice is Huckabee. It doesn't look good for him. Fred was my second choice; obviously, he is no longer an option. (BTW, this week's Newsweek had a great quote from Fred staffer Mark Corallo, "Fred was a lackluster candidate who would have made a great president." My third choice is McCain, and four months ago I thought he was washed up. I would/will definitely support him over Romney, but I'll still vote for any remaining GOP candidate over Clinton and/or Obama.

todd said...

Appropriate comments Stephen

McCain is certainly not so unpalatable that voter concerned about the direction of this country could not or should not vote for him over the democratic candiates. It's about time us all to get with this -- McCain's train is pulling in because Huckabee is washed out and Romney won't win one southern state primary.

Republicians will have to unite in a big way to see this through. The alternative is extremely foreboding -- I've never experience a set of prospering democratic candiates who were as obviously and overly liberal as Clinton and Obama -- and they would be favored to win over any republican if the election where held today!!!

I half hope Clinton wins the nomination because she's not as "slick" as Obama and can be easily faulted on a regular basis.

It's time to get vote your conscience in the primaries but be preparred to get behind McCain in the final stretch.

Philip said...

I'm pretty sure Rush will vote for McCain if he has too, as will I. That doesn't mean we can't criticize him for his liberal positions and subversive behavior.

Also, Stephen, why do you insist on getting the candidates' views from the candidates' own websites? Of course they're going to say they're conservative, good and holy. It's the old joke: How can you tell when a politician is lying? Watch to see if his mouth is moving.

The only basis for objectively evaluating a candidate is his or her past record and public statements.

Philip said...

One more point: the reason Romney will lose each southern state (if he does) is because Huckabee is sucking up his votes (if Huckabee were doing better, we could say it the other way around). So we get something like 25% of the conservatives plus the independents and liberals vote for McCain, 40% of the conservatives vote for Romney and 35% of the conservatives vote for Huckabee.

Even though McCain loses the conservative vote, he still wins the nomination because his liberal supporters can just barely make up the difference. Without Huckabee, Romney would get lots more conservative votes. I think Huckabee must really want McCain to win...

Travis said...

Philip, your statement is absolutely correct - "The only basis for objectively evaluating a candidate is his or her past record and public statements." - which is why I will only support pro-choice Romney if I have no other recourse. Yes, yes, I know that he says he was wrong about that back then, but he has to say that doesn't he? His mouth does move when he makes that comment. Those doggone dirty tricks!

I'm not completely convinced that you're right about Huck stealing Romney votes; especially in the South. Fiscal conservatives don't like Huck or McCain, and people who are fiscal conservatives don't care (much) about the abortion flip-flop, nor do they care that Romney is a cultist. I'm willing to bet that a lot of Huck's southern supporters are not willing to vote for an abortion flip-flop and/or a Mormon.

Philip said...

Romney is certainly not squeaky clean either. Besides his flip-flopping on abortion, I also dislike his comments about bailing out one failing industry after another with subsidies. Why can't people just leave the free market alone?

I am not concerned by his "cultism." Yes, Mormons are incredibly wrong about many biblical issues, but then so are many other "legitimate" religions.

Also, you might be right about Huckabee supporters going more for McCain than Romney if/when he drops. I hope we get to find out.

Stephen said...

Speaking of "legitimate religions", how about a Muslim president? After all, moderate Islam is pretty "legitimate".

The criticism is not that Mormonism isn't a "legitimate" religion, it's that Mormonism is not a Christian religion. We're a Christian nation, and we've had Christian presidents since George Washington. Are we ready to just give that up?

Thankfully, Huckabee is sucking up all of Romney's votes, so it's sort of a moot point. :-)

Philip said...

So exactly which non-Baptist religions are you willing to accept? And does it really count as a "Christian" president if he has less-than-Christian morality? I'm thinking Bill Clinton here, but there are others...

Stephen said...

I certainly wouldn't say that all our past presidents were true Christians.

My point is that America was founded on and has fundamentally adhered to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Any competing ideology, whether Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or atheism, represents a distinct threat to our nation's future.

To be fair, we should much sooner have a Muslim president than we have a Mormon president. Islam is the third Abrahamic religion--Mormonism is the fourth. Muhammad predates Joseph Smith by some 1,200 years.

Philip said...

I can certainly understand your position ...what with all those Mormon suicide bombers and how they what to rule the whole world in the name of Joseph Smith ...and how they keep calling us the Great Satan and recruiting more terrorists right inside our own country under the guise of religious freedom ...and how they want to obtain nuclear weapons to wipe Israel off the map and us after that.

Clearly Mormons are the true threat facing the world in our time. I'd much rather have one of those peace-loving, law-abiding Muslims as president!

Philip said...

Another point: What about a Jewish president? What about a Catholic president? It seems like these religions should also trigger your "not-Christian-enough" response.

Stephen said...

I'm referring more to the Judeo-Christian worldview and philosophy than true vital Christian religion. The whole idea of America is based on Biblical principles, and departing from this will only be to our detriment.

My response is not that Mormons aren't Christian enough, it's that they aren't Christian at all.

Anonymous said...

Do you guys have any thoughts on Ann Colter saying that she would campaign for Hillary if McCain becomes the nominee, because (in her words) "she's more conservative than he is."?

(And as a disclaimer, I know virtually nothing about Colter.)