Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Why I will support McCain in November

Conservatives have their knickers in a knot over the possibility that John McCain will be the Republican nominee for president in November -- and not without reason.

In a response to this post, Coyote spelled out many of the reasons why McCain leaves us cold:
McCain has said (though he is arguing that he didn't the evidence and historical record seem to counter his claims) that justice Alito is too conservative.

That is a huge deal killer with me.

It's already clear that I don't agree with McCain voting against the Bush tax cuts.

It's already clear that I don't agree with McCain that we should tie our hands behind our backs with regard to aggressive interrogation techniques.

It's already clear that I don't (really really) agree with McCain and his approach (or non-approach) to ANWR and global warming.

It's already clear that I don't agree with him on the first amendment...or the second.

It's already clear that he is diametrically opposed to my position on illegal immigration.

But the one area I might hold my nose and vote for a bad Republican is if I think he will appoint solid judges.

Take that point away and add in there his propensity to "stick it" to conservatives whenever he can (on all the above issues) then I have to believe that he probably would, on purpose, appoint a liberal judge.
I understand completely. But I'm just saying: if it comes down to McCain or Hillary Clinton (or, for that matter, Barack Obama), are you really prepared to pass on McCain and unleash a Democrat in the White House?

Instead of McCain's willingness to support Justice Roberts, his concerns (if true) about Alito, and the possibility of a squish like David Souter or Anthony Kennedy, you'll get more blatant in-your-face judicial legislation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg or John Paul Stevens. Knowing that someone will appoint a Supreme Court justice in the next four years, would you rather have a young Ginsburg on the court for the next 30 years, or a young Kennedy?

Instead of McCain's opposition to tax cuts based on the lack of concurrent spending cuts (or, in some stories, based on their benefit to the rich), you'll get the elimination of all Bush tax cuts, and tax increases on everyone -- especially the business community and the wealthy people who have come out of and/or created that business community (and who already carry the overwhelming majority of the tax burden). That doesn't even go into all the government programs that Democrats would expand/create under a liberal president.

Instead of McCain's opposition to waterboarding (which, I think, good people can disagree about) and a toughness on the war in general, you'll get the release of all prisoners of war from Guantanamo and elsewhere, a general willingness to follow the United Nations' corrupt and ineffective foreign policy prescriptions, not to mention a squishyness on the WOT by thinking we can sweet-talk our way into the hearts and minds of al-Qaeda followers.

Instead of McCain's opposition to ANWR and support for solutions against global warming, you'll get crippling taxes on traditional energy firms, devastating regulations on American business, and a belief that America is solely to blame for any climate issues without considering the myriad global players.

Instead of McCain's squishy record on the first and second amendments, you'll get the return of the Fairness Doctrine in the hopes of destroying conservative media, the implementation of thought police measures similar to those in Canada, and far more extreme gun control measures than McCain's relatively innocuous remedies such as gun locks and gun show background checks.

And, instead of McCain's position on illegal immigration (which, as noted here, is not what the base may like, but is very consistent with 25 years of GOP presidents) and his willingness to secure the border, you'll get not just defacto amnesty, but outright amnesty -- families who are brought here because one family member is already here, legal or not; a clear path to citizenship regardless of legal status; and, the availability of every government program under the sun, regardless of a person's legal status or need.

(Self-admitted caveat: I have difficulty arguing the immigration issue because I think I am closer to McCain's position than, say, Huckabee's. I also note that the Democrats have more immigration specifics on their websites than McCain by a longshot, so it's unclear exactly what a President McCain would do.)

Oh, and this doesn't even cover the protection that would be offered to innocent pre-born children under McCain vs. either of the Democrats.

To conclude, I'm not arguing that conservatives shouldn't be wary of McCain as the nominee or the president -- indeed, we should stay on top of him in the same way that we pushed back on President Bush over issues such as Harriet Miers. But there are so many differences between McCain and a Democrat that I think it's suicidal for conservatives to sit out the election because McCain is flawed.

To paraphrase Don Rumsfeld, you go for the White House with the candidate you have, not with the candidate you might want or wish to have at a later time.



