John McCain: The List of Infamy
Bill Quick

Why I Won’t Be Voting For John McCain

Every time I post something about the problem for liberty-minded conservatives with the direction the Republican Party has been taking since the first George Bush administration, I get a lot of pushback that can generally be divided into two types. The first comes from what I call “Shit Sandwich Republicans,” because that is exactly what they are more than willing to eat, as long as the filling bears the label “Made by the GOP.” These are the types who often lapse into hysterics if somebody refuses to swallow their “lesser of two evils” logic, and who would cheerfully vote for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John McCain if any of them achieved the status of official Republican nominee. They can safely be disregarded as being beyond hope, help, or argument. Their political reactions are as reflexive as those of a flatworm, although not quite as intelligent or reasoned.

The second type is that for which this post is written: Here is an example from a commenter named Scott Martin:

I’m still confused about the intensity of the hatred towards McCain. I know he has bucked the conservative movement on a few occasions but the level of animosity is amazing.

I don’t ipso facto ascribe this sort of response to wilful stupidity or robotic submission to a political party, but I do ascribe it to ignorance. And the cure for ignorance is facts. If you can read the following and still vote for John McCain, fine. But don’t consider that you are doing yourself, your country, or your party any favors.

1. The McCain-Snowe-Dorgan S. 2328, Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2004.:

This is a scheme cooked up by McCain and two other liberals to permit US drugs exported to Canada to be reimported to the US at the controlled prices Canadians pay for those drugs. The libertarian Cato institute, nominally a fan of free-er trade, hates this idea:

Indeed, the sponsors of this bill have issued statements that indicate that they really do want to force prices toward equality—but equality at levels set by socialized medical systems abroad. Sen. Dorgan writes, for example, “The Pharmaceutical Market Access Act would create a competitive marketplace so that Americans can purchase FDA-approved drugs at the much lower prices available in other countries.”69 Sen. Edward Kennedy, a bill sponsor, echoes that view: “Bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Dorgan, Snowe, McCain, Daschle, myself, and others will, at long last, give American patients a fair deal. . . . It will enable U.S. consumers to buy FDAapproved drugs at the same fair prices as they are sold abroad.”70Taking a swipe at drug companies in the process, Sen. McCain defends securing that result with the measures just noted: “Putting profits before patients, [drug companies] have limited the supply of pharmaceuticals to Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers who export to the United States. . . . . [O]ur bill seeks to close potential loopholes that would allow companies to game the system and unfairly discriminate against pharmacists or wholesalers.”71 And in a frequentlyasked- questions sheet that Sen. Snowe’s office issued when S. 2328 was introduced, the sponsors’ misunderstanding of market principles is clearly indicated: “[This bill] merely extends the benefits of free trade to buyers of prescription drugs. . . . Drug manufacturers today are subverting the free market by charging higher prices to Americans for drugs than they charge to patients in other countries. . . . ”72 If market practices don’t “force” uniform prices, these senators apparently will. But under current conditions, those will not be market prices. Instead, they will be prices set by foreign diktat.

Think about it: “Drug prices set by a foreign diktat…at levels set by socialized medical systems abroad…”

There are more ways to socialize your medicine than you believed, my friend. And John McCain knows all of them.   This is nothing more than a back-door method to institute price controls on the drug industry.  I can think of no better “prescription” for the destruction of one of the glories of American medicine than that.

2. Mccain-Feingold – The infamous assault on the First Amendment primarily and doggedly pursued by John McCain:  Here is commentary from various angles.

In McCain-Feingold’s Wealth of Hypocrisy, George Will addresses the not-much-mentioned aspects of what some have called McCain’s “Incumbent Protection Act”:

Davis wants the Supreme Court to rule that the Millionaires’ Amendment unconstitutionally burdens the First Amendment right of political advocacy and violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law. The Millionaires’ Amendment does both — and it reveals how the corruption rationale for campaign finance regulation is a charade.

And Reason Magazine takes on McCain’s pet bill from the statist tyranny point of view regarding its unconscionable abridging of the most precious aspects of our First Amendent guarantees of freedom of political speech:

McCain-Feingold’s Lessons in Free Speech – HUMAN EVENTS

For the first time in many years a sliver of optimism has peeked through the dark cloud of free speech suppression and political oppression brought to us courtesy of Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) these past five years.

And do keep in mind that even today McCain has no regrets whatsoever about his unconstitutional assault on our liberties, and, in fact, values “clean government” over the Constitution itself:

Tapscott’s Copy Desk

“He [Michael Graham] also mentioned my abridgement of First Amendment rights, i.e. talking about campaign finance reform….I know that money corrupts….I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I’d rather have the clean government.”

I’m sorry, but this is not the stance of a man who loves our constitutionally-guaranteed liberties. It is, instead, the approach of a man who will even betray his sacred oath to support the Constitution in order to achieve his own politically self-aggrandizing goals. Unfortunately, this is not an anomaly. It is, rather, a thread that runs through Senator McCain’s entire career.

3. Mccain-Kennedy – The Amnesty and Open Borders Act:

First, the Heritage Foundation destroys McCain’s ludicrous protests that his bill wasn’t an amnesty:

Undeniably Amnesty: The Cornerstone of the Senate’s Immigration Proposal

Everyone—from President Bush to his critics to
Ted Kennedy—is dead set against “amnesty,” and
yet the word overshadows all else in the immigration
debate. Despite its proponents’ claims to the
contrary, amnesty is the cornerstone of the Senate’s
immigration bill. Indeed, this legislation, with its
many provisions, guarantees one thing only: that a
population of individuals defined solely on the basis
of their illegal status will receive legal status and a
privileged path to permanent residency and citizenship.

Next, Mark Levin blasts it from the border security aspect:

Mark R. Levin on John McCain on National Review Online

It bothers me to no end that those who write so eloquently about national security ask that we downplay McCain’s record on border security, given that 9/11 hijackers used our still-broken immigration policies and unsecured borders to attack us.

The most salient fact about McCain and his amnesty for illegal aliens efforts is not just the self-aggrandizing aspects of attempting to offer amnesty to illegals, but the familiar contempt for law when it gets in the way of his ambitions.

Just as he would trash the First Amendment for his notion of “clean government,” he would trash immigration and border laws for his notion of “comprehensive immigration reform (amnesty and open borders).

Keep in mind that McCain also voted for the Vicente Fox-approved amendment that would have given veto power to the Mexican government over any efforts on our part to build a physical fence along our border with Mexico.

Mark Levin On The John McCain Candidacy | Sweetness & Light

He also voted for the Specter amendment, which provided that the government of Mexico, among others, would have to be consulted before building physical barriers along the southern border. Six months later, McCain says he was wrong.

He gets it now. Secure the border first. I don’t believe him. And as others have pointed out here and elsewhere, he still supports amnesty despite claiming otherwise. The American people said “hell no!” It wasn’t that long ago that he suggested they were motivated by racial animus rather than good thinking.

4.  The Mccain-Edwards-Kennedy tort lawyers wet dream, otherwise known as “The Patient’s Bill of Rights.”

Reason Magazine – Diagnosis: Confusion

Heavy hitters Sens. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), John Edwards (D-N.C.), and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) joined a smattering of influential congressmen for a confident display of legislative resolve. A few hundred enthusiastic interns and union representatives waived signs and shouted frantically, oblivious to the rising late-morning heat. Republican presidential candidate and Arizona Sen. John McCain was part of the main display. He was there to bask in accolades, having crafted the proposed legislation in “maverick” bipartisan fashion with Ted Kennedy.

The Club for Growth was on to him, too:

The Club For Growth – http://www.clubforgrowth.org

A deeper look at Senator McCain’s record, however, reveals a number of votes and bills that reflect much less favorably on his commitment to free market principles and his claim to being an economic conservative.

Most egregious is Senator McCain’s leadership role in two bills that would have drastically restricted free enterprise. The first was the Patients’ Bill of Rights, which he sponsored with Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and former trial lawyer John Edwards (D-NC).[51] The bill allowed the government to impose a set of onerous mandates on insurance coverage instead of allowing individuals to make their own decisions about healthcare plans in the marketplace.

5.  The Keating Five Corruption Scandal:  Again, Mark Levin sums this one up:

Mark R. Levin on NRO

McCain was one of the so-called “Keating Five” senators. He was investigated by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics in 1991 regarding the acceptance of favors from Lincoln Savings & Loan Association (Lincoln) and its owner, Charles H. Keating, Jr. Simply put, the issue was whether McCain and the other senators used their official positions to attempt to pressure Federal Home Loan Bank Board officials to go easy on the troubled institution. Eventually Lincoln went bust, costing depositors and taxpayers millions.

In its final report (November 20, 1991), here is what the Senate Select Committee on Ethics concluded about McCain’s conduct:

“Mr. Keating, his associates, and his friends contributed $56,000 for Senator McCain’s two House races in 1982 and 1984, and $54,000 for his 1986 Senate race. Mr. Keating also provided his corporate plane and/or arranged for payment for the use of commercial or private aircraft on several occasions for travel by Senator McCain and his family, for which Senator McCain ultimately provided reimbursement when called upon to do so. Mr. Keating also allowed Senator McCain and his family to vacation with Mr. Keating and his family, at a home provided by Mr. Keating in the Bahamas, in each of the calendar years 1983 through 1986.

“…[F]rom 1984 to 1987, Senator McCain took actions on Mr. Keating’s behalf or at his request. The Committee finds that Senator McCain had a basis for each of these actions independent of the contributions and benefits he received from Mr. Keating, his associates and friends.

“Based on the evidence available to it, the Committee has given consideration to Senator McCain’s actions on behalf of Lincoln. The Committee concludes that, given the personal benefits and campaign contributions he had received from Mr. Keating, Senator McCain exercised poor judgment in intervening with the regulators without first inquiring as to the Bank Board’s position in the case in a more routine manner. The Committee concludes that Senator McCain’s actions were not improper nor attended with gross negligence and did not reach the level of requiring institutional action against him. The Committee finds that Senator McCain took no further action after the April 9, 1987 meeting when he learned of a criminal referral.

Levin notes the typical McCain hypocrisy:

McCain was the only Republican implicated in the Keating Five scandal, yet today he lectures his party and his president about “the corrupting influence” of money in politics. He rails against the so-called “wealthy special interests” and their ability to buy access to elected officials, yet this is precisely what the Keating Five scandal was all about. And, of course, under McCain’s current standard, a politician who takes a principled position that may benefit a donor is corrupt, even if no law has been violated.

The John McCain of old should be thankful that his political fate wasn’t determined by John McCain the reformer.

6.  McCain’s attack on swift boat vets: 

Vets group attacks Kerry; McCain defends Democrat

But the 60-second television commercial, being aired in three battleground states in the presidential race, sparked a furious response Thursday from Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, who called the ad “dishonest and dishonorable” and urged the White House to condemn it.

Of course, there was nothing dishonest or dishonorable about the charges brought forth by the Swift Boat Veterans, as this extensively argued and supported post by John Hindraker at the Power Line Blog amply demonstrates:

Power Line: Ineffective, Even For A Liberal

So: what I wrote, in connection with the nomination of Sam Fox, was precisely correct. The only ad that engendered significant factual dispute was the first one, relating to Kerry’s medals. Otherwise, there is little or no disagreement about the facts. As I wrote: “Most of what the Vets said in their ads has never been disputed, let alone discredited.”

Of course, never let it be said that John McCain let the truth get in the way of him defending his liberal-left pals against the honest truth about them from concerned conservatives.

7. John McCain’s class warfare against “the rich” and the Bush tax cuts:

First, the Club for Growth:

The Club For Growth – http://www.clubforgrowth.org

Second, Senator McCain’s stated reason for opposing the Bush tax cuts rhetorically allied him with the most radical anti-growth elements of national politics. Senator McCain argued, “I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.”[7] Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) sounded a similar theme, saying, “Now, they are proposing more of the same, more tax breaks benefiting only the wealthiest among us,”[8] as did Democratic Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35): “I voted against the Republican tax cut plan, which is an irresponsible tax cut that will further undermine the nation’s struggling economy at the expense of middle-class American families.”[9] Senator McCain’s eager embrace of grossly inaccurate class-warfare demagoguery demonstrated, at best, a painful ignorance of pro-growth economic principles.

And at worst, McCain’s usual concern for his own political future at the expense of any principle even remotely conservative. Human Events agrees:

John McCain’s Top 10 Class-Warfare Arguments Against Tax Cuts – HUMAN EVENTS

John McCain’s Top 10 Class-Warfare Arguments Against Tax Cuts

But that isn’t all: McCain has waved the flag of class warfare elsewhere, too: Check out his opposition to the abolition of the Death Tax:

Straight Talk Detour: “Mr. McCain Would Not Make Mr. Bush’s Estate Tax Repeal Permanent”

“I am concerned that repeal of the estate tax would provide massive benefits solely to the wealthiest- and highest-income taxpayers in the country.” – Sen. John McCain (Sen. John McCain, “Statement Of Senator John McCain On H.R. 8, The Death Tax Elimination Act,” Press Release, 6/11/02)

He waffles back and forth on this, but always returns to his class warfare roots:

Sen. McCain: “I Think The Estate Tax Level Ought To Be At About $10 Million, And Then At Approximately 15% In Taxes At That Point.” SEN. MCCAIN: “I think the estate tax level ought to be at about $10 million, and then at approximately 15% in taxes at that point. In other words, so we take care of 99% of the family farms, businesses in America. … not complete elimination of the estate tax, but certainly at a level that would take care of 99½ % of all American families, farms, and businesses in America.” (Iowans For McCain YouTube Website, www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfI_KJACAvg, Posted 12/17/07)

He’s in great company, though. His pal Ted Kennedy, with whom he has hatched so many liberal legislative landmarks, is in full agreement:

John McCain: “CLASS-WARFARE DEMAGOGUERY USED BY DEMOCRATS” « Killbuck Creek Politics

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA): Death Tax Cut Goes To “Only The Wealthiest.” SEN. KENNEDY: “Now, they are proposing more of the same, more tax breaks benefiting only the wealthiest among us.” (Sen. Ted Kennedy, “Statement By Senator Edward M. Kennedy On Defeat Of Estate Tax Repeal,” Press Release, 6/8/06)

Liberal vultures of a feather, I guess.

8. McCain’s “Gang of 14″ betrayal of his party in favor of Democrat filibusters against GOP judicial nominations: Mark Levin and Andy McCarthy have the goods.

Andrew C. McCarthy & Mark R. Levin on John McCain & Judges on National Review Online

McCain and the Gang of 14
There’s no defending it.

By Andrew C. McCarthy & Mark R. Levin

In their attempt, in a Weekly Standard article, to defend Senator John McCain’s elevation of senatorial privilege over efforts by the Bush administration and the Right to get conservative judges confirmed, Adam White and Kevin White miss important points, simultaneously providing an incomplete version of history.

McCain never met a Republican back – especially a conservative Republican back – he wouldn’t knife in service to his own overweening political ambition.

And as for those poor saps who think they must vote for McCain in order to get conservatives nominated to the Supreme Court, there is this:

John Fund nails it:

Winging It – WSJ.com

More recently, Mr. McCain has told conservatives he would be happy to appoint the likes of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But he indicated he might draw the line on a Samuel Alito, because “he wore his conservatism on his sleeve.”

Therein lies the problem that many conservatives have with John McCain. It is the nagging feeling that after all of his years of chummily bonding with liberal reporters and garnering favorable media coverage from them that the Arizona senator is embarrassed to be seen as too much of a conservative.

Of course, McCain denies it, but as is often the case, his memory seems a bit, um, faulty:

Is McCain a Conservative?

I found what McCain could not remember: a private, informal chat with conservative Republican lawyers shortly after he announced his candidacy in April 2007. I talked to two lawyers who were present whom I have known for years and who have never misled me. One is neutral in the presidential race, and the other recently endorsed Mitt Romney. Both said they were not Fund’s source, and neither knew I was talking to the other. They gave me nearly identical accounts, as follows:

“Wouldn’t it be great if you get a chance to name somebody like Roberts and Alito?” one lawyer commented. McCain replied, “Well, certainly Roberts.” Jaws were described as dropping. My sources cannot remember exactly what McCain said next, but their recollection is that he described Alito as too conservative.

And Andy McCarthy exposes the flimsy depth of McCain’s understanding in differentiating between Roberts and Alito:

The Corner on National Review Online

But if Ramesh is right, this is suggestive of unseriousness. You’ve got to be on drugs if you think Chief Justice Roberts is inherently more acceptable to liberal Democrats than Justice Alito. I mean, c’mon: This can’t be divorced from context. Roberts got a relatively easy time of it because, as it worked out, he was replacing Chief Justice Rehnquist. Confirming him made the Dems look reasonable at a time they were blocking Bush nominees to the Circuit Courts without changing the ideological balance on the court. It was a lay-up.

By contrast, Alito was replacing Justice O’Connor and thus shifting the Court to the Right. THAT, and not something about Alito that was purportedly absent in Roberts, is what impelled Democrats to rake him over the coals.

McCain has never let these little problems of accuracy and common sense, let alone depth of understanding, get in the way of what is important to him, which is, basically, whatever he wants to do.

9. McCain, Gitmo, and full constitutional rights for terrorists: It must be conceded that, thanks to his captivity in Vietnam, John McCain has ample personal reasons to abhor anything the he thinks smacks of mistreatment of prisoners of war. And that is perfectly okay, as long as his feelings are kept on a personal level. Unfortunately, when he elevates his personal feelings to the level of national policy in time of war, he goes badly off the rails.

Mark Levin explains:

Mark R. Levin on National Review Online

One of the primary and most compelling criticisms of the Clinton administration’s approach to terrorism was that it treated terrorism as a criminal rather than national-security matter. The enemy declared war on us years earlier, attacking various U.S. targets and killing U.S. citizens, and we indicted them if we could muster enough evidence. Despite 9/11, today many in Congress and the judiciary, with prodding by the media and left-wing (legal) activists, continue to treat the war on terrorism as Clinton did. And one of the most vocal sponsors of this approach is John McCain.

Levin sums up:

It just so happens that in each of these cases—detention, interrogation, and intelligence gathering—McCain has adopted the litigation agenda of some of the most radical antiwar activists, including the ACLU. If Mona Charen decides to update her book Useful Idiots, she might want to add a new chapter.

Indeed. For McCain, the personal is indeed political. Perhaps not so much for the rest of us who worry about the safety of our country, rather than non-existent civil rights for terrorists.

10. Is McCain, the current front-runner for the GOP nomination, even a Republican? Maybe not so much as you thought.

GM’s Corner

“I believe my party has gone astray. I think the Democratic Party is a fine party, and I have no problems with it, in their views and in their philosophy.”

McCain said this in 2004 when speaking at a DEMOCRAT Party shindig at the time he was being TOUTED by the MSM and quite a few Democrats (and maybe McCain himself?) for a possible shot as Kerry’s VP nominee.

He thinks the GOP has gone astray, but the Democrats haven’t. Therefore, we must vote for him, because he’s not a Democrat. Of course, he came with a hair of changing even that:

TheHill.com – Democrats say McCain nearly abandoned GOP

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, according to former Democratic lawmakers who say they were involved in the discussions.

In interviews with The Hill this month, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and ex-Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.) said there were nearly two months of talks with the maverick lawmaker following an approach by John Weaver, McCain’s chief political strategist.

I think the GOP would be far better off today if McCain had followed through and removed himself from the political party he apparently has little use for except as a vehicle for his own vaunting ambitions.

Okay, this has metastasized far out of what I originally started with – although when discussing John McCain’s betrayals of principle, overweening ambition, dishonesty, oath-breaking, and his general role as anathema for liberty-minded conservatives, I’ve only begun to scratch the surface here.

Other have also taken significant whacks at John McCain’s feet of clay.  Read’em and weep for your country, your party, and your future.

Mark R. Levin on John McCain & 2008 on National Review Online

The Real McCain Record

GOP 2008: The McCain record and the McCain agenda [Karl]

If anyone has lingering doubts that Sen. John McCain’s current success rests more on image than issues, one need look no further than his own campaign and supporters.

McCain Derangement Syndrome: A reply to Roger L. Simon [Karl]

Power Line

Meanwhile, Republicans should not take too much comfort from McCain’s performance in polls against Clinton and Obama this far from November. The McCain I saw in the California debate last week didn’t look particularly electable. With the economy emerging as the overwhelmingly central issue in the campaign, with McCain’s nasty streak increasingly on display, and with his reputation for straight-talk diminishing before our eyes, I’m not prepared to base a vote for the Senator on electability.

The decision thus comes down to policy and effectiveness. I give Romney the edge on both counts.

Rick Santorum says that when he was in the Senate, there were three parties — the Democratic party, the Republican party, and the McCain party. This is an exaggeration, but it contains some truth. Think of McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, “McCain-Byrd” (the gang of 14 deal), and now McCain-Lieberman.

Ace of Spades HQ

He’s still saying he’d sign the fucking thing if it comes to his desk! Fucking still!

So the little bastard is telling us he “gets it” that we want border security first, and he promises to give that to us — unless 60 Senators pass a version of McCain-Kennedy without border security first, in which case, fuck border security, he’s signing it into law.

That’s it for now. I could go on, literally at book length, about why a vote for John McCain is a vote for the death of conservatism in the Republican party. Instead, I think I’ll leave the last bleakly ironic note to the inimitible Ace (although the thought has also crossed my mind):
Ace of Spades HQ

Which makes this story sadly ironic in a way. I remain convinced that had Mr. Irrelevant, Jim Jeffords, not jumped, and had his moment of glory for staging the one-man Senate coup, John McCain would have done so. And the GOP would not now be considering nominating him as the standard bearer.

So, if McCain can convince the country to elect him President, he’ll have Jim Jeffords, and his desire to beat McCain to the punch, to thank.

Which doesn’t make me feel any better about the prospect of a McCain nomination.

As you may have by now figured out, me, either.

Oh, and Scott Martin: If, after reading all of this, you still find yourself “confused,” you’re not really confused. You’re willfully hiding your head in the sand.

Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

Comments

John McCain: The List of Infamy — 273 Comments

  1. Pingback: Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » The War for the GOP, Part Two

  2. Pingback: Bill Quick on why not McCain « HoodaThunk?

  3. Since when did John Roberts become a liberal. If America, were to have nine John Roberts as Supreme Court Judges, I think America would be a much better place. Who cares if John McCain is not going to give us another Alito, I will be more than glad to take more Roberts.

  4. You mock “shit sandwich Republicans” for being willing to eat a Hillary shit sandwich if it beared a GOP Label. Do you not see the irony, in that refusing to vote for McCain, you are saying you are willing to eat Hillary as President shit sandwich just for the privilege of saying you did not vote for McCain?

  5. No, Prodigal, I’m saying I will stand on my principles and refuse to vote for a man who represents none of them. What are you so upset about? I’m not voting for Hillary, either.

    By the way, I’m not even a Republican. I’m one of those libertarian conservative guys you Shit Sandwich Republicans like to delude yourselves have “no place else to go.”

    The country will survive Hillary. But I doubt the GOP will survive McCain. Hey – you’ve made your bed. But don’t expect me to roll around in it.

    Okay, back to your hysterical shrieking now.

  6. ProdigalSon

    If McVain is the GOP nominee, we are stuck with the shit sandwich. It makes no difference to me what wrapping the sandwich comes in. I’ll never vote for this jackass, regardless of who is running against him.

  7. Thanks, Peg. You’re quite welcome. Maybe it will change a few minds. If nothing else, it will remove any excuses for those tempted to say, a few years after a supposed McCain victory, “Why, we had no idea he’d do something like that.”

  8. The thing is, Roberts is the right most that McCain seems to be willing to go… if that results in more Roberts-like justices then good. If that results in more Kennedy-like justices (someone “conservative” but not more conservative than Roberts) then not good.

  9. No, Prodigal, I’m saying I will stand on my principles and refuse to vote for a man who represents none of them. What are you so upset about? I’m not voting for Hillary, either.

    Looks to me like prodigal can’t get around the “failing to vote for the GOP candidate is a vote for the Dem candidate” mentality. This is no more valid than “my one vote won’t make any difference, so why bother”

  10. I am not upset. I was just pointing out you, by your own admission, are the one who is actively willing to eat a Hillary as President shit sandwich, when in your post, you make fun of Republicans who would be willing to eat such a sandwich “[just] as long as the filling bears the label “Made by the GOP.” I just find it ironic.

