ABCNews declares what’s been hardly a secret for some time, John McCain is prepping a run for the Presidency in 2008.
I have mixed feelings about McCain. On the war, he’s one of this nation’s strongest advocates. He’s also one of the strongest advocates of limited government out there. He’s a fiscal hawk of the first order, and this country desperately needs someone like him to put our fiscal house in order. He’s a little too eager to raise taxes, but I don’t necessarily see him as someone who would undo the tax cuts that have already been made.
What I dislike? His position on interrogations is based on principle, and I respect him for that. I still disagree with it. His overall record on national security is strong enough that I trust him to prosecute this war with the force necessary to win. His position on interrogations isn’t a dealbreaker by any means.
What I cannot countenance is his position on campaign finance reform. I believe that McCain-Feingold is an unconstitutional restriction on free speech, and it should have been struck down by the Supreme Court. I believe that his position on campaign finance rules puts him on the wrong side of representative democracy — you don’t strengthen the democratic process by restricting people’s voices, but by creating a vigorous marketplace of ideals. McCain-Feingold has not created a cleaner system of campaigns, nor has it reduced the influence of money on politics. What it has done is made campaigns dirtier and acted as incumbent protection, silencing the voices of interest groups who have every right to speak out on issues of relevance to their members.
Could I still vote for John McCain? Absolutely, especially as the Democrats are so much worse on key issues, especially this war. Would I prefer him? McCain is much more socially conservative than Giuliani, and also a strong fiscal conservative. Still, Giuliani is someone who could also unite this country and would also prosecute the war with the strength required. Giuliani has his own issues, but right now conservatives seemed more pragmatically likely to support him.
Still, McCain could help bring the GOP out of its current doldrums. We need a fiscal and foreign policy hawk right now, and McCain is working on building bridges with movement conservatives. He’d be a force to reckon with in 2008, and only Giuliani could beat him. The GOP can do far worse than McCain, and if we want to win, he’s one the people who can make that happen.