  • At 2/03/2008 4:47 PM, Anonymous NotYourDaddy said…

    Total agreement. As distastelful as McCain is, the thought of turning over the country to the Democrats for the next 4-8 years is downright nauseating.

    There are worse things than McCain, and letting the Clintons back in the White House is one of them. Obama is another. If conservatives withhold their votes because they don't like the Republican candidate (whomever that may be), we'll end up paying higher taxes and bringing the war back home. Can we really afford to let that happen?

    What's the Opposite of a RINO? is my take on why we need to form a united front to defeat the Democrats, even if it means holding our noses when we vote.

  • At 2/04/2008 6:57 AM, Blogger I am Coyote said…

    I understand why some folks would still support McCain. I may disagree but I still understand.

    However I am really not afraid of anyone being in the White House.

    That is the ultimate beauty of the complete understanding that my station in life is not dictated by someone named Clinton, Obama, McCain, Romney etc...

    My station is dictated by someone named "I AM" and that allows me to make any decision about voting for anyone a much more liberating experience.

    Maybe it is me, but I just felt like I had this "I've been used" feeling in my sould when I buckled in and supported Bush for so long.

    THAT has been a worse feeling than living through the four extra years of Bill Clinton after I decided NOT to vote for Bob Dole.

    If posed with that decision again I'll take the later rather than the former.

    But hey... that's just me.

    yip yip

  • At 2/04/2008 8:03 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    Coyote, I (almost) totally understand where you're coming from, and I don't begrudge you at all because I know you're making a principled decision. I hope it's clear from my past writing that this is entirely about politics and has nothing to do with my station in life. I'm secure about Who receives my ultimate allegiance, so I can vote with the knowledge that ultimately the winning candidate doesn't matter.

    That said, I'm making an entirely secular, political argument about why I will support McCain. I can say with confidence that, despite my distaste over some of President Bush's policies, if faced with the same choice of Bush or Kerry today, I'd hold my nose and pick Bush because Kerry would be far worse (politically). Just as Clinton/Obama would be far worse (politically) than McCain.

    Is that a good reason to cast a vote? Perhaps not, but that seems to be politics in America today -- imperfect voters selecting imperfect candidates vying to run an imperfect system until the epitome of Perfection returns.

  • At 2/04/2008 11:22 AM, Blogger I am Coyote said…

    As I said I do understand your position. I do also want to make clear that my opposition to McCain is not a spiritual one but also a "political" one for me.

    I am simply stating that the political difference in this instance is not enough to overwhelm my "spiritual" concerns.

    Mark Levin has said it pretty clearly on NRO today.

    McCain is not only on the wrong side almost every time but he is on the wrong side with a great deal of juice to spend against the conservatives. He rarely if ever uses any of that juice against the Democrats.

    And worse than that, there are time when he is caught on the wrong side (Bush tax cuts and immigration) that he is lying about his previous positions.

    He STILL says his amnesty plan was not amnesty. Yet he tries to say that he now "gets it?" I mean really? If he got it he would, at least like Romney has done, say that he was "wrong" before. He is not saying that. It tells me he is hiding more juice to spend on us if he wins.

    He is trying to say that he opposed the Bush tax cuts because they did not come with spending cuts. That is a complete and utter lie and I just can't believe that folks are letting him get away with it. He opposed them at the time because, in his words, they helped the rich.

    Now maybe he had some points back then or maybe not. But he is lying about it.

    I am not a big fan of Romney but at least he is willing to say he was "wrong" about some of his social positions.

    Now place someone like McCain who has this deep seeded belief in his own righteousness (politically speaking of course) AND give him the power of the exectutive branch?

    Then from where will the loyal opposition come? A severely weakened Republican minority in the House and Senate?

    The political reality is that they will not be able to do anything to stop anything that McCain attempts to implement or to appoint.

    And in the mean time McCain will become the leader of the Republican party. Oh there will be Republicans at the grassroots who will cry out that he does not speak for them, but their voices will not be heard. That is reality.

    McCain will control the party because he will control the flow of money. McCain will control all but a few of the elected House and Senate members because he will be the fundraiser in chief.

    Reagan changed the party for a quarter century. McCain would do the same only in the wrong direction.

