Jay Reding.com

McCain ’08: As If You Doubted

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.

6 responses to “McCain ’08: As If You Doubted”

  1. Mark says:

    McCain has two huge problems, first with the Republican base. Aside from the fact that most right-wingers like yourself wish to ignore the Geneva conventions and use clever loopholes and rhetorical sleights of hand to justify torturing enemy combatants, his fingerprint is also on an immigration bill that is despised by conservatives (and for that matter, anybody who isn’t a coastal or college-town elitist insulated from the real-world consequences of unbridled immigration).

    But let’s pretend for a minute that conservatives set aside their ideological misgivings in the name of pragmitism, there remains the fact that John McCain wishes to deploy an additional 100,000 troops in a war that the majority of Americans just indicated their outrage over last Tuesday in the voting booth. If McCain chooses to run on that platform, expanding a war that 60% of Americans disapprove of, he runs the risk of being beaten even by someone as polarizing as Hillary Clinton.

  2. Jay Reding says:

    there remains the fact that John McCain wishes to deploy an additional 100,000 troops

    Which is one of the reasons why I support McCain. We cannot afford to lose Iraq, and he’s the only one with the guts to suggest the hard truth that we need more boots on the ground. John McCain has more balls than the entire Democratic Party combined, which is why I’m starting to think that his running is one of the better things that could happen to this country.

  3. Seth says:

    Go ahead thinking McCain is a fiscal hawk. I’ll keep looking at his votes and know otherwise.

  4. Mark says:

    “Which is one of the reasons why I support McCain”

    Yes, we know you support. You also supported Mark Kenndy, who got 38% of the vote for embracing the same position on Iraq that John McCain did. I rest my case.

  5. Jay Reding says:

    Yes, we know you support. You also supported Mark Kenndy, who got 38% of the vote for embracing the same position on Iraq that John McCain did. I rest my case.

    What is right and what is popular are rarely the same.

  6. Nicq MacDonald says:

    “What is right and what is popular are rarely the same.”

    Which is why Democracy, which rests on the assumption that what is popular is right, is obviously the worst form of government that there is.