…and I Reject Your Shallow Analysis of My Never-Cast-My-Vote-for-McCain Position

By ntrepid Posted in Comments (56) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

This isn’t as well thought out as it should be and I may not be the best person to effectively make the case but this rant has been bouncing around in my head for a while and I think its time someone takes a shot at it.

My friends, I am so very tired of the way many in these parts almost reflexively fall all over themselves to brush off anyone with a Never-Cast-My-Vote-for-McCain position as nothing more than a spoiled, pissy, petulant child taking his toys and going home if he doesn’t get his way. (Sorry for not linking to specific cases but this phenomenon is rather common and my beef is a gross generalization anyway.) I want to argue that in some cases, that position can be deeper than just a childish temper tantrum.

There seems to be a prevailing piece of conventional wisdom that holding the White House from 2009 to 2013 is vital to the future of the Republican Party and the country as a whole. Given the events of the last seven years, a very strong case can be made for that position. However, taking the “vital” part of that too literally is more than a bit vain given the great events and great individuals that have created and shaped this nation over the last 231 years.

I do believe that the country would be in much better shape in January of 2013 with any Republican taking the reigns from Mr. Bush next year. However, would the party and the country be better off over the following couple of decades if just “any” Republican filled that slot? I think the answer is NO and in my opinion a President McCain would be the perfect example of that.

My historical standard for this is none other than President Carter. His term in office shows that this great nation CAN survive four years of a truly bad executive and Commander in Chief…even in wartime. (Some here may not have learned that bit of ancient history but the Cold War of the late seventies was probably just as critical…and dangerous…a time in world affairs as today’s War on Terror.)

The Carter experience also showed us that there are severe penalties to be paid for holding the White House with just “any” candidate. The electoral gods rightfully banished the Democrat party from the top spot for no less than sixteen years for serving up such a poor candidate for the nearly surefire victory in 1976. Unfortunately, the media as a whole interfered and joined that party outright in 1992 just to usher in another case of winning the White House with just “any” candidate…but that’s a whole other rant. Regardless, both cases should serve as good examples of how winning with poor candidates now may not be in the long term interest of a party and the nation.

My position on Mr. McCain is that he would be a poor one term President. This would be accompanied by congressional losses at the mid-term and probably again in 2012 when a Democrat would most likely be swept into office. This unfortunate turn of events would leave the conservative movement…in whatever form is still exists in 2012…in a very weak, defensive position for the better part of the following generation. This would be very bad for the country and that’s not how I wish to leave it to my children.

I will not vote for Mr. McCain under any circumstances. I have what I think are valid and levelheaded reasons for taking that position. Please feel free to convince me I’m wrong but please stop brushing me aside like a pouty little seven year old.

Proud Member for 3 years 19 weeks

I'll keep this brief. I'm probably not any more enthusiastic about McCain than you are.

You do not mention the Supreme Court. We currently have an 88 year old justice who is clearly waiting on a Democratic President to sign his letter of resignation.

Who do you think President H. Clinton or President Obama would appoint to that seat? Would that appointee advance any cause that you hold dear? Will you keep silent about that appointee's decisions for the next 30 years?

With any Republican president, there may be no guarantees, but we will at least have a voice. Remember Harriet Miers? How much influence do you think conservatives will have over any Democratic president?

Were it not for the lifetime appointment of Supreme Court justices, I might be inclined to agree with you.

We can always make a choice, and I firmly believe that making that choice is our democratic responsibility.

There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life. - Frank Zappa

McCain the Global Warming Alarmist
McCain against whom Republicans (even genuinely Conservatives) will not fight against
McCain, the friend and close ally of the Progressives in the Dem Party
McCain of the Open Borders
McCain of McCain Feingold and the grossest assault on Free Speech in my knowledge
McCain who called our troops torturers on par with those under whose delicate hands he suffered for 5 years

Who will McCain appoint?

"Guns don't kill people...
"...But they sure help!"
-Paul Giamatti, Shoot 'Em Up

" Got to love the Lord for making things like that."
Morally Compromised

I have been on their team because I despise Dems.
Well, this is one case where the Dem is more honourable than the Rep. And I doubt you have any idea how much I hate saying that.

I'm not interested in winning just for the same of winning. You can't wait till AFTER you give a man power to worry about what he'll do with it.