    That means I will be in my 60's by the time, if ever, we get conservative control over the party back.

    And there will be other things I will be wanting to do with my life when I get to that age.

    I just can't do it. I have my Washington State caucus meeting coming up this Saturday and I'll make the same plea there.

    It may mean that I will have to resign my status as pricinct committee captain. A rather auspicious start to the McCain era?

    Romney is imperfect. Huckabee is imperfect. Paul is imperfect. McCain would actually, in my etimation be worse than imperfect. He would actually be worse for us than Hillary.

    Unless something happened to convince me that he has actually changed in his character make up I have to believe he is who he has been for the last decade.

    Question is, can a scorpion NOT be a scorpion?

    I don't know how McCain answers that question. He will need to to get me to support him and I honestly don't know what he can do.

  • At 2/04/2008 4:28 PM, Anonymous NotYourDaddy said…

    I'd prefer Romney, but if McCain ends up with the nomination, I still say he's better than the Clintons or Obama.

    Coyote, you said "Now place someone like McCain who has this deep seeded belief in his own righteousness (politically speaking of course) AND give him the power of the exectutive branch?"

    What about Mrs. Clinton's sense of righteousness? I agree that, politically, there's not as much difference between the Clintons and McCain as there ought to be. But you have to take into consideration that it's not just the president you're voting for, but which party is going to be running the administration. Can we afford to pack the Supreme Court and the federal agencies with socialist-leaning Democrats?

    McCain may not cut taxes, but he isn't going to raise them and, even though he voted against the Bush tax cuts initially, he supports extending them. The Clintons and Obama want to revoke them altogether.

    I'm a pragmatist. McCain is far from ideal, but he's better than turning over the federal government to the socialists. Is it really worth paying higher taxes and bringing the war back home just to preserve the purity of our pristine voting records? Not for me, it isn't.

  • At 2/05/2008 5:49 PM, Blogger MAX Redline said…

    Sorry, John McCain is a Democrat.

    I don't care what he claims; I judge him on his record - and his record is one of consistently cozying up to the most leftist of Democrats. In 2001, he publicly entertained the idea of switching from Republican to Democrat, but he lacked the guts to follow through.

    When asked tough questions, he gets all red-faced and belligerent. I don't want his pudgy fingers anywhere near the nukes.

    McCain has consistently demonstrated that he lacks the intellectual and the emotional capacity to deal with the requirements of the job that he seeks.

    He can promise the world - but if in office, he's more likely to blow it up.

  • At 2/06/2008 12:06 AM, Blogger BatmanTempest said…

    McCain's a democrat?? Oh no! I was looking forward to staying in Iraq for another 100 years.

    "Make it a hundred."

  • At 2/06/2008 9:07 AM, Anonymous just a conservative mom out there who cares said…

    Am I prepared to pass on McCain? you bet...I would rather let a Democrat gain control of the White House and get blamed for what happens than another Republican. Either way we lose...with McCain or a Democrat. I think if people are willing to vote for McCain knowing who and what he is then we deserve whatever we get....how can we expect true change if we aren't willing to stand up for it? (Even if it means it hurts??)

  • At 5/03/2008 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't get conservatives who won't support McCain... Do we really want our government to FORCE health insurances on everyone and then pay more taxes? Is everyone ready to be FORCED to pay more taxes? Are the Democrats going to magically remove us from Iraq? How?

    Coyote, I hope you're ready to throw away your right to bear arms. Obama and Clinton have made it obvious their hate for guns. A Democratic President and Democratic Congress will laugh at your face when you insist on your right to bear arms. They've done it before, so don't tell me it can't me happen. You may as well chuck any guns you may own out the window! Go ahead -- throw 'em in the trash.

    And if McCain "lacks the intellectual and the emotional capacity" to deal with the Presidency, does Obama's "extensive" experience (he has very little experiences) give him the ability to deal with it? Do we really want Hillary Clinton FORCED to be everyone's Government Mother?

    And does anyone ACTUALLY believe conservative values will be better carried in the next 4 - 8 years by a Democrat?!

    If it's a choice between Hitler, Stalin, and an imperfect candidate, I'm going to go for the imperfect candidate.


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