  11. Sam Hall –

    Please go back up and read the article.

    Then come back and make an informed comment. Thanks!

    I’ll be writing in somebody’s name if McCain makes it past Tuesday, too.

    People forget that it’s supposed to be “vote FOR…” not merely vote.

    I vote Tuesday in the Utah Primary.

    Wednesday, I reregister as Independent.

  12. I post this with some trepidation. The following outlines my position on Party Line voting; what I believe is a principled position that goes beyond laziness, ill-informity, or job protection, and why I could rationalize (deliberately chosen verb) a vote for McCain.

    On Party Line Voting, Eugene Volokh summarized my thoughts very well, a few years back:

    Still, I find it hard to feel good about casting a vote that, if duplicated by many others, would actually lead to a result that I dislike. That might ultimately be more an esthetic rather than rational judgment here, but that’s what expressive voting necessarily involves. Thus, so long as I feel that I ought to vote, based on the fiction that my vote does have some practical effect, I prefer to go through with the fiction, and ask what practical effect that I’d like to have. And since my preferred practical effect is having the Republican Party be in power, I almost always vote party line.

    Exceptions A and B in the link above noted, as well. If the Republican candidate turned out to be Huckabee, for example, I’d be as adamant as folks here are about McCain, and actively support the Democrat candidate, regardless of who it turned out to be – even, God Forbid, Hillary. If the choice is between Hillary and McCain, I’d have little trouble voting for McCain. Similarly for a Romney-Clinton matchup. Obama, however, makes that choice more difficult. Can’t precisely say why, except to note that character in a leader matters, and Obama seems to have that quality, far more than others in the race. I think I can safely say that a Romney-Obama race would probably have me voting for Obama, notwithstanding my position above on Party Line voting. I’m so tired of fighting and refighting the culture wars of my generation, the baby boomers, and Obama’s youth and life history, would allow us to get beyond that. And McCain doesn’t strike me as any boomer I know, or knew. McCain, somehow, would allow me the consistency of the party line vote, without the baggage of the other Republicans left in the race. In a McCain-Obama matchup, I think I could still safely go with McCain.

    As far as the soul of the Republican Party, or the Conservative Movement, is concerned, then from my perspective, the continued pandering to the Religious Right; the Theocon Christianist wing; those who want to use temporal power to impose their virtues on others, strikes me as a greater threat to that soul, than anything McCain could do as an individual. The Schiavo affair was quite an eye-opener for me, and the success of Huckabee, and the reinvention of Romney as the greatest-social-conservative-who-ever-lived, lead credence to that belief. The realization that John (buggery, buggery) Derbyshire, of all people, was the only one making any sense over at the Corner on the Sciavo mess and Creationism, gave me pause. I had always thought that the principled Christian conservatives, like Cal Thomas who recognized the inherent dangers of Rendering God unto Caesar, were the true spokesmen of that wing, so it was relatively easy to dismiss the concerns as expressed by the liberal MSM, who caricatured the entire Republican Party with the “Jebusland” label. Nowadays, I’m not so sure. Even Fred disappointed me with an obvious pander to that group on the eve of the South Carolina primary. A McCain nomination would go a long way toward reassuring me of my original understanding.

    Let me say also, that I agree with our host about the affront to the first amendment exemplified by McCain-Feingold, about the disrespect shown to the rule of law exemplified by McCain’s (and Bush’s) immigration position to reward folks who jumped to the head of the line, and its capitulation to incompetence and business interests when it comes to securing our borders. There is, also, little in his demeanor or actions that let me believe that he believes in limited government, and it seems to me, that he takes positions solely to enhance his personal stature (Gang of 14 and Gorbal Worming, e.g.), not for a principled reason. So how can I rationalize a vote for McCain? Here goes:

    1) He has the respect and votes of the veteran and Military community. How refreshing to have a Commander in Chief, who has actually earned the title and role, rather than having it thrust upon him, after the affronts of a Clinton, Gore, or Kerry, and even Bush, in many respects, to that group. The importance of this while engaged in war should be emphasized, not downplayed. I notice it goes unmentioned in your list above.

    2) The GWOT. In this Matt Welch piece, noting the disconnect between Independents and their views on Iraq, and their support of McCain, this quote struck me as a foreign policy description that I (and folks around here, I think) could get behind:

    More than three years before the Bush administration elucidated the radical doctrine of preemptive war, McCain unveiled a plan during his first run at the presidency called “rogue-state rollback,” in which “we politically and materially support indigenous forces within and outside of rogue states” — including Iraq, North Korea and Serbia — “to overthrow regimes that threaten our interests and values.” And if the “odious regimes” crack down on freedom fighters, the U.S. should respond with force.

    Countering threats to our interests and values, makes a helluva lot more sense than the nebulous justification of bringing Democracy to places that show no understanding, yet, of the associated responsibilities needed to secure the blessings of liberty.

    I’ve never felt comfortable with Buchananite isolationism, (so Ron Paul was a no-go from the get-go, no matter how appealing his other positions were). The neocon “Bring Democracy to the World” position has been roundly criticized here at DP, rightly so, IMHO. The best thing about Guiliani (as also noted here at DP), was his willingness to tell Bin Talal where he could stick that 10 million dollar check. Dunno if McCain would do the same thing, but I have few doubts that he has the balls to do so, if the situation warranted.

    3) It’s a Feature, not a Bug – the disconnect with the Rush Limbaughs, the majority of the NRO crowd, and what is called, here, the “Bush-Bot” commentariat like Hewitt. This part of Jonah Goldberg’s comment the other day, hasn’t gotten much play, but I think it’s important:

    I think both the GOP and the conservative movement could benefit from a slightly more adversarial relationship. George W. Bush moved the party leftward and/or damaged the image of the GOP in many respects precisely because he was given the benefit of the doubt by conservatives who saw him as “one of us.” It’s not obvious to me that having a more transactional relationship with a Republican president would be altogether bad for the country, the party or the conservative movement.

    One of the best things about DP, is its fearlessness in confrontation – not only the liberal MSM and its “fake but accurate” narrative, the leftist pomo academy, “The Donks”, in general, but also Bush fecklessness; his commentariat enablers, and last but not least, those who would deny that gay people are as deserving of the same right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness as other Amercians, and who continually use gay people as scapegoats. That DP position alone, BTW, is used more often than others, to earn a RINO epithet by the Limbaughs, National Review, Weekly Standard, or Buchananite wings. Unfortunately, that fearlessness is rare, so, although Jonah’s comment has no merit as regards to DP, it does highlight what could be a healthier scepticism among others.

    4) The potential to pick a running mate who could unify the conservative movement; who could represent its future, without stoking the fears expressed here about inevitable moves leftward. Tough to do, but McCain’s age is an issue that needs to be addressed. He, more than any other candidate, has an incentive to pick an heir apparent that could allay that concern. I have in mind someone like Bobby Jindal (or equivalent up and comer), assuming he is properly and thoroughly vetted (Louisiana politicians of both parties tend to give me pause). Call this a modified Ponnuru Plan, without the insulting oath to only serve one term. Choosing any of the current field (including Fred), would accomplish little, since it would not be seen as nominating an heir apparent, just a political calculation to shore up support in an existing constituency or a swing state, and without the advantage of a generational difference that could counter an Obama offensive on that front.

    So, for what it’s worth, my explanation for an increasingly likely McCain vote. Now excuse me while I go root for the Giants against my Patriots-supporting partner.

  13. Are you telling me that if it comes down to McCain vs Hillary

    I’m telling you I won’t vote for either one. Why is that so hard to wrap your skull around?

    What? Do you think the GOP owns my vote somehow? If you want my vote, nominate somebody I want to vote for. The Dems are going to nominate either Obama or the Clintons, and I don’t want to vote for any of them, so I won’t. Apparently the GOP plans to nominate McCain, and I don’t want to vote for him, so I won’t.

    If you guys nominate Giuliani or Romney, I won’t dance a jig and burble that you’ve nominated my perfect candidate, but you will have nominated somebody I can somewhat reluctantly support, so I would vote for either of them.

    But not McCain or Huckabee. Sorry. Try again in four years, if that’s what you want to do.

    This is, by the way, called a rational, thoughtful decision-making process based on principle, with an eye toward the future wellbeing of both the GOP, the conservative movement, liberty, and the United States. So I wouldn’t particularly expect you to understand it.

  14. I knew it would take time to put this together, but I also knew SOMEBODY prominent in the ‘sphere would do it. Thanks!

    It is interesting that there are people out there that think you have to go for a party victory no matter what the contest, instead of thinking what is best for the long term good. I am mentally gaming the possibilities after a victory by all the major campaigners, inclusive on impact to future Congressional power balances and frankly I’m looking for a reason to not come to the same conclusion you did – and failing miserably to date.

  15. It is certainly your right to vote for or against anyone. But whether you work actively for the democrats by contributing/working for/voting for a democrat, or you work passivley for the democrats by not contributing/working for/voting for the republican, you are helping the democrats.

    Go down every item on you list and ask yourself if the democrat would be better or worse than McCain. I suspect you are going to say the same. Now expand your horizons beyond the pet peeves against McCain.

    Do you like how the US responded and prevented future attacks by AQ after WTC I and USS Cole? Do you really think McCain would be the same or worse than Clinton or Obama?

    How about McCain on spending? McCain has a much better track record on cutting spending than Clinton or Obama.

    Look at how McCain voted on Alito and Roberts (for confirmation) vs Obama and Clinton (against confirmation).

    You can call it “eating a sh*t sandwich”, but there are key issues that McCain is much better on than the democrats. If you can’t tell the difference between them on some issues, there are certainly some very key issues that McCain is head and shoulders above Clinton and Obama.

    Throwing a temper tantrum because you aren’t getting everything you want is immature. Look at the bigger picture.

  16. I read your long list of reasons not to vote for McCain. The only problem is, you left out the single most important issue in the election: the war against Islamofascism. We are in a war whether we want to be or not. Of course you should vote for whoever most appeals to you in the primaries, but when it comes time for the general election, it’s absolutely irresponsible, dangerous and honestly unpatriotic not to vote for the candidate who best understands the dangers we face and how to keep us safe. If you truly believe Hilary Clinton or Obama will do a better job, you are living on a different planet.

  17. No, Prodigal, I’m saying I will stand on my principles and refuse to vote for a man who represents none of them.

    Really? Does that mean that you are Pro Choice? You believe in retreat over victory in Iraq? You believe in more government spending not less? You believe in passively defering to Iran? You believe that the the Bush taxes should not be made permanent? etc.

  18. I’ve always resisted calling the American people stupid because that reflects the contempt for regular people that the left specializes in. Unfortunately, what is the McCain candidacy but the moronic laziness of those who call themselves Republicans? The average American is totally oblivious to the facts about McCain detailed above. Not because they’re that hard to find but because the average fat-assed nitwit American voter is too busy putting on 100 pounds per year and watching gossip about Britney Spears. The American voter is flatly lazy and stupid and we’re all about to pay the price for it.

  19. In plain Anglo-Saxon “Straight Talk” — McCain is a liberal liar.

    The R attached to his name changes nothing! He has been a member of the far left since joining the”Keating 5″ over 20 years ago. For those under 40 the other 4 were all far left Dems starting with my Sen A. Cranston. His “Read my lips!….” lies are just that; lies. He is as honest and trustworthy as Joe Stalin was.

    Like Ann I will vote for whoever runs against him. Starting with Mitt in 2 days.

  20. Bill, you seem a little too emotional on this one. You mischaracterized what Prodigal Son said, and insult everyone who disagrees. Try to think straight here: on which of the points you made is Clinton the better candidate? Even if I agree with every point you make, can’t I conclude McCain would be better on the war and/or abortion and vote for him on that basis without being accused of hiding my head in the sand? Isn’t that logical? Maybe if my only concern was the long-term viability of the Republican Party as a vehicle for conservative thought I could welcome a cleansing defeat, but you’re not a Republican, are you? So spare us the claim that your point of view is in the best, long-term interests of the party. After all, it’s one thing to be a Republican willing to eat a shit-sandwich in the interests of the Republican Party; it’s a lot less logical to be willing to eat a shit sandwich (in the form of a Clinton presidency) for the benefit of a party to which you don ‘t belong.

  21. But don’t consider that you are doing yourself, your country, or your party any favors.

    Sorry, not buying any. In the first place, every Dem candidate is demonstrably worse on every one of those issues. For example, they’d not only stifle dissenting political speech related to campaigns, they’d slap “fairness doctrine” restrictions on generic political (conservative) speech by broadcasters. They’d not only provide amnesty, but unchecked franchise (preferably with multiple absentee ballots) for illegal aliens. In the second, the seminal issue of our time remains the war on terror. McCain is a long way from perfect on it, but again, he’s a lot better than the Dem alternatives.

    I’m reminded of my favorite Orwell quote :

    Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me.’


    If you can plausibly claim McCain is worse (or no better than) Hillary or Obama–especially on the war–then fine. But if not, then it seems to me the claim of loyalty blinders is more applicable to those who demand party purity of their candidate, rather than voting for the best choice available (even if we have to hold our noses to do so).

  22. I would find it hard, if not impossible, to vote for McCain myself and not because of “pet peeves” I can’t get beyond. He is strong against global jihad but on every other important issue he has taken the liberal position or is not committed in any real way (he is pro-life but has told reporters that social issues don’t “interest” him). I would not classify my concern for his lack of respect for the First Amendment or his ridiculous immigration policy to be trivial “peeves”. I voted for Bush twice but I would never vote for him again based on his less than stellar committment to real conservatism and McCain is just a Bush redeux with a nasty temper. No thanks.

  23. Lily the Republican establishment has already conceded in the war via GWB. It has turned into a delaying action centered around the short term stability of 2 countries Iraq and Afghanistan. The next 2 decades may be very ugly because of GWB turning the “global war on terror”, as he in the beginning named it, into a regional battle with no clear victory. I do not consider a position of supporting the “surge” as being anything more than a ploy to gain votes.

  24. ROMNEY is this COUNTRYS BEST HOPE.

    Read this and become educated!

    ROMNEY has been successful in EVERY business venture Do you spend more money that you have at home? Then why should our government do so? Shouldn’t we run the country like a business? He is a leader, and he weeded out corrupt politicians in the Olympics and turned it around under budget!

    The Security model he had to implement in the 2002 Olympics because of 9/11 is being used in the Super bowl today, did you know that?

    He spends his own money therefore he will owe NO ONE in political power or special interest groups. I can go on and on but below is some info on Juan McCain.

    McCain is an absolute abysmal imbosol!! He’s a RHINO republican and tried to shove amnesty down our throat 2 times with “HIS OWN BILL”. HE IS FOR TAXING USA companies only to solve a so called GLOBAL warming problem. Well what about the rest of the WORLD? You people drink the kol-aid of the press and are completely UNINFORMED.

    You want to know something else, STUPIDY BREADS ITSELF. You will believe anything someone tells you if you are uninformed and that is what the liberal media is counting on.

    DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK!

    John McCain should be renamed as JUAN McCain. Have you noticed who his heading up his HISPANIC outreach group for this race. If not, Google “McCain and Dr. Juan Hernandez.
    I WILL NOT, SHALL NOT AND CAN NOT VOTE FOR JUAN McCain, I would rather the Republican Party dissolve, period!

    TOP TEN REASONS JOHN MCCAIN IS NOT A CONSERVATIVE:
    1. John McCain teamed with Ted Kennedy and attempted to give amnesty to every illegal alien in America, and even wished to grant them access retroactively to Social Security benefits accrued under illegally used numbers while here against the current law.

    2. John McCain (along with the regular cohort of lefties) removed your right to speak out against political candidates (including him) through advocacy ads in the 30-60 days before a primary or general election. The infamous McCain-Feingold legislation proves he couldn’t find an originalist judge if the man was sharing a pair of pants with him.

    3. John McCain considered leaving the GOP to become an independent caucusing with the Dems, and only balked when Jeffords beat him to it. Daschle and others swear its true.

    4. John McCain proved himself to be a populist anti-capitalist when he called the pharmaceutical companies “the enemy” during the most recent South Carolina debate. George Will is even wondering why John is a Republican and hasn’t switched yet.

    5. John McCain has swallowed the “Man Made Global Warming” pill whole. He has teamed with Lieberman to offer legislation to create a carbon cap and trade system that the Congressional Budget Office believes will add energy costs to each family of between $560-1800 per year, with the money raked in dispersed out in R&D grants, or government pork barrel goody contracts as I interpret it.

    6. John McCain voted against the “Bush” tax cuts more than once, voted for amendments to keep the death tax alive, and along with our faithful Governor Pawlenty calls huge tobacco tax increases “fees”.

    7. John McCain believes waterboarding for US Servicemen is normal during training for capture situations, but calls it unconscienable torture when applied to important organizational terrorist figures caught plotting to kill Americans. This American serviceman disagrees.

    8. John McCain supported gun control measures with rules that would have effectively shut down gun shows and gun sales between private parties. He teamed with Andrew McKelvey’s Handgun Control spinoff called Americans For Gun Safety. A real champion of the little guy our McCain. Gun Owner’s Of America rating – F

    9. John McCain has stated he would vote for the international anti-sovereignty Treaty of The Seas if it was “tweaked” a little. This compact would give an international body the jurisdiction to dictate naval forces movement, oceanic weapons and technology testing, and set and collect fees and divy up rights and royalties to all energy resources found and recovered at sea in current international waters. One country, one vote. How do you think Iran would vote for our rights to traverse the Straits of Hormuz?

    10. Midwest Jay really can’t stand the guy, and he reminds me too much of a pissed off Huck-a-jerk without the Chuck Norris sidekick. Leading a fighter squadron gives you leadership experience to lead a fighter squadron of 24 guys. Reagan made war bond films. Who cares. American hero or socialist? Probably both.

    Now you are educated on the facts, vote ROMNEY!

  25. Pingback: Ten Reasons Why Not McCain « Wilson Fu

  26. Prodigal and others are simply paraphrasing the old comment about rape–“If you can’t stop it, lie back and enjoy it.”
    Not me, thanks. If someone told me I could have a condo to live in but I had to choose between Jeff Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy as roommates, it would, I think, be a reasonable and rational choice to choose to live under a bridge instead, despite the inconveniences and discomforts that would entail.
    As Bill has patiently tried to point out here for months, if you vote for a Democrat masquerading as a Republican, you are sending the message that the party does not need to put forward conservative candidates any more. Me, I think that’s a very bad message.
    This election is the endgame of decades of “defining conservatism down.” John F Kennedy was more conservative than all of the current Republican candidates, bar Thompson and Hunter.
    I don’t buy the ooga-booga scare tactics about how bad Hillary or whoever will be for taxes, the war, the Supreme Court, whatever. McCain and his ilk are scarcely better and if rewarded for their positions by election will continue to drift leftwards until the end result is indistinguishable. Right now America is like the frog in the pot of water. I’d rather be the person who cranks the heat up and says “Is this what you really want?” than the person who says, “Maybe we’ll get used to it.”
    I’m writing in for Thompson.

  27. Johnny has been allied with the Dems ever since he came into Congress 22 years ago. Not just any Dems but far left, hyper progressive Dems. Starting with the 4 radical left wingers who along with him made up the “Keating 5″ ;22 years ago. And this year with Chappaquidick Ted on the bill to pardon 12 – 15,000,000 criminal aliens.

    John is so far to the left he makes Clinton seem conservative in comparison. He is a Republican as were some of the other lefties in “The Gang of 14″. many GOP leaders have gone to the left or far left. Which may explain why they were crushed in both houses of Congress in 06. or it may not. But john is a left wing extremist; and has been for decades. His lies do not stand up to documented votes an liberal laws with his name on them.

    We paid the price for buying “Read my lips! No taxes!” 16 years ago. We should not buy his lies this time around.

    As my Scotch ancestors said 1500 years ago – and it is still true today – “Actions speak louder than words.”. Johnnys liberal actions will overshout his lies for any who are willing to read the history.

  28. All this whining over McCain is getting ridiculous. Voters have had more than enough time to discover the skelton’s in each candidates closet. McCain isn’t getting lucky, he’s managed to convince enough people to vote for him. Period! Here’s an idea… maybe the party is moving to the center? Things do change:

    History of the Republican Party

    http://www.mcgop.net/History.htm

    The Republican Party was born in the early 1850’s by anti-slavery activists and individuals who believed that government should grant western lands to settlers free of charge. The first informal meeting of the party took place in Ripon, Wisconsin.

  29. Watching John McCain interact with the public, the press and his peers — what makes anybody think wouldn’t micromanage the GWOT? We don’t need to go down that road again.

    In addition to every other point raised by the host, I posit that John McCain is not suitable to be the Commander in Chief.

  30. Whew. I’m glad it’s not just me thinking the GOP has lost the plot with these kinds of candidates. I guess they didn’t learn enough from people like me throwing the levers the other way last time, so now they need a dem president just to put the exclamation mark on the “you suck” statement voters made in the last elections.

    Just the age of some of these guys is enough to give me the willies. McCain?!? That guy’s older than most parrots – even if he didn’t have the horrific record that he does, how in touch can he be with the rest of the country? I’m plain freakin’ tired of the same bunch of pasty-faced old farts being trotted out in front of us like something from an episode of Monty Python. Can we get some young, intelligent, patriotic candidates for once?

    Thanks god I’m moving out of NY in time for this election, because this time when my wife and I both vote against the GOP, it won’t be symbolic, it’ll really make a difference. I respect people who sit these kinds of situations out, but please don’t this time – you’re telling them they just need to work a -little- harder, rather than throwing your vote against them and telling them they need to work a -lot- harder next time around.

    Think about it – I’m 38, and after an entire lifetime of voting gop, this, McCain, is how they repay me! Hello Barack or Hillary, good riddance GOP; call me when you get your act together, or don’t…

  31. The reason why the GOP is sliding into the same socialist trap as the Democrats is because GOP candidates think that Republicans are trapped into voting for them and then move leftwards trying to attract more ‘moderate’ voters. This “well McCain sucks but Dems are worse” theory is just reinforcing it. Maybe the GOP has moved left and the conservative-libertarian strain of the GOP is too unpopular to continue. But that doesn’t mean that the Right should just shrug shoulders and accept that socialism is here to stay and we should just do our best to slow it down as quickly as possible. Half-assed socialism is just as bad as full blown socialism, with whatever gains we get from limited socialism offset by the slow, inperceptable creep of the state over the freedom of the people. When a Clinton proposes that the state controls medical costs, but a McCain proposes that Canadians control medical costs, really what’s the big difference here? Is it better because McCain will allow ‘free market’ medicine to compete with Canadian price fixed drugs? As if people are going to pay more money to buy drugs instead of paying for something with an artificially low price. Next thing you know, we’ll be wondering what happened to our drug industry, the same way we were left wondering why only 2 companies are still making flu vaccines.

  32. Pingback: Stop The ACLU » Blog Archive » McCain's Pro-Life Credentials Questioned

  33. Two other McCain irritations to add to your quiver…

    1. His “Patriotism vs. Profits” chickenhawking of Romney. McCain lost me there, totally. No vote for him in the primaries, no vote for him in the General.

    2. His rush to absove Dick Durbin for comparing US troops to SS camp guards, vs. his rush to f-bomb his own side of the aisle (John Cornyn) for opposing his immigration bill.

    He’s no better than either of the Democratic contenders, so I might as well vote for the best Democrat of the three.

  34. Here’s what McCain’s bull moose role model, Teddy Roosevelt, said about property rights:

    “The New Nationalism rightly maintains that every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.”

    In other words, do what you’re told.

  35. Rusty, I appreciate the idea, but I can’t vote for the Dems either. Consider what I’m going to do. I’m going to the polls, and I will cast my usual futile vote against Nancy Pelosi and whatever latest chunks of statist, high tax nonsense are on the list of initiatives, courtesy of the Dem legislature and Governor Schwarzenkennedy (who, naturally, has endorsed McCain).

