Preview of a McCain Presidency : Schwarzenegger in California
By Martin A. Knight Posted in Archived | bipartisanship | McCain — Comments (15) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Arnold is the primary source of heartburn for California Republicans. From his going around calling himself "post-partisan", his stated desire to see Democratic approval numbers up - even at the expense of his "fellow" Republicans, his very Lefty views and policies on the environment and healthcare, and all the way back to hiring a very partisan former Executive Director of the California Democratic Party to be his Chief of Staff, as sure as anything, the man is on course to be the worst thing that could have ever happened to the state party that produced Ronald Reagan.
And to be perfectly honest, for me the Republican candidate that I believe would give us an Administration at the national level that would be most like that of the obstensibly Republican Schwarzenegger in California is John McCain.
McCain's all too willing penchant for crossing the aisle "to get things done" - never mind whether or not those "things" are the right "things" - worshipping at the altar of so-called "bipartisanship" and his constant seeking of the approval of the Press Corps in every other area apart from Foreign/Defense Policy is going to be the cause of all sorts of heartbreak for Conservatives should he win the Presidency. If any of our candidates has proven himself to be susceptible to the elected official's version of the Greenhouse effect, John McCain is it.
Contrary to what most McCain supporters would have people believe, McCain's rationale for opposing the Bush tax cuts was that they were "tax cuts for the rich" and he got oodles of good press for his use of Democratic talking points. Spending as a reason was tacked on as an afterthought just preceding the current campaign, when McCain realized that his 2000 campaign's tactic of alienating Republicans and courting the Beltway Press Corps just might not win him the Republican nomination.
Personally, I honestly don't think that McCain has the intestinal fortitude to stand up to a hostile Press Corps on anything outside of those two areas of core competency and experience (Defense and Foreign Policy). That poses a serious problem. First of all, there's no doubt that when he crosses the Democrats in Congress, the Press is going to be firmly on the other side. I have no confidence that he will stand fast in the face of the potent (especially for him) siren calls from newspaper editorial pages pleading with him to ignore the "forces of intolerance" i.e. Conservatives, and be a "maverick."
Let's be honest here; in the past seven years, all the way up to the immigration battles, how many instances have there been where the pleas of the base got nearly half as much attention from John McCain as the views expressed on the New York Times editorial page? If it wasn't for the fact that almost every other GOP Senator paid attention to the base and pulled us back from the brink, McCain would never have deigned to figure out why we objected to Z-visas and chump change fines.
I need not point out that John McCain's appeal to "moderates" and "Independents", which is supposed to be a key selling point of his candidacy is entirely based on the hagiographical articles the Press rewarded him with every single time he thumbed his nose at the Right. What happens when they turn full-square against him? What happens when he's no longer "the maverick?" How confident is anybody here that we're not going to see him push Republican leaders in Congress for more of the same nauseating compromises with Tom Daschle, Ted Kennedy, Russ Feingold, Chuck Schumer and Pat Leahy he built his "maverick" reputation on?
The effect of this is that I think he is far more likely to punt and look for a "consensus moderate" candidate for the Supreme Court rather than try to fight for a conservative in the Senate. Ted Kennedy would get to write a HUGE amount of legislation with every confidence they'll be signed into law. He will sign an embryonic stem cell bill if (more likely, when) it gets to his desk, together with his judicial picks very likely depressing pro-life turn out for 2010. Tightening up McCain-Feingold to make it even more restrictive of free speech is a foregone conclusion and any hope for energy exploration, no matter how environmentally responsible, is in a coma until he is out of office.
I would vote for McCain if it is him versus any Democrat come November - he is a great patriot, worthy of respect and certainly better than any of the side's candidates running for their nomination. But I have to ask if it is really true that any of the other candidates for the nomination are so far behind him in the mastery of Defense and Foreign Policy issues that he is actually worth the risk of having a Republican President regularly siding with the Democrats in the name of "bipartisanship" and clashing with the base on a myriad of other issues, from taxes to judges, for the next four years (at the least).
Just look at Arnold and the California GOP.