"Guns don't kill people...
"...But they sure help!"
-Paul Giamatti, Shoot 'Em Up

I'm hopeful that he will keep his promise to appoint conservatives like Sam Alito and John Roberts.

I trust Romney more on this issue. But I'm counting on McCain to not stab us in the back with a Souter like Bush's dad did. (And, admittedly, Reagan did with O'Connor and Kennedy. But Souter was the worst choice by a president ever. I'm not counting Stevens because I don't think that Ford had much leverage then.

With a Democrat controlled House and Senate, what are the chances of appointing an acceptable SCOTUS justice? I mean, ballpark?

If we barely got it done while in a firm majority, what on earth makes us think we can get it done with no control of anything?

than a Hill/Obama offering up an acceptable SCOTUS justice.

Two thirds of the world is covered by water,
the other third is covered by Champ Bailey.

It depends.

With Romney or Huckabee? Almost no chance. They'll easily be able to demonize anybody they pick as an extremist just because of who they (Huck and Rom) are.

With McCain? 50/50. And by 50/50, I mean 50% of the time we'll get a Roberts or Alito, and the other 50% of the time, we'll get a Kennedy/Thomas. And by Kennedy/Thomas, I mean a fairly stealthy nominee that might turn moderate conservative, or might turn hardline conservative. (BTW, I consider Thomas the best judge on the court)

John Bolton for President

I've been a member for quite a while as well, though seldom post. This is only the second presidential election I've been old enough to vote in (I'm 24,) but I will either sit out or write in my own name. Hey, maybe I'll write in Ronald Reagan. I always wished I had the chance to vote for him.

You put fine words to my reasoning as well. I believe a Mccain presidency would be disasterous for conservatives across almost every single issue. The salt in the wound is that the MSM will continually refer to Mccain as a 'conservative' and play up any of his failures as 'conservative' failures.
His well established positions on a host of issues (that need not be re-hashed out here) are so diametrically opposed to my positions that I could no more vote for him as I could for a democrat (ironically for the same reasons).
I think that the election will be extremely close in November, but it will be impossible for Mccain to win. I get no pleasure from saying that. I suspect there are a substantial number of conservatives who can not/will not vote for a man who has shown open disdain not only for our principles, but for us as people (I am not a bigot for wanting the border enforced).
I suppose that I will be scorned by Republicans for my position. So be it. I am a American first, a Conservative second and a Republican when our interests coincide.

"just 'any' candidate. You caution against electing "just 'any' candidate." Unfortunately they were not just any candidate. In both cases they were Democrat candidates -- and the only Democrats who have been elected president in the past 40 years. In BOTH cases, the country was left in such vulnerable positions, militarily and economically, that it took years for the country to recover.

In both cases, even though we faced determined and dangerous enemies around the world, our military was decimated by the Democrats.

In the case of President Carter, we are still paying the price for his incompetence with "default" interest rates as high as 35% on credit cards -- those high rates came about because of his presidency.

Today our military fights against worldwide Jihad with far fewer troops because President Clinton squandered the "peace dividend" into a broken military.

Obviously, you cannot win ALL of the elections -- but when you look across the aisle, and see Hillary and Obama as the probably nominee running against us -- we cannot afford to lose THIS election.

First, good job, good blog.

Second, I have two objections (naturally).

My first objection is regarding this:
"Some here may not have learned that bit of ancient history but the Cold War of the late seventies was probably just as critical…and dangerous…a time in world affairs as today’s War on Terror"

This is true as far as it goes. I have said before, and I say again now, the threat of ascendancy of the Soviet empire was one of the greatest threats the world has ever known. The USSR is that terrible enemy, I wonder and pray not that we ever see such a foe again.

However, the Jihadist threat is a different threat. It is extreme, and extremely dangerous, but in a more direct and immediate way. The cold war was the long war. The jihad war is warfare. The escalations of the cold war in comparison to the GWOT were, if I may, glacial. The next four years compared to Carter's four is like dog years to human. No comparison.

My second objection is regarding this: "any candidate"
McCain is not just any candidate. Supporters and detractors alike agree he can be single-minded, bold, and often fearless. Some mean that in a bad way of course. But he is not any candidate on the war. He is not just any candidate on spending. He is not just any candidate in this campaign. It isn't as if he waltzed into the nomination. This was not an easy series of victories so far. He was not the "presumed" candidate. He didn't have it handed to him.