    But I’m going to write in Fred Thompson’s name. Oh, I know Thompson will probably endorse McCain, too, and frankly, if so, I’ll think the less of him. I hope he refrains. But even if he doesn’t, I want to let the GOP know that I was a vote they could have had – if they’d given me a candidate I wanted to vote for.

    Don’t mind the screeching from the hysterics who will be attracted to this post like, well, flies to shit sandwiches. They think they own your vote because they aren’t the Democrats. Unfortunately, continuing on down the path they want you to vote for, they will be the Democrats in the not too distant future.

    In fact, John McCain could easily have run as a Democrat this year – and if you read my entire post, you’ll discover that he spent two months considering doing exactly that.

  36. Toren, I can respect (although not necessarily agree with) your point that you don’t buy the “ooga-booga scare tactics” about how bad Hillary will be on the issues because McCain is “scarcely better,” but aren’t you engaging in some scare tactics of your own with your analogies comparing McCain voters to rape victims, Jeffrey Dahmer’s neighbors, and the frog in the pot? Why do it, especially since each of the analogies can just as easily be turned against you? The overheated language –and I know that it’s a temptation for everyone — really reminds me of the Kos crowd. And that’s not a blueprint for success for anyone.

  37. Look, we’re not voting for a pope and we’re not voting for a perfect candidate. There is no such thing as a perfect candidate. There were conservatives who didn’t vote for Ronald Reagan as a matter of “principle” because they didn’t believe he was conservative enough.

    Sit this one out and you hand the election to two whacked-out Donks, sHrillary or Obama. Obama’s voting record in the Senate (however brief it may be since he’s spent more time spewing his empty rhetorical flourishes than he has being a bona fide U.S. Senator) marks him as the most liberal Senator. Hillary isn’t much better coming in 12th.

    I have some very real problems with McCain myself, most of which are documented above, but not voting for McCain (or Romney as some conservatives have also threatened) will be a vote for the Democrat candidate. This is precisely what happened when Perot ran in 1992 and I can’t begin to tell you how many conservatives and independents told me they regretted “standing on principle” thus throwing the election to Bill Clinton who only got 43% of the popular vote the first time around.

    As I’ve been telling my evangelical conservative friends, a vote isn’t like taking communion or swearing an oath of fealty … it’s just a stinking vote. It’s not like you’re signing away your firstborn or sullying your soul for the rest of your life. I’ve yet to cast a vote for a true conservative to my liking … not even for Ronaldus Magnus, but I voted for the better Republican candidate each time.

    McCain probably won’t be any worse than Bush 41 or possibly even Bush 43 when one considers the latter’s misguided attempt to bring a new tone, get along with the Donks who were calling him a liar every step of the way, signing off on McCain/Feingold or handing eduction reform over to that drunken murderer Kennedy. And many of us here voted not once but twice for Bush 43. So all of a sudden we find some kind of political scruples and can’t find the cojones to vote for McCain if it came down to that? This country deserves better than that, a bunch of whiny conservatives wanting to pick up their toys and go home because McCain has done and said some pretty stupid things which offended us. Get over it. If American troops can follow from time-to-time a less than perfect commander into the heat of battle against an implacable foe, then we can damn well find the guts to do what is necessary to keep sHrillary and Obama from getting their grubby little hands on the White House.

    It’s also been argued that McCain will only lead us down the socialist path a little slower than sHrillary or Obama. I’ll take that if it gives us more time to either see a change of heart in McCain (which won’t happen in with the two Dems) or to see another Reagan conservative (or better) rise up in the ranks over the next four or eight years. If McCain picks a conservative like Thompson, Hunter or Brownback for his VP, that’s even better.

    And don’t freakin’ forget, in all likelihood there are two Supreme Court nominess riding on this election. What I want to hear most of all, for the sake of our posterity, is will McCain appoint originalists/strict constructions to SCOTUS. If he’s willing to do that then there are no excuses left for I’m-ideologically-purer-than-thou conservatives not to vote for McCain. All this high-minded talk about “standing on principle” blah, blah, blah ignores the fact there is a bigger principle involved here … keeping sHrillary or Obama out of the White House.

  38. I’m telling you I won’t vote for either one. Why is that so hard to wrap your skull around?

    Because in February of 2004 you were taking about what a terrible president Bush had turned out to be, a

    big-spending, budget-bloating, Kennedy-licking, illegal-immigrant aiding, tariff-raising, gun-control supporting “Republican”

    http://dailypundit.com/?p=19775

    But by October of 2004 you were rationalizing your decision to vote for Bush, and praising a “lesser of two evils” argument for it:

    Her endorsement is a brilliant explication of the twists and trials many of us who subscribe to small-l libertarian views have undergone to reach our final choices. In almost every case Megan speaks for me as well. We may have different takes and different concerns here and there – as we should. We are different people. But we ended up at the same place – reluctantly, even unhappily – endorsing George W. Bush.

    And at bottom, our reasons can be summed up identically – Bush may not be great, or even good in a lot of areas, but John Kerry is a dangerous disaster.

    http://dailypundit.com/?p=22667

    It’s like ordering a shit sandwich, then going back to the same restaurant and ordering another (while grumbling about being reluctant and unhappy about it) then going back to the same restaurant yet again and complaining when their menu says that their shit sandwiches now have more shit than before.

    If you could rationalize voting for the lesser of two evils between Bush and Kerry, after four years of seeing exactly what kind of big-spending, budget-bloating, Kennedy-licking, illegal-immigrant aiding, tariff-raising, gun-control supporting “Republican” Bush turned out to be, I’ll wait and see if you don’t find a way to rationalize voting for the lesser of two evils between McCain and Hillary+Bill, even knowing that McCain is a big-spending, budget-bloating, Kennedy-licking, illegal-immigrant aiding, tariff-raising, gun-control supporting “Republican.” Because McCain might not be great, or even good, in a lot of areas, but Hillary+Bill is a dangerous disaster.

  39. Ironically, I got a call from someone in Washington representing the Republican party, and the “shit sandwich” argument was precisely the argument he used when I told him my vote is valuable and I refuse to waste it on scumbags like McCain.

    If more people actually valued their votes and stood on their principles, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now.

  40. Assfoetid, I regretted my vote for Bush almost immediately after I cast it, I regretted in more the further we got into his second term, and I deeply, deeply regret it today. Which is why I won’t make the same mistake and won’t buy the shit sandwich you’re peddling today.

    You go vote for McCain. I won’t. Sorry.

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  42. Well, Hank (and the rest of you who are going to pull for McCain…), if you want to be an unprincipled whore, that’s your business and right.

    Bill has laid out a very sound bill of particulars concerning why he won’t vote for McCain. I happen to agree wholeheartedly with him.

    I am quite willing to see the GOP go down in flames, with all its attendant consequences, including SCOTUS, if there is the slightest chance that people of principle and conservative thinking will be there to pick up the pieces, and reforge the party. Will this cause damage to the country in the short term? Perhaps, but not to the extent that all you screamers seem to think. I’m more interested in the long game. If the GOP has become so corrupt and corpulent that it is willing to foist a liberal nightmare upon its members in the form of John McCain, then I say screw the GOP. Let them rot beside the Whigs on the ash heap of history.

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  44. McCain will never get my vote. I will be writing in Fred Thompson for President. I am debating switching my party registration to Independent, too. That will depend on who gets the Republican nomination, though.

    In my opinion, for this election, the Congressional and Senate seats up for election this year are the far more important races to watch, for Congress can act as a very effective brake on Presidential tomfoolery (witness the Senate dragging it’s feet on Federal judicial confirmations).

  45. I decided to vote for mccain after reading this post.

    1. I don’t care much about any of those issues.

    2. All that crap is nitpicking.

    3. No body is perfect.

    4. glassbooth.org says mccain is my man

    5. He is old but so was reagan.

    i cast my vote tonight for mccain

  46. The bottom line is simple – if McCain and Hillary are the candidates then it’s a question of which liberal democrat do you want in charge. Frankly, if my country is going to get screwed up I’d rather the democratic party get the blame.

    Between Hillary and McCain I can ony offer that at least Hillary is the more honest liberal – at least she acknowledges that she is one and acts accordingly.

    One thing Hillary can do is give us the same thing her husband did – in 2010 we’ll have a conservative Congress and this time they won’t be the Ted Stevens RINO crowd.

    Plus, the added attraction of Hillary’s husband making an ass out of himself and watching many of her liberal ideas get shot down by democrats should be fun – the sad thing is Hillary probably can’t do for us what Jimmy Carter did – after four years of his sorry ass we got Ronald Reagan – one can only hope.

  47. I have been saying for a year that I would never vote for McCain. Now that it looks as if he might be the nominee… I still don’t see how I could vote for him. Maybe – MAYBE – if he chooses Thompson as VP.

    PS I do have some quibbles about issue #1, the re-importation bill. You’re stuck on 1st level thinking. The ultimate result of the law would be that Canada would either stop receiving many of these drugs or they would have to pay more – much more – than they are now.

    As things currently stand, Canada is getting somewhat of a free ride on the US in terms of drug prices. The drug companies make as much as the market will bear here in the US, but if they can make a few bucks over costs by selling abroad at artifically low prices, they still pretty much have to do it. If this law had passed, though… selling to Canada at those prices would no longer be even marginally profitable because it would cost them US sales.

  48. Post and comments sure do give a lot of info to process, well maybe more hatred/opinion than info, but a whole lot nonetheless.
    If Fred had believed his thinking/philosophy and skills were an asset to the Nation he’d have started organising in early-mid 2006, not late 2007. Wish he had!
    Since the tooth fairy and tinkerbell are on sabbatical at this time:
    I’ll go with The Federalist Society and Ted Olson in McCain will be great on the Judicial.
    I’ll go anti-Derbyshire/Tancredo/Quick on the little brown people from our Southern Border. I think think they’ve been a positive influence on our economy and citizenship assimilation is decades overdue.
    I’ll go with McCain will continue and/or expand the Bush tax cuts. Wait, how can that be a good thing as you all hate Bush 2?
    While Bill’s quoted comments from “Club for Growth” may seem negatory, they have lauded McCain for his positions regarding free trade and school vouchers. NCLB snookered the Kennedy wing, even tho’ unions and States are hindering this freedom (in alliance with middle-class and up parents whose school districts are performing at what they consider an “acceptable level”).
    And to those channeling some super natural being, McCain supports the GWoT and there is no indication, beyond prejudice, that he would engage in a LBJ like micromanagement of same.
    In a perfect world, we get that which we believe perfect. In our imperfect world we should be fighting for the best outcome available.
    BTW, hope all of you are also reading Conservative/Theocrat Orrin Judd on a daily basis?
    http://brothersjuddblog.com//

  49. PS I do have some quibbles about issue #1, the re-importation bill. You’re stuck on 1st level thinking. The ultimate result of the law would be that Canada would either stop receiving many of these drugs or they would have to pay more – much more – than they are now.

    No, Jim, do your research. The bottom line is that the McCain bill would lock in those low prices for Canadians, and forbid US drug companies from trying to game them by raising prices generally to equilibrium, which wouldn’t, as you note, be necessarily a bad outcome. Read the entire cite. It’s long, but worthwhile. That’s not my conclusion, by the way – it’s the conclusion of the Cato wonks. McCain’s plan basically imposes Canadian price controls on the US market.

  50. Bill,
    “I feel your pain” :)

    I’m very sympathetic, but personally haven;t quite decided what I’ll do yet in November should McCain win.

    Alabama votes Tuesday as well, but here in Mobile county we got to vote early, last Wednesday, because of Mardi Gras this week.

    I actually voted for Thompson, who was still on the pre-printed ballot, to try to send a message. I wasn’t a hardcore “Fredhead”, having settled on him in the last month or two, but I did donate (something I ‘ve only ever done once before — to GWB actually, but they pissed me off by wasting so much of my donation with so many repeated elaborate mailings asking for more).

    I do confess to some doubts now about not having voted for Romney, with the continued (presumed?) rise of McCain.

    Having sent my message, I *may* hold my nose and vote for McCain in 8 months, as those months may provide new information in terms of the Dems, or world events.

    But, for once, I actually respect someone saying they’ll abstain.

    In my mind the number one constitutional amendment we need (at least after one repealing the income tax amendment :) ) WRT elections is NOT the presumably obvious one abolishing the electoral college in favor of a popular vote, but rather one that would require a runoff in the absence of an actual majority in a presidential election. That would go a looong way toward making 3rd parties practical, and influential, as voting your principles would not be “wasted” nor objectively and perversely help the party most hostile to your views, as the curren tsystem does.

  51. PPS That’s not to say that McCain’s wasn’t also oblivious to the fortuitious ultimate result of his own bill. In fact, he probably was. He admitted that he didn’t know much about economics, didn’t he?

  52. capsella, very funny.

    I took the fake quiz at glassbooth, and, in order, it said Huckabee, Paul, and McCain.

    I find that hilarious. I agree with Bill on Huckabee and McCain (I’d vote for Hillary and NOTA, respectively).

    Paul’s foreign policy is crazy, as are many of his supporters. I’d maybe vote for him due to pro-freedom stances vs. the Democrats, not to mention the entertainment value…

  53. The amazing thing about all this is that for the first time ever, conservatives are in a position to wield power over McCain.

    If they band together and propel him into the White House with a huge mandate, he’ll be beholden to them and will be forced to make concessions in a way he’s never had to before.

    Instead of figuring this out, plenty of conservatives are giving hope to al Qaeda by announcing their support for Obama and Hillary.

    Either that, or they’re throwing out tough-guy phrases like “shit sandwich Republicans” to show what testosterone-swollen balls and rock-jawed he-man principles they have.

    Welcome to the new intellectual Dark Age, folks, where emotion trumps rationality and conservatives are on the same side as al Qaeda and Iran.

  54. Bill – I did just skim the linked piece from Cato, and the relevant section seems to be on page 14. However, I don’t see how the restrictions listed cause all of the results listed, in particular preventing the drug companies from raising the price of the drugs to companies doing business abroad.

    In any event, the specific bill is long gone, and we are almost completely in agreement anyway.

  55. Tom W, that is the most asinine and emotional appeal you could have possibly made. You have stood logic and reason on its head.

    And if you think McCain would feel beholden to conservatives were he elected, you are delusional. If he felt beholden to anyone it would be independent moderates and “McCain” Democrats.

    It’s a shame that Bill can expend so much effort providing manifest evidence of McCain’s betrayal of conservatism and the best you can come up with is “you support the terrorists!!”

  56. As usual, nice post Bill.

    Apparently, there are many to stupid to read, and many who value power over principle. This isn’t even a close call. I’m in wonder at the number of “conservatives” who will swallow a shit sandwich…

  57. Sadly, Romney resembles another MA governor who didn’t have enough gumption to get angry when asked if the death penalty would be appropriate for the rape/murder of his wife. Dukakis let nary a hair out of place, and blew the election as a hollow man with no feelings whatsoever.

    McCain has holes in his campaign large enough to let a convoy through:

    National Security candidate who doesn’t want our borders guarded?

    A leader with anger management problems?

    Yet, insipid placid Mitt gets all sanctimonious when McCain lies about him. Does the guy have a set or is he a Ken doll with perfect hair & forehead?

    I detest McCain & his RINO hypocrisy, but Mitt Romney makes Mike Dukakis look like a tough politician. And Thompson never got out of spring training. Aren’t there any REAL Republicans left? Are they all Lincoln Chafee phonies? Why can’t Mitt punch back instead of whining?

  58. “If the GOP has become so corrupt and corpulent that it is willing to foist a liberal nightmare upon its members in the form of John McCain, then I say screw the GOP. Let them rot beside the Whigs on the ash heap of history.”

    Yep. The Republican Party doesn’t own me. And there’s no reason for me to keep voting for nitwit scumbags like Bush when the end result is the opposite of what I was looking for. There’s also no reason for me to continue voting at all when the process is turning into pure bullshit where a handful of hillbillies and nuts in small states pick the final candidates before I have a chance to vote. This may be the first election I skip since I started voting in 1980.

  59. It’s a shame that Bill can expend so much effort providing manifest evidence of McCain’s betrayal of conservatism and the best you can come up with is “you support the terrorists!!”

    Thanks, Ant. I didn’t really do the work for Shit Sandwich Republicans like Tom, though. Nothing will change their robotic allegiance to the GOP.

    I do hope that folks who honestly don’t understand why a lot of us won’t vote for McCain have made that decision, though, and in that I think I succeeded. If all the hysterical shrieking from the SSR’s trying to ignore what I posted is any indication.

    I went through all of this hysterical shrieking when I announced I would be sitting out the 2006 election, thanks to RINO GOP perfidy, by the way. It’s par for the course.

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  61. Your logic breaks down when you believe that you read my mind by knowing who I would vote for if they just had the label “GOP.” Not only is that not my state of mind, it has not been at all apparent in the commentary of people who would reluctantly vote McCain. When you can only make your argument by misrepresenting the arguments of those who disagree with you, it is usually a sign that you can’t argue them straight up. As for hysterics, the libertarian/conservatives who see no difference between McCain and Clinton have deserved that label with their rhetoric far more than the people I read, at any rate. Perhaps you know others who are hysterical, but I have yet to read them. If you find McCain unacceptable, fine, don’t vote for him. I think you are wrong, because the war on terror remains the most important issue, but the idea is defensible. What is not defensible is your pretending that a lesser-of-two-evils vote is actually an I’ll-put-up-with-anything vote.

    Stand up like a man and argue the issues on the table, not your fantasy of what you think is going on in other people’s head. Reagan was conservative on two issues – defense and tax cuts – and otherwise governed in fairly centrist fashion. If you want purity, you’ll have to go back to Coolidge.

  62. I didn’t really do the work for Shit Sandwich Republicans like Tom, though. Nothing will change their robotic allegiance to the GOP.

    The argument that others are blinded by party loyalty is essentially mindreading, and the “robotic allegiance” or “’Made by the GOP’” strawmen aren’t persuasive either.

    The measure of merit–and there is only one–is “better or worse than the alternative.” At the present that includes stumping for Mitt . . . but in all likelihood, very shortly it won’t. At that point one must decide whether the country is better served by President McCain or President Clinton/Obama. To my mind, there’s no real choice there (and it’s not because I’m reflexively Republican, nor a die-hard McCain fan . . . because I’m neither). I’d vastly prefer Fred, but if it comes down to it . . .

  63. Well, OK. Thanks for the effort. The only thing I understand less than the McCain hatred is the constant need for the haters to explain it – repleat with a list of grievance. So STFU and don’t vote for the guy. We’ll get over it. I don’t give a good gd about the future of the soul of the Republican party, but I do care about the future of my country. And bottom line, end of the day, it you think it doesn;t matter if McCain, Hillary, or Obama wins this year, sorry, but you’re just not a serious person.

  64. As for hysterics, the libertarian/conservatives who see no difference between McCain and Clinton have deserved that label with their rhetoric far more than the people I read, at any rate.

    I can’t speak for all, but that does not describe my rationale for being indifferent to Hillary winning over McCain. There are indeed differences. The biggest one is that Hillary would have opposition from Republicans when she tries to pass her statist agenda, and McCain won’t. That makes McCain far more dangerous.

  65. Bill,

    I’m more than impressed that you took the time to put together such an essay to explain your unhappiness with McCain.

    I agree that there are a number of areas that McCain is wrong and/or dead wrong.

    I understand being disappointed with him as a candidate but I just don’t understand the depth of the rage.

    I guess part comes from how little the GOP really gave conservatives to choose from this year. It’s like the Democrats’ field of candidates in ’92. Most think their strongest candidates didn’t run since Bush ’41 was looking so good after Desert Storm. By the time they realized he was beatable, it was too late.

    I can’t believe the best the GOP could run actually tried since they would think it would be a lost cause.

    Thompson might have been something but you have to actually show me you can run a campaign before I think you should run a country.

    Romney is saying what he thinks conservatives want to hear but he has too many actions from his past that say something very different. I understand why many voters just didn’t think he was more than a manufactured candidate. He did it again with the assault weapon ban flip-flop today. The $20 million pander to the auto industry sucked as well.

    Huckabee wants the government in our bedrooms and in our wallets. He may be funny, but he ain’t a conservative.

    In the end, I think part anger at McCain really seems like frustration with Bush. As you pointed out, Bush kept telling people he was conservative but he kept acting like something else. He wasn’t a liberal though. He was something else. I’ll worry about defining that better some other day.

    Bush hurt the conservative movement and we are seeing the result.

    You’ve made up your mind on the question of what to do if McCain runs in November: sit out. Others may prefer McCain’s positions on Iraq, the WOT, Iran, abortion and the judges he’d appoint as opposed to what Obama and Clinton would do.

    I don’t think they are fools or idiots for choosing differently than you.

  66. Stunning – McCain may not be as conservative as you like, and if you wish to even take a contorted definition, not conservative at all, but he sure as hell isn’t a statist liberal which is your alternative in this race. This obnoxious cut-n-paste style of verbal diarrhea is de rigueur of the lunatic fringe on the left, I am dismayed to see it on the right.

    McCain wasn’t my first choice, but for crying out loud, he is for muscular foreign policy, victory in Iraq, balls out against Islamofacism, consistently opposed to new spending (you know, the ONE thing that restrains the power of government, restricting it’s ability to outlay funding), pro life – and he will be the ONLY one with these traits in the general election.

    It’s quite pathetic to chalk up difference of opinion with dimwitted comments like “shit sandwich”, which might be clever on the 8th grade bus, but it comes off as, well, the childishly petulant bit of self-absorptive denial it is – while you disown the Republican tag, you piss and moan about it’s candidate, to what useful end? None, except a very petty outburst. You aren’t even a Republican, per your comments, so do what you must have done the last election as a non-partisan voter – choose the candidate the shares more of your views than any other.

    If McCain doesn’t share more of your views than Obama or Hillary, then it is you, sir, that is not conservative…

  67. I just read through these comments and something jumps out at me: Bill has it exactly backwards, it’s the McCain haters that have an unhealthy attachment to the GOP. They don’t want the GOP blamed for all that McCain will screw up or they want to “teach the GOP a lesson”. (that always works out so well). Oh yeah, a year from now Obama will hold a summit with Muslim “leaders” to find out why they hate us so much that they plant explosives on retarded women. But don’t worry about that people, you make an effing statement against McCain-Feingold after all.

  68. How about you McCain naysayers taking a political test to determine who your best candidate pick should be based on your position on issues. Either this test is rigged or maybe we’ve been manipulated to be far too critical of McCain by the Limbaughs and Coulters on our side of the aisle. Though I never would have guessed it, my answers indicated McCain is my first choice, then Romney, then sHuckabee and sHrillary wasn’t even in the running agreeing with me only on one issue out of fourteen.

    If the embedded link to “this test” doesn’t work you can copy and paste: http://www.wqad.com/Global/link.asp?L=259460

    Far better a “whore” in hopes of keeping a greater evil out of the White House than a self-aggrandizing masturbator who thinks the universe revolves around their perception of reality. So I guess I should genuflect in your general direction, eh Mojo boy?

    By some definitions (particularly that of a perfect God) we’re all evil men and whores. So what’s your point? That you’re proud of being a lesser whore than me, Chef Mojo? Boy, that’s something to tell your grandchildren suffering in a post-Hillary or post-Obama Amerika why you sat this one out. WAY TO GO, takes a lot of guts to sit on the sidelines and play with yourself … which is exactly what you will be doing in spades if the Donks grab the White House, too this November. And don’t think we can wait for the Dems to so screw up this country that conservatives and Republicans will be welcomed back to power with flowers and kisses. The liberal media will see that won’t happen as they continue spinning each Democratic failure as a victory for the new world order.

  69. Sad. Just sad. Stomp around like a spoiled child when you don’t get your way.
    McCain is the best choice we’ve got not to end up with a SHillary.
    With the exception of his first vote on Amnesty, which he’s said was a mistake…I don’t follow any of your off the wall reasoning.
    He wants strict interpretation of the Constitution. You twisted that , and put liberal tendencies as his reasoning in raising eyebrows on two appointments.
    He’s the only REAL chance we have for staying in Iraq until the goal is accomplished…not announcing a date to the enemy, pulling out, and losing.
    And he is now a staunch supporter of the tax cuts and is pushing for reductions in spending… something that Republicans excelled in for the four years they controlled congress and the WhiteHouse. As a footsoldier in the Republican Party, I was sickened by that excess. Enjoy the show, fellow. McCain will ultimately win this. It’ll be close, but for every far right whacko who doesn’t vote for him, there’s a moderate voter who will, and many a Democrat who cannot stand the sight of Hillary.
    And Ann Coulter demonstrated just HOW crazy some idiots are. They’ll gladly vote for someone like Hillary and watch all the progress undone, so their pouting is noticed…rather than vote for someone who carrys 80% of their ideals. And then you had the audacity to call us …dumb.

