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Tempting, But I'll Pass

When it comes to choosing which candidates to back, I tend to go by my "gut" more than any rational reason. I tend to trust my instincts, my subconscious, my hunches more than a cool analysis of issues and resumes and accomplishments.

But there are some things that I do allow to overrule that.

There's something deep inside me that wants to like John McCain, that wants to back him for president. There's something about the man's character that I find appealing in a leader.

There is no disputing that the man is a genuine American hero. A pilot during Viet Nam, he was shot down and held prisoner. He was tortured and abused, then offered his freedom as a symbolic gesture -- his father was an admiral -- and he refused any special treatment.

Further, the man has the kind of sense of humor that I can respect. He routinely makes jokes about his experiences as a guest of the North Vietnamese government (witness last night's mention of being "tied up" during Woodstock), and he doesn't let his utter lack of talent keep him from singing to make his points -- here he mocks Barbra Streisand on Saturday Night Live, and his little "Bomb Iran" moment was another classic.

But McCain has two very strong positions that, to me, combine to eliminate him as a candidate I can support.

McCain was one of the biggest pushers for the so-called "immigration reform" bill that almost utterly ignored the need for enforcement of existing laws, strengthening the border, and cracking down on the financial incentives for people to hire illegal aliens. I consider myself a bit of a realist on the issue -- I've said that I'd even accept McCain's "reform" if it was coupled with enough strong measures to make it fairly safe to call it the "last" amnesty bill -- but his bill was utterly abysmal.

And even before that, he'd lost my vote with his McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act, or as I call it, The George Soros License To Buy Elections Act. There are so many flaws -- political and Constitutional -- that it should never have been brought to a vote, let alone pass. McCain should look at the harm his measure has caused, and do everything he can to repeal it.

As I said, I have a lot of respect for John McCain, and I find I like him, too. I just wish I could vote for him.


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Comments (23)

McCain reacted impulsively ... (Below threshold)
kim:

McCain reacted impulsively and without command of the facts in the case of the Swifties. He has still not corrected his record. Maybe he is tied up.

He, too, is Unfit for Command.
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Great Post. I agree totally... (Below threshold)
Dennis D:

Great Post. I agree totally. McCain is an American Hero but has some major issues I disagree with. I think his biggest mistake was trying to become more centrist in the past 4 years. Perhaps trying to match Hillary?

Jay, you echoed my sentimen... (Below threshold)

Jay, you echoed my sentiments almost perfectly. As much as I'd like to offer him my own support for the very reasons you note, I cannot. McCain simply doesn't realize that you can't please all the people all the time.

On Fox News Sunday, McCain ... (Below threshold)
GeminiChuck:

On Fox News Sunday, McCain was asked about the problems with "McCain-Feingold" - he stands behind the bill and says all the special interest money (available in spite of M-F)just means more campaign finance laws are needed. Seems totally ignorant of the impact of his bill. M-F has caused the political party national committees to lose control of the nomination process to the big money-bags like Soros et al.

McCain has repeatedly shown... (Below threshold)

McCain has repeatedly shown that he does not believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights--his oath means nothing to him--and that he favors using the authority of the federal government to stomp on state and local governments, even on state and local issues.

I agree Jay. I wish we coul... (Below threshold)
Pretzel_Logic:

I agree Jay. I wish we could combine a few of these guys. But it is becoming clearer that we have the more viable candidates to choose from. Any of our top four guys would kick tail in the debates against Shillary or Osama Obama no matter how much money Hollywood and the Chinese pump into their campaigns.

Great Post. I agre... (Below threshold)
jpm100:
Great Post. I agree totally. McCain is an American Hero but has some major issues I disagree with. I think his biggest mistake was trying to become more centrist in the past 4 years. Perhaps trying to match Hillary?
The way the torture legislation was handled, it appeared to give validation to many of the claims for which there is no real evidence. McCain got to get in front of the camera though. I believe McCain chases the camera and in order to get the camera in a positive light with our MSM, you have to chase the middle. And today's middle is yesterday's Democrat.

Quite simply McCain is a media whore, imho. Someone the media can yank by his leash.

And don't forget him being ... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

And don't forget him being part of the gang of 14. How well did THAT work out?

Good post Jay. I would add ... (Below threshold)

Good post Jay. I would add this:

1) The Keating Five is a non issue. McCain was an add on to provide cover for the Democrats in the pocket of Charlie Keating
2) McCain might be a good war time president, but a great deal of uncertainty remains.
3) The Swiftboat blunder is cause for real concern.
4) Mycroft beat me to the punch...the Gang of 14 maneuver was the last straw for me. It was a craven political sellout that exposed his contempt for the base.

McCain unconstitutional Fei... (Below threshold)
914:

McCain unconstitutional Feingold and illegal amnesty seal His fate for Me.

Also included are all politicians that continue to not close the f ng border!

Was immigration brought up ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Was immigration brought up at all last night? I didn't watch since its too depressing to see where the republicans are going with their selections. Tancredo was politely complaining on FoxNews about how that topic wasn't brought up and hasn't been brought up much lately.

