Skip to comments.Charen: McCain Disdain
Posted on 02/08/2008 6:29:14 AM PST by cgk
February 08, 2008, 0:00 a.m.
Why some Republicans won't vote for the senator.
By Mona Charen
I posted a squib on National Review Online about a robo call I received from John McCain (Virginias primary is Tuesday). The call stressed that he would, if elected, be a down-the-line limited-government conservative who would never raise taxes, would defend life, would enforce immigration laws, and would win the war on terror. The candidate is trying, I said, to meet conservatives more than halfway.
The response of readers was, shall we say, emphatic. One lady wrote that she would never vote for him as he is the most disloyal, ill-tempered man and he brings out the worse [sic] in all of us. Several readers made the point that after decades of suffering abuse at McCains hands, conservatives are not going to fall into line for him now no matter what blandishments he offers.
I know how they feel. The problem with John McCain is not just that he strays. George Bush has strayed from conservatism too. So has Fred Thompson, and certainly, Mitt Romney has as well. But Senator McCain has a knack for saying things in just the tones and accents that liberals prefer.
In 2000, he condemned the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as agents of intolerance. In 2004, when Sen. John Kerry was getting his comeuppance from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, vets whom he had known during the war and who couldnt remain silent as the Democratic nominee distorted his war record, John McCain weighed in by calling them dishonorable and dishonest. When the Bush Administration was being vilified as a nest of Torquemadas for using waterboarding on three occasions, McCain came forward to condemn waterboarding as torture.
Senator McCain was a Vietnam hero. Conservatives, in particular, revere him for this. Indeed, his return from the political grave can probably be traced to the moment (October 22) when he joshingly referred to having missed the Woodstock music festival in 1969 because I was tied up at the time. In that instant he came to personify (for many) the conservative side of the great 1960s chasm that (Obamas irenic rhetoric notwithstanding) continues to divide our society. Not only was he not smoking pot and lolling in the mud with his girlfriend, you could almost hear Republicans telling themselves that he was standing up to torture at the hands of Americas enemies.
And yet, a better man would not stoop to suggesting that military service is the only way to show love of country and sneer that unlike Mitt Romney he served for patriotism not profit. Profit is a four letter word in the McCain vocabulary, whether applied to Big Pharma or other businesses.
McCain reaches too hard and too transparently to turn everything into a contest about military service. When Romney observed that Bob Dole wouldnt necessarily be the one hed want an endorsement from, McCain pronounced himself very sad and disappointed to see that kind of comment about a person who was an American war hero and demanded that Romney apologize.
There is a strutting self-righteousness about McCain that goes hand-in-hand with a nitroglycerin temper. He flatters himself that his colleagues in the Senate dislike him because he stands up for principle, while they sell their souls for pork. Not exactly. He is disliked because on many, many occasions he has been disrespectful, belligerent, and vulgar to those who differ with him.
Bradley Smith, former commissioner of the Federal Election Commission and the leading legal scholar on campaign-finance issues, experienced the McCain treatment firsthand. Because Smith opposed limits on political speech, he was denounced as corrupt by the senator (as was Commissioner Ellen Weintraub). Smith, who lives modestly, jokes that his wife has complained about the absence of jewels and furs. Though he served on the commission for five years and made several attempts to meet with McCain to discuss the issues, Smith was rebuffed.
The two did accidentally meet outside a hearing room in 2004 when they were both scheduled to testify before the Senate rules committee. At first, McCain grasped Smiths outstretched hand (Smith was in a wheelchair recovering from surgery), but when he recognized his campaign finance opponent he snatched his hand back, snarling Im not going to shake your hand. Youre a bully. You have no regard for the Constitution. Youre corrupt.
Smith, a soft-spoken scholar, ardent patriot, and lifelong conservative Republican, cannot pull the lever for McCain. He is far from alone, and that is the Republican Partys heartbreak in 2008.
Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist and political commentator.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
And that’s just scratching the surface.