  70. Hankmeister, any test that has McCain as a possibility and doesn’t mention freedom of speech is rigged in his favor.

    If I agree with someone about everything in a long conversation, and they suddenly come forth with “And I also think women are mentally inferior to men and should be in burquas and prevented from driving”, then that pretty much outweighs all the rest of our nominal agreement put together. I would consider such a person odious, and the fact that he agrees with me on many other things is beside the point.

    McCain doesn’t believe in freedom of speech. To me, that disqualifies him for president.

    Some of the other issues Bill has listed, particularly immigration, are also pretty important, and I think Bill’s case against McCain is quite strong. But McCain-Feingold is the trump card. It overrides all the rest for me.

  71. My, my, such intelligent and scintillating commentary from the McCain-voting contingent. I know I’m convinced – not.

    Look, you do what you think’s right. Go vote for McCain. He’s never believed he needed the conservative vote before, why should he need it now? The GOP wants to become a centrist party, fine. Clearly, the party elites feel they don’t need my vote. Well, maybe they don’t. Democracy in action, and all that.

    But you know what all this reminds me of? The relationship of blacks and the Democratic Party. Ever since 1964 the Dems have always been able to take the black vote totally for granted because, after all, where else are they going to go? And so black America has been screwed over again, and again, and again. There was never a time in US history when the Democratic party wasn’t working to keep blacks down and under their thumb, and it has worked – for the Dems. Black America, otoh, is a shambles.

    Some conservatives just aren’t willing to play that role for the GOP. Some conservatives believe doing so would be very bad for the country and the party, long-term. And hey, maybe they’re wrong. In which case all you McCain-voters can have the GOP, and we’ll go start another one.

  72. Ooh, spelled a word wrong did I. You still appear unable to read, at least for comprehension.
    I think you are short and hole riddled.

    Others may prefer McCain’s positions on Iraq, the WOT, Iran, abortion and the judges he’d appoint as opposed to what Obama and Clinton would do.

    Scott, why are you so sure McCain has positions on those items you agree with? It appears to me you find value in McCain in the unknown. I would say you have hope, and little else.

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  74. I got halfway though and couldn’t stand it anymore.

    To those who think Hillary and Obama will be worse on every issue that McCain is terrible: If I crash my car head on into a wall @ 60 mph (Hillary, Obama) it will most likely be a worse outcome than if I crashed my car head on into a wall @ 50 mph (McCain). But I’m still probably dead and my car is still totalled at best.

    To those who think McCain has these problems but he is the Republican and therefore we should support him. Well for every issue Bill has cited Romney will be probably better. Why isn’t he the Republican front runner. Why is everybody defending McCain when he has not won the nomination and there are other, better alternatives. Issue #1 now should be stopping McCain. You want to still vote for him if he wins the nomination, be my guest. I won’t. But right now, wouldn’t you rather someone else was the nominee? Or is it that you think he’s the only R that can win? Ah, to win the world and lose my soul, to paraphrase.

  75. I would have broken my “no drug warriors” pledge for Rudy had he gotten the nod, but I won’t do it for John McCain just as I didn’t for Bush or his Dad. I’ll be voting Libertarian again it seems.

    But you know Bill I gotta say, after reading your indictment of McCain I wonder if we all shouldn’t vote for McCain if for no other reason than to get his ass out of the goddam Senate where he seems to have done quite enough damage already.

    yours/
    peter.

  76. Hankmeister, the test is rigged. I went out of my way to oppose McCain’s positions, and he still ended up on top, supposedly in agreement with my choices. I chose the most hardline choice on immigration, and he was still listed in agreement. I wonder how many people are being suckered by these tests?

  77. Crap, when I posted above about getting McCain out of the Senate I was being sarcastic, but now I’m thinking about it. Congress, with it’s exclusive lawmaking, war making and purse string powers, is without question the prime institution of political power in the US. The office of the President is secondary. Would the country be better off with him at the levers of executive power or the levers of Congressional power? How’s that for a Hobson’s Choice?

    Crap.

    yours/
    peter.

  78. I refuse to be a “shit sandwich” Republican and wash it down with Kool-Aid, but there’s actually something more ominous going on than McCain’s candidacy alone.

    The outrage among conservatives about McCain inevitably culminates in calling him a “RINO”, but consider that he and Huckabee together are garnering majorities or close to majorities in most of the states contested so far.

    If this is the case, then perhaps THEY are the new mainstream of the GOP: advocates social conservatism accompanied by socialist economics.

    Those of us who are both social conservatives AND free-market advocates of innovation and entrepreneurship (recognizing that you can’t have one without the other) may indeed be the NEW RINOs ourselves!

    If that is the case, perhaps we need to leave the GOP and find a new political home.

    Conservative first, Republican second,

    Howard Hirsch
    Chairman, Lyon County Republican Central Committee
    Dayton, Nevada

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  80. Howard, I think you have touched on an important point, and, frankly, I tend to agree with you. It’s entirely possible that the GOP isn’t worth saving at all.

    I will be putting up another extended post – this was the second of three – outlining what I think will have to be the task of liberty-minded conservatives as the decadent and crumbling husks of the two major parties continue to collapse into a degraded amalgam of each other.

    Keep in mind that over sixty percent of the American people identify as conservatives. That is considerably more than identify as either Republicans or Democrats. At some point we are going to have to look at creating a party system that matches the ideological identities of the American people. Obviously, neither of the current parties fills that bill.

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  82. The question I have about that, Bill, is what those 60% of Americans actually mean when they self-identify as “conservative”. Not to put too fine a point on it, but John McCain claims to be conservative too. The term has been stretched to the point that it basically means “I don’t agree with the liberals/progressives/leftists.” There would need to be a consistent core positive agenda that would actually unite that 60% of the population together, and I’m not sure there is.

    On a slightly different topic, given that we’re basically discussing the collapse of the GOP and what will take its place, I wonder if you’ve had a chance to read C. Bradley Thompson’s “The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism”?

  83. I, too, am registering Independent after this primary. I spent decades as a lefty Dem, and 10 years as a Republican. My ideological home is with conservatives — Fred Thompson style conservatives. (I was going to vote for Fred on Tuesday but now it has to be Romney.) McCain is anathema to me and my Vietnam vet hubby for all the reasons Bill outlined in this excellent post.

    I no longer believe in the Republican party. I do believe I’d rather see a Dem president take the beating for the next 4 years rather than the GOP going down the tubes for the foreseeable future, as would happen under McCain. The Dem party is unsalvageable in my lifetime while the GOP could lose/replace a few in Congress and greatly improve.

    Given that McCain is a Dem in Republican clothing, the stongest argument against him is that the Republicans in Congress would never fight and undercut him and they would fight Hillary or Obama. The other strong argument is Hillary or Obama will quite likely destroy the Dem party for a very long time. Since no one capable of thinking wants to see Bill in the WH again, it’s looking more and more like Obama. There is no way McCain can beat him; Obama depresses the Repubican vote and Hillary boosts it.

    If we choose McCain as our nominee, buyer’s remorse will set in long before Election Day. Barring another terrorist attack, he cannot win.

  84. Let me say I’m generally in agreement with Bill Quick on this. McCain won’t get my vote.

    However, some people (like Ann Coulter, and some comments in this thread) are suggesting that they won’t just sit it out, they’ll actually campaign or vote for Hillary/Obama.

    Sorry, but that’s where I draw the line. Isn’t the whole point to send a message to the GOP to give us more conservative candidates? Voting or campaigning for Hillary is only going to send the message that McCain isn’t liberal -enough-. Write in Fred Thompson or Duncan Hunter or whatever, that’s what I’m planning to do (for Fred), but actually supporting the Democrat is only going to send the exactly wrong message – that the GOP hasn’t gone left enough.

    Qwinn

  85. Would Clinton or Obama do worse on Bill’s list of issues than McCain? Well yes, probably. But Clinton, Obama, and McCain are three liberal peas in a pod. Any one of the three would be a horrible president. If we’re going to have a disasterous president then I’m with Murph, let the Democrats own the blame.

    Also, the Republicans would fight a Clinton or Obama, they won’t fight McCain. And maybe, just maybe we could have a replay of 1994 where the Republicans ride into both houses of congress on a wave of disgust. Then if they would only keep their promises this time..

  86. I would just love to see a Conservative Party rise up and take on both the Donks and Republicans, but the Democratic Party’s hold on its adherents has become almost cultic. I doubt we would see many “conservative” Democrats peeled off from the “progressive” teat. If it’s a Conservative Party verses a Liberal Party, then we would probably get some decent conservative President. I personally wouldn’t have had much problem voting for a Zell Miller or a Senator Breaux though they were lifelong Democrats.

    The party of JFK left me way back in the late 1960s. I grew up in Texas as a very conservative Democrat. Yes, it does look like the Republican Party is going down the same road of pandering to minorities and entitlement politics – what use is there being a Democrat-lite Party? If the Republican Party is too stupid to see that then maybe they don’t deserve our support. But now isn’t the time to go down that road.

    I totally agree, as conservatives we’ve been dealt a lousy hand this time around, but I doubt McCain’s will be any worse than Eisenhower, who wasn’t exactly a process conservative either. Reagan was probably the most conservative President since World War II, though Truman would have certainly gotten my vote during the post-WWII Cold War if I had been old enough. But when you’ve been dealt a lousy hand you either play it, double down, or fold. Maybe some here are doubling down. In any case, I refuse to fold during perilous times like this … I hate losing to a bunch of proto-commie Democrats.

    The heart of an honorable man can be changed and maybe all the kicking and fussing of those within the Republican Party who presently despise McCain might achieve a result which will pull him closer to conservative’s ideological holy grail. However, the same thing can’t be said of sHrillary and Obama. Even if McCain ends up the clear winner after Super Tuesday, there are still seven months until November. Maybe he will have an epiphany of sorts and begin making genuine efforts to more represent the conservative bases and our views. But then, I’m sure, we’ll be hearing a bunch of whining from McCain-haters how he’s a “flip-flopper”. Sigh.

  87. It looks like the ‘1001’ reasons not to vote McCain is more like 10. As it happens I agree with some items (CFR,Immigration), but some are blatant smears(Keating 5, taxes). It seems odd that some conservatives are using the same elitist arguments(people are stupid) against people who vote for McCain. Also odd is the fact that some seem to have dug through everything McCain has done or said to look for anything vaguely un-conservative, yet pass over Romney’s past statements with a minimum of concern’ such as Richard above. It doesn’t seem to bother such conservatives that Romney ran as pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights, etc. in 1994 and 2002. Don’t give me this ‘he did what he had to running in MA’ bullshit either. He went far and above to go to the Left. If he’s willing to say things he doesn’t believe to win there, what makes people think he’s not doing the same for conservatives now? He raised taxes and socialized medicine in MA, with the nice added bonus of taxpayer-subsidized abortions to boot. This is the ‘conservative’ to lead us when we’re at war? Lord knows poll tested foreign policy worked so well for us in the ’90s. But I’m the one who is ‘stupid’ and ill-informed’ for upporting the best candidate to lead us in the WOT, and, I might add, the most CONSISTENT CONSERVATIVE to boot? Hopefully, like flip flop Mitt, you’re thinking will ‘evolve’ before election day

  88. Yes, it’s amazing how the public is willing to accept the candidates who do not represent change, but present themselves as the changemasters nonetheless. The American public appears unwilling to look beyond the obvious or uneducated about the nuances of certain politicians and their ability to lie at the drop of a hat. It’s the result of power gravitating to the corrupt black hole inside the beltway and it appears that few can resist once they arrive. The American public does not appear concerned about the effects of government spending on their personal wealth, but if any of the three top contenders get elected they will be the first to whine as the dollar continues to fall. January 2009 will highlight the year of the American Peso.

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  90. So do conservatives now have to hope that Hillary gets the Democrats nomination?

    The Clintons don’t have great coattails and Hillary will drive conservatives to the polls.

    This could keep it close enough in Congress to keep a check on the White House.

  91. Bill,

    While I greatly respect your opinion and appreciate your research, I can’t completely agree with your conclusions, specifically in regards to the USSC.

    We are looking at up to 5 justices retiring in the next four years. If the Dems take the House, along with Congress, we will see appointed the most liberal justices they can swing. (shudder)

    And while McCain undoubtedly wouldn’t nominate the strict constructionist that we would like, I do feel that the ultimate composition of the USSC would be far more center-right, were all five justices to retire under a McCain presidency.

    If we had a majority on the USSC already, then I would agree with you and write in Fred Thompson. And I’ll vote for Romney in the primary. However, if left with no other choice, I’ll hold my nose and vote for McCain in the general election.

    BTW, I’ve been following your discussions on an American Conservative Party. I’m definitely interested, and would be willing to do what groundwork I can in our area, (Nashville).

    Thanks for the many great essays and posts.

    Gina

  92. Our political system has a lot of resiliency so I think your panic, hatred, and smearing of McCain is over the top. He ain’t going to break it.

    Actually, though I agree with you on CFR, you could, you know, start a movement to change it! or are you helpless?

    And as for Immigration if the border is secured then I don’t give a flying twit what is done with the illegals already here. I really don’t. Incentive for more to come to America? You bet. But good luck getting in.

    I, personally, don’t care for him personally myself and supported both rudy and fred (go figure) but I’ll get behind McCain in the general.

  93. When there is a legitimate third party alternative to consider, I will duly consider it. I have, in fact, voted for libertarians here in NH when they have had even a whisper of a chance. Registering a an independent is also a legitimate way of sending a signal to GOP headquarters.

    I stand by more original argument, and it remains unanswered: if McCain is best on the WOT, good on cutting spending, and likely to nominate far better judges to the SCOTUS, then why would a vote for him be contemptible? Please note that this is a different question than asking “Is it worth it?” Bill’s post was only partly about “Why McCain isn’t worth it,” and his reasoning was quite good there. The remainder of his post was about why people who come to a different conclusion must be stupid and willing to put up with anything. It was that POV that I attacked, and as I said, it remains unaddressed. Your claim is that people who vote for McCain are unthinking and stupid. I (and others) have offered a reason why that might not be so.

    As to Barry, there is an informal rule that those who argue by making fun of other’s names (and my, how original of you!) generally persist in making middle-school arguments the deeper the discussion goes. Your choice.

  94. Why do so many of the McCain defenders seem to think the Primary process is over and McCain won?

    I will also NOT vote for McCain. I would vote for Romney or Huckabee (Love that FairTax.)

    If the GOP is so concerned about winning then give me some one I can vote for. That will not be McCain.

    I am an independent. However I will not vote for leftists. I will not vote for McCain.

    At this point I would recommend Romney out of those remaining in the race.

    I will not vote for McCain. Don’t ask me to. Don’t let him win the Primaries. If he does win the primaries then that means you have decided to abandon me and my vote. I voted for Perot twice. So I know about the impact of independent voters. If you also know about that impact then save us from it and pull the lever for Romney or Huckabee so you have a nominee I can vote for.

  95. Hey Bill,

    I hear you on Fred Thomson – that’s one of those things where you just put your head in your hands and go “oh man, where did he blow it…” I think Thomson would have been awesome, and I certainly would vote for him in a second. I thought about the write-in approach last time, as well, but ultimately voted democrat across the board.

    I guess I’m looking at it this way – since these guys are basically driven by nothing more than money, taking it away from them is the only way to get their attention. If McCain squeaks into office, it’s just going to be business as usual, but if you take away their meal-ticket, then maybe the GOP will have to do some real introspection.

    I dunno – maybe I’m too simple-minded about this, but I’m really, really furious about the GOP. I figure that with the SCOTUS about to rule on the 2nd amendment issue (and it will probably go well) there’s not too much to worry about from a dem president over the next few years. Whatever risks I’m running, I’m ok with going that way rather than watching people continue trying to smear more lipstick on the pig that the GOP has become.

    This whole election year sucks. Bleh…

  96. Assistant Village Idiot wrote:

    The remainder of his post was about why people who come to a different conclusion must be stupid and willing to put up with anything. It was that POV that I attacked, and as I said, it remains unaddressed.

    Your characterization of Quick’s reasoning is disingenuous. The remainder of his post was not about why people who come to a different conclusion ought properly to be described as “stupid,” but rather why they should properly be described as “Democrats.”

    If you want the Republicans to nominate a Democrat for the Presidency, McCain’s your man. Noting the “R” after his name doesn’t change that; McCain has clearly adopted the reasoning and policy choices of the Democratic party.

    If the Republicans nominate McCain, I’m voting for a third party. I will not cast a vote for that dishonest, dishonorable man. I intend to convince as many Republicans as possible to do the same.

  97. Pingback: Cold Fury » Blog Archive » Fooling some of the people all of the time

  98. Mr. Quick says, “The country will survive Hillary.”

    No, Mr. Quick, it will not. The republic will be dead by the time she’s through.

    However, I’m fairly sure the republic will also not survive McCain, so I’m with you — I will not cast a vote for him. I’ll vote 3rd party.

    I’m soliciting volunteers for a “Draft Newt” movement for a third-party alternative in the fall. If you have a better suggestion, let’s hear it. (I thought about “Draft Fred,” but sadly the party has already spoken on that subject.)

  99. Hmm.
    I identify as conservative. I usually vote Republican, but I do so in a confirmed Red State, making my votes totally symbolic.

    I identify as conservative. I’m pro-gun and anti-pork. I want a bigger military. I want to win in Iraq and Afghanistan. I want American companies to employ American workers at good wages with good benefits. I want the morons in Berkeley to stop antagonizing the same people who defend them at the cost of their lives.

    I identify as conservative. I want a military in which gays, lesbians and bisexuals can serve openly and proudly. I want the “defense of marriage” exposed as the greasy puddle of santorum that it is. I want creationism out of schools. I want immigration reform (No, scratch that. I want amnesty.) I want Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh to scuttle back into the sewers that spawned them.

    I identify as conservative. Left-wing reactionaries frighten me. I want no part in their America. That said, when I come to the right-leaning side of the Internet and I find myself a stranger in a strange land.

    Conservative is useless as a label.

    I’ll vote McCain in 2008, and happily. We needed him in 2000, but I’ll settle for getting him now.

  100. Bill’s post was only partly about “Why McCain isn’t worth it,” and his reasoning was quite good there. The remainder of his post was about why people who come to a different conclusion must be stupid and willing to put up with anything. It was that POV that I attacked, and as I said, it remains unaddressed.

    I’ll address it, then. If you claim to espouse certain principles and then support candidates who not only don’t espouse them, but actively betray them – and their constitution – then you are a fool, and a hypocrite as well. In other words, a Shit Sandwich Republican.

    I keep asking you people: At what point will you not vote for a GOP candidate? If it is a Hillary? If it is a Ted Kennedy? If it is a Cindy Sheehan?

    If you answer is always “There is no nominal GOP candidate I will not vote for,” then you are consistent – and an suicidal idiot. If your answer is, “Well, I woudn’t vote for somebody who espoused Hillary Clinton’s views, even if they were the GOP nominee,” then you have just destroyed your rationale for screaming at me for refusing to vote for McCain. You just place the amount of shit sandwich you’re willing to swallow at a somewhat different level of gag reflex than I do.

    So how about it, Assistant? Would you vote for any shit sandwich the GOP serves up, forever and forever? Or are there some shit sandwiches that are even too vomitous for you too swallow? And if so, why are you going nuts at my own placement of the gag reflex?

    I suspect what is really going on here – and the level of panic, hysteria, and hatred displayed by the reflexive GOP defenders – is based as much on the fear that they really may help destroy their party – and their nation – with a vote for McCain, but they just don’t know what else to do.

    Old habits die hard. And so do Grand Old Parties.

  101. How about the McCain Lieberman bill based on the Al Gore anthropogenic global warming hoax? This bill would really be a pick axe attack on the economy and the living standards of Americans.

  102. Pingback: Plumb Bob Blog » McCain, the Full Record

  103. Pingback: Quick’s 10 Bad Things About John McCain « Gabriel Malor

  104. How about the McCain Lieberman bill based on the Al Gore anthropogenic global warming hoax?

    I think that is mentioned in a least one of the comprehensive links I finished off the article with, but maybe not.

    In any event, I just ran out of steam. I worked on that piece for about five hours, and finally realized I could work on it another five cataloging all of McCain’s assaults on conservatism and liberty.

  105. I want to win in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    If by that, you really mean, “I want Iraq in the hands of the Iranians, and Afghanistan half-run by the Taliban, half run by the Pakistani ISI, and nominally run by a bloodthirsty Sharia regime that executes people for things they download from the internet,” you’ll be in excellent hands with McCain and his “strong support for Bush’s policies,” which have been an objective disaster, and have done more to hamstring any effective war on terror than doing nothing at all. The only thing McCain would consider changing, apparently, is giving every captured terrorist, no matter how or where, a civil service American lawyer and full access and rights in the US legal system.

  106. Those 20 million people are already here, are they not? Picking tomatoes and doing landscaping, right? It would seem that the best strategy for avoiding a glutted unskilled labor market would be to not be unskilled labor.

  107. Iraq was a disaster on just about every level. It is now, miracle of miracles, in the hands of fighting men and women who can win it. I see no reason for its abandonment at the end of this election cycle.

    Afghanistan is a different matter. I long ago rejected the goal of A-stan as a functioning democracy. Now I feel that it is, and must remain, a protectorate and client state of US if it’s to be anything other than a lawless wasteland and training ground for our enemies. I have no ideas regarding the issues with Pakistan.

    I reiterate. The wars were mishandled. Our warfighters and their civilian masters seem to be learning from their mistakes. I see no reason to abandon these wars at the end of the election cycle. I also see no reason why the election of McCain would return our forces to a 2003 level of performance.

  108. Pingback: “The List of Infamy” : American Pundit

  109. Pingback: thegreatsatan.com » If you are thinking about voting for John McCain

  110. It’s not that Hillary or Obama wouldn’t be worse than McCain.
    It’s that they wouldn’t be that much worse than McCain.

    When the issue is illegal immigration, socialized medicine, tax increases, judges, regulation of “greedy” capitalists, gun control, and energy policy (e.g. ANWR, confiscation of oil company profits), would it be better to have conservatives and Republicans united in opposition to Hillabama, or divided in opposition to McCain?

  111. “I’ll address it, then. If you claim to espouse certain principles and then support candidates who not only don’t espouse them, but actively betray them – and their constitution – then you are a fool, and a hypocrite as well. In other words, a Shit Sandwich Republican.

    I keep asking you people: At what point will you not vote for a GOP candidate? If it is a Hillary? If it is a Ted Kennedy? If it is a Cindy Sheehan?

    If you answer is always “There is no nominal GOP candidate I will not vote for,” then you are consistent – and an suicidal idiot. If your answer is, “Well, I woudn’t vote for somebody who espoused Hillary Clinton’s views, even if they were the GOP nominee,” then you have just destroyed your rationale for screaming at me for refusing to vote for McCain. You just place the amount of shit sandwich you’re willing to swallow at a somewhat different level of gag reflex than I do.”

    I think I did address this, though allow me to make myself clearer.

    We suffered through 8 years of Bill Clinton, and trust me, I gagged daily on the scandals. Yet, like a pendulum, the country swung back to the right. (Also, like a pendulum, the upswing was less than the one before. )

    If it were merely four, or even eight years of screwed into the dirt policy we were about to embrace, I would happily vote for a third party, or write in Thompson. And I haven’t given up on Romney, although I worry about his electability, especially if Obama pulls off an upset. But with the left leaning justices of the SCOTUS ready to retire, or drop dead, replacing them with any of the Democrats’ nominees guarantees us forty, not four, years of misery. And I don’t think a third party, or a truly conservative Republican party, would be able to do much to repair the damage that the left, legislating and interpreting from the bench, would do to us – at least not for decades.