I liked your blog. Its well-put, reasonable, and genuine. I do, however, disagree.

plugged on Limbaugh and The Corner ... what did YOU do last week?

If God still loves America, Romney will crush McCain yet.

Please leave The Almighty out of you delusions.

Well I said "so far" didn't I?
plugged on Limbaugh and The Corner ... what did YOU do last week?

If God still loves America, Romney will crush McCain yet.

Who knows, is it a moby, or a sincere psycho?

No, I'm not a McCain fan, not even close.

One can read up on the diaspora and figure that one out in a jiff. McCain was the leftist we knew; Romney was the leftisit we didn't. McCain won by being "Mr. Electable." The GOP got Kerried this time out. I reconciled myself to eating this crap sandwhich back in December.

"If this ain't a mess, it'll do until one shows up." -Sheriff Bell, No Country For Old Men

Thank you. Both you and Mr. Hinz above make a strong case on the national security / war front. Combining that with the issue of judges raised by Vladimir makes this a very tough position to hold.

Regarding national security and the war, my less than perfect examples of Carter and Clinton still illustrate that an administration or two may be steps in the wrong direction but are manageable…especially with a majority or “working minority” in part of the congress. (It also helps in the subject “eight year” period happens to fall during a national vacation from history.) Your point about the immediacy of the GWOT is well taken but there is also a more distant horizon to that effort. No matter how aggressive a President McCain would be that war will not be over in 2012. Four “softer” years now under a Democrat administration would be very painful and counterproductive but twenty years out of power…occasional control of the White House but always weak minorities in Congress…would be disastrous against a patient enemy like we face today.

Regarding judges I can only chalk that one up to very tough choices. Appointees over the next four years will definitely be critical votes for a long time to come. But if the political pendulum swings so wildly left over the following generation as I have hypothesized above, many judges will be appointed then also. Whose to say those later decisions won’t be much more important to the conservative cause than those in the much nearer future.

Thanks again for the honest, thoughtful responses.

Proud Member for 3 years 19 weeks

- - - - -
"Everybody has an agenda. Except for me." - Michael Crichton, State of Fear.

Under a Democratic presidency look for a unilateral retreat from the Global War on Terrorism. Look for us to permit our enemies to rebuild their capacity so that they will come back and attack us with more strength, while becoming less vulnerable to our methods of warfare. Look for an enemy who has learned from our art of war and adapted.

A Democrat in office will be a disaster for our military and will be a huge slap in their face. If there was a reason to swallow pride and vote McCain that is it. I lost my first tank gunner in the Iraq War. His face was removed from his body by an Iraqi .50 cal in the attack on Baghdad. I don't care about petty politics. I care about honoring this man's sacrifice by following through on the GWOT. A man who loved his country and paid with his life. I care about the 50,000 Vietnam War dead, who died in vain because their nation was too cowardly to follow through. Our nation is on the verge of failing to learn that lesson again.

This election is not about pet issues. It's not about us. It's about them.

"I can say - not as a patriotic bromide...that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and...the only moral country in the history of the world. - Ayn Rand

If we succeed in creating a stable, democratic, and self-sustaining state in Iraq (which I wouldn't have advocated, but hey, no one asked me), it will engender support for the war on terror to be prosecuted with greater vigor.

I agree that the Cold War was as serious as the GWOT and that the latter will still be with us long after 2012 no matter who we elect. That said, I still see problems with your Carter comparison:

1) There were no U.S. troops in the field under Carter. Sure, he sat and watched impotently as extremists overthrew the Shah in Iran and Soviet tanks rolled into Afghanistan, setting the stage for problems that are still with us today. But the next CinC will assume command of armies in a "hot" war on two fronts.

2) The Cold War was mostly a bi-partisan affair. Sure the Dems went a bit wobbly after Vietnam and McGovern, but let's not forget it was Truman who established our initial strategy of containment, and Kennedy and Johnson got us into Vietnam in the first place.

President Obama would declare Iraq a "lost cause" and withdraw our troops in a disgraceful defeat that would embolden our enemies for generations to come, vindicate their mass slaughter of innocent Iraqi civilians as the invincible tactic for humbling the mighty superpower, and solidify the storyline of "another Vietnam" as conventional wisdom.

President McCain will give General Petraeus the time and support he needs to fully execute his successful counterinsurgency strategy. McCain cannot win the GWOT in 4 or even 8 years, but I believe he CAN win the war in Iraq by 2012, and that's a good start.

