January 30, 2008

On the Current Direction of the GOP

In the comments to this post, webcomic master  RH Junior once again makes an impassioned and thoughtful case against voting for McCain, even if he is the nominee. Please check out his comment as I think it does bear reading.  I responded, but the comment went rather long so I went ahead and made a post of it.

Regards my pointing out that Bush failed to veto McCain-Feingold and has not been held accountable for this RH makes this argument....

No, there hasn't been an outcry to impeach Bush for signing McCain-Feingold. On the other hand, he didn't draft the thing, did he. He's not a legislator, or a Supreme Court justice. As Executive he only has the power to enforce the law, and his only interaction with the process of legislation is to offer suggestions, and delay or retard legislation being passed by way of a veto--- and that, not indefinitely. Refusing to sign would have only delayed the political freight train for a round or two and given the Democrats screaming about his presidential "illegitimacy" more ammo. That said, what did he have to lose by hoping the Supreme Court would do its proper job for once?

I disagree with this. The presidents job is to defend the constitution.. His primary weapons in this endeavor are the US military and the veto pen.

I do agree with many of your points aside from the characterization of McCain's actions as wicked. McCain, like Bush is what historically would have been considered a Truman Democrat. These are not evil creatures, merely wrong in the long term, for the unintended consequences of the actions of a  powerful central government ( in domestic matters) and socialistic spending tend to always lead to hell.

 In the short term they can be and often are extremely good to have, particularly on foreign policy matters....which is a great concern at this time.

Attempting to curtail corruption in politics is not an ignoble goal. Like the drug war though, its ramifications are often worse than the initial problem....especially if the people offering solutions are insulated from reality the day to day consequences by the 495 beltway (or the ivory tower of academia).

I have little doubt that McCain, as wrong as I feel he is on certain issues, is striving to be on the side of the angels. I have rather less doubt that Hillary will be far worse for the Republic.

I'm sorely tempted to write in Thompson too, but the result of enough people doing that would be President Hillary.

Some suggest that sitting that sitting this one out and inflicting Hillary upon the nation will finally wake up the Republican Party and get us back in touch with our core principals. The evidence for this is scant indeed given that the unexciting current crop of candidates is what was fielded AFTER they were "taught a lesson" in 2006. It is also akin to the wishes occasionally expressed on the DU site a few years back that a city would just please blow up in a mushroom cloud to teach the nation a lesson about having Republicans in control. Hillary is going to be far worse in all areas at a time we will be facing very real challenges, both fiscal, military and ethical.

RH junior is absolutely correct in pointing out that having a heroic war record does not in and of itself confer great leadership abilities upon one ( see Randy Cunningham). However, the particular actions (and inactions) that led to McCain's awards speak to a singular strength of character. Being an officer or even an NCO does involve  intangible leadership qualities that are not often appreciated. However, this skill set is of little consequence if not backed up by character and the equally intangible quality known as honor. McCain was tested rather more harshly than most and kept faith with his men, and his nation. THIS and not abstract medal's or wounds are what give me some confidence that McCain is worthy of the job and will execute his duties with diligence, competence and good faith.

I will likely tear  my remaining few strands of hair out over some of his decisions, though I've gone a long way towards that with our current president....who I nevertheless voted for twice....and I am still confident that he was the correct choice in both instances.

The much larger problem facing conservatives, namely the lack of appreciation (or often even comprehension) of basic federalist, individualist and limited government principles is not going to be solved by any one candidate.

Trying to fix this problem is a daunting task, as our views, however well borne out by history, are vehemently opposed by the vast majority of teachers, civil servants and the chattering classes. It is going to require mobilization of conservatives to arenas rather beyond the scope of the keyboard in order to make our case. Conservatives who care need to donate to and rally for those who we can enthusiastically support. It has been done before as the Goldwater/Reagan revolution demonstrated, but it will require work

Going home and pouting will only ensure our irrelevance. That was, you recall, the action of some of those closest to our views, the (big "L" Libertarians), who's full scale abandonment of the Republican party helped tip the GOP's internal argument regards the role and function of government towards the New Dealers who joined as many of the Libertarians bailed.

Like many of my fellows I'm tired of holding my nose and voting but we have before us (as President Bush did in 2001-2) a series of choices that are varying degrees of bad....however, voting for Fred Thompson, Ronald Reagan or Aragorn is only going to remove votes from the less bad of the alternatives.

UPDATE: Tangentially related thoughts here.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 11:43 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 978 words, total size 6 kb.


Don't forget McCain's agenda to save us all from the EEEVILS of the net and its hords of Pr0nators.   


The predators are the criminals here.  I wonder when he will realize it?

Posted by: Marina at Wed Jan 30 23:49:26 2008 (MpYXu)

2 Marina:
I posted on that here and mentioned it in an update to the original post.

It was an odious proposal.

McCain tends to be rather oblivious to the unintended consequences of his legislation. Like I mentioned in the above linked post, as well as this one, I have many disagreements with John McCain.

I also think he is likely to be the best of a bad field. Hillary is going to be far worse for civil liberties as her attempted war on violent video games shows. Around he world, leftist electoral victories of late have tended to go rather badly for freedom of speech,  as the great barrier firewall demonstrates.

This is not a ringing endorsement. However, one upside to all of this is that McCain's strengths in my view (and they are at least as big as his demerits domestically) are on foreign policy and national security. They are certainly not in the area of legislating. The office of POTUS takes him out of the legislative end of things and allows him to play to his own considerable strengths on foreign policy.

In that sense getting him out of the Senate and into the Oval office is a double victory of sorts.

Lemons...lemonade...all that.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Thu Jan 31 02:17:32 2008 (73lWn)


I can see that logic.  This is why I wait on making my choice.  People always drop out and it gives me the chance to look things over without wasting my time too badly. 

But then I've been broke since I could vote so my situation hasn't changed financially the way some people's has with each election. 

I just do my best to keep up with the issues and avoid the rhetoric(I'm surprised some of the Republican talk show hosts don't give themselves anurisms) because working yourself up into a lather this early on just raises the blood pressure too high.   I hate name calling on either side.  When they resort to that they lose my respect.

Though it does remind me of the Lincoln/Douglas debates I had to read yesterday....


Posted by: Marina at Thu Jan 31 08:39:57 2008 (MpYXu)

4 P.S the link about the video game legislation does take you to Mike Shae's page but his link has gone 404.  Any way to find the original artical?

Posted by: Marina at Thu Jan 31 08:43:12 2008 (MpYXu)

5 http://www.anncoulter.com/cgi-local/printer_friendly.cgi?article=232

Details some of the other reasons I am averse to McCain...

Crap, what a busted flush this candidate lineup is.

Still, there is actually a thin chance of Thompson getting back in the race-- if the convention is brokered, they may decide to go with him. If he's got a large enough write-in in the remaining primaries....

Posted by: RHJunior at Thu Jan 31 13:48:43 2008 (b97li)

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