    This is the first year I’ve ever wanted to hurl at the responsibility voting requires of me. However, I will do my best to make a rational, decision, and stay in the fight to clean up the inevitable messes. Shit sandwich or not, at least there may be some bread left over if we manage to appoint some center right justices.

  112. Bill, a question for you. Let’s say McCain gets the nomination (which, at this point, seems certain to me). In a lame attempt to win conservative voters, he picks Huckabee as his running mate. Would that be enough to make you feel you had to vote for the Dems?

  113. Bill – You really don’t help your very good and well-researched argument by clinging to this silly and childish name calling and stereotyping anyone who votes for McCain as a shit sandwich Republican. If McCain were running against Ben Nelson, well then you’d maybe have a point (even though that’s still pretty much a toss up, at least if the American Conservative Union can be believed), but he’s not and you don’t. McCain will be running against either the most liberal member of the US Senate who wants to elevate state sponsors of terrorism to partners in shaping the world or the co-head of what is essential an organized crime family.

    You people remind me of the old gag with the man with a gun to his own head telling his wife “what are you laughing at, you’re next!”

  114. Bill,
    This may not mean much but Thank you. The time and effort that went into the above is greatly appreciated. You have also exhibited remarkable restraint in your comments. This has given me a lot to ponder between now and my primary and the general election. I am sure the time spent could have been easier spent with a bottle of fine single malt.

  115. Pingback: No Runny Eggs » Blog Archive » Top 13 reasons why I will not ever vote for John McCain

  116. Those 20 million people are already here, are they not?

    Tell it to the 20% of unemployed young black citizens, pal. Give them that shit-eating grin while you do.

    And by the way, you’re about as conservative as Hillary Clinton. Stop trying to peddle that snow-job. Nobody’s buying it.

  117. Ten Things I hate about Mitt Romney

    10: Romney was pro gun-control, now flip-flops: http://boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/01/14/romney_retreats_on_gun_control/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzYTdM9b5F4&NR=1

    9: Romney was pro-choice, now flip-flops

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/11/AR2005061100634.html

    8: Romney was pro-amnesty; now flip-flops on immigration

    http://www.eyeon08.com/2007/05/30/border-security-group-attacks-romney-for-flip-flopping-on-immigration/

    7: Romney disavowed legacy of Ronald Reagan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pVqZzHm3Z4&feature=related

    6: Romney flip-flopped from extreme radical campaign finance reformer to free-speech supporter

    http://www.fred08.com/NewsRoom/PressRelease.aspx?ID=bda6df2f-754a-4f0f-9944-326dc3822dd2

    5. Romney supported federal funding of stem-cell research; now flip-flops

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/15/us/politics/15romney.html?pagewanted=print

    4. Romney opposed Bush’s 2003 tax cuts; now flip-flops

    http://schotlinepress.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/romney-opposed-the-2003-bush-tax-cuts/

    3. Romney supported increasing minimum wage; then flip-flopped

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/politics/candidates/articles/2006/07/22/romney_rejects_minimum_wage_bill/

    2. Romney supported civil unions and opposed a protection of marriage amendment and was pro gay rights; now flip-flops

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=11129

    http://www.washblade.com/2006/12-22/view/columns/kirchick.cfm

    1. Romney supports universal health care with Ted Kennedy

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22246557/

    But, I’ve been told that I must, as a conservative, support Romney over McCain. And, I guess, even Hillary over McCain. Maybe that makes sense, since Hillary and Romney held indentical positions on most issues until recently.

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  119. I’ve always considered myself a Republican first and conservative second. Not anymore. Nowadays, I’m a conservative first and a Republican… not at all.
    It’s got to the stage where I hope the GOP destroys itself. I half-hope Juan McShamnesty wins the nomination.
    The GOP will emplode and new party will inevitably fill the void and become the party of the right. In the UK, the Labour Party replaced the Liberals as the party of the left.
    A Hillary victory would be hard to swallow, but remember, Jimmy Carter led to Ronald Reagan.

  120. Bill – You are still answering something different than what I am asking – and I have to find that significant. Nonetheless, I will attempt to answer what you ask, because it seems to be an obstacle to your following my argument. I wouldn’t vote for a Ron Paul just because he had an R. Chuck Hagel. Trent Lott. Ted Stevens. I’ve left slots blank before, most notably in the last NH Governor’s race because the Republican was a crook. Regarding moderate Republicans – or really, career Beltway Republicans – it would be case by case, depending on who was running against them. Arlen Specter or Lincoln Chafee are good examples of Republicans where my vote would depend on how bad the Democrat was. I might leave it blank.

    If McCain were running against a Lieberman or a Zell Miller, I might sit out. Against Dennis Kucinich, I’m at the polls.

    The key to your argument seems to be that Hillary would be only marginally worse than McCain, so letting her be president and screwing up, so that real conservatives can discipline the party and get America back on track, is a reasonable calculated risk.

    And if you are wrong in that calculation? If a Democratic president really does screw up a foreign policy test and increases the country’s danger for a generation, or puts three liberal judges on the SCOTUS, will you just say “Oops. My bad. The risk was greater than I thought.” Consequences are real, and political gamesmanship responses are usually too clever by half.

    Yes, it is possible that McCain will be little better than the Democrats, depending on what crises present themselves. But it is entirely reasonable to calculate that our enemies will intentionally and repeatedly test a Clinton or an Obama, and that they will prove inadequate. What is so outrageously unconservative about voting on that basis alone? I submit that it is not the conservatives willing to vote McCain should he prevail in the nomination who are unduly swayed by the “R” next to his name. It is you who are so incensed that he has an undeserved R next to his name that you cannot consider the election independent of that trifle.

    As to hysterical, I am content to let my tone and that of the others agreeing with me here stand against your tone and those supporting you.

  121. Pingback: UrbanGrounds » Blog Archive » Do You Really Need More Reasons NOT to Vote for John McCain?

  122. Infidel:

    And the decades of political maneuvering that made Reagan a political force were a nonentity? Are we supposed to believe that Reagan sprang fully formed out of the head of the Iranian hostage crisis?

  123. Look, I retook the political quiz and gave answers that a full-fledged barking moonbat would give and Hillary topped my list with Obama in second and McCain in last place.

    I also took it giving answers that I thought were Romney’s positions and sure enough he was in the top spot. It’s entirely possible there might be a bias built into the test which favors McCain more often than not, but then maybe the questions are sufficiently vague in some cases (though they seem awfully nuanced on key issues) and McCain does has a public record which could encompass any number of answers from the test which would result in him being most people’s choices. But then that’s the conventional wisdom isn’t it, that McCain appeals to libertarians, so-called “moderate” Republicans, swing voters, independent voters, and what passes for the conservative mainstream.

    I’ve always considered myself right of the conservative middle (not just right of so-called “centrism”) and will put my thirty-five year mainstream conservative voting record up against anyone here. I’m no shill for McCain, he certainly wasn’t my first or even second choice six months ago. I’ve voted my entire life as an independent conservative and not as a Republican and the thought of either sHrillary or Obama in the White House makes me ill. And it doesn’t help my feeling that there are conservatives who seem more then willing to throw the elections to the Donks as a matter of “principle.” Principle which doesn’t yield favorable results isn’t a principle at all. You might be living in a house of cards if your hope is that everything is going to blow up in the face of a Democrat Congress and a Democrat White House and the American people will be begging conservatives/Republicans to save them from incompetent closet commies in 2012.

    If a Dem does win the presidency I really do hope and pray the Carter-Reagan dynamic might apply in 2012. I guess some people don’t mind gambling the state of the union on a blind bet. Don’t forget the lamestream media’s ability to make a Democrat’s sow’s ear look like a silk purse (any pun aimed at Hillary was completely unintentional).

  124. Bill is, as his wont, a bit harsh.

    But…

    It is the soul of the Republican Party at stake here.

    McCain is disliked by the libertarians like our host. He’s also largely disliked by the social conservatives like me. The Hugh Hewitt types (pure party line types) frequently don’t like him, but are willing to accept him. Only the liberal Republicans and the RINO’s like him–and RINO’s do not win.

    See Robert Dole, who is probably a more admirable character, and still lost.

    RINO’s lose. Its as simple as that.

    You need a candidate that can appeal to the Social Conservatives first (as they are the largest part), and the Libertarians second. Fred Thompson, if he’s slanted a bit more socon, might be the leading nominee right now.

    As it stands, I like Huckabee, but I’ll accept Romney. I won’t accept McCain.

    I want to preserve a Conservative movement. Its interesting, Libertarians and Conservatives argue about who is ‘a true conservative’. Its amusing to see Tarians try to steal the glory of those they despise, but MUCH MORE important is the fact that both these principled opponents are in agreement on one issue–Just Say No to McCain.

    I’ll argue with Bill on another day. Here and now, I’ll say “You go, Bill!”

  125. Well, you missed a lot on that list, some things more important than others.

    In the CFR section I’d have noted him suing the FEC in 2005 to force them to regulate internet communication under the anti-speech goals of McCain-Feingold.

    Of course you might qualify as a “journalist” even by the FEC Commissioners that a President McCain would appoint. Unfortunately for me, I wouldn’t. So any blog posts, comments, e-mail, or other communication would have to be carefully worded and vetted to avoid the obvious legal ramifications of a potentially disastrous and illegal “in kind” contribution to a candidate.

    So, McCain supporters. Do you think that CFR limits to all imternet political speech are good; or do you think McCain will select FEC Commissioners who completely disagree with him?

    Might as well get your praise in now. If he’s elected, praising him on the internet (or discussing him at all within 30/60 days of a primary/election) will be subject to restrictions, fines, and if necessary; imprisonment.

    Oh, and before the “so I get hit for a $2 donation for my internet bill fraction that I spent”… the “value” of a comment/link/mailer isn’t the “cost” to run it, its the gain to the candidate from it being run.

    So the link to a candidate’s donation page on your blog isn’t worth 1/40th (page size vs. total) of your blog costs. It’s valued at the total amount of all donations that clicked through that link and donated… and valuing commentary accordingly is often arbitrary, absurd, and also done by the Presidental selected FEC Commission.

    So, unless you have enough to cover a potential mid-six-figure fine; you might want to turn off that blog near an election if President McCain is around.

    This is one area where the Democratic Candidates are considerably better than McCain… sad really.

  126. Toren:

    Write-in it is.

    The big question is: did Thompson damage himself too much by the timing of his withdrawel?

    The big names in AM radio need to get it together much like we did with the last three amnesty bills and ORGANISE THIS WRITE IN.

    I’m not sitting this election out but I’d rather get my liver removed with a dull spoon then vote for mcCain.

    Oh yeah, he IS my senator. And no, I havent voted for him in MANY years. He is known here in AZ as “what a dissapointment”. Amongst other names.

  127. Fear mongering. Don’t worry, we’re all gonna die from a terrorist attack, global warming, pollution, baby powder, cigarettes, junk food, trans fats, our couches, video games, sex, drugs, alcohol, and politics before it’s put to the test.

    And when it’s put to the test IT WILL BE DELIBERATELY.

    And I’ll be cheering.

    ————–

    Honestly, people, this is why senators don’t get to be presidents.

    Gawd, I can’t stand extremists.

  128. The key to your argument seems to be that Hillary would be only marginally worse than McCain, so letting her be president and screwing up, so that real conservatives can discipline the party and get America back on track, is a reasonable calculated risk.

    Actually, while some commenters have expressed that position, it isn’t my argument at all.

    Let me explain this as simply as I can. If you don’t get it, sorry, that’s all I’ve got.

    1. I am not a Republican. I am a registered Libertarian, and I regard myself as a “small-l” libertarian. My primary interest is that there be an effective national force against the infringement of personal liberties espoused by both parties, but much less so by the GOP – until the post-Reagan era.

    2. I don’t owe my vote to either party. If you want it, you have to give me a reason to vote for you. As of now, neither party looks to be doing that, so neither party will get my vote.

    3. I am primarily concerned with re-establishing the GOP’s traditional stands on conservative principles as the guiding light for the party. John McCain does nothing to do that and, in fact, (just as George Bush, in fact, both Bush presidencies have done) is taking the party in the other, more statist direction.

    4. The relative value of either side of the Hillary/McCain (or Obama/McCain) equation is not a primary concern for me. Having a major party that welcomes and stands for conservative principles is.

    5. By that standard if, say, the Democrats moved abruptly to a stand on principled liberty-minded conservatism, and the GOP didn’t, I’d vote Dem in a heartbeat.

    6. Because, in my opinion (and based on what I have posted above) I believe that a McCain victory in the general election would move the GOP even farther from traditional GOP liberty-conservative principles, I can not, and will not, vote for him.

    It’s not about Hillary or Obama. It’s about McCain and the erosion of liberty-minded conservatism at the national party level.

    I can’t explain it any better than that. If that’s not good enough for you, well, too bad. I still won’t be voting for John McCain. Ever.

  129. AVI wrote:

    “I submit that it is not the conservatives willing to vote McCain should he prevail in the nomination who are unduly swayed by the “R” next to his name. It is you who are so incensed that he has an undeserved R next to his name that you cannot consider the election independent of that trifle.”

    Exactly right. People like Bill are simply putting party before country.

  130. I agree on almost all of your analysis of McCain. The most worrisome aspect is the unbearable self-righteousness with which he adopts liberal approaches, attitudes, and talking points. He seems to reserve genuine passion for the worst aspects of his platform.

    However there is one item on your list where I don’t agree that his position is unreasonable. On the prescription drug reimportation, my understanding is that pharmaceutical companies are not usually being forced to sell particular drugs in Canada, it’s just that if they do, they do so at a price negotiated with the Canadian government. Assuming the companies are willing sellers, it doesn’t seem at all unreasonable for the US to insist on most favored customer status, requiring the companies to offer the US the best price they freely offer anywhere.

    (Naturally the picture changes if the other country is ripping off patented medicines.)

  131. People like Bill are simply putting party before country.

    If you think having a country where there is no major party open to liberty-minded conservatism is a good idea, well, make sure your shit-eating grin is firmly in place as you lie back and spread your legs to enjoy what you did nothing to prevent.

  132. Why can’t Mitt punch back instead of whining?

    I don’t know Romney personally. But it happens that my best friend knows him fairly well. If friend-of-a-friend information can be trusted, the answer is that Romney is just too basically decent to hit below the belt. When he tries to do it anyway, it looks as phony as it is.

    I guess nice guys really do finish last.

  133. However there is one item on your list where I don’t agree that his position is unreasonable.

    Read it again:

    Dorgan-Snowe
    bill moves in the right direction. Unfortunately,
    that cannot be said of the second area of the bill
    that should concern us—the part designed to
    prevent drug companies from “gaming the system,”
    as Sen. Snowe’s press materials put it.67
    Companies would be prevented “from taking
    actions that would have the effect of thwarting
    drug importation,” those materials say; anyone
    who takes such actions would be in violation of
    the Clayton Act, risking treble economic damages.
    Under its section 27, “Restraint of Trade,”
    S. 2328 would prohibit companies from
    directly or indirectly charging higher prices
    to foreign exporters or domestic importers
    than to those who do not export or import;
    denying or restricting supplies of drugs to
    foreign exporters or domestic importers;
    publicly, privately, or otherwise refusing to
    do business with registered exporters or
    importers; changing the color, dosage form,
    or place of manufacture of drugs so they are
    no longer FDA approved; or engaging in any
    other action that the Federal Trade
    Commission determines would unfairly
    restrict competition. In other words, companies
    would be prohibited from taking any of
    the actions they might otherwise legitimately
    take to try to maximize profits by segmenting
    markets and pricing differentially—entering
    no-resale contracts, incorporating label
    licenses, limiting supplies, or raising prices.
    Thus, in addition to removing the reimportation
    ban—the illegitimate means of
    enforcing market segmentation—the Dorgan-
    Snowe bill would deprive companies of legitimate
    means of doing business. Its aim, clearly,
    is to force something close to equal international
    pricing. That may (or may not) be a
    14
    In the patent
    area, the Dorgan-
    Snowe bill moves
    in the right
    direction.
    Unfortunately,
    that cannot be
    said of the part
    designed to
    prevent drug
    companies from
    “gaming the
    system.”
    desirable result, but in a free society it has to
    come about by legitimate means, not by prohibiting
    companies from doing what they
    would otherwise have a perfect right to do.68
    Indeed, the sponsors of this bill have issued
    statements that indicate that they really do
    want to force prices toward equality—but
    equality at levels set by socialized medical systems
    abroad. Sen. Dorgan writes, for example,
    “The Pharmaceutical Market Access Act would
    create a competitive marketplace so that
    Americans can purchase FDA-approved drugs
    at the much lower prices available in other
    countries.”69 Sen. Edward Kennedy, a bill sponsor,
    echoes that view: “Bipartisan legislation
    introduced by Senators Dorgan, Snowe,
    McCain, Daschle, myself, and others will, at
    long last, give American patients a fair deal. . . .
    It will enable U.S. consumers to buy FDAapproved
    drugs at the same fair prices as they
    are sold abroad.”70Taking a swipe at drug companies
    in the process, Sen. McCain defends
    securing that result with the measures just
    noted: “Putting profits before patients, [drug
    companies] have limited the supply of pharmaceuticals
    to Canadian pharmacies and
    wholesalers who export to the United States. . .
    . . [O]ur bill seeks to close potential loopholes
    that would allow companies to game the system
    and unfairly discriminate against pharmacists
    or wholesalers.”71 And in a frequentlyasked-
    questions sheet that Sen. Snowe’s office
    issued when S. 2328 was introduced, the sponsors’
    misunderstanding of market principles is
    clearly indicated: “[This bill] merely extends the
    benefits of free trade to buyers of prescription
    drugs. . . . Drug manufacturers today are subverting
    the free market by charging higher
    prices to Americans for drugs than they charge
    to patients in other countries. . . . ”72 If market
    practices don’t “force” uniform prices, these
    senators apparently will. But under current
    conditions, those will not be market prices.
    Instead, they will be prices set by foreign diktat.

    What you seem to be missing is that McCain may say he’s for price equilibrium – but not at a generally higher price worldwide, those a somewhat lower price domestically. What he’s after is price equilibrium based on the lowest prices mandated by socialized medical systems in countries outside the US, and the importation of those artificially low, non-market driven prices into our country. In other words, back-door price controls on our drug industry.

  134. Pingback: As if I needed 10 reasons to not vote for John McCain…. « Assaulting the Spire

  135. I’m pretty sure that if McCain picked Huckabee as his running mate that would be the final straw for the libertarian wing, which would move from not voting for McCain to actively voting for the Dems. Huckabee’s popularity among social conservates makes no sense to me. Is how much you love Jesus and God really that big a determinant for social conservatives? I don’t mean that it should be unimportant, but Huckabee is bascially a very Christian socialist. His inspiration and motivation might be different from the Dems, but his actual policy is practically the same.

    I also don’t understand how not voting for McCain is putting party in front of country. If your political party loses because you don’t like the candidate, exactly how is this putting party first? I’d say not voting for an unacceptable candidate because an even more unacceptable candidate is actually putting country first. It tells future candidates that to win your vote, you actually have to earn it, instead of taking it for granted and then pandering to those who stand in direct opposition to what you stand for.

  136. I think there is a 3rd possibility as to why conservatives might support McCain (should he receive the nomination). The GOP leadership may very well ignore any “message” we might send by withholding support for McCain. There is an overabundance of RINOs in the party, they are probably too insular to really grasp what Bill et al are trying to say.

    We should find a way to work with McCain, and effect change to the GOP from inside. If conservatives can get appointed to posts in his administration, they can influence policy. At the local level, conservatives need to work to get elected and to attain positions of leadership. We need to show the GOP that conservative principles work.

    Fred Thompson was the “real conservative” in the race and his message did not resonate with a bellwether voting bloc (South Carolina). The GOP rank-and-file are on board with McCain. I fear that if conservatives sit this one out (or do like Ann Coulter and vote for Hillary) the GOP leadership will simply move further to the left in an attempt to court “swing voters” and avoid having to deal with “crybaby conservatives”.


    I elaborate on this point on my blog
    if anyone is interested.

  137. I confess I still don’t see it.

    For example, reading it again I see “In other words, companies would be prohibited from taking any of the actions they might otherwise legitimately take to try to maximize profits by segmenting markets and pricing differentially—entering no-resale contracts, incorporating label licenses, limiting supplies, or raising prices.”

    As part of my job I negotiate contracts (between companies, no governments involved). When most-favored-customer provisions arise, the MFC does exactly what you criticize this bill for proposing: it asks to get the best price for the part period, and always contains explicit provisions saying the pricing provision can’t be circumvented by simply changing the label or the color. Such provisions in some cases limit the potential profit of the other company; from the MFC-candidate’s perspective, so what? There’s nothing illegitimate about that; if you don’t like it, don’t sell at a lower price elsewhere.

    Let’s try using different terminology. The US government has various free trade policies, and generally encourages the free flow of goods, labor, and capital across borders [or at least pays lip service to these ideas]. In the present case, the pharmaceutical companies are in effect asking the US government to restrict the free flow of bought and paid for goods across borders, on the grounds that the companies can make more profit this way. At the expense of the US consumer, no less. Sorry — I just don’t see it.

  138. It’s pretty straight forward, An. It prohibits US drug companies from raising prices on drugs it exports to countries then then turn around and export them back into the US. In other words, the US companies are not permitted to raise prices on the price controlled drugs that would compete with their own domestically marketed products. In effect, this imposes foreign drug price controls on the US domestic marketplace.

  139. JohnG wrote:

    “I also don’t understand how not voting for McCain is putting party in front of country. If your political party loses because you don’t like the candidate, exactly how is this putting party first?”

    Simple. Like a jilted lover, I want my party (or the party I most identify with) to get hurt because it is ignoring my wishes. Imagine we are presented with this choice (vote for one) Hillary, Obama, McCain and there are no party affiliations. Sure many will say “hey, none are good enough for me!” but they would not be consumed with such hate and spend their days compiling lists of grievances. Any clear thinking, unemotional conservative-leaning person, who truly cared about his country, would do anything to keep the levers of power away from Hillary or Obama.

    But no. It’s all about making a statement, sending a message that this is not what I expect from the Republican Party. Like a spoiled child, I don’t care who I hurt, or how much damage I do as long as my tantrum gets heard. Either that, or I am going to boil the Republican Party’s pet rabbit (can’t decide which metaphor I like better).

  140. I’m an ICU nurse with a Master’s in Nursing Administration.

    If Demerol costs 50.00 for 25 mg, then we need to charge that, regardless to the buyer.

    If people in India can get Demerol for 25 mg for 5.00, then we need to assess our foreign policy.

    Simple, ain’t it?

    Gina

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  142. Simple, ain’t it?

    No, actually it isn’t. It’s a manifestation of the same reason that airline tickets vary in price depending on when you buy them. Drug companies are attempting to maximize revenue.

    If everyone paid what the Indians pay, the drug companies wouldn’t be able to afford to develop new drugs, just as if everyone got airline seats at the very lowest price, the airlines would be out of business.

    Once the primary market (the developed world, mostly the United States) has been priced to recover costs of development and production, the drug companies can then go to the developed world and get what the traffic will bear there, which is a fraction of what it will bear here. That extra revenue also contributes to keeping them in business and developing new drugs.

    If it were required that everyone in the world paid the same amount for drugs, new drug development would come to a virtual standstill.

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  144. Like a spoiled child, I don’t care who I hurt, or how much damage I do as long as my tantrum gets heard. Either that, or I am going to boil the Republican Party’s pet rabbit (can’t decide which metaphor I like better).

    Like a spoiled child, you don’t care what damage you do to your country or to the conservative movement, as long as you get to stuff your belly with those fine, fine Shit Sandwiches.

    Oh, and be sure to grin and spread’em wide for the stick that dips the shit, okay?

  145. You crazy McCainites are desperate to destroy your party.

    Remember Perot!

    I don’t care about your party if it raises up John McCain. That party obviously don’t represent me. If you did you would not be supporting the NYT and LAT pick for Republican Nominee. No, you would have gotten behind Hunter or Fred. Or at least you could give me Romney or Huckabee. But no, it has to be your way or the highway. It has to be your guy or nobody. It isn’t going to happen. Because of you we will all lose.