This issue alone is enough for McCain to earn my vote in the CA primary next week, and of course he has my vote come November.

I am in the "Never McCain" camp and I have voted for every Republican candidate since 1968. A couple of points. If the goal is to advance a conservative agenda, a McCain Presidency would be far worse that another Clinton Presidency (I'll get to judges). A Republican minority would fight her initiatives and in two years Republicans would control one or both Houses (remember 1994). McCain would coop enough Republicans (Specter, Graham and others) to complete bipartisan deals that would be a disaster for conservatives. Republicans would lose congessional seats. Do you want more campaign finance reform? Bipartisan deals on judges? Deals with Kennedy on taxes?

Now the judges issue--the only plausible argument for having to support the Republican nominee regardless of his policies. I'll point out, Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 by a Court with a majotiy of Justices who were appointed by Republicans. Since that time the Court has always had a majority of Justices who were appointed by Republicans. I have voted for Republicans because of the Court for years and we have a Republican Court. Face it, seven of the nine current Justices were appointed by Republicans. Will John McCain appointments make things better? Remember, Souter, Ginsburg, Stevens, and Breyer have voted to uphold McCain-Feingold. Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito, and Kennedy have voted to strike down provisions of McCain-Feingold. Do you believe John McCain would appoint "strict constructionists?"

Rmember, John McCain said, "I would rather have clean goverment than one where quote first amendment rights are respected..." Hear him say it at http://www.redstate.com/story/2006/4/29/111841/988.

"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can some day, let's get to work."

Barry Goldwater at the 1960 Republican convention

with the direct intent of teaching Republican members of Congress a lesson.... of showing them they would not automatically get our support if they didn't act like Republicans. It was the first election I didn't vote in in thirty-two years. School is still out on how well that message was delivered, but at this point it doesn't appear to have been a great strategy. Even with two years of complete Democrapic ineffectiveness, they'll probably gain significantly more seats this go-round as well.

Republicans need to enthusiastically get behind whoever wins and work for victory. This spolied brat mentality of just sitting it out to teach a lesson gets us the Congress and Presidency of the late 1970's - the worst period of governance in the last 100 years.

You stated this much better than I have. I will not vote for McCain. I just got off the phone with the chair of the Republican party for our state and he is VERY upset about this, predicts a McCain nomination and very low turnout for Republicans. He is ticked about the prospect of being forced to smile "swallow his vomit" - his phrase, not mine, and support McCain. My email is full of messages from my colleagues who have all vowed to not use our money and influence to help the Republicans hold the whitehouse if McCain is the nominee.

I'm hoping for a miracle but I am fully prepared to accept defeat if it means McCain is not president and I know for a fact that MANY Republicans feel the same way. I think we're going to find out that the real "unelectable" candidate is McCain and not Romney.

**"The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." - John McCain"**

I reckon that I am not up on the current ages and leanings of current SCOTUS justices, but John Paul Stevens, 87y.o. at present, is more likely to come home to Jesus than retire... but even if he does retire on Hillary or Obama's watch, he strikes me as being something of a left-leaning judge.

For him to be replaced by another lefty might not register as much of a difference, although a McCain pick might be the same sort of RiNO Stevens originally started as a Ford pick.

Even better would be a Romney pick to replace him.

FredHeads: Fred is done, give Mitt another look - yes, he changed his standards, but arguably for the better.

I've been wavering between the "Never McCain" and "For the Coalition" arguments ever since Thompson dropped out. I can see both sides of the coin and that, I think, makes the choice all the more hard. That is where I stand.

I am sick of the people who tell dissenters to shut up. I thought this was about grown-ups discussing points of view? If you want to sway opinions, the worst thing you can do is tell someone who disagrees to be quiet.

Thank you for being calm and level-headed in your discussions.

I will now continue to not know what to do and agree with some views on both sides of the coin. Bleh!

is reason enough for not voting for him. I will support the other Republican office holders.

This is a valid question, how will nominee McCain help win Republican seats? A Hillary Presidency will have the reverse effect of throwing at least one of the houses back our way. Would a McCain status quo domestic policy + his fight for illegal alien amnesty and the Don Quixote windmill fight against phantom global warming help win us seats? Incidentally, McCain-Lieberman would REQUIRE an additional 50 cent/gallon tax on gas. Is this the new definition of a fiscal hawk? Sheeeesss!

