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McCainia? Not So Fast

Hugh Hewitt, like Schramm, is always overly optimistic. So his predictions were, of course, wrong. But it’s better to be short on predictions and long on analysis, in my opinion. Hewitt’s got some good insights today, chief among them is this one:

The long and short of this bad but not horrific night was that majorities must act like majorities. The public cares little for the "traditions" of the Senate or the way the appropriations process used to work. It demands results. Handed a large majority, the GOP frittered it away. The chief fritterer was Senator McCain and his Gang of 14 and Kennedy-McCain immigration bill, supplemented by a last minute throw down that prevented the NSA bill from progressing or the key judicial nominations from receiving a vote. His accomplice in that master stroke was Senator Graham. Together they cost their friend Mike DeWine his seat in the Senate, and all their Republican colleagues their chairmanships. Senator McCain should rethink his presidential run. Amid the ruins of the GOP’s majority there is a clear culprit.

Very good advice for the senator. But do you think he’ll take it?

Discussions - 23 Comments

McCain can not even begin to hide his duplicity. Did you catch him on Fox last night? He was talking like a small government conservative! The question is, how far are the country clubers/bridge-to-nowhere liberals willing to go in support of his candidacy in 2008? Also, how will conservatives react? This internal fight will reveal if the GOP has learned it’s lesson or not...

All right. Let’s think about this a bit. Who out there has the stature and the name recognition that McCain has. Which Republican has as compelling a biography as McCain. Which Republican has written not one, BUT TWO well read books. Which Republican has had a movie made about them?

Romney is a Mormon. Now I’ve nothing against Mormons, and I’m sure that most here don’t have anything against Mormons. But the nation has never turned to a Mormon for the Presidency, never even nominated a Mormon for the Presidency. So do you think it wise and prudent to take a chance with a Mormon in ’08, when if Hillary wins it’s likely she’ll have a Senate majority to work with, as well as a majority in the House. Do you think that’s a really bright idea when you know that Hillary is a closeted McGovernite?

Take a good look at the darkening international scene. Do you really think that this is the time to turn to someone untested, to someone without any foreign policy experience. McCain has been adamant in his desire and eagerness to wage a tougher war, a real war. He hasn’t waffled like Allen did for instance.

Rudy has voiced support for gun control, homosexual marriage and abortion rights. Now how do you think that’s going to fly with the base of the GOP? Sure Rudy is popular, but the selection of Rudy would mean the repudiation of core positions within the Republican party platform.

Who out there in the party do you desire to see win the nomination. If you are going to bash McCain, at least tell us who should replace him.

Gingrich is a Conservative, and is clearly equal to some of the greatest challenges ever to confront this great country. But he was made toxic years ago, and has high negative ratings. He would eviscerate Hillary in the debates, but so what. So did Lazio for that matter. Lazio ripped Hillary apart and exposed her mental pretensions, but he still got creamed in the election. Gingrich would prove easy pickings against Hillary, who will have the gale force winds of the media BEHIND HER, not in her face.

We need to wake the hell up, and realize that McCain is our best hope in ’08.

Instead of questioning McCain, we need to urge him to make nice with the Conservative base which he has gratuitously irritated. The first order of business should be a sit down between Limbaugh and McCain. And that should happen NOW!

Hey Julie, I just realized that your forecast (I assume you had one) wasn’t part of the official NLT 2006 Election Predictions page. Why not, for heaven’s sake?

Dan,

McCain is not a conservative because of (among other things) McCain-Feingold. Gringric is not a conservative because (among other things) he was a key player in the prescription drug giveaway.

You see, this is what I am talking about. Instead of talking about how to govern, we are already talking about "name recognition" and how to weasel are way into power. This is Republicanism, not conservativism (or any other idea about how to govern). Rush and McCain sitting down?? That does not make McCain a conservative!! This sort of thinking got us to where we are today.

If this is the way the GOP is going to go in 2008, then to H#@% with them. Give me an honest liberal (a Dem) over an dishonest liberal (current GOP) any day.

Dan has this right. What the heck do you propose (Julie and Christopher)? McCain shouldn’t run? WTF! He’s the best we’ve got.