    I expect to see you all here at the highway later after your McCain loses the national election for us.

  146. McCain did the “Dean Scream” with his cute little “Bomb, Bomb, Iran” rendition. I agree that he is no conservative and no way will I, as a Precinct Captain, ever vote for him.

    I tend to lean a little to the libertarian side and believe that this country is headed down the wrong path – if it hasn’t actually already fallen over the cliff. Any of the front runners from either party will be just more of the same.

    The are a lot of things that I as an individual cannot afford to do that would be nice to do. I’d love to give $1000/mo to charity – it’s not in my budget. This country has to learn that same thing – it cannot afford to be everything to everyone and it cannot afford to police the world – some people just need to stand on their own feet.

    All the Republicans seem to be hung up on Ronald Reagan. The only President to run bigger deficits than RR is GW Bush! I say let’s not go back to the Ronald Reagan flavor of the GOP – let’s go back to the Barry Goldwater flavor of the GOP.

    Barry Goldwater was the inspiration for Ronald Reagan. Barry Goldwater was strongly in favor of cutting back the power and the spending of the federal government. He was against foreign aid (sorry Israel!), high taxes, unbalanced budgets and anything else he thought threatened individuals or free enterprise.

    Only one candidate embraces those ideals and he was never a governor. He will get my vote tomorrow.

  147. The other night, in a friendly argument with a liberal friend, I said nearly the same thing Bill did: I will not vote for McCain. I will not vote for Hillary. If it’s McCain/Obama, I will vote for Obama to send a message and because he’s the only one of the three that seems a decent human being.

    Why should I believe that McCain will keep his promise on Supreme Court appointments? Clearly, John McCain’s view of strict constructionism is that you start counting the first 10 amendments starting with #3.

    Why should I believe McCain will intelligently prosecute the war on imperialist Islam? If there’s one thing I learned from watching GWB, it’s that it’s not enough to have your heart in the right place on this issue.

    All things taken into consideration, I’d rather have Hillary in the White House than McCain (though I wouldn’t vote for her, based on the gag reflex thing that Bill has so eloquently expressed). Obama will have a very hard time getting anything done domestically that will matter all that much, and at least he can think on his feet and reacts with decency and honesty when surprised.

    John McCain thinks he’s Ceasar (I wish!) and Hillary thinks she’s Annie from Misery and she’s going to nurse us all back to good health.

    Of the three, I actually trust Obama to react in the smartest way and to take facts on the ground into account if/when we suffer another major attack. However, I hadn’t thought about a write-in campaign. If I find out that significant numbers of Republican voters (say, more than 10%) are reporting they’re going to write-in, I’ll do that. This election must be about severely punishing the Republicans, since they clearly weren’t fazed by the spanking they got 2 years ago.

  148. McCain doesn’t believe in the first amendment…right….

    F*** McCain. F*** you, MikeyLikesIt. And F*** McCain-Feingold. But mostly f*** you and your hysterical, exaggerating ass, MikeyLikesIt.

    Oh, wow. McCain-Feingold hasn’t struck me with a lightening bolt. Something must be wrong. McCain-Feingold hates freedom of speech so much that it rips the vocal cords out of the people who disagree with it.

    And, lastly, F*** You, Bill Quick. You are an pompous, emotionally fragile, intellectually dishonest jerk who wouldn’t know free speech if it hit you in the head. Come on, McCain-Feingold me, Bill. You know you want to.

  149. Hey, Major, I can’t hear you for that Shit Sandwich stuck in your throat behind that shit-eating grin.

    But I’ll leave your entirely baboonish comment up as an example of what passes for “thought” in Shit Sandwich Republican circles. You couldn’t hold your own with me for ten seconds on the best day of your mindless, robotic life, dumbass.

  150. Drug companies have 2 costs plus a profit they need to take into account when pricing their product. The first cost is R&D and that is a “sunk” cost. The second is the incrementqal mfg and sales costs for producing and distributing the drugs. The third is a profit margin commensurate with the risk they are taking that they “sink” all this money into drugs that fail or don’t sell as well as they thought. “Businessman’s Risk” profits.

    Once the Sunk Costs, Incremental Costs and Profits are recouped in developed markets at the prices the market will bear, then the drug companies can sell to other markets. As long as they can sell additional product just slightly over their incremental costs, they are enhancing their Cash Flow. This additional Cash Flow can be used to finance new drug development and internal cash flow generation is a highly efficient, cheaper way to finance than raising equity or debt.

    The drug companies don’t have to sell to the Canadians at the prices they demand (ie developing world pricing!!). But the incremental cash flow they get results in overall lower future “sunk” costs (lower financing from internal cash generation) and hence lower prices on average for new drugs. Plus these Canadian (freeloaders? free riders? selfish bastards?) customers and third world consumers get low cost, modern drugs. Isn’t that a win/win?

    Either the drug companies recoup their costs plus a profit or they don’t develop the drugs. Force Canadian pricing on the US by reimportation at the extorted lower pricing and new drugs don’t get developed.

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  152. Either the drug companies recoup their costs plus a profit or they don’t develop the drugs. Force Canadian pricing on the US by reimportation at the extorted lower pricing and new drugs don’t get developed.

    This is one of the major problems facing us today with the health care issue.

    Due to rapid technological advances the last 30 years, our ability to provide health care has far outpaced our ability to pay for it.

  153. Bill,

    In reply to #138, I still just don’t agree at all. I am at least as conservative, free market, etc etc as you are, and I have at least as much disdain for McCain’s policies as you do. But I’m unsympathetic to the US drug companies on this one.

    We already have laws on the books that prohibit cartels, price-fixing, collusion among competitors to divide markets and so on. Each of these restricts companies and lowers their potential profits. However none of them is very controversial even among free market types.

    If the drug companies choose to sell a drug to person A, and A pays for it, then the drug now belongs to person A, and person A has the right to do whatever he wants with it, including selling it to B. It’s sound free market practice to iron out inefficiencies in the market. If the drug companies want the government to step in to help them maintain market inefficiencies, it isn’t all that different from asking the government to help them in maintaining a price fixing cartel.

    The bill would not at all fix prices. Drug companies would be free to charge whatever the market would bear. The government would simply be preventing prices being used as a back door mechanism to impose post-sale control on customers. If a customer buys in bulk in Canada and then says “I changed my mind, I want to sell in the US after all”, the US government is supposed to help the drug companies extract an additional payment? I just don’t buy it at all.

  154. The bill would not at all fix prices. Drug companies would be free to charge whatever the market would bear. The government would simply be preventing prices being used as a back door mechanism to impose post-sale control on customers. If a customer buys in bulk in Canada and then says “I changed my mind, I want to sell in the US after all”, the US government is supposed to help the drug companies extract an additional payment? I just don’t buy it at all.

    Maybe this will make it more clear to you, An.

    The New York Times > Business > Importing Less Expensive Drugs Not Seen as Cure for U.S. Woes

    And some of the drug companies’ defensive tactics could be barred by law. The Senate legislation, for example, would bar pharmaceutical companies from denying supplies to distributors and pharmacies that export to the United States.

    And the effect of that is to force the US companies to subsidize the undercutting of their own domestic pricing – in effect, importing Canadian price controls.

  155. The Republican party is neither my lover nor my parent. I don’t owe anything to the party. I don’t exist to advance the party or make it into something in my own image. In fact, I could care less about political parties. The party exists so that like minded indivdiuals can put forward an agenda that they believe to be the best course of action for everyone. I’m not trying to get back at the party, and this is not a cry for attention. This is the realization that I am no longer of like mind with the moderate wing and so we really aren’t in a unified party at all. Because political parties exist for their members and not the other way around, I could care less if the party lives or dies. All I care about is that a party exists that closely approximates my own viewpoint. It does no good to me or the country if I support someone with a statist viewpoint because someone believes in faster statist expansion. The end is still a government dominated country. Whether or not others view the slow decent into socialism as desireable compared to the swift decent, to me both are highly undesirable outcomes of equally bad weight and I won’t be part of either one.

    The fact is that McCain is not someone I agree with on many issues that are important to me. I’m not going to vote for someone who opposes me on most issues because someone else out there is even more wrong. Degrees of wrong are still wrong, and he’s not correct on enough issues for me to even argue that it’s better than the alternative. And it seems that many people on the right wing agree with me.

  156. Very interesting graph up at Samizdata that shows, imo, that McCain can’t possibly win the general. Apparently history shows that a large proportion of GOP voters vote their principles, not their party, and simply will not be fed what they think is a shit sandwich.

    Note that Ronald Reagan got considerably more votes in 1984 than GWB did 16 years later. Do they have a copy of this graph at RNC headquarters? Do they have any clue whatsoever as to the realities of the GOP voter? What was that about Karl Rove being a political genius?

  157. Bill,

    Yes, it is indeed clear to me that the drug companies would not be able to exercise some of their ‘defensive’ tactics. If they sell a drug, they give up their rights to say what happens the drug after that — that’s all right and proper, it now belongs to someone else.

    They are still free to charge whatever price they want in Canada. When the customer hands the money over, ownership passes on. So what they would be prohibited from doing is setting DIFFERENT prices according to what the customer intended to do with it later. Since I don’t happen to believe they have any right to dictate how the drug is used later, I don’t see the problem.

    In the same way, if they set up ‘defensive’ tactics that prohibit a customer in New York from reselling in California, or charged a higher price if they said they intended to do so, my understanding is that there’s at least a good chance that courts will explain to them that they have no right to do any such thing, no matter how much it helps their profits.

    If I buy a new car, and four years later I want to sell it used, does the manufacturer come after me for competing with them? The market for used cars interferes with the market for new cars quite a bit, but we don’t ban the used car market for that reason.

  158. So, AN Other, if the Canadian government tells GM they will purchase 1 million Suburbans for a substantial discount, is it permissable for GM to say yes, but only so long as you do not try to re-sale those vehicles in the USA? Why would GM not be allowed to put conditions upon the sale?

  159. Fugate,

    You cannot simply assume away the existence of parties when thinking about the political future of the United States. For better or worse, parties are the mechanism by which the wide range of potential candidates get filtered down to the two major choices we face on election day. When neither choice is acceptable (as seems likely to be the case this year), we have to think about how to influence party behavior in a way that will produce better choices in the future. And one major means for doing so is to demonstrate to the potentially better party that it cannot win by nominating unacceptable candidates.

    The choice I am faced with this election is between these two alternatives:

    1) A large short-term loss of liberty plus a potential improvement in long term support for liberty by the GOP; or

    2) A smaller short-term loss of liberty plus a continued erosion in long-term support for liberty by the GOP.

    Given that trade-off between the short and long-term, I choose to take the hit up front in exchange for a chance at long-term victory.

    If, as in your example, I were faced with a choice between Hillary and McCain in a context where some mechanism other than party had resulted in my having that choice, I would still have the desire to change whatever selection mechanism was in place so that I would get better alternatives in the future. Whether that change would still require me to oppose McCain would obviously depend on what the selection mechanism was and whether its future results were influenced by current electoral outcomes.

  160. Drug companies are not free to charge whatever they want in Canada. That’s why prices in Canada are so low. They are free to sell drugs at the price dictated by Canada, or to not sell. I don’t understand how someone can equate a government mandated price with a free-market price. It’s not like the government of Canada negotiated with drug companies. They just set a price and the drug companies were obligated to take it and sell below actual market price, or leave it and not sell anything at all. Other Canadians aren’t free to pay more if the drug companies go home because that would be illegal. That’s the key difference between a market and a government – when the government sets a price and you find a buyer willing to pay more, the government puts you in jail.

  161. They are still free to charge whatever price they want in Canada.

    No, AN, they are not.nt

    Either they meet the mandated, price-control standards set by the Canadian government, or the Canadian government voids their patent protections and manufactures the drugs on their own.

    So they are inextricably caught: They are not permitted not to sell to the Canadia government by US law, the Canadian government, by its own laws, will not permit them to raise prices, and US law will not permit them to exercise customary patent rights and prevent the reimportation of competitive product they are forced to manufacture and supply at what would be below market prices in a fair free market situation.

    The end result is the same: back door price corols based on the lowest forced controls of countries re-exporting back to the US. And nothing the drug companies can do about it.

    , but we don’t ban the used car market for that reason.

    You are starting to sound wilfully obtuse. We also don’t force GM to sell you a new car at used car prices, so you can re-sell it at new car prices lower than GM would sell it, either.

  162. when the government sets a price and you find a buyer willing to pay more, the government puts you in jail.

    Actually, in this case, the government simply ignores your patent rights and makes the drugs itself. But they don’t have to, because McCain’s law would have forbidden the US companies from refusing to sell at the mandated Canadian price in the first place.

  163. In reply to #163:

    This is exactly why I said, way back in #131 (my first comment) that:

    “On the prescription drug reimportation, my understanding is that pharmaceutical companies are not usually being forced to sell particular drugs in Canada, it’s just that if they do, they do so at a price negotiated with the Canadian government. Assuming the companies are willing sellers,

    (Naturally the picture changes if the other country is ripping off patented medicines.)”

    While there are some countries that are violating drug patents, in fairness to Canada they have not done so (yet).

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  166. Interesting article. thanks for bringing the McCain objections together in one place.

    I think McCain may be the best we can hope for after George W Bush. His administration has put us where we are. By supporting him for 8 years, all the momentum built up by solid, honest clear thinking conservatives since Nixon is gone. Crone ism and incompetence has cost our movement dearly.

    It used to be that conservatism was about competence, fiscal responsibility and personal integrity. Now it seems that all that is left is braying ideology.

    I am pretty sure that there is no way that the republican party can win in November. We just need to do our time in the wilderness and vow not to be fooled again when we get another chance in 2012.

  167. Due to rapid technological advances the last 30 years, our ability to provide health care has far outpaced our ability to pay for it.

    Hey Mike, then you must love McCain’s idea. Then there won’t be any technological advances and we won’t have to worry about our ability to pay for it.

    Dumbass.

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  170. Hey Mike, then you must love McCain’s idea. Then there won’t be any technological advances and we won’t have to worry about our ability to pay for it.

    I was merely stating a fact and there is not much I like about McCain.

    It’s not my fault if your reading level is not sufficient enough to comprehend that.

  171. It’s an interesting list, but I’m sure you could write a similar one for Romney. The only difference is Romney was a Mass. politician, so his perfidies aren’t as well-known.

    There is no pure conservative in the race. You have Mitt or McCain to choose between.

    So, yes, McCain sucks. But look at Mitt. As Governor this guy was pro-choice, pro-amnesty, pro-Ted Kennedy. Now that he’s running in a Prez primary, suddenly he’s Ann Coulter with balls.

    So what does this tell us about Mitt? That he will pander to whatever will make him popular at the moment. Now take a second and think about what President Romney will do under the constant, daily pressure of the national MSM (in the unlikely event he could even win a general).

    Do we want to nominate a windsock,. just because he blows our way at the moment?

    It pains me to say this, but McCain would probably be a more conservative President than Romney, just because he’s ornery.

    And I think we’re going to miss Bush.

  172. Kyle Haight – Those are all good points, but here’s another one: All actions, and in fact, inactions, have consequences. You can’t simply say “I don’t like any of these choices, so I’m not voting” and absolve yourself of any responsibility. Your nonvoting is going to help put someone is office. The statement “Obama, Clinton, and McCain are all equally bad choices” has a vanishingly small chance of being literally true. Therefore, anyone who uses this rationale has based his reasoning on a falsehood. In fact, he is basing his final decision on little more than emotion. If you think it’s a good idea to help put someone in the office of the presidency who is the most liberal member of the senate (Obama) and believes we should elevate terror-sponsoring states to partners in shaping the future world, well, we have nothing in common.

    The odd thing is, I see a perfect storm brewing for McCain inspite of, or maybe partially because of, the Bill Quicks of the world. Bill seems to think that the big bad GOP is trying to ram something down our throats (or somewhere else in his more colorful analogy) but that’s just silly. Republican voters will put McCain over the top. If anything, the GOP establishment is dead-set against McCain. The hard right and the hard left both hate McCain and they are driving the big squishy middle right into his arms. People like BQ making McCain out to be moderate or liberal makes him safe for those know-nothing moderates and independents. And despite all the historonics now, many, many of the conservatives swearing an oath against McCain will come around when the reality of what they are doing becomes more clear. Ironically, the hard left also sees him as a something of a Trojan horse since they know full well he is nothing close to a liberal in reality.

    This is not a Republican year but, against all odds, things are lining up for the Democrats dreams to be blocked. This says a lot about the sad state of the US electorate, but McCain is the only Republican that is likely to win this year. Electing McCain would be a defensive move, but under the circumstances and given the reality on the ground, that’s nothing to sneeze at. Sometimes it’s not about getting everything you want, it’s about making sure THEY don’t.

  173. Fugate,

    I don’t think I said that Clinton, Obama and McCain are equally bad choices from the perspective of what each would likely do in office. In fact, I said that I think in the short term McCain would do less damage to our liberty than either Clinton or Obama. The problem is that in the long term I think McCain’s election would do more damage to our liberty than either Clinton or Obama’s election — because of the long term damage McCain would do to the GOP as a party of liberty. It’s the short-term/long-term tradeoff that lies at the heart of the dispute. The pro-McCain people think the short-term cost of Hillary/Obama in the White House is too high. I could imagine scenarios in which that would be true — if I had to choose between McCain and Hitler, I’d vote McCain. But neither Hillary nor Obama is Hitler, and I choose the long-term side of the tradeoff. I’m not voting for the Democrat, I’m voting against the GOP turning into (in Robert Bidinotto’s words) a party dedicated to “business-bashing, radical environmentalism, the fascistic thuggery of “self-sacrifice” and “national service,” government takeover of the energy industry, and a host of other statist policies too malignant to contemplate.”

    In actuality, since I live in California, my vote is utterly irrelevant to who becomes President. No matter who runs, the Democrat is going to take California by a fair margin. Do I think putting Obama in the White House is a good idea? No. I think it’s a terrible idea which will have disasterous consequences. I just think that acquiescing in the rise of McCain-style progressivism within the GOP is a worse idea which will have even more disasterous consequences. There are no good choices left open to us; we’re stuck with damage control. It sucks, but that’s where we are.

    Republican voters may put McCain over the top. I’m doubtful. I, however, am not a Republican voter. I’m a secular pro-freedom individualist, and I vote my values as best I am able. By that standard and my current best judgment, a vote for McCain does not advance my political values over the long term, and therefore if McCain does get elected he will do it over my opposition rather than with my support.

  174. Mike

    I’ll let the rebuttals at Megan McCardle’s blog to your comment stand as a response and I’ll just add this.

    150 years ago no one could fly. 100 years ago adventurers willing to risk death flew. 50 years ago only the rich could afford to fly. 25 years ago the average businessman could fly. Now almost everyone in America can afford to fly on an airplane.

    Technological breakthroughs enhance productivity. Enhanced productivity reduces cost. Reduced cost means more and more people can afford it. Economies of scale means this process accelerates and soon everyone can afford it.

    Apply this simple fact to any technology. Indoor plumbing. Medical procedures.

    It just takes time.

    So the statement that technology is making healthcare unaffordable is just plain wrong.

    100 years ago how many people could afford an MRI? None because its cost was infinite. It didn’t exist. How about 25 years ago? Do you think today more people can afford an MRI in America than ever before. If we don’t f*ck it up, do you think more people 10 years from now could afford it? There is no healthcare crisis in America.

    Just people that know that controlling health care can be extended into every facet of life. Just ask those that are in danger of being denied treatment because they are fat. Welcome to National Healthcare.

  175. I agree with you up to a point.

    My point, to use some of your examples, is that the cost of health care overall is rising in this country due to advances (which is a good thing!) in the technology. MRI’s did not exist that long ago – now they add to the cost of health care – and also are a big benefit to it – I do not mean it as a negative. Open heart surgery was not around until the early 1950s – nows it also adds to the cost where it didn’t before. Don’t get me wrong – these “new” advances in health care/medicine are great, but they do add to the cost. We’re looking at nano technology and specific gene therapy – where a cure for a disease can be custom tailored to the individual – that’s outstanding – but, it might cost $250k to do it per person. That will add to the overall cost this country spends on health care. It will also improve it people lives if we can afford it. Granted, costs of the new technologies will drop over time, but, the cost of health care is currently far out pacing the inflation and general wage increases and that is due to the new technologies.

  176. Fugate,

    I don’t think I said that Clinton, Obama and McCain are equally bad choices from the perspective of what each would likely do in office. In fact, I said that I think in the short term McCain would do less damage to our liberty than either Clinton or Obama. The problem is that in the long term I think McCain’s election would do more damage to our liberty than either Clinton or Obama’s election — because of the long term damage McCain would do to the GOP as a party of liberty. It’s the short-term/long-term tradeoff that lies at the heart of the dispute. The pro-McCain people think the short-term cost of Hillary/Obama in the White House is too high. I could imagine scenarios in which that would be true — if I had to choose between McCain and Hitler, I’d vote McCain. But neither Hillary nor Obama is Hitler, and I choose the long-term side of the tradeoff. I’m not voting for the Democrat, I’m voting against the GOP turning into (in Robert Bidinotto’s words) a party dedicated to “business-bashing, radical environmentalism, the fascistic thuggery of ‘self-sacrifice’ and ‘national service,’ government takeover of the energy industry, and a host of other statist policies too malignant to contemplate.”

    In actuality, since I live in California, my vote is utterly irrelevant to who becomes President. No matter who runs, the Democrat is going to take California by a fair margin. Do I think putting Obama in the White House is a good idea? No. I think it’s a terrible idea which will have disasterous consequences. I just think that acquiescing in the rise of McCain-style progressivism within the GOP is a worse idea which will have even more disasterous consequences. There are no good choices left open to us; we’re stuck with damage control. It sucks, but that’s where we are.

    Republican voters may put McCain over the top. I’m doubtful. I, however, am not a Republican voter. I’m a secular pro-freedom individualist, and I vote my values as best I am able. By that standard and my current best judgment, a vote for McCain does not advance my political values over the long term, and therefore if McCain does get elected he will do it over my opposition rather than with my support.

  177. Fugate,

    I don’t think I said that Clinton, Obama and McCain are equally bad choices from the perspective of what each would likely do in office. In fact, I said that I think in the short term McCain would do less damage to our liberty than either Clinton or Obama. The problem is that in the long term I think McCain’s election would do more damage to our liberty than either Clinton or Obama’s election — because of the long term damage McCain would do to the GOP as a party of liberty. It’s the short-term/long-term tradeoff that lies at the heart of the dispute. The pro-McCain people think the short-term cost of Hillary/Obama in the White House is too high. I could imagine scenarios in which that would be true — if I had to choose between McCain and Hitler, I’d vote McCain. But neither Hillary nor Obama is Hitler, and I choose the long-term side of the tradeoff. I’m not voting for the Democrat, I’m voting against the GOP turning into (in Robert Bidinotto’s words) a party dedicated to “business-bashing, radical environmentalism, the fascistic thuggery of ‘self-sacrifice’ and ‘national service,’ government takeover of the energy industry, and a host of other statist policies too malignant to contemplate.”

    In actuality, since I live in California, my vote is utterly irrelevant to who becomes President. No matter who runs, the Democrat is going to take California by a fair margin. Do I think putting Obama in the White House is a good idea? No. I think it’s a terrible idea which will have disasterous consequences. I just think that acquiescing in the rise of McCain-style progressivism within the GOP is a worse idea which will have even more disasterous consequences. There are no good choices left open to us; we’re stuck with damage control. It sucks, but that’s where we are.

    Republican voters may put McCain over the top. I’m doubtful. I, however, am not a Republican voter. I’m a secular pro-freedom individualist, and I vote my values as best I am able. By that standard and my current best judgment, a vote for McCain does not advance my political values over the long term, and therefore if McCain does get elected he will do it over my opposition rather than with my support.

    (For some reason this comment doesn’t seem to be going through; I’m registering and trying to post it one more time to see if it’s getting caught in the spam filter.)