Tim Schieferecke

is so frustrating. And I do not care for McCain much at all.
But look around the world. We are by far the most conservative major nation in the world. Most countries, when they move what we call 'right', are shuffling chairs on their leftward sailing. If you think we will not get closer to that inevitable tipping point faster by electing Hillary or Obama, I have a bridge to sell you.
It is also ironic to me that McCain, who has been on nearly perfect on every major conservative issue faithful is the target of so much talk of betrayal by conservatives.
There is no such thing as a conservative party in America. There is a Republican party that has served this nation extremely well. It has been right on the Cold War. Right on Civil Rights. Right on Taxes. Right on defense. Rigth on the economy.
To destroy that for even 4 years for some fantasy about purity by suffering is more than a little frustrating.
*THIS* election is all that counts. Getting a candidate who best gets us most of what we wants in the election is all that counts.
I do not want to hear about reactionary posing that promises some never never land of political purity. Politics is no more pure than the people who practice it.
In just 4 years Jimmy Carter nearly wrecked this nation. We are still paying the price for his self-righteous America hating folly in our foreign policy. If you think Obama or Hillary cannot do much worse in four years you are kidding yourself.
This election is our chance to help America. If the choice for America is either McCain or any democrat now running, the choice is clear: McCain.

Hunter, you should really read Amity Schlaes book 'The Forgotten Man'. Check out page 337. It was 1937, and our Nation was still in the grips of The Great Depression. From August of that year to November, the stock market went from a high of 190 to a low of 114. What did the libs call this downturn? Why, they called it a major recession! How do you get away with calling a downturn in the middle of a manufactured depression a major recession? Why, like any good lib, you redefine the terms! If we allow Sen. McCain to redefine the terms for what a conservative is, we're in real trouble. If you have NO problem with open borders, lawless amnesty conservative, I have a "bridge to sell you" too. If you are OK with signing over OUR sovereignty to the UN through senseless global warming cap and trade schemes, you probably rode the short bus to school. Pollsters need to ask this question of conservatives, "if John McCain is the eventual Republican Candidate, will you vote for him." I think you'd be surprised with the answer hunter. There's a lot more of people like me than you think. I will not vote for John McCain!
Tim Schieferecke

I used to be a conservative voter but I have become practically a single issue, illegal immigration voter and I vote Republican because they are slightly less wrong on my issue than the Democrats. It is my belief that nothing conservative can survive until we stop illegal immigration and quit importing poverty and ignorance that will inevitably vote Democrat.

I have spent years opposing McCain and I will never willingly advance his cause.

A vote for McCain is a vote for amnesty and 20 million new Democrats with another 50 million new illegals dashing towards our border with every reason to believe they will soon be made in to Democrats too. When John McCain's new Americans start voting, conservative ideas are finished forever. Until the Reagan Amnesty, California was a reliably red state. With every new amnesty we are going to surrender more red states and we are already at the point where we don't have any to spare.

We'll probably get the same from Hillary or Obama but I won't be a party to the destruction of America and the surrender of our sovereignty and the death of conservatism.

I think our Republican Senators and Congressmen are more likely to find some backbone on the illegal immigration issue if they are fighting a Democrat President rather than being led by a Republican.

I strongly suspect that Republicans are going to get our heads handed to us in 2008 no matter who we select. The enthusiasm just isn't there because our politicians squandered the opportunity we worked so hard to give them. I think both conservatism and the illegal immigration cause will be better served if an open borders John McCain goes down in massive defeat rather than in a close race. He can count on not having my support.

When it comes down to Hillary v McCain, I vote Hillary
People say that you can't claim "Conservative" if you are willing to vote Clinton. I say you can't claim "thinking voter" if you vote McCain.

I would far rather have the devil I already know that is willing to use any trick in the book to destroy me and my nation but at least will do it Openly in charge of my nation
than the devil who will pretend to be my friend while he sticks the shiv in my back.

Against Hillary, Republicans will stand up and fight. With Hillary we get Bill and his policy of "triangulation".

With McCain, we get the best Republican friend of the Global Warming Lobby, Progressives, Open Borders, and Internationalists behind whom Republicans in Congress and the Senate will fall in line.

Anyone remember McCain's position on LOST? And the International Criminal Court?

