Tuesday, January 29, 2008

McCain and conservatism

John McCain has on many occasions let the public know of his disdain for conservatism.

On immigration, it was the McCain Kennedy fiasco. He was the driving force in last summer's attempt to subvert the will of the people by the backroom hustle of a bill, no debate, no time, just print it out and pass it out and have a vote, probably at midnight. It took weeks of screaming by the 70% of this nation who were opposed to it, left and right, for McCain to grudgingly admit he was 'wro-- wro-- wwrroggnn', and it was harder for him to say it than for Fonsie.

He claims to have learned his lesson and to be ready to fix the border first. But he admits just this week, very quickly and in passing, that if this old bill were to come across President McCain's desk, he would sign it.

Remember, he 'parachuted in off the campaign trail' (as Senator Cornyn put it) to put his impression on that bill at the last minute, and when Cornyn tried to complain, McCain said (as I suspect he says to all of us, in his mind, daily), "Fuck you, I know more about this than anyone in this room!"

Attitude. He's right, we're wrong, especially if we're working from conservative principles; enforce the law as it stands, we asked, rather than simply pretending for years that the law does not exist in order to satisfy an oddball mix of southern agriculture moguls, Tyson Chicken human resources managers, hotel and restaurant owners, construction kingpins and Hispanic political agitators. Simply enforce the current law. Control the borders, repatriate the violators, make an effort. We cannot overthrow the present law and system until we at least find out if it works when tried. But it's never BEEN tried; McCain types have been at it from the beginning, trying to force the system to look the other way and accept what's necessary 'for the good of the state'. It isn't immigrants we oppose, we said, it's ILLEGAL immigrants. If the system needs streamlining, then let's do it; but control the border FIRST, for the sake of ordinary citizens who are at risk and for the sake of immigrants who wait years and spend thousands to do it right.

McCain's response: they're chumps. They should have just swum across. Don't waste my time.

McCain was the only Republican senator (well, Lincoln Chafee too, but he's gone and forgotten) who voted AGAINST the Bush tax cuts which have taken this nation to such heights of tax revenue and booming business and low unemployment. He now explains his opposition with the notion that there weren't enough spending cuts to justify the cutting of taxes.

Back then, of course, it was 'tax cuts for the rich', just like the libs always say.

But McCain isn't a real conservative; if he was, he'd know that tax cuts always pay for themselves, and that spending cuts are not only not necessary but that spending INCREASES can be tolerated as long as the tax cuts are significant enough (as with Bush) to increase government revenue.

Each of the past five years, government revenue has hit a new all time high. These are the years AFTER the tax cuts. Clearly, cutting taxes does NOT cut revenue, it EXPANDS revenue, by encouraging the kind of activity that results in taxable transactions-- salaries, purchases, increases in business income, etc.

This has proven true in the 1960's, when JFK advocated tax cuts to increase government revenue. Again in the 1980's the Reagan tax cuts increased revenue, and now Bush has proven it a THIRD time in just forty years. Tax cuts CAUSE increases in revenue, and do not require concurrent spending cuts to remain fiscally prudent. They ARE fiscal prudence.

But if, like Democrats, taxing is the kind of 'iron fist in an iron glove' power that McCain loves to wield, well then tax cuts are almost a voluntary giving up of power.

Can't have that. McCain is no conservative on taxation, not even close.

On free speech, he was the impetus for McCain Feingold, the bill which made the 'public square' of this century, radio and tv, off limits for citizen groups within 60 days of an election. It is sardonically known as the Incumbent Protection Act, and it is utterly unconstitutional. McCain was opposed by almost everyone in his own party, but as always, that didn't trouble him.

Freedom of speech was protected in an amendment 240 years ago, a special set-aside to make absolutely sure that government would never impinge on the right of citizens to gather together and discuss things like upcoming elections and candidates. The founding fathers, had they known about television, would never have agreed to limit advertising; it would seem to them like limiting the size of political gatherings to a dozen people.

McCain Feingold makes a mockery of the idea that we are free to advocate and participate in the electoral process.

McCain, in fact, seems almost to enjoy mockery of conservatives. But he also has a temper and a long memory.

If he is elected, the Fairness Doctrine will be wheeled out in short order.

McCain will not sit idly by, not with the power of the Presidency in his hands and the ability to 'get even' with Limbaugh and the rest of them for perceived slights.

And remember the Gang of 14, how McCain went against the vast majority of Republican senators to preserve the right of the Left's minority to throw tradition in the dumpster and cheat with parliamentary law to prevent Bush's nominees to circuit courts from getting up or down votes?

McCain claimed it was in the best interest of Republicans-- because if THEY were in the minority at some point in the future, they wouldn't want the majority to have this steamroller law on THEIR side.

Thanks to McCain and people like him, we very quickly found ourselves in the minority.

If he had stood up for principle, he would have agreed that it was WRONG of the Dems to use trickery to prevent votes, that these fine candidates DESERVED votes, and that the Dems needed to be overcome in their skullduggery by whatever means was available to preserve the PRINCIPLE that the Senate was to 'advise and consent', not to reject out of hand every candidate put forward by the president solely on the basis of ideology. ESPECIALLY not when the rejection was arrived at by parliamentary trickery which was not appropriate for this use; they were using the filibuster not for a piece of legislation but for JUDICIAL NOMINEES, and until Bush's presidency this had been done only once, and NOT for ideological reasons but because the candidate was a known criminal.

But no. John McCain is just smarter than us, and our stupid principled stance was just not worth his time.

If John McCain is the nominee of the Republican party, it matters little whether he or Hillary are elected president. Much the same sort of legislation and foreign policy will result. Much about our lives will change, and not for the better. Taxes will increase, government programs will proliferate, regulation will stifle previously thriving businesses, Democrats will throw money willy-nilly at pet causes and, more importantly, at people, millions of them, in an effort to 'lock in' their votes for future elections. Witness the rush to do so so very much for the poor oppressed illegal alien.

Illegals can't vote? Well, not NOW. But that 'drivers licenses for illegals' thing that seems to make no sense? That's what it's for. To get them some ID so they can vote. McCain will not oppose this. Likely he will champion it. He wants their votes too, which is why he was so set on getting that McCain Kennedy immigration bill passed.

John McCain is a 'man of honor', which is a wonderful quality in a military man. His courage and determination have awed the world since he returned from that Vietnamese POW camp, and he deserves the respect of all of us.

But to be a 'man of honor' is not necessarily to be a man of principle in conservative terms.

John McCain is no conservative, and when he pretends to be one, it visibly grates on him.

I had enough of being told I was stupid or wrong back when BUSH was doing it last summer; the last thing I want is a president who will look me in the eye on TV and tell me I'm wrong about EVERYTHING I believe.

If that president was a liberal, I could manage to get up and go to work every day; but if it was a Republican who called himself a conservative, I'd probably get depressed and apply for welfare.


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