  178. My favorite cartoon is the one where Romney has an extra long chin with several mouths to the left and right on it. Each mouth is espousing a different position.
    The caption reads “Just stop me when you hear something you like.”
    This is your best jab at the POTUS?????

  179. “McCain doesn’t believe in the first amendment…right….

    F*** McCain. F*** you, MikeyLikesIt. And F*** McCain-Feingold. But mostly f*** you and your hysterical, exaggerating ass, MikeyLikesIt.

    Oh, wow. McCain-Feingold hasn’t struck me with a lightening bolt.”

    well you’re lucky Major, you’re lucky the FEC Commissioners, after being sued to look at regulating the internet in 2005 chose to give internet communications a pass.

    Or you’d be making a non-diclosed in-kind donation, with a political communication within 30 days of a primary. Big fine there.

    But you’re right, McCain lost that one. So now he’s running for the office that picks the FEC Commissioners.

    Do you believe that he’s going to be looking for 6 people that agree that the internet needs CFR regulations, or is he going to pick out 6 people that disagree with him?

    Naah, f*** it. Vote for McCain, those 6 digit fines won’t hinder free speech at all.

    And, lastly, F*** You, Major. You are an pompous, emotionally fragile, intellectually dishonest jerk who wouldn’t know free speech if it hit you in the head.

    I think that applies. Since yo have no f***ing idea what your candidate stands for, you don’t know his actions in 2005, you don’t know his goals, and you’re f***ing trying to help him cripple political content on the internet; the intellectually dishonest one here isn’t the one working against McCain.

    Or do you have proof that he’s decided his 2005 lawsuit was a bad idea, any apology or retraction from McCain on that? I’ve looked, but maybe I missed McCain being a decent person honoring his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution for once.

    Pardon me if I don’t hold my breath while you look.

    Oh, and before you call bullshit on me… Here are some links from 2005 so you can see what the filling in your shit sandwich really wants.

    An FEC Commissioner’s take on it, at the time:
    http://www.news.com/The-coming-crackdown-on-blogging/2008-1028_3-5597079.html

    WSJ editorial on the lawsuit:
    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110006458

    and the outcome, with the Commissioners voting to protect the internet after McCain forced them to make a ruling and not just ignore it:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/27/AR2006032701474.html

    Now, since they ignored it before McCain sued, he obviously wasn’t looking for an “ignore it” outcome.

    Feel free to go hunting, but I think this evidence clearly pins down that McCain doesn’t like individuals on the internet, at low cost, making their opinions known.

    So yes, he’s bad on the First Amendment. In fact, he’s the worst candidate running, bar none of the First amendment.

    Disagree if you like, but you’re going to have to come up with some proof to match mine, unless of course you jump straight to McCain’s usual defense of name-calling, and screeching.

  180. I like McCain (who else has the gonads to tell Iowans he wants to eliminate farm subsidies) but I respect your decision to sit out this election. I remember getting upset when Clinton won his first term, but that ended up OK considering we got welfare reform, trade agreements and a balanced budget out of the deal. Besides we’ll have another election in four years anyway and you’ll have a new list of candidates to love/hate. Peace.

  181. I will not vote for McCain. Period. I will vote for the Libertarian candidate in November. And I am not alone. There is no way the Republicans can win this election with half their base sitting at home. The Democrats will take this election. Which will be no different from McCain taking it.

    If every Republican would face up to the sad state of their party and vote Libertarian in November, there’s a slim chance we could get a president who would defend our freedoms and Constitution. It would require exceptional Republican turn out for the Libertarians, but considering the low voter turn out in this country in any election, it is possible if people would just get off their rears. At the very least it would send a huge wake up call to the GOP leadership.

    But more than likely Republicans will just stay home.

    I can’t believe this moron is getting the nomination. The next four years are going to be hell.

  182. Glad to see somebody mention the story by “The Hill” report last week. McCain was offering his services to the Dems but either wasn’t offered his price or Jeffords beat him to the punch. Anybody who’d be willing to prostitute himself for power will never get my vote. No wonder he spoke so glowingly of the Democratic Party, he has become a socialist elitist(or was one from the start?).

  183. Pingback: Tennesseefree.com » Today’s lame attempt by John McCain to ‘reach out’ to Conservatives (or, the CACA speech…)

  184. While I fully understand the angst of Conservatives in their policy opposition to John McCain blunders like Illegal immigration, Conservatives are beginning to amaze me in their inability to see the larger picture.

    While I also disagree with McCain on a dozen issues or so, the alternative is not just four years of ‘sitting it out’ as some have proposed.

    Many talk radio hosts have battled a McCain nomination. Even Focus On The Family Director Dr. Dobson (who I admire ) has declared his refusal to vote for McCain.

    This astonishes me because it’s the same as saying “if we don’t get the conservative I want, We’ll let the country go to hell in a hand basket.”

    This, in my opinion is very dangerous and makes our future prospects harder – since our children will be growing up in the aftermath of such a decision.

    Anti McCain pundits and commentators such as Rush Limbaugh have ventured the idea that perhaps we should sit this election out and let the Dems have a term in office, claiming it might pave the way for a future shot at a candidate he and others will like in four years.

    While I understand these expressions of dismay, I think it’s shortsighted. Imagine the damage our country will endure if Democrats control all three branches of government for 4 to 8 years. .

    This would give liberals what they will treat as a clear sign from America that is it ready to move sharply to the left. Conservatism will lose most of it’s teeth and the liberal agenda could easily reverse all of the progress we’ve made in the war on terror, Tax reduction, Pro Life, and other extremely important issue.

    We can always address the issue of immigration again in 4 years. What we cannot afford to see happen is a liberal agenda that makes illegal immigration the least of our country’s problems. Our country may be so torn up, it won’t have the time to even visit the issue, like we can today.

    There is no such thing as a quick recovery from 4 years of liberalism unchecked. We may be facing what will take years and years of damage to undo. What’s more, there’s no guarantee that it WILL be undone. The passage of even one single liberal law is extremely difficult to outlaw – as if Roe V Wade hasn’t taught us this already!

    Rush Limbaugh and others may revel in 4 years of liberal destruction as a talk radio host who can use the material, however all it takes is one liberal judge appointed to the Supreme Court to unravel the one ace we’ve achieved in the last 8 years. This doesn’t occur to me as a smart decision for Conservatives to be making..

    As Evangelical Conservatives know, Pride cometh before the fall, and I hope they will study that verse before deciding to approach this election with dismay rather than enthusiasm.

    Questioning McCain was right and highly useful for a time and a season. But there are greater threats looming on our horizon than John McCain.

    It’s time to put our differences aside and get with the business assuring our children, they will not grow up in a socialist, liberally dominated world. This may be our cross roads, and it is certainly no time to be staying home on Election Day.

    Danny Vice
    The Weekly Vice
    http://weeklyvice.blogspot.com

    ThaLunatic Daily
    http://thalunatic.blogspot.com

  185. Bill, if I may call you that, May I suggest that you take the Twin Towers disaster picture off your masthead. While I understand your reaction to McCain, to suggest as your blog art does that your loyalty is primarily to the America as injured and threatened on 9-11 is just not true. The other issues you mentioned in your blogpost are now primary. Thanks to ‘AN Other’ also for their commentary.

  186. I have called McCain McRINO, as his irksome positions on some supplementary issues have been distinctly anti-republican, most notably the McCain-Kennedy bill (a collaboration with Ted “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy for God’s sake!), the most far reaching amnesty program for illegal immigrants in American history. This has become conservatives’ hot button against McCain. Now he is being called McAmnesty or Juan McCain.

    But consider this: As the presumptive Republican nominee, the relevance of McCain’s position on amnesty and the others mentioned pale in consideration of his rock solid record on the core principles of the “Reagan coalition”:
    #1 – National Defense [War on Terror]
    #2 – Fiscal Conservatism
    #3 – Pro Life
    Its hard to fathom how any conservative voter could see any alternative but to support John McCain at this point.

    Unless they’d rather have:
    – Sharia overlords threatening America
    – Tax & Spend Socialism
    – Death to babies in the womb at any stage of development as a convenience.
    – Hard left liberal justices on the supreme court to usher in moveon.org and Rosie O’Donnell’s vision for the nation.

    Please, please lets get our priorities straight! Fred Thompson was just right to me on ALL the issues, but it became clear that just ain’t gonna fly. Let’s hope and pray that enough of us still realize the critical impact that the establishment of a stable government in Iraq has on our national security and world freedom. We are steadily annihilating those jihadi vermin (even though you only hear about our losses). Keeping them on defense and the war over there has prevented any more 911s over here. The next president may have to deal with a nuclear Iran. Obama? The Clintons? Paleeeeeeeese.

    I must admit that I relish the thought of a sociocrat POTUS facing revived opposition on the hill; but teamed up with Pelosi, Ried, the mainstream media and brainwashed minions galore, I fear Obama or Clinton in the white house would bring too much and too long of a price to pay.

    Most of all I hope and pray that enough of us realize that this election will decide whether we choose to fight to victory in Iraq or announce surrender. It will decide whether we have a president who dangerously weakens U.S. security or strengthens it; whether we will flinch and retreat or fully engage our mortal enemies. THAT is my line in the sand.

  187. Conservatives are beginning to amaze me in their inability to see what’s really at stake here. This election is about more than McCain and his inability to follow conservative principals.

    How is handing the whole country over to far left liberals a suitable alternative to McCain?

    There is a serious difference between McCain and a purebread liberal who is bent on destroying ALL conservative values permanantly.

    Today’s liberal is not like the Bill Clinton’s Presidency. It’s moved radically left… Clinton is now considered a moderated, and loosing it’s power because it’s not radically liberal enough.

    The Democratic candidate that is surging now, Obama, is bottom of the barrel liberal. He is about to take power, unless conservatives stop fighting and get serious.

    This would give liberals what they will treat as a clear sign from America that is it ready to move sharply to the left. Not slightly to the left.

    Cherry picking our candidate is exactly what got us INTO this mess, and if conservatives aren’t careful, they will allow our country spiral out of control.

    There is no such thing as a quick recovery from 4 years of radical liberalism unchecked. We may be facing what will take years and years of damage to undo. What’s more, there’s no guarantee that it WILL be undone. Have conservatives completely forgotten Roe v. Wade and other extremely important issues?

    Questioning McCain was right and highly useful for a time and a season. Many of us wish we had acted sooner to support Romney or Huck…. But staying home on election day allows liberals a pass to capture all THREE branches of Government. Our kids deserve better out of us.

    I’m not asking anyone to sacrifice their own belief or convictions, but we have a serious problem here that requires that we do everything we can to minimize the damage this election can cause to our society.

    I’d rather have 50% of McCains ear, than 0% of a liberals ear.

    Give it some thought, friends.

    Danny Vice
    http://weeklyvice.blogspot.com
    http://thalunatic.blogspot.com

  188. To Danny Vice:

    If you comment here, it will be because you are participating in the discussion here, not because you’re posting pamphlets and running off. I released one of your “comments,” above. I now have another one sitting in the spam queue, and there it will stay. Your screeds are welcome — on your own blog.

    Clayton Jones

  189. Congressional ratings at the American Conservative Union, you will find that McCain has averaged 65-80 over the last several years. Obama and Clinton are 8-12. The ACU rates on 25 selected votes each year. Over the 50 votes ACU rated in 2005-2006 (2007 isn’t up yet) McCain differed from Obama 31 times and from Clinton 30 times. (They were right 9 out of 100 times between them, believe it or not.) That’s not a trivial difference.

    I don’t trust McCain, I don’t like McCain. But he’s not the same, or even close to the same, as Obama or Clinton.

    Another points: “Obama and Clinton are not Hitler.” Well, not exactly, of course. But either of them would institute changes that would make it much harder for Republicans ever to win again. The addition of millions of immigrant voters. A “Fairness doctrine” to silence conservative talk radio. Restrictions on the internet. Clinton, I think, would go further – she regards blackmail and intimidation as normal politics. How far? Continual FBI and IRS investigations of conservative activists, NGOs, and donors, and of Republicans who make trouble. Business interests told to “pay for play” – donate to Democrats, and not Republicans: get favorable regulation and lush contracts – otherwise, be crushed by hostile regulation and denied all contracts. And now that I think obout it, Obama could be just as bad. He got into the state senate by disqualifying all the other candidates, including the incumbent who was his patroness. (He’s never won a seriously contested election.)

    Final point: anyone who wants McCain to lose “so the Democrats will be to blame” – what you’re advocating includes surrender in Iraq, and everyone knows it. Don’t pretend that Obama or Clinton will be “responsible” and fight for victory: both are deeply committed to “getting out” as fast as possible, as is the Democratic Party base. Clinton is an ex-60s radical who despises the military; Obama is the darling of the netroots. Go tell a wounded Iraq veteran to his face what you intend – if you dare.

    This issue trumps just about everything.

  190. Well, fire the lobbyists, disregard special interest groups and truely separate the legislative branch from the judicial as the Constitution intended it to be!
    If the voters vote it in, then we will either receive the blessing or the burden of the decision and if we again wish to change it after a time, then we vote again.
    I am also a fan of line-item vetoes, however, lets take it a step further-rider attached to other bills should warrent line-item votes as well. This would go far to prove Legislator’s true value system and support of their electors and ease the need for them to lower their standards of conservatism by being forced to choose the “lesser of 2 (or more) evils!
    Then, how about fairness? Why do elected officials get to raise their salaries without a people vote? Why do we need Committees any longer when we have technology to allow for such things as popular votes, direct input and other communication? Why do we need the Electoral College any longer? Why aren’t income taxes deemed illegal as they should be when they were given an expiration date?
    What has happened to the true American Dream? When the fella put up a General Store in the middle of the prairie to SERVE his neighbor. We have lost pride in our manufacturing, pride in our education and perverted the meaning of life’s satisfaction. It is now the Generation of “I want mine NOW, I want as MUCH as I can get and I don’t care how many people I need to step on to get there!

  191. Can someone please tell me why campaign finance reform is anti-first amendment, while proposals to ban flag burning are not?

    You either support the first amendment or you don’t. If you want to amend the Constitution to ban flag burning, don’t complain when others want to simply pass a law regulating political campaign contributions.

  192. Can someone please tell me why campaign finance reform is anti-first amendment, while proposals to ban flag burning are not?

    You’re at the wrong site, pal. The majority around here thinks both infringe on freedom of expression.

    The big difference is the SCOTUS only thinks one of them is protected – and, frankly, if I had to choose, I’d rather see flag burning banned than political speech 60 days before a political election.

  193. I have a question for Conservatives who claim that there is something honorable about not voting for McCain, refuse to help out and vow to sit home on election day..

    What is honorable about sitting on your butt at home, refusing to vote – allowing all branches of government to be swarmed by RABIDLY liberal opponents who have vowed to undo everything conservatives have fought to achieve over the past decade?

    I hear endless whining and griping from Conservatives – while the extreme liberals, who are bent on reversing every conservative principal – out number us at the polls nearly two to one. Great work conservatives!

    What is so conservative about beating down the only candidate who supports our troops, instead of the extreme liberals who insult them on a daily basis?

    By punishing John McCain for not being conservative enough – you are really punishing all conservatives by making absolutely sure they will be governed by radical, rabid liberalism for the next 4 to 8 years.

    By stomping your feet and refusing to help, you in turn assure them the laws of the land will have few conservatives in a position of power to stop a runaway liberal train.

    If you must be dragged to the polls, then don’t bother complaining when our courts are swarmed by the liberals who will put judges in power. Liberals are outpacing us at the polls at a rate of two rabid liberals for every conservative who can hardly be bothered to show up. Why must conservatives always shoot themselves in the foot?

    Please think twice before punishing the rest of us conservatives, who may not love McCain, but are smart enough to realize the living nightmare that will ensue, if things continue on the path they are going.

    Please open your eyes and look at what will happen, should you decide to go on punishing all of us – by refusing to work with us to stop extreme liberalism from enveloping our entire government.

    Danny Vice
    http://thalunatic.blogspot.com

  194. Please think twice before punishing the rest of us conservatives, who may not love McCain, but are smart enough to realize the living nightmare that will ensue, if things continue on the path they are going.

    If you want conservative votes, nominate somebody conservatives want to vote for. The GOP doesn’t own our votes, it earns them. And it needs to do more than nominate “shit sandwiches” and then demand we vote for them because they taste moderately better than Democrat shit sandwiches.

    You don’t like our whining and griping? Keep on not listening to it. You’ll enjoy your time in the wilderness until you do start listening. Promise.

  195. Oh, and Adam, I would actually have less of a problem with McCain Feingold if it HAD been proposed as an Amendment; at least there would have been an acknowledgment that it was a radical new restriction on the First Amendment…. and they would have had to get a majority of the states to ratify it, which is hard to do.

  196. What is honorable about sitting on your butt at home, refusing to vote – allowing all branches of government to be swarmed by RABIDLY liberal opponents who have vowed to undo everything conservatives have fought to achieve over the past decade?

    What can you say is honorable in voting for a man for POTUS who has clearly demonstrated his disregard for the basic rights that are supposed to be the underpinning of this country, simply because he may prove to be somewhat less unworthy of the office than his electoral opponent?

    Where is the honor to be found in supporting the election of anyone who has repeatedly shown and voiced his indifference to the preservation of national integrity and Constitutional integrity?

    What is so conservative about beating down the only candidate who supports our troops, instead of the extreme liberals who insult them on a daily basis?

    What can you show – aside from a few statements by him – that will serve to prove that John McCain will not “support our troops” only according to the limits and in the manner that the Congress (presently Democrat-dominated and leaning towards anti-military) will prescribe? The man has clearly engaged in both-ends-against-the-middle political log-rolling on virtually every other issue – why would you think that, as POTUS, he would do things any differently?

    If it came to a head-to-head with Congress over issues involving “supporting the troops” – how can you be certain what McCain would do?

    He would compromise, “cut a deal” – just as he has on everything else.

    That might be enough for you – it’s not enough for a lot of others.

    You want votes for a conservative candidate? Go get one – you don’t have any, right now.

  197. The host has offered nothing but angst and insult to those who differ with his view. He may have included a fair share of citations, but I have found just as many that claim the opposite.

    The only shit sandwich I can percieve is the host himself.

  198. Maybe John McCain will switch party’s after the election. After all, he has said he is closer to the dem party than his own. He considered switching according to many reports, and likely would have if Jeffords didn’t beat him to it and the “rewards” for doing so.

    Why would you vote for a man who aligns himself with the democrats in action and thought?

  199. Long time lurker, first time poster. Go easy on me.

    Anyway, this is a great string. I’m not for the shit sandwich. I dislike McCain for all the reasons posted and more. I’m currently taking suggestions for a write-in candidate.

    My .02 (slightly off topic). Bush 43 forged a coalition of libertarians (less government types) and culture minded social conservatives (Christian conservatives in the James Dobson/focus on the family mold). As I see it McCain is a Jim Wallis social(ist) conservative who looks at big government as the only solution not the problem. This leaves both of the old less government, more God coalition sitting on the sidelines this election cycle without a candidate.

    I think the less government, more God coalition can be repaired and rebuilt. What is needed is an effective counter punch to the E.J. Dione, David Gushee, Jim Wallis, Muhammad Yunus narratives that the profit is immoral and that “that poverty, human rights, genocide, sex trafficking and global warming must be no less matters of Christian concern than abortion, homosexuality and embryonic stem-cell research.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/16/us/16beliefs.html?_r=4&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&ref=us&adxnnlx=1203287349-EFqlL/KtCLN8pjLaB0F0ug

    In short, I am calling for a confrontation in the arena of ideas between the old line social conservatives such as Dobson and the new world order social(ist) conservatives such as Wallis and Yunus.

    In such a battle, libertarians have the public policy answers (how to achieve more freedom and prospecrity with less government) and the culture minded/focus on the family social conservatives provide the foot soldiers to take the message to the people and execute the election plan.

    On question remains, can we find a way to work together without pissing each other off?

    Can the odd couple of social conservatives and libertarians get together again? Should they choose to divorce from the Republican Party or just “separate” from the party for this election cycle?

    p.s. I consider myself more of a social conservative than a libertarian, although not offended by either. A rare political animal hybrid often faced with self loathing and internal contradiction, to be sure. : )

  200. Angry Dumbo

    Can the odd couple of social conservatives and libertarians get together again?

    The problem for me is the ‘primacy of religion’ aspects of the religious conservatives. Any candidate that tries to straddle the religious right/libertarian fence needs to be more of a Reagan than a Huckabee. In addition to religiosity, the anti-gay bias and profound anti-abortion bias of the religious right tends to be off-putting to me. If a candidate would agree to limit anti-abortion discussion to late-term abortions, keep their religion personal and not applicable to public policy and agree that gay’s deserve the same (and not more or less) rights, it would make reuniting possible—but then we had all that with Thompson and what did it get us. He didn’t gain the support of the religious right because they had their candidate. So now we get McCain.
    I realize this sounds like you have to go over to the libertarian side, but after the last few months it should be obvious that there really is no other choice.

  201. Angry Dumbo, my own take on the question of cooperation is a bit simpler than Haverwildes.

    First, I think both sides need to compromise. Libertarians need to recognize that for some foks, religious concerns are very important, and deserve consideration. Religious and social conservatives should in response concede that perhaps their concerns are best addressed at the state level, since the constitution does not really make them a concern of the federal government at all.

    In that scenario, both sides would support overturning Roe v. Wade, and both sides would probably support letting the states determine their marriage requirements, without such requirement being imposed on other states.

    Apply similar logic to other issues, and take it from there. A federalism approach can work to heal a lot of rifts in the now-tattered conservative coalition.

    If the factions could compromise that much, I see no reason why they couldn’t work very effectively together.

  202. I’m currently taking suggestions for a write-in candidate.

    Cthulhu. Less evil than Clinton, less corrupt than McCain, and less likely to drive you insane than an attempt to parse Obama’s deep thoughts on foreign policy.

  203. On “Fusionism” which is Socon/Libertarian connections….

    I think there is ground for friendship and alliance.

    Bill’s oh, fifteen points of his ACP, …I agreed with fourteen of them I think. I’m a social conservative.

    It is ideological purism to say “One issue divides us, we can’t be friends.”. The McCainiac’s unfairly accuse both of us of purism. But there does get to be a point where it is an issue.

    I know a lot of folk here at DP get seriously bent about Huckabee, but I’m not sure I see it. It looks to me a lot like kneejerk hatred for someone who is Other.

    I admit he has problems, but I’m not sure its enough to justify the McCain level of opposition he receives.

    As to Abortion…well, straight Libertarian philosophy should make them hard core right to lifers. The fact that it doesn’t is a tell.

    As to gay marriage…I’m sorry, this is not an issue you should ‘die on this hill’. And you can make a perfectly logical arguement that opposition to gay marriage is the equal rights position aka ‘Men and women have the same right…the right to marry those of the opposite gender, and only one of them at a time.’ But really, the major point about GM is that its not something to get exercised over. Its something to get upset about if you’re looking for something to get upset about.

    We both agree on 1)Lowering taxes. 2)AGW is bunk. 3)Lessening regulation. 4) Dumping the Dept. of Ed in the nearest trash can. 5)Putting a border up. 6)Reducing the national deficit. 7)Guns are a right. 8) Federalism. 9) Free speech is nearly absolute (and McCain-Feingold is very troubling.) 10) Welfare is bad for the culture generally (although I would tend to end it later after other forms of welfare are ended. Its much better to get rid of corporate welfare first, and then poor guy’s welfare second once the economy is more free market.) 11) The 10th amendment is not a dead letter. 12) Originalist SCOTUS judges. 13)…..

    I probably could list thirty issues we agree on.

    What is needed is for Libertarians and Social Conservatives to take the party away from the RINO’s. We are growing in strength. They are frankly better at gaming the party system.

    But in general elections a RINO loses, and a smiling conservative wins.

    Now, lets work out a hypothetical modus vivendi. I agree to a Federalist test of the Drug War. We pick a small state, and allow soft drugs to be sold for five years. We come back in five years, and see how it worked out.

    You guys agree to originalist judges(which you want anyways) who will overturn R v. W (most court guys who agree with it still say it was terrible law, badly done anyways.) Abortion gets federalized, and returned to the states where its supposed to be legally anyways.

