Uncle Jimbo of BlackFive is a great guy. But he seems to misunderstand the situation:
I am asking all of you to chill out and quit fanning conservative hate of John McCain. You can feature reader email outraged that the shamnesty King will destroy us all, but you all have spent months stoking those fires and made sure he was damaged goods.With all respect, sir:
So time to decide what's important to you, ideological purity or making sure we are not subjected to 8 years of President Obama.
- 1. The issue is not whether conservatives hate John McCain. The issue is that John McCain hates conservatives.
- 2. Who has been "fanning conservative hate" and "stoking those fires," except John McCain himself?
- 3. If he's "damaged goods," that's not my fault.
- 4. "Ideological purity," my foot. I was actually willing to vote for Giuliani. No kidding. He was, at least, a tax-cutter who had cleaned up New York.
- 5. Politicians must be accountable for their records. John McCain's record in public office is crystal-clear. And his record makes him unelectable. Period.
If he gets the nomination, it will not be my fault. I am trying to warn you. He cannot be elected, under any imaginable circumstance. The Democrats know this, which is why they treat him with such "respect."
John McCain is a "lose-lose" candidate for the GOP: He will almost certainly lose the election if nominated, but even if he were elected, he would be a bad president, and thus his election would hurt the GOP in the long run.
I tried to explain in an e-mail to a friend earlier tonight: Loyalty must be based on mutual obligation. It is a reciprocal duty. I am loyal to you, you are loyal to me, and this mutual obligation creates mutual benefit.
Loyalty can be betrayed, and it can also be abused.
John McCain has repeatedly betrayed his loyalty to the Republican Party, disparaging its voters, its activists, its leaders, and its policies. How, then, is it possible for John McCain to turn to Republican voters and say, "Vote for me, out of loyalty to the party?"
If you offer to be a doormat, don't be surprised when people wipe mud all over you.
America is yet a free country. No one can silence me, and no one can tell me how to vote.
John McCain will never be elected president. The fact that he seems to think he can be elected president speaks ill of his judgment.
Meanwhile, I see that my dear friend Don Surber seems to have made the same mistake as Uncle Jimbo, in thinking that the problem between McCain and conservatives is somehow the fault of conservatives.
To reiterate: Politicians are responsible for their own records -- the votes they make, the bills they sponsor, the statements they issue. It is McCain's record that is the problem, and not something that Malkin or Ingraham or Limbaugh said about McCain.
What seems to be going on here is an attempt to transfer responsibility, so that McCain is not responsible for his own words and deeds. It's like Hillary claiming that Bill's problems were due to a "vast right-wing conspiracy."
A good old childhood friend of mine, a career Navy man, has met John McCain, likes John McCain, and voted for John McCain in the Florida primary. It's a free country, and I bear no ill-will against my old friend. In fact, I bear no personal ill-will against Crazy Cousin John -- I'm sure if it weren't for politics, I'd be happy to buy him a beer. But that does not change his record as a politician, does it?
A response is due to commenter "tgmb," who says I've "gone beyond the pale," in asserting McCain's unelectability, etc., and demands that I "prove it."
Dear "tgmb," there are several obvious points to be made:
- McCain is old, bald and grumpy.
Welcome to the TV age, for better or worse. If John McCain was young, cheerful and hirsute, he might become president. If I was good-looking, I might be Sean Hannity. QED.
- McCain's record puts him at odds with large numbers of his own party.
What McCain has done with his "maverick" stance is sort of an inversion of Bill Clinton's famous "triangulation." Clinton stood against the Democratic Party's weakest policies -- especially its Dukakis-era rep as the soft-on-crime, pro-welfare party -- and was thus able to flummox the GOP. McCain has stood against some of the GOP's strongest policies (he voted against tax cuts!) and has caused nothing but joy in the hearts of Democrats.
You cannot win elections by running against the people, and McCain's three-year crusade for amnesty was -- as polls eventually revealed -- a direct attack on the basic sensibilities of about 70 percent of American voters who still hold to the old-fashioned notion that laws should be obeyed.
McCain's attempt to mimic Clintonian triangulation has gained him no real support among Democrats (who praise his "courage" and then go back to their partisan ways), while alienating a huge swath of the GOP coalition.
- We've seen this aging war-hero gambit at least twice in the past 12 years.
In 1996, Bob Dole was the courageous war hero whose biography was supposed to be the only thing necessary to defeat that dastardly Clinton. Dole was a war hero! Clinton was a draft-dodger! Who could argue with that?
Look it up: Dole got a pathetic 40.7% of the popular vote. The Democrats, apparently learning nothing from that example, tried a similar gambit with the nuanced Sen. Kerry in 2004, with less than victorious result.
American voters nowadays just don't rush to the polling place, panting for the chance to vote for the hero of a war that happened decades ago. Whether voters should be so indifferent to military service is irrelevant to the fact that they are indifferent to military service. Being a decorated veteran doesn't hurt, but it doesn't really help that much either, especially when ...
- McCain is a lousy candidate.
Arizona was for many years perhaps the staunchest conservative Republican state in the nation. The famous hero of a recent war, McCain had the backing of influential forces (the Arizona Republic and his second wife's family fortune) that helped him win a contested Republican primary for the 1st District seat in 1982, and he cruised to victory in the general election against a token Democratic candidate in an overwhelmingly GOP district. He was then practically anointed Barry Goldwater's Senate successor in 1986, and has never been seriously challenged since (as senior incumbent senators seldom are).
In this, you see, McCain is totally un-Reaganesque. California was no GOP haven when Ronald Reagan decided to run for governor in 1966. Pat Brown, the Democratic incumbent, was heavily favored to win. But Reagan was simply one of the most brilliant political campaigners in American history. To the extent that California was considered an electoral lock for the Republicans in the 1980s, it was the force of Reagan the campaigner that made it so.
Whatever his merits as a man or as a politician, McCain's biography does not indicate that he is prepared for what will face him if he wins the GOP nomination. In this, alas, he again resembles Bob Dole, who did just fine when campaigning for re-election as the folksy senator in Kansas, but proved dreadfully out of his league when facing Team Clinton in 1996. And finally ...
- McCain's lacks the presidential temperament.
Look, I've worked more than 10 years in Washington, DC, which is the world's largest small town. It's not hard to learn which people are the proverbial "bad boss" types, and John McCain's hot temper is legendary.
By all accounts, when he is relaxed, John McCain is a fun-loving, joke-telling sort of guy. But do some research and I think you will find abundant testimony that he is thin-skinned and tends to take criticism or opposition as a personal insult.
"tgmb," you say, "Fine, you don't like him."
That's not it at all.
It has nothing to do with liking or not liking somebody at a personal level. Hey, I'm kind of a hot-headed maverick myself, and if it weren't for the political thing, I'd bet I'd love to hang out with Crazy Cousin John. But he's running for President of The United States, and that is a whole different thing. I love my wife, but I don't know if I'd endorse her for president.