"Guns don't kill people...
"...But they sure help!"
-Paul Giamatti, Shoot 'Em Up

There are a lot of “spoiled, pissy, petulant child taking his toys and going home if he doesn’t get his way” arguments for not supporting McCain. You don’t appear to be making one. I’m supposing then that you are disciplined enough to “swallow your vomit” if you thoughtfully determine it’s the best option.

The predicate you set forth is that your voting decision on McCain can be determined by a cost/benefit analysis between two predictions you can make.

The 1st prediction is that – from your POV, which is all that matters in this context – the country will be in better shape in 2013 under McCain than it would be under any of the D’s.

The 2nd prediction is that the Republican Party and [consequently] the country will be worse off in the subsequent years and for decades to come (as a result of a McCain presidency instead of the O’HillBilly alternative).

You then decide it that the short term gains of the 1st prediction are likely outweighed by the long term losses of the 2nd prediction.

Is that a fair summary?

I will just sketch out my complaint with the above. I can be persuaded to prefer long term benefits over short term gains. But I am deeply suspicious of our ability to make these predictions upon which your cost/benefit analysis is predicated. The 2nd prediction is looking far deeper into the moves in the chess game – and world affairs is infinitely more complex than a chess game – than the 1st. The 1st prediction is the kind of wild-ass guess that we are required to make every time we vote. The 2nd prediction reaches further out into the future wherein the interplay of possibilities increases exponentially with each click of the clock. Even historians argue over their post-dictions and they have the advantage of reflecting on only one of the many possible worlds selected out in the crush of Time. We err badly by analogizing our analysis of the past with our analysis of the future. Making the 1st prediction is fool’s game we are unfortunately required to play when we vote. Making the 2nd is an unforced error. Let humility be our guide around the pit of foolishness.

Living proof that military intelligence is not an oxymoron.

This comment is submitted on behalf of my faintly disguised conceit. :)

I detest people who tell me I am a baby if I genuinely feel that a McCain presidency is worse in the long term than a Clinton presidency.
**You assume more people would actually vote for liberal McCain than liberal Clinton**

I am an unabashed conservative that could never vote for a man that has done as much or more to hurt genuine conservatives in the Republican party. Except for most issues on the war McCain has consistently sided with liberals. I am not a Republican but a Conservative. If the Republican party will not put at least a somewhat conservative like Romey in the race then I will not vote for that office. Let Hillary have her four years (like Carter) and let America wake up and elect someone like JC Watts or Fred Thompson.

You vomit McCain. I vomit McCain. Just so ya know. I’m voting for Romney in Georgia and depressed by the Florida results.

I didn’t actually call you a baby, unless you aren’t tough enough to swallow your own vomit when necessary. And I don’t assume what you said I do. On the contrary, my intuition says that Sir John will fall apart in the general. But that prediction isn’t worth the bits that store it.

I did argue that I think it is foolish to think we can predict -- with the certainty sufficient to wisely determine our present actions -- that the USA will be better off ten or twenty years from now because of an O’HillBilly presidency, especially if we think McCain would make better decisions than they and so leave us in better shape in 2013.

Guess I didn’t convince you though. Nor do you present an argument to convince me. I’m not really interested in escalating our antipathies beyond their current levels. So I’ll just grant to understanding that you detest me. Maybe we will someday find a cause for working through all that emotion.

Hunter writes: "...some never never land of political purity. Politics is no more pure than the people who practice it. ...
If the choice for America is either McCain or any democrat now running, the choice is clear: McCain."

Politics is as pure as those practicing it, and therefore we should vote for McCain. Wouldn't that constitute a pretty impure act on the part of Conservatism? How will we purify politics by continuing to engage in impure acts?

McCain has repeatedly aligned himself with uber-liberal Democrats to advance bills that are anathama to any notion of Conservatism. We're not talking one or another nuance that diminishes purity, such as you suggest, we're talking wholesale abandonment of any vestige.

Perhaps to you "party is all", but to me it's my philosophy and agenda that matters. I've chosen the Republican party in the past as most congenial to my aims, offering candidates that largely promote my agenda, and as a welcoming political home to Conservatism.

Much of that has changed, and we witness now a Republican party which panders to Conservatism come election time, while governing as big-government liberal after gaining office. Only acting ask Conservatives if the public outcry is so huge it can't be deflected such as Harriet Meyers and McCain-Kennedy.

McCain is contemptuous of Conservatism, and has acted as the "Maverick from Arizona" to block much of what Conservatives have tried to advance over the past decade.

