Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

McCain’s Speech at CPAC

Nicely done. The last bit of the speech, where he got semi-autobiographical, was very good. It was his version of a love letter to America--and that, as I have long argued, is exactly what we need. In future speeches, he will do well to develop the theme. He pointed to his life experience, acknowledged his imperfections, and asked us to come together anyway on the points we share because of the stakes. It was very good for him to say, for example, that his experience as a POW made him love liberty more than he had before but, on the other hand, he does not presume to love liberty any more than any of the rest of us do. There are about ten speeches that could be worked out of that. It is hard to find any fault in what he said here. His speechwriter should get a raise.

Discussions - 13 Comments

I am surprised, for a little while I thought the R behind the name of most of the conservatives out there stood for Romney. However now that he has dropped out it seems there is only praise for McCain. I guess that is what they teach in political science class these days, be conservative as long as it is politically expedient.

I can't be too disappointed as I have great respect for McCain.
However, if there are any true conservatives left you may want to consider Huckabee's speech at CPAC:

I was NOT particularly impressed with McCain's speech, especially after Romney's very gracious one.

Oh, I can't remember, did he say "my friend?" Maybe not, but I swear I he whispered it a the end of every sentence.

Apparently, CPAC is OK with the author of the McCAIN-KENNEDY!!! AMNESTY BILL -- just a few small weak boos in the back with the mention of immigration. Remember folks, he didn't just support the bill, he WROTE it, along with his buddy KENNEDY (yes, I'm shouting).

And, what's with the standing O? Ho-Hum, just being polite I guess.

We'll see what happens in the next nine months.

Most likely in the end, I'll do what I can as a conservative voter, and we'll get what we get. People will adjust their lives to protect themselves as much as they can, and that's just what I'll be doing.

I use caps for emphasis, in lieu of italics.

I'm not much interested in what McCain has to say. I'm much more interested in what McCain DOES. After 12 years of the Bush men telling us all to "trust" them, McCain gets no slack. Whatever trust we extended the leaders of the party is gone, long gone.

McCain told us today that he respects immigration reform opposition. But how can that be, when just months earlier he told us all that such opposition was based on ignorance, nativisim and racism. So how is it humanly possible for a man to "respect" those overflowing with stupidity, prejudice and plain wickedness.

And JULIE, can you ease up on the "love letter" template. Few politicians in our lifetime have written what could loosely be described as a "love letter" to the nation. Love letters are not the work of committees, flacks, speechwriters and focus groups. Having written several myself, I can quite assure you that there was nothing "love letter" like in McCain's speech today, nor in Romney's delivered months ago.

As a right-wing Republican, I say: It was an outstanding speech. McCain should now keep campaigning, picking fights with liberals as he does so (as suggested by Richard Viguerie). This is a time when less-attentive voters are paying relatively more attention to politics. McCain should capitalize on it. He will contrast nicely with the cheap high-school contest -- symbolism, personal ambition, and which interest group is most important -- on the Democratic side.

McCain should now keep campaigning, picking fights with liberals

How can he with any seriousness, when he spends so much time making deals with them? Who will take him seriously? Not in touch conservatives, so I suppose you mean those not all that attentive. And talk about "cheap high-school contest"!! That's EXACTLY how it will look to both conservatives and liberals if he goes and "picks fights". Who would be fooled by such posing? We already know who McCain is: The "maverick", the non conservative, the sometimes liberal, sometimes Ross Perot "independent".

Seriously folks, let's stop pretending here. Let's get used to "president Obama", and start talking about what a minority GOP can do to get back to it's conservative base. This talk of trying to prop up McCain is simply sad...


With all the political science academics, someone no doubt has thought about this. How many states does McCain pick up against Obama or Hillary? Will it be a Dukakis vs. Reagan? If not that bad, just how bad will it be?

2nd Question: Who cares? What about the reality of the GOP being in the minority till at least 2012? What about the fact that conservative governance from the GOP has been all but non-extant?

5: Christopher, that is ridiculously simplistic. There are many large differences between McCain and the liberals. You don't know what you're talking about.

Furthermore, don't add to the contamination on this site with your witless, cowardly, "get used to President Obama" defeatism.

Dan, I won't ease up on the love letter template. If you want to appeal to the "personal experience is my credential" on this, let me say that I've forgotten the contents of more love letters than you've likely written. Sorry. Couldn't resist that.

But you're right. McCain can't have committees and focus groups write this love letter for him. He should write it himself. Wouldn't that be refreshing? I don't think it's too much to ask of a presidential candidate that he write one speech on his own--particularly one that is so personal and autobiographical. But, if he can't do that because of time constraints or other ones, then he should hire some brilliant young speechwriter--and really, only one--to help him write it. He should be the only one who edits it. If he's listening, I'm available. ;)

And David Frisk, sometimes I have to say that it is a joy to have you around. Your enthusiasm is refreshing.

Julie, there is nothing a writer dreads more than the thought that the waters of Lethe should wash over him and his words. Passion needs all of eternity to unfold, oblivion then is death itself.

It seems you have a feel for the jugular.

9: Well, thank you, Julie. "Enthusiasm" is the right word. The less imaginative will call it other things.

witless, cowardly, "get used to President Obama" defeatism.

On the contrary, it is the best thing that could happen to the GOP - if your goal is conservative governance and not simply another GOP electoral victory. What is "witless" is more GOP governance of the type we have been suffering since 94.

Perhaps Mr. Frisk, you have confused courage for "winning", and conservativism for a certain political party?

GOP government is not sufficient for conservative success, not by a long shot, but it is necessary.
As for courage: Well, there is the courage to run off a cliff, and the courage to succeed in the real world.
You have one, and I have the other.

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL:

Warning: include(/srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/sd/nlt-blog/_includes/promo-main.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/2008/02/mccains-speech-at-cpac.php on line 743

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/sd/nlt-blog/_includes/promo-main.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/opt/sp/php7.2/lib/php') in /srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/2008/02/mccains-speech-at-cpac.php on line 743