Ok, so campaign finance reform is bad; the system was already broke. The compromise on judicial nominations worked out quite well.

McCain is strong against terrorism, pro-business, anti-spending (more so than any other major GOPer), and sensible on almost every issue.

If you want to run the GOP on Hugh’s advice, be my guest, but count me out. I’ll stand for reason.

Some of the anti-McCain talk seems a bit harsh, but surely there’s a better candidate out there.

What will Santorum do for the next two years? Does his significant loss rule him out as a contender in 2008, if only b/c he can’t guarantee--as no Republican has since Bush 41 in ’88--to bring along his own state’s 21 electoral votes?

Was Santorum ever a serious candidate? Is George Allen still in even with his loss? Santorum’s so unelectable, and frankly somewhat scary after this last campaign. Send him off to some wacky-right-wing think-tank.

I would like to think, as Peter does, that there is a better candidate. But I ask somebody to show me one. Factoring the conservatism, record, and electability, no one on the radar matches up. I suppose there could be a better one out there, but we no where "there" is and no one can find it. The only thing I can think of is Pawlenty, and no one seems to be biting on this constant suggestion of mine.

McCain and Romney are both strong candidates. I worry about the first’s odd personality and moves toward MSM-defined "moderation" once elected, and worry about the latter’s ability to get elected, more on Santorum-lines than on Mormon-lines.

Dan: All of your points are sensible ones and part of me wants to very much to agree with you. But here’s the big part that can’t . . . I do not trust McCain. And I mean I really don’t trust him. And I don’t think he will do well in a national campaign. I think he will begin to sound like fingernails on a chalkboard when he argues himself into a corner . . . which he will do. Personally, I’m tired of pseudo-conservatives making nice with us and making promises they cannot or will not keep. I’d rather have a Republican I can respect, like Giuliani. I know he’s not a conservative, but he’s not pretending. I trust him to fight the war on terror and I’ll fight him on everything else. I prefer an honest fight to patronizing. But Dan may be right that many other conservatives will demand the patronizing dog and pony show. Time will tell. Of course, ultimately I think Peter L. is more on the money: there must be somebody better than these two. Romney is not it this time, in my view.

No, McCain can not be trusted. He has a character problem. Yes, he is a pseudo conservative, and the sort of politician whose ego can not be checked. Fundamentally, it’s about service. Whatever you think about Bush, he does not have this problem. He is not a conservative, but you can trust him. Clint is right to talk about "electability", but only if the candidate is conservative first and does not have the character flaws of McCain. I too wonder about Santorum, I wonder if he can polish up a bit and make a real run?

HH accused Foley of "criminal acts" in one of his Townhall posts.
This is the kind of crap that gives the Republican Party its well deserved descriptor "the stupid party".

People, recall what William Buckley said when asked who he wanted to see win the nomination, he answered that he wanted that he wanted the most "conservative candidate electable." Emphasis upon that last word, "electable." Personally, I would prefer Gingrich. Gingrich is precisely what the Doctor ordered domestically and regarding the darkening international scene. But I fear that the media would dredge up his bogus "ethics violations." They went after him years ago for a reason, for they saw within him a genuine threat to their political aspirations. Gingrich has the answers, and could be the most articulate politician of our times.

But alas, just take a glance at his negative ratings. They made him toxic, our party allowed it to happen without defending him, and now he’s almost worthless to us.

And Julie, there is an easy answer to the problems that Rudy poses. We could simply extract from him a promise that he will adhere to the positions of the GOP party platform regarding judicial nominations, original intent, same-sex marriage, abortion and gun control. Were he to do so, who in our party would accuse him of deceiving us. Nobody would want to think that Rudy is simply playing us for fools.

Were Rudy to simply say that "I’m a Republican, and I’m going to implement the GOP platform," that would solve all of our problems.

Though the friends of Hillary will surely dredge up his sexual philandering. Recall when John Cardinal O’Connor’s funeral mass was occurring, and his former wife Donna Hanover was outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral ripping Rudy apart. Rest assured, we’ll see endless videos of such scenes if we select Rudy.

Now up in New York City people might just overlook all of that as tabloid fare. But what of the Bible belt....?