I know that's Tancredo's deal, but its also right up there with most people as an important issue if not "thee" issue.

My father-in-law, an avid s... (Below threshold)
kim:

My father-in-law, an avid sportsman, he once posed over a dead antelope with a claw hammer in his hand, went out one fine fall day duckhunting, as was his wont and halfway out to the field decided he'd killed enough ducks for one lifetime, turned around and went home and took up target shooting. So in his honor, I'll quit taking potshots at McCain. He is not past his usefulness, even if it is as a bad example. Oops, that was from not checking the chamber.
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McCain recently had an in-d... (Below threshold)

McCain recently had an in-depth interview on The PBS NewHour (link here) which showed he really understood "The Bridge to Nowhere" effect on the Republican party...but he again showed his blind-spot on the immigration debate.

McCain's position appears to be influenced by being a Senator from a south-western state and the politics deomographics...but he's short-sighted on his politics here.

His position should be, "I'm sorry...I was wrong...I learned my lesson...America welcomes all LEGAL immigrants that respect our sovereignty and our laws. Our nation doesn't apologize to anyone for taking this position!"

Everyone here seems to stro... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Everyone here seems to strongly respect and admire John McCain, but when push came to shove, the ends justified the means. McCain his war record and his adopted daughter could be smeared without much blowback in South Carolina. There will be those who say there was no proof, but my instincts, my subconscious, my hunches say it was Rove who was behind the campaign. It seems to me it is hard to respect McCain and at at the same time Rove (and Bush), but I'm not a Republican.

"Further, the man has the k... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"Further, the man has the kind of sense of humor that I can respect."

I know - after all he came up with this HILARIOUS joke!:

"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
Because her father is Janet Reno."

http://www.salon.com/news/1998/06/25newsb.html

Respek.

Steve, the reason your inst... (Below threshold)
kim:

Steve, the reason your instincts, your subconscious, and your hunches all say it was Rove is that his mindrays are pervasive. Rarely has the power of those brainwaves been so elegantly celebrated. May your words appear as epitaph, someday.
=========================================

Agreed. McCain makes a good... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Agreed. McCain makes a good showing in the debates, but I think he is just a rhetorical actor. He cannot be trusted. I will never forget how he relished sticking it to the new administration after Bush was elected. At every opportunity he mugged for the cameras and undermined President Bush's agenda. Unforgivable.

kim, well it would certainl... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

kim, well it would certainly be in character, Rove's or don't you agree?

Inside, Rove was talking to an aide about some political stratagem in some state that had gone awry and a political operative who had displeased him. I paid it no mind and reviewed a jotted list of questions I hoped to ask. But after a moment, it was like ignoring a tornado flinging parked cars. "We will fu..k him. Do you hear me? We will fu..k him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fu..ked him!" As a reporter, you get around--curse words, anger, passionate intensity are not notable events--but the ferocity, the bellicosity, the violent imputations were, well, shocking. This went on without a break for a minute or two

Take 'turd blossom,' Bush's nicknmae for Rove, the architect of 'push-polls' to South Carolina and you get this:

As for the Waterloo of South Carolina, most of the facts are well-known, and among this group of Republicans, what happened has taken on the air of an unsolved crime, a cold case, with Karl Rove being the prime suspect. Bush loyalists, maybe working for the campaign, maybe just representing its interests, claimed in parking-lot handouts and telephone "push polls" and whisper campaigns that McCain's wife, Cindy, was a drug addict, that McCain might be mentally unstable from his captivity in Vietnam, and that the senator had fathered a black child with a prostitute. Callers push-polled members of a South Carolina right-to-life organization and other groups, asking if the black baby might influence their vote

Just ask McCain or his 2000 campaign manager John Weaver who they think was behind these push-polls?

Steve believes people at th... (Below threshold)
kim:

Steve believes people at the pinnacle of power don't get volcanically angry. He'll have a rude awakening to discover that Hillary is coyote ugly.

McCain is easily fooled. Look at Keating. Look at McCain/Find Gold. Look at the utter fool he made of himself, impulsively trashing the Swifties. Oops, I swore off shooting at sitting ducks. Or tied up ones.
===================================

kim..I know Hillary swears ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

kim..I know Hillary swears like a sailor..and probably uses epithets that would sink her ship, if the MSM media reported them.(which is one reason I don't particularly like her) We'll leave it for another thread..

This post sums up my feelin... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

This post sums up my feelings exactly--McCain Feingold and immigration reform. Ill-conceived and typical of politicians who "know better" than the citizens.

Steve, I love the complete ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Steve, I love the complete quote of Will Rogers; only the second half is usually heard: "Among the elite of business and politics, I never met a man I didn't like".
=============================================

kim, I suppose I have lived... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

kim, I suppose I have lived a sheltered life..I haven't been around that many many top 'elite business and political people', when they were not purposefully on their best behavior...but professional atheletes..that is a different story..This would be subject for a thread some day..




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