I hope McCain and his sycophants will read this today. It sums everything up perfectly. And Charen doesn’t even mention McCain’s volcanic performance during the debate over his amnesty bill, when he called Pete Domenici an a**hole and Chuck Grassley an idiot; and when he concluded secret backroom deals with Ted Kennedy and tried to ram the bill through without hearings or debate. Why should conservatives shut up and tolerate such a man? Surely we can do better.
Reporting for dupey! :)
I had never heard that story. McCain really is a jerk, isn't he?
Apparently we can't.
And don't call me Shirley.
"Heartbreak" is the right word here.
I abhor the thought of voting for Hillary O'bama.
But if I vote for McCain, aren't I just encouraging the party to offer up more just like him?
If I don't vote at all, then I am unreachable, and thus written off by both parties, I suppose.
"Heartbreak" is the right word.
You'd think so, but sadly, we couldn't.
There are quirks in McCain’s personality, like this self-righteousness, his hair-trigger temper, etc., that really concern me. I don’t understand his thought processes. Going to Kerry to offer to be his VP candidate was squirrely. His conserva-liberal schizo-platform is beyond my understanding. Having said all that, I agree with Romney’s decision.
Lets suppose Romney had mounted the steep incline to the Repub nomination. He had another uphill climb against the Dems. How much did he want to pay for this whole thing out of his own pocket? Especially for those kind of chances. His points at CPAC were extremely valid. The best Repub candidate to proffer those issues is McCain. I REALLY hate to say that. The realities we face stink, but I think Romney made the right decision, for himself, and for his country. We a couple years until mid-terms to figure ourselves out as conservatives and re-group. We need to re-visit Reagan and Newts Contract with America and see if we cant recapture a winning posture and communication.
I don’t care what John McCain says to conservatives in between now and November. He is not a conservative and he would not govern as a conservative if he were elected.
I am so angry that the general election is almost 9 months away and McCain is now the presumptive nominee of our party. Since I live in Ohio, I have not voted in the primaries yet and regardless of who I vote for next month, my vote won’t matter. Conservatives are being disenfranchised in this election. In November we will have the choice of voting for a liberal Democrat or a RINO. I’m tired of voting for moderate Republicans just because because they are “less liberal” than their Democrat opponents. I used to criticize conservatives who stayed home rather than vote for moderate Republicans, but this year, I might be joining them.
McCain has a history of deep anger and being dismissive towards those he believes are “corrupt” (which is ANYONE who opposes something he wants.
With this in mind, should McCain become president (shudder) he WILL join with democrats to enact the so-called Fairness Doctrine...believe me, he wants to SILENCE the “corrupt” conservative talk radio.
Our team has to play better next time, but Hillary’s not an option for me. I’ll vote.
A better understanding of the US Constitution is in order for all of us.
You know, we have nine(9) months between now and the election. The Dem. nominee may not be determined for months. Mc cain’s VP nominee hasn’t been selected. I think people who are making these Shermanesk statements at this time are full of hot air and are expressing emotion of the moment. A more sobering thought might influence them in November given the stark difference in the choices.
I don’t think that McCain is better on national security than Romney or the other Republican candidates, with the exception of Ron Paul.
But the real problem with McCain is that he can’t win. The independents and moderates who have supported him in the primaries are unlikely to vote for him in November, especially once the Democrats and MSM start attacking him. And many conservatives will not vote for him either because he is not a conservative. That leaves moderate Republicans and their support is not going to be enough for him to win. And, frankly, I don’t care if he does lose.
"Apparently we can't."
We have the choice of the Huck & Romney has only suspended his campaign and keeping all his delegates.
Romney can step right back into the race if he chooses to.
It's up to us to find a way to deep six McCain. I don't have the answer.
Every time an issue came up for McCain that pitted his Democrat friends against the conservative base, he consistently sided with the Democrats. (See McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman, et cetera, ad nauseum.)
Get over it. Mc Cain is the nominee barring some unexpected health problems.