Dan,

Whatever one can say about Gingrich’s delectability, you can not call him a conservative. He is a strategist with conservative impulses, but is really more of a populist. You just can’t be for the prescription drug giveaway (the largest entitlement expansion since Johnson) and be a "conservative". It does not fit the definition. Heck, even McCain is more of a real conservative then Gingrich...

I, like Dan, am fond of Gingrich, but the divorce and record do make him a poor candidate. But I don’t understand why Dan and Julie trust Rudy more to implement conservative policies than McCain. McCain is clearly more conservative, and I don’t think that he goes back on his word. Plus, don’t forget the many skeletons in Rudy’s closet, even the primary will finish him, but his "character" or lack thereof would fall apart under the scrutiny of a campaign.

McCain is the one with character.

Dan--No, Rudy won’t play in the Bible Belt, or the Midwest, or even the West when all start to come out. I think you’re right on that he has been in a bubble between winning NYC and then being 9/11’s mayor. He won’t receive that treatment nationwide in 2008...

Surely, someone else will emerge as our candidate over the next two years. Someone else HAS to turn up. Look at all the problems you guys cite with those potential candidates on offer! I know I’ve been whining about this since I began commenting on this blog. I am cranky on the topic because people I know, my Republican friends, neighbors, and acquaintances have been asking since the last presidential election, "Who will run next? Couldn’t it, please, be a candidate I can support with pleasure and enthusiasm." Well, I ask you! Couldn’t it?

Duncan Hunter?

Right now, the war comes first and foremost for me. National security, American national interest trump any stake I might have in any lesser domestic issue.

We have three men who I don’t believe are gonna drink the kool aid when it comes to trusting Iran. Gingrich, McCain and Rudy. As for Romney, I am inclined to think that he would trust his foreign policy decisions to the Washington establishment, and simply channel their settled opinions. Much as GW is clearly seeking to do now.

Of those three men, Gingrich has high negative ratings, and was made toxic years ago. Those bogus "ethics accusations" were truly toxic. Rudy has social positions that simply won’t cut in the GOP. They’re fine up on Manhattan. But the country’s values aren’t those of Manhattan. As I said, Rudy could solve that problem by promising to adhere to the GOP party platform on these hot button social issues. But would he? I don’t think so, nor do I think that anyone in the GOP leadership has the imagination to offer the "solution" that I just proposed. The last six years has demonstrated beyond doubt that the GOP sorely wants for imagination and political savvy.

Which leaves McCain.

McCain’s social conservatism is not something to mock. His pro-life rating is very high. And with another two full years of Iranians making one supremacist and genocidal comment after another, with GW continuing with this nonsensical pursuit of IAEA action and UN sanctions, the international scene is going to be THE issue come ’08.

Democrats will mirror their approach this year. They will do all they can to distance themselves from their McCarthy/McGovernite/Carter roots.

Thus we’re ALREADY facing a deadly serious American political scene. For Hillary can taste it. And all of us can see it within her reach.

The GOP’s delusion that their majority hinged upon pork projects and earmarks, their studied refusal to flat out wage war, and go after their enemies, their equally studied refusal to make people who leaked sensitive information pay with their freedom and whatever fortunes they may have amassed, their refusal to go after the media, and convene Congressional investigations in to whether there was any coordination between CBS News and the Democrat party, their equally foolish decision not to go after and make an example of the New York Times for the disclosure of top secret information during a time of war, all of this has undercut whatever Conservative salience the GOP ever had with the American people.

Dan, you may be right. I hope you are wrong. But if you are right I’ll need more than a clothespin to hold my nose. I’ll need a vice grip to hold my hole puncher as I choose McCain.

That’s fine Julie. Since you’re so constitutionally pure, and are unwilling to forgive McCain for any small error, maybe you can just vote for the Consitution Party or some other extreme. I’m sure McCain will be just fine because for every nose holder like yourself he’ll be gaining one independent and one democrat who is glad to vote for such a sensible candidate.

I think it goes beyond "small error." The fact is, I simple don’t trust McCain, and I seriously doubt I could flip the voting switch for him. I suppose if he were running against Hillary I’d be hard-pressed not to...but I sure wouldn’t be enthusiastic about it.

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