    We agree to politely disagree on gay marriage.

    We agree to gut the RINOs without mercy or pity. Porkbusters gets an endorsement from James Dobson. Libertarians whole heartedly endorse the destruction of NEA articulating the arguement that it is morally repellent to force a man to pay taxes for art that he objects to.

    And so on.

    None of this, to my mind, is all that difficult. I’m not asking socons or tarians to bend all that much. Just a little bit, and the benefits could be great.

    And in the year 2025, in the wake of the Chinese Reformation (assisted by an American Expeditionary Force) aka WWIII which America wins….there is no Dem party. Libertarians and Conservatives can then have a big spat, and a mutual breakup into the two dominant political parties of the 21st century, the L and the C.

    It could happen.

    And its a lot better future than many others.

  204. Well, Eric, you don’t really sound like you want to compromise much. On all your issues socon issues, you still want libertarian conservatives to make way on the national level, and apparently reject my proposal to let them be decided on a state-by-state level, as the Constitution mostly intended.

    On abortion, your snark that libertarians should be one hundred percent right to life and that we aren’t is a “tell” is insulting. Libertarians believe you own your own body. It is more than merely a receptacle for an embryo, and the mere presence of an embryo does not automatically give it absolute rights to anything. It isn’t, for one thing, a human being, certainly not before it develops even a rudimentary brain.

    So it sounds to me as if you want all the compromising to be done by non-social cons. It won’t work if that’s your attitude. You want to amend the Constitution to prevent gay marriage anywhere in the US? I’ll fight you. You want to outlaw abortion everywhere in the US? I’ll fight you. You want to enshrine some sort of official Christianity even though a significant minority of your fellow citizens aren’t Christian at all? I’ll fight you.

    As for Huckabee, I’ll not only fight him on all these issues, I’ll fight his populist brand of near socialism that he peddles as Christian compassion.

    As I said, if you can’t compromise at all, then don’t expect any compromise from libertarian conservatives, either.

  205. I’m not sure I understand the social conservatives. Maybe Eric can enlighten me. I would very likely be considered a social conservative in terms of my views as to what makes a good society. However, I am totally against having my values, or yours, enforced by the federal government. As for states, I think it is the intention of the founders, through the constitution, to provide a competition between the states. California can do what California thinks best, and Idaho can do what Idaho likes, all within the confines of the constitution of course.

    To answer the question about Huckabee, he is Obama light in my opinion. As I recall, he thinks we should change the constitution to fit his religiuos viewpoint. If you don’t think this is dangerous, then you do not value freedom and liberty above all else. In this regard, there is no compromise. Breaking free of state sponsored religion was the greatest acheivement of the formation of this country.

    Socialism, in any guise, is a no sale for me. That includes “compassionate conservatism” or Christian compassion. Compassion should be practiced by individuals, not by the state.

  206. Conservatism is a collection of ideas that happens to work. Social conservatism is a variant of that that focuses a bit more on social issues.

    Bill, I wrote what I wrote at the same time you were posting. I personally thought I was being more generous to the libertarians than you were.

    I apologize for snarking. Let me be straight. By Tarian doctrine, your life is inviolable if you are not attacking someone. If, an embryo is a human life, then Tarians have absolutely no choice but to be right to lifers.

    No doubt you’ll say ‘but its not’. At which point, I’ll say “Are you sure? Absolutely, positively, without a single doubt sure?” And if the answer is not an unequivocal yes, then you cannot be for abortion, and be consistent.

    By Tarian doctrine.

    Its a good SF scenario that I’m sure you’re familar with Bill. The robot claims to be alive. The human investigator is uncertain, but decides that he’s not sure. And since he’s not absolutely positive, he’s not willing to take a chance on murder.

    Same situation.

    Scientifically, we don’t know when life begins. Well actually, we do. Its at conception. Your standard of a functioning brain is probably a bad idea. I do assume this means you’re wholeheartedly and without reservation against partial birth abortion?

    Its a ‘tell’ because Libertarianism is the pressure group for ‘white, nerd males’. Discarding philosophy, and just studying interest, this group should be for Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. Which funnily enough tend to obsess a number of Libertarians.

    There is an inherent conflict in Tarians between their desires and their philosophy, and the ‘tell’ shows the desires. Incidentally, the group that abortion is most popular with is young males with a pregnant girlfriend.

    So, do Tarians follow their philosophy which is in many ways quite noble, or do they follow their desires which are completely understandable?

    Now lets deal with compromise. I offer to test by federalist means the War on Drugs. I offer to move the abortion issue back to the states. I offer to endorse Porkbusters.

    Let me endorse Porkbusters now. They do good work.

    I don’t see the lack of compromise here.

    Sure, I suggest that gay marriage is a minor issue. It is. Really. On a list of major issues its probably down about #25. I do agree that we can fight on it, but I suggest that we do so politely. Save the invective for the really dangerous enemies of freedom instead of the ‘slightly misguided sort’.

    To my mind, one of the major keys to this is emphases. Mr. Libertarian looks out at the world’s injustice and sees GM and sees the NEA. Which one is he going to attack? He decides to attack the NEA because its more evil, and besides he can get the slightly misguided socons to help him. Later, he can go after GM.

    As to the FMA, that was a joke. Pure pandering. It was so dead in the water that it came with its own crew of scuba diving treasure finders. Remember the ‘Troll Prayer’ in this case….’God grant me the serenity to ignore idiots’. Personally, I might be pleased as a Tarian by the FMA. It was so transparent, it amounted to an insult to the socons. “Yeah, we the leaders of the R party really do think you socons are morons.”

    “enshrine some sort of official Christianity” I’m sorry. I’m clueless. I’m also Baptist which is not the same thing. We’re very big believers in something called ‘soul liberty’.

    Barry, your ‘values’ no doubt include “Thou shalt not steal”, and “Thou shalt not murder”. See the problem?

    Libertarianism is based on principles, and moral ideals. Stealing from the rich who owns something to give to the poor is morally appalling.

    Everyone enforces moral values. What we can’t enforce is godliness.

    Now where do I draw the line? I am, as Reagan was, in favor of the maximum freedom possible in an ordered society (well I would say in a society that can survive.). Gov’t needs to support marriage because without marriage our nation is toast. Gov’t needs to protect the borders from illegal immigrants for the same reason (which some Tarians think is morally wrong.) And so on, and so forth.

    Or as Pournelle put it, Libertarianism is a vector, and not a destination.

    On Huckabee…well he said that there was something wrong when a big biz ceo got a bonus, even as he cut workers. I don’t even think he suggested doing something about it. Just made the obvious and reasonable comment.

    I do think the market has failures (but gov’t has more). The ideal is the market solves its own problems, or secondarily, others help it, or lastly, the gov’t steps in.

    This mish-mash is conservatism. Tarianism is far more clear-cut.

    But, I also think that a lot of market failures can be traced to the hand of gov’t. I don’t know how, but I really suspect that CEO’s getting ten million bucks for messing up as a bonus while they fire ten thousand hard working people is the result of some rich guy rigging the deck with the gov’t’s help.

    Its like with minimum wage. I’m willing to get rid of it….right after the corporate welfare is gone. I’m of the mind that their ought to be equal opportunity to cheat for rich and poor.

    I don’t have a problem with populism. Its the opposite of elitism. Both have problems, and both have advantages. They are strategies having no moral weight.

    Since I’m a Baptist, I’ll accept your gratitude for religious freedom. And you both really need to go visit some small, independent Baptist churches. Ask them what they think about gov’t. Ask them whether we should trust gov’t. I think you’d be most pleased after you survived the volcanic eruption of distrust and hatred for gov’t, and pinned your hat back on.

    I think Huckabee has been misunderstood, and possibly not been treated to the same standards that apply to others.

    And even if he’s as bad as you say, he’s still not McCain. Even if he really did want to change the Constitution like you say (and he wasn’t perhaps deliberately misunderstood), he still would have no chance of achieving it.

    I know someone who said that when Bush was elected he would soon be opening concentration camps for gays like himself (the speaker). This is laughable. Even if you really think Bush is McChimpyHitler, this is still a bad joke.

    Its one reason I might vote for Hillary. Because she won’t pull out of Iraq immediately. Oh, she might say she will, but she can’t. It simply won’t happen.

    So the biggest threat the McCainiacs have (except for Scotus) is an empty bomb casing.

    In summation: There is a huge array of things that Tarians and Socons agree on. I propose that we try to focus our efforts on those things we agree on, and agree to politely disagree and work separately on those quite few issues we disagree on. I also propose that on some issues where we can that we compromise on.

    I do agree that Federalism does offer a lot toward mending Fusionism. And there are good arguements to be made that the Feds are overstepping their bounds on many issues.

    One issue that I would like Libertarians and jSocons to addres is strengthening the divorce laws. From a Tarian perspective, divorce is the breaking of a contract. Also, it tends to favor the breaker and not the breakee which is clearly unjust. I believe that Tarians would agree ‘a man’s word is his bond’, and that punishment for legal fraud is appropriate.

    From a Socon perspective, which is wider, and less precise: All of the Tarian issues, plus the knowledge that marriage is a building block of society, and that divorce is personally harmful for almost everyone involved. The old conservative ideals of ‘work at it’ are best.

    Of course, as with all contracts, there does need to be a means of escaping it. But it should not be easy, and it should carry penalties for the breaker of the contract.

    Now that is a kitchen sink and everything post…

  207. resolved: Never take too seriously someone trying to get a new, and useless, word into common usage.

    No one calls himself “Tarian”. At best, a naive attempt to show cleverness. At worst, a disingenuous attempt to belittle other viewpoints by coining a dimunitive appellation.

    I think it is especially rich telling “Tarians” what they absolutley must think in a given situation.

    Enjoying that straw man, Eric?

  208. Great posts. Thanks for the kind words. I agree there is much common ground. To the extent a small government message is being defeated (I would argue it is not being offered) in this election cycle, I think voters will take a second look at small government solutions in the next election cycle.

    In my view, compassionate conservatism should be the target and needs to be more aggressively argued against. More government for what ever rationale means less individual liberty.

    Proponents of compassionate conservatism have been brought back for this election cycle. To this end, Gerson’s book “Heroic Conservatism” and Frum’s book “Comeback Conservatism” are leading values voters down the socialist path. Gerson and Frum are as toxic to the free market message as Wallis and Yunus.

    Both sides of the social conservative/libertarian coalition agree that more government means less freedom. Heck, throw in the fiscal conservatives and we have the old stool back. Simplify the message. We get bogged down on old wedge issues rather than looking at what unites us, a fundamental distrust of the federal government and its intrusion into our lives, markets, and faith.

    Thanks again. : )

  209. Quite right, Angry Dumbo. Simplify the message, ignore the wedges. I want a way to compromise. I think I and Bill have outlined some of the process needed for this. Its a matter of Federalism and of Choosing Your Fights (of Emphases), and not least of courtesy as Bill says and I do too.

    I would very much like to see a “Fusionist Manifesto”. It could start with a definition of the factions. Move on to an enumeration of the vast areas of agreement. List strategies for moving these areas forward.

    Lastly, it would suggest processess for dealing with disagreements. Among them would be ‘old-fashioned horse-trading’, and the suggestion to politely disagree.

    Finally, it would enjoin both sides to avoid their separate sins: Tarians have a tendency to …ah…scream. Socons have a tendency to just ignore the other side. A marriage doesn’t work when one side throws dishes and the other side retreats into the bathroom.

    Penultimately, it would have a space for those who wished to sign on with their faction.

    lpdbw, its amusing to have you with your rather bizzarre name complain of my formulation of ‘tarian’. I do not require you to change your name, please do not require me to change my bit of cleverness.

    Let me explain why ‘tarian’ and ‘socon’. Both of these factional names get used frequently, and yet both are too long, and awkward in the mouth.

    Libertarian and Social Conservative both.

    Also, I’m doing Tarians a favor. You’re not going to succeed until your name is easily pronounced with a minimum of effort. We say “R’s” and “D’s” but we can’t say “L’s” because most people would assume that Liberal. We say Reps, and Dems, and so forth. Calling someone a Rep is a dimunitive, yes, but its not really an insult.

    Of such tiny things as the length of a name that gets used again and again are powers made. Humans are inherently lazy/economical.

    As to straw men…look 2 +2 = 4 in any normal system. You MUST accept this. Or you can be totally wrong.

    One either accepts logic, or one doesn’t. Libertarians, for all their faults, are a very logical breed.

    Tarian doctrine: Your human life is inviolable except in certain special cases. If a fetus is a human life, then it too is inviolable except in certain special cases.

    If a fetus is not a human life, then abortion is of course, a-ok.

    This is crystal clear.

    So, the questin is: Is a fetus a human life?
    And the second question is: If you answer ‘no’, are you absolutely certain?

    I won’t answer these questions for you. I invite you as men of mind and honor and principle aka as Libertarians to go and read the arguements of those wiser than me on this subject. Read Clayton Cramer or John Mark Reynolds or Donald Sensing. Please find the deep scholars on this issue, and not Brit Hume or Sean Hannity. They’re good guys, but… I’m not even sure what the position of all those I’ve listed is. I’m just asking you to go to those who are serious thinkers, and not pundits or anchors on TV or teleevangelists.

    I write in the hope of seeing Tarians be elevated in the national discourse to positions of greater honor, and to see many of their policies enacted.

    So, lpdbw, how would you work with socons to advance liberty?

  210. No doubt you’ll say ‘but its not’. At which point, I’ll say “Are you sure? Absolutely, positively, without a single doubt sure?” And if the answer is not an unequivocal yes, then you cannot be for abortion, and be consistent.

    it’s not. I’m sure.

    And, Eric, while you may appreciate your bit of “cleverness” with “‘tarian,” please understand that most of us find it irritating as hell. Maybe I’ll start calling you a “Christer.” That’s pretty clever, isn’t it?

    How about “god-botherer?”

  211. So, lpdbw, how would you work with socons to advance liberty?

    Eric, I’m not sure I can, so long as social conservatives feel there’s absolutely nothing wrong with government intrusion into doctor’s offices.

    I could actually support a ban on late-term abortions, sooner than I’d support any kind of ban on firearms. But I’m as certain about social conservatives as I am about gun-grabbers, and that certainty is best expressed by the old expression about camel’s noses and tents.

    Re: Bill said: “it’s not. I’m sure.”

    I’m not so sure. I just don’t think the distinction matters. Most people are blind to it, but every decision you make in life has the impact of life and death elsewhere. Turn on a light? Some fractional coal miner dies in an accident. Buy a tool made in China? You’ve just provided the Chinese government enough money to buy a bullet for a freedom-loving dissident. Use ethanol? Starve a central American peasant.

    Abortion, at least in early term, is a more direct and personal manifestation of this. To demonize someone for deciding to evade the risk and/or cost of a pregnancy is sufficiently rude, authoritarian, and controlling as to repel me, and to lose my cooperation.

  212. lpdbw, I basically gave that response – “I’m sure,” because I no longer have the patience for the endless abortion arguments. I’ve posted my own stance several times – okay in first trimester, arguable in second trimester, subject to strict regulations in the third (and even a ban, except for real medical reasons), but the absolutists want to give a six-cell embryo primacy over the living, breathing, thinking human in which it resides, and I just don’t feel like arguing it any more. So when they put up these either-or, lifeboat-style questions, I just give the answer that shuts down the discussion the quickest.

    My compromise is to let the absolutists fight it out state by state, and overturn Roe so they can do so. Of course they don’t like that compromise, because they really aren’t willing to compromise even the tiniest bit. So, to hell with them. As I said, I’ll fight their efforts to impose this stuff from the national level on everybody in the country, no exceptions. I agree with you – this sort of national push is an intolerable affront to liberty on more than one level.

  213. Reagan’s government is the problem not the solution analysis is both memorable and a useful way to describe the way back from the big government, collectivist road we are traveling down.

    To improve communication and avoid wedge issues, focus on the solution paring back the scope and power of the federal government. We don’t seek to cut the tree down, but to pare it back so that can handle the jobs it was originally intended to do. Social justice is not an enumerated power.

    Federalism provides a fantastic basis for discussing the philosophic basis for paring the tree. There is plenty of history supporting the federalist position. Sadly our children aren’t taught any of it.

    Bill, I agree, it is important to limit the discussion of wedge issues such as abortion, gay marriage, stem cells, etc. to the context of federalism by asking should the federal government have this power. A discussion of enumerated powers always is welcome.

    To this end, if less government, more freedom is an acceptable mantra, then how about something like Hayek’s Road to Serfdom as a manifesto?

    I’m open to suggestions.

    p.s. Although I am better described as a social conservative with libertarian leanings, I have NO problem with the libertarian label.

    No offense, Eric, but Tarian sounds like something from Star Trek. : ))

  214. Thanks for the explanation, Bill. For some reason, I didn’t remember what you’ve said before, and your cutoff answer seemed wrong somehow. Now I get it.

    I guess what I was saying is in agreement with your view of the absolutists.

  215. Bill,

    It was lpdbw who first called ‘tarian’ clever. I have no problem with ‘Christer’. ‘God-botherer’ is objectively an insult.

    Tell me how you would make a dimunitive of Libertarian then otherwise? Can’t call them Libs or L’s. Angry Dumbo, you may well be right, but the Libertarians objectively need a dimunitive. Party names and nicknames are often bestowed by opponents….Yankee and Whig come to mind in that regard.

    I’ll say it a third time. I could work with a Federalist approach to R v. W.

    lpdbw…aren’t you afraid that merely talking to me might corrupt you from the One True Way? Talk about absolutist….

    I will say thats an interesting arguement about every decision killing someone. I think the proper response is that it proves too much. By your logic, I can shoot someone, murder them outright. Now I know you don’t mean that. Problem is, that renders your arguement null.

    However, I stand by my previous statment. I don’t give you the answer. I invite you to research it.

    So to everyone, I remain hopeful for Fusionism (which I got from Wikipedia, so if you don’t like that name, don’t blame me.)

    1. We can already agree on restrictions to late term abortion. Sure, its not nearly as much as I’d like, but you gotta start somewhere.

    2. We can agree on Federalism and Roe.

    3. I’m willing to test the Drug War in a small state. We test it, and see how it works. If the Libertarians are right then within a few years after that there will be referendums on the drug war nation wide. If the Libertarians are wrong…well, then the experiment was useful. No one should fear the truth, right?

  216. Eric gets:

    It was lpdbw who first called ‘tarian’ clever.

    from

    At best, a naive attempt to show cleverness.

    I’ll just repeat what others said earlier: If you want my vote, offer someone I could vote for.

    My work here is done. Perhaps another discussion in another thread.

  217. Tell me how you would make a dimunitive of Libertarian then otherwise?

    A hundred years ago we had a fine label, ‘liberal’ unfortunately time and socialist corruption have change the name to mean its opposite.

  218. Lpdbw,
    I can’t disagree with you on either point. I’ll be back some other time to discuss something–Real Life takes precedent y’know. I have to restrain myself from spending too much time on the Net, and too little time cleaning up.

    Haverwilde,
    Right. And if you can figure out how to steal it back, I’ll be the first to get up and do a happy dance.

    Best of fortune with the ACP, ya’ll.

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  220. America needs less crime in 2009. McCain is pro NRA. In the long run this will put more guns on the streets and more people will be killed. If you think gun deaths are bad now, they will get even worse with McCain. We need a President who does not put a gun in ever home in America. We need tougher gun laws.

  221. Klich, your name should be spelled Cliche –

    “Tougher Gun Laws” = “Less Crime” is a lefty-lib cliche – it has no other useful function; it certainly has no resemblance to reality.

    McCain is pro NRA…

    You wish (or, at least, I wish)…McStain is pro-McStain, no more and no less. All he wants to hear from the NRA – or any other organization, pro-gun or anti-gun or anything in between – is: how many votes will you give me? Otherwise he doesn’t give a Flying Dutchman fuck about any organization or its particular interests.

    …In the long run this will put more guns on the streets and more people will be killed…

    Wrong again – even if McStain was pro gun and/or pro-NRA, there’s absolutely no reason to think his being POTUS would result in either “more guns on the street” or “more people killed.”

    …If you think gun deaths are bad now, they will get even worse with McCain…

    Actually, even with all the media hype and the copycat whackos, the genuine figures show that gun deaths, while often tragic (because they could often be so easily prevented or reduced simply by some responsible behavior and quick action), are not that frequent – slip-and-fall deaths are more common, and vehicular deaths are way more common. Also, there’s no evidence that would suggest that Johnny McStain as POTUS would make gun deaths in the U.S. “even worse” – he’d be likely to do serious violence in some other ways, but not that way.

    …We need a President who does not put a gun in ever(sic) home in America…

    This is just abysmally stupid – AFAIK, no President in history has ever even tried to accomplish this; McStain would not appear at all likely to break new ground, here.

    Total score: 0 points for intelligent commentary, 0 points for useful evidence to back up your silly-assed statements, – 6 points for mistakenly believing anyone here (or anywhere else, for that matter) gives a spider’s fart for your “opinion” on anything, and – 6 points for rampant hysteria. You’re 12 big ones in the hole, and fading fast.

    Tell you what, Jimbo – if you’d like to cut down on crime in the coming year, strongly consider taking a six-months layoff from writing – then quit altogether. Putting drivel like yours online is, indeed, a criminal act.

    As has been said before – apparently, in your case, being stupid doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it should…

  222. Well you make a VERY compelling case, i.e., there are many excellent reasons on which sane men and women can agree on to NOT vote for John McCain in the 2008 Presidential race (see McCain: The Myth of a Maverick), but I think you’re overlooking the value is his being huffy and puffy and pissed off — that just may be ONE good reason to vote FOR him.

    David Allyn, Ph.D., author of I Can’t Believe I Just Did That makes the case that hiding one’s emotions in order to be “nice” or “accepted” does way more harm to you and other than good.

    While John’s temper is, admitedly, not that much to have going for him, it’s not the liability everyone is making it out to be. To understand way, see:

    Why John McCain’s Temper is Probably the only Good Reason to Vote for Him.

  223. Well you make a VERY compelling case, i.e., there are many excellent reasons on which sane men and women can agree on to NOT vote for John McCain in the 2008 Presidential race (see McCain: The Myth of a Maverick), but I think you’re overlooking the value is his being huffy and puffy and pissed off — that just may be ONE good reason to vote FOR him.

    I’m not kidding.

    David Allyn, Ph.D., author of I Can’t Believe I Just Did That makes the case that hiding one’s emotions in order to be “nice” or “accepted” does way more harm to you and other than good.

    While John’s temper is, admitedly, not that much to have going for him, it’s not the liability everyone is making it out to be, and that’s my real point here. To understand way, see:

    Why John McCain’s Temper is Probably the only Good Reason to Vote for Him.

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  228. First off, I will say, I was born and raised under very starch Republican influences. Now, I am very near the exact opposite of what I was “raised” to be, except on a few issues. Don’t take my guns, and don’t unnecessarily raise taxes, to name 2.
    I have already voted and I did not vote for McCain. Many of the reasons why are already listed by people here.
    It is always refreshing to hear a group of “Republicans”, “Democrats” or third party group that bases their decisions not on a red or blue tie, but on issues, experience, past actions of a candidate, and the health of our beautiful country as a whole now and in the future.
    We have created a site just for McCain “non-enthusiasts” johnmcpain.us and currently have an open invitation for writers that want to speak their minds. Based on the content provided here, you guys/gals THINK!
    So if you would like to have your work published on JohnMcPain.us, please send your articles to support@johnmcpain.us, Your article will be reviewed, and you will be notified of your article’s acceptance via e-mail. Please include any links you would like included and whether you would like to publish your name / pseudonym / anonymously.

    Once again, thank you all so very much for thinking independently and have a wonderful Holiday Season.

    Sincerely,
    H. Martin
    johnmcpain.us

  229. johmcpain.us?

    Moby? Astroturf? Soros-financed?

    10-to-1 not real.

    10 minutes with WHOIS and Google later:

    Domain is registered to a drum-circle, party-school, NORML, Tai Chi guy from Central Florida, probably about 26 years old, who runs a web design company. Domain registered less than 2 weeks ago.

    NTTAWWT. It’s just not “real” disillusion. It’s just another dirty trick.

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