God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Friday, January 11, 2008

Counting McCaingryOldMan's Problems

Mark Levin made a good argument on his NRO blog (back in December) about John McCain's less than conservative record, and why Republicans and conservatives have (or should have) misgivings about backing him for the GOP presidential nomination. The Problem with McCain:
In sum, John McCain has been weak on homeland security, joining with numerous liberal Democrats to argue for closing Guantanamo Bay, applying the Geneva Conventions to unlawful enemy combatants, extending certain constitutional rights to detainees, limiting tried and true interrogation techniques, and conferring amnesty on illegal aliens (which would include OTMs; that fact that Bush supported the same thing is no defense). He aggressively opposed the Bush tax cuts, even after they were scaled back. He is behind the McCain-Lieberman Stewardship Act, which is a Kyoto-like manifesto. His role in McCain-Feingold goes well beyond merely voting for it (he was its primary crusader). He organized the Gang of 14, which I contended at the time and still believe effectively killed Republican efforts to kill the Democrat filibustering of judicial nominees. And while he votes against unbalanced budgets, he has no problem with federal intervention in a wide range of matters that are outside the federal government's constitutional limits.

Yes, McCain has been steadfast on the Battle of Iraq. And yes, that's important. But Rudy Giuliani's strength is said to be his understanding of the Islamo-fascist threat, and he would be no slouch; nor would Fred Thompson or Mitt Romney. But McCain has also been in the Senate for many years. And I don't recall prior to 9/11 that he was a leading voice warning against potential terrorist attacks, or al-Qaeda, or using his position to demand greater spending and preparedness for the U.S. military during Clinton's presidency (although I am open to evidence to the contrary). I don't recall him speaking out against efforts to weaken out intelligence agencies. Clearly, McCain knows how to make noise over any issue if he wants to, whether through the media or shutting down the Senate. He has been the mainstream media's favorite Republican for years, and there's a reason for it.
Over the past few years Levin has had several other good posts taking McCain to task...

John McCain, Weak On Defense

McCain's Blunder, A Liberal Minority In The Senate Will Have The Upper Hand

Presidential Irresponsibility

Tortured Debate, Tortured Timing

Would I vote for McCain before Obama? Yes. Before Clinton? Yes. But I cannot support him in the primary.


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