Should McCain win the nomination, it would be final proof that the Republican party has abandoned Conservatives, and Conservatism.

Of course they are counting on the traditional "Conservatives hold their nose and pull the lever for us" behavior of the past decades. Because golly, where else can we go hardy har har!

As for me, I no longer care. The party will have completely abandoned me, and I will no longer have a political party to belong to. That is not my choice, my doing, my fault, or anything I need feel guilty about. It is not representative of a failing on my part.

It is representative of the creeping victory of liberalism in American society. Voting for the liberal because he has an "R" after his name won't make that stop. Refusing to continue being a stooge for the Republcan party might....

If McCain is nominated, I won't be voting at all. I'll be done, and will focus my energies on finding/developing a third party. None acceptable currently exists, however.

A vote for McCain, if you are a Conservative, is a vote for the agenda of the enemy. And the continued empowerment of a Republican party that has nothing but contempt for you.

I think it's important to recognize why Carter didn't have a long-lasting negative impact on the United States: He never appointed a Supreme Court Justice. While Carter did foul up this country pretty spectacularly, his failures were all correctable by an exceptional leader. A bad Supreme Court nominee isn't.

I may be wrong, but I think it is unlikely that the next president will appoint zero Justices to the Supreme Court. Just look at the ages of the current Justices:

Stevens is 87
Ginsberg is 74
Scalia is 71
Kennedy is 71
Breyer is 69
Souter is 68
Thomas is 59
Alito is 57
Roberts is 53

Chances are good that we won't see a 91-year-old Stevens on the Court, and it's reasonable to assume that a 78-year-old Ginsberg would want a break. Their replacements could transform the court or cement their liberal ideology on the bench. I won't tell you to "grow up" or call you petulant, but I will implore you to recognize that some mistakes cannot be corrected.

Of course, then there's that little thing of whether we want Hillary, Obama, or McCain commanding our troops during a War...

"The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."

But his lower court nominees have served to muck up the system and many of them are still around unfortunately. I know that one in Tennessee (Nixon) basically served to overturn death penalty sentences until called on the carpet by the Supremes. There are many others still serving that same purpose at the lower court level, and many of Clinton nominees are doing the same thing.

We need to beat the Democrats so we don't get another Justice Souter! Oh, I forgot, he was appointed by George H.W. Bush.

Justice Kennedy is wobbly at times so if we beat the Democrats we'll be able to avoid another Justice Kennedy! I'm really slipping. I forgot that he was appointed by Ronald Reagan.

I know, we need to beat the Democrats so we don't get another Justice Stevens! Sorry, I forgot that he was appointed by Gerald Ford.

Justice Blackmun started the whole Roe v. Wade mess. If we defeat the Democrats we'll be able to keep another Blackmun off the Court! Wait, I forgot that he was appointed by Richard Nixon.

We all know that Chief Justice Earl Warren and Justice Brennen did a lot of damage to the country while they were on the Court. Surely, if we beat the Democrats we will avoid Justices like that. Sorry, it happened again. I forgot that those Justices were appointed by Dwight Eisenhower.

I guess we need to get out and support John McCain so we can get the right type of Justices on the Court. Didn't he have some role in preventing an up or down vote on judges? I can't remember.

"I would rather have clean government than one where quote first amendment rights are respected..."

John McCain at http://www.redstate.com/story/2006/4/29/111841/988.

For the past 10-15 years I have held my nose and voted Republican for candidates with whom I have had major differences all for the "judges". It is why out of all of McCain's apostasies, I hold his Gang of 14 deal as the most reprehensible.

I would have even scrounged up a world-class clothespin to vote for a guy who to me is nothing more than a pro-life John Edwards because I think he would at least appoint good judges. McCain? Between his Gof14 deal and his unending propensity to please those across the aisle on issues of major importance to conservatives, I have zero trust that he would go to the mat to appoint constructionist judges.

"All that need be done for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Formally known as Deagle... "Golf is a way of life..."

I am always internally debating whether the bigger treachery was selling out the years of work to change the courts or the abridgement of First Amendment freedoms. It's a close call for me but I can go with your judgement that G of 14 was worse. I would crawl across broken glass for someone who was solid on judges and understands the basics of the First Amendment. But I guess that's too much to ask.

"I would rather have clean government than one where quote first amendment rights are respected..."

