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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Saturday, February 02, 2008

An Echo, Not A Choice

If Crazy John is a "conservative," I'm a New York Jew cowboy. Chris neglects to note that McCain voted to put Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, and that he considered his "good friend" Sen. John Kerry's offer to be the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee. Crazy John has also said that Sen. Hillary Clinton "would make a good president." In my view, conservatives in 2008 should focus on the down-ticket races. If Crazy John were elected president, he would have four or eight years to remake the GOP into an even more squishy, "me-too" party.

Barry Goldwater winning the 1964 GOP presidential nomination was a seminal event in the conservative takeover of the party, as it paved the way for Ronald Reagan's election in 1980. Goldwater-- who, ironically, later held the Senate seat now occupied by Crazy John-- defeated the Northeastern liberals who had controlled the GOP for many years. Most of those liberals were bitter and refused to back Goldwater in the general election against President Lyndon Johnson. So why should conservatives be enthusiastic now about helping McCain move the party-- and the government-- further to the left? To reverse the title of Phyllis Shlafley's great book from 1964, Crazy John versus Hillary or Sen. Obama will be an echo, not a choice.

Be sure to read the last three paragraphs.

by Christopher Ruddy | Newsmax.com | January 31, 2008

Sen. John McCain has emerged as the GOP front-runner. Barring any unforeseen problems, he will be the GOP nominee this year for president. But how did John McCain win, especially with so many conservatives against him?

Dick Morris suggested on Bill O’Reilly’s show Wednesday night that the GOP is just more liberal than we thought.

Dick is usually on target, but on this point, I respectfully disagree. The GOP is still very much the party of conservative Ronald Reagan. In fact, we keep hearing a frequent lament during this campaign: Where is Reagan?

Indeed, there has been no Reagan candidate to emerge so far.

With no candidate to back, the major pundits are emphasizing who they are against. Rush Limbaugh is clearly against John McCain. And each of the other major candidates in this race — Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Huckabee, Romney — have all had strong constituencies in the GOP that have opposed them.

But these same pundits and constituencies never seem to have a candidate whom they support.

Had conservatives united around Mitt Romney, for example, the outcome with McCain would have been decidedly different. Many believe, however, that Romney has been too inconsistent on key issues. Others fear a backlash against his Mormonism.

Back to Dick Morris’ point about the GOP being more liberal than many thought. McCain is not a liberal. He is a conservative. [BS!!] As such, he was the least offensive of the GOP candidates who ran in the Florida primary.

I think Florida voters saw it that way when they went to the polls and gave McCain a plurality (not a majority) in a very crowded field.

McCain is a maverick. McCain’s lifetime American Conservative Union voting record is 83 percent. Not bad! He is also pro-life, pro-gun, for limited government [say what?], and a strong national defense. He passes a certain acceptability level using the typical litmus tests for most Republicans.

Where McCain fails is on key issues that raise cackles from Republican stalwarts: He opposed the Bush tax cuts, [spear-headed the McCain-Feingold] campaign finance reform, supported Ted Kennedy’s approach to immigration, and supported global warming initiatives.

[... .]

... [L]iberals tend to applaud McCain for breaking from his party. That drives conservatives nuts.

The big question now that remains is if McCain can energize the conservative base — a must-do if he wants to win this coming November.

Some pundits suggest that GOP voters will rally around McCain no matter what — even if a “ham sandwich” were running against Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic opponent.

I strongly disagree with this sentiment. After eight years of being disappointed by the Bush administration, Reagan Republicans are likely to vote their conscience this year rather than the party line. [Bingo!]

John McCain needs to give them some really good reasons to make them think twice. Hillary won’t be reason enough.


Anonymous Mike W said...

Gladly would I rally around McCain and others of his kind when they are put on a rail car to nowhere. I would rally myself with my last breathe to push that car out of Washington DC...

Sat Feb 02, 04:32:00 PM CST  
Blogger D.K. said...

I'm still completly baffled as to why conservatives refuse to back or even acknowledge the existance of Ron Paul.

He's the most conservative of all the candidates!

The only reason I have heard for conservatives not backing Ron Paul is because he is not likely to win.

Well, that's what happens when you don't back a candidate.

Sun Feb 03, 12:06:00 PM CST  
Blogger Tom Head said...

Five reasons why conservatives might not want to vote for Ron Paul:

(1) He's as consistently anti-war as Dennis Kucinich.

(2) He's as consistently against federal drug laws as Bill Maher.

(3) He opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which no Republican presidential nominee has done since 1964.

(4) He has been extremely critical of George W. Bush.

(5) He can't deliver a good speech, and that doesn't portend well for the general election.

I'm not a conservative, but hey, you asked.

Mon Feb 04, 03:26:00 AM CST  
Blogger D.K. said...

#1 - Being anti-war is conservative because there is nothing conservative about spending billions of dollars on one war after another and creating an empire around the world.

#2 - Being against federal drug laws is conservative because there is nothing conservative about the federal government being so large that it can tell us what we can and can't put into our bodies.

#3 I've never heard of Ron Paul opposing the civil rights movement.

#4 - Being critical of Bush is conservative because Bush is not a conservative.

#5 I agree that Ron Paul delivers poor speeches, but I think that's a poor reason for a conservative not to vote for a candidate, particularly the only conservative candidate in the race.

I think the real reason why conservatives don't vote for Ron Paul is because conservatives no longer understand what it means to be conservative, thanks to the neo-cons.

Tue Feb 05, 10:42:00 AM CST  
Blogger Tom Head said...

#1 - This used to be true, but the Reagan coalition was built on a more aggressive approach to foreign policy. What folks tend to forget about conservatism, and liberalism for that matter, is that it's very fluid. There was a time when the Iraq War would have been considered a liberal foreign policy decision, for example, because of the humanitarian explanation given to it.

#2 - This changed with Nixon and, to a lesser degree, with Eisenhower before him. I think the prohibitionists were also considered conservatives. The question, again, becomes one of how we define conservatism, but the most commonly accepted definition is that conservatives are very concerned about making sure that everyone uses sex and drugs in a way that they approve of or, to put it another way, that "we live in a culture that upholds traditional values."

#3 - Ron Paul definitely opposes the Civil Rights Act; he has described it as a federal encroachment on the Tenth Amendment. To his credit, this is not mere code -- he believes that most federal legislation, including antidrug laws, constitute(s) a federal encroachment on the Tenth Amendment.

#4 - Considering the level of support Bush received in 2004, and the level of support ideologically similar folks in his party have received since 1994, Bush has positioned himself as the conservative in our culture and in the process redefined conservatism. If you reject this idea of conservatism, that makes two of us, but with few exceptions the Reagan-Bush style of conservatism all I've seen of the movement in my lifetime.

#5 - I think the concern is that if he can't deliver good speeches, he'll get creamed by a Democrat in November.

Tue Feb 05, 01:16:00 PM CST  
Blogger D.K. said...

#1. This is what I mean about the neo-cons taking over conservatism. And it's been happening since Nixon. The truth is there is no neo-con candidate in the race. But there is a conservative candidate.

#2. See above.

#3. Upholding the Constitution is/used to be conservative.

#4. Bush's support and the ideological stance he represents is/from that of neo-cons.

#5. If that was true, then either Romney or Huckabee would be winning, not McCain.

Thu Feb 07, 10:50:00 AM CST  

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