John McCain at http://www.redstate.com/story/2006/4/29/111841/988.

Thanks to most everyone on both sides for some constructive discussion. Special thanks to those listed above for making a strong case and giving me a whole lot to think about between now and November. I’m still not sold…the candidate is going to have to make that case on his own and it won’t be easy. The things he will be required to say and do to gain even tepid support from people like me will not even remotely resemble the Mr. McCain of media lore and that is a disaster waiting to happen. Maverick McCain and Conservative McCain cannot coexist in national election. But that’s another discussion my friends.

I agree that finishing the job in Iraq and judges are going to be very important topics over the next four years.

I do believe in Mr. McCain on Iraq and my gut is all-in with tankertodd on following through. Unfortunately, and sorry John E. for going down another one of these roads, I come down on a more pessimistic side. Winning in Iraq is not vital in order to end this war…it is vital in establishing a “friendly”, semi-stable beachhead in that area of the world. I have a very bad feeling that the GWOT we’ve seen so far is really just a relatively minor skirmish compared to what is coming in the not so distant future (10-15 years from now).

With a President McCain, we get that beachhead but probably walk away from it in 2013 under a Democrat administration and are caught flat footed when the big one hits some years later. With a Democrat administration in 2009, Iraq crumbles to something less than the ideal beachhead and the game board shifts as best it can under the following administrations but at least the party that has credibility on national security issues won’t be a neutered minority throughout the government in the years leading up to that big one.

This, of course, is all speculation on my part. But, with additional apologies to John E., some basics of a McCain administration are very predictable. The second he clinches the nomination the press ceases to be his friend in any way, shape, or form. If he still manages to win in November, the press will be every bit at adversarial as they have been during other recent Republican terms. Other than Iraq, his agenda during his first two years will be held in check by the Democrat held congress. He will lose additional seats in both houses at the mid-term after which he will immediately become the lamest of ducks because he will be a one termer...most likely due to perceived performance but definitely due to age. After 12 years of “control” the changes of holding the White House will be very slim in 2012 (ala 1992) and congress will swing even farther left.

After the near term payoff with respect to Iraq, the recovery from a McCain presidency will take decades. The recovery from a Democrat victory in 2008 begins in 2010. Neither is a pretty picture.

Given the events of the most recent news cycle, I’m still pulling hard for Mr. Romney. Thanks again for playing.


Proud Member for 3 years 19 weeks

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"Everybody has an agenda. Except for me." - Michael Crichton, State of Fear.

I can't stop loving you, so to speak, because I find myself agreeing with so many of your intrepid predictions about Sir John -- except maybe for the post-2013 beachhead thing. And ultimately, one must be true to ones name I suppose. :)

I say you have to choose between the choices presented not those that you wish were on the ballot. Now McCain isn't my first choice for President, but in fact he is my only choice which is an oxymoron to suggest I don't really have a choice at all. McCain is the nominee.

However I would like to suggest that you are not a crybaby nor are you fundamentally sacrificing practicality for ideology. You simply think it is more practical not to support a candidate that you see as dooming the country/your interest.

I think it is a fair point and you shouldn't vote for anyone if you see them as being fundamentally against your interest/conscience.

I am a Positivist Pastafarian for the alliteration alone.

(fill in the blank)to teach God-knows-who-a-lesson-about-what", just promise to hold your breath instead? Hey, it worked for you last week to get the candy bar in the grocery store.

Good Grief, GTFU.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Formally known as Deagle... "Golf is a way of life..."

Looked to me like he made a coherent argument against McCain. And all you have is the same shallow "Stop whining!" response as he took issue with in his title? Who needs to grow up?
Did you even read his post or the responses to it?

Does it not occur to you that there are those of us who actually believe Clinton or Obama might just, Possibly be a better president? And not because we agree with Their positions, but because we Disagree with them less than we do McCain's (or at least prefer their honest Power Grabbing vs his dishonest posturing as a "Conservative" while he pushes for Liberal bills.

Did you not think that that might just be possible?

"Guns don't kill people...
"...But they sure help!"
-Paul Giamatti, Shoot 'Em Up

You can't fix stupid.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

I think those that will never vote for McCain are part of the DeLay wing of the party and look what he did to us!

among other things... I imagine that you would rather have the Pelosi revolution. You're crazy to forgo the conservative movement. Must be too young to remember I suppose...

Formally known as Deagle... "Golf is a way of life..."

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