Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dear Uncle Jimbo

("Wisdom," she said!)

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.
So time to decide what's important to you, ideological purity or making sure we are not subjected to 8 years of President Obama.
With all respect, sir:

  • 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.
Right now the liberal MSM are playing all nice with Crazy Cousin John, hoping the grumpy, old, bald guy will get the GOP nomination. Once he gets the nomination, however, there will be no more playing nice, and every scandal and skeleton in his closet will be dragged out for public display.

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.
The last bald man to be elected president was Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose election occurred just seven years after his command of the Allied forces that defeated Hitler in Western Europe. In 1952, there were hundred of thousands of soldiers alive who had served under Ike's command, revered him as their victorious chieftain, and this alone virtually guaranteed his election. LBJ, Nixon and Bush each had thinning or receding hair at the time of their elections, but neither was bald.

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.
Some people don't get this. "But, wait -- the media love McCain! How can you say he's a lousy candidate?" McCain has never had to run for an election in a genuinely competitive partisan environment.

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.
Good presidents, especially in the TV age of constant media scrutiny, tend to have a laid-back, easygoing manner. Ronald Reagan was the classic example of this. Though hard-working and energetic, Reagan had a certain sort of inner cheerfulness. He could become angry, but he didn't "blow up" and start screaming at people. He was neither nervous nor brittle.

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.


  1. You have done an excellent job of explaining to UJ exactly why John McCain can not be elected. As we used to say during my days in the Navy, Brave Zulu (well done).

  2. With all due respect, you are wrong!

    McCain will be elected president!

    Bookmark it.

    Hilly has more skeletons and has a nagging wife voice.

    Almost anyone could run against Hill & Bill, and win.


  3. You nailed it. McCain has walked all over the conservative movement. For him to now demand that we rally around him is, to put it mildly, insulting. And how do I know that he really hasn't changed? Look no further than his adviser on immigration, Dr. Juan Hernandez.

  4. Come've gone beyond the pale.

    "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."

    OK, my request to you is...

    Prove it.

    If this is all fact, then show me the headlines from Nov. 3 that show McCain lost the election. Show me the blogs from 2010 that shows the decline of the Rep. Party due to McCain, if he was elected this year, which you have definitively said can't happen.

    Of course you can't do this (unless the flux capacitor of your DeLorean is functional). You are not making logical arguments any more than the Kos Kids are.

    Fine, you don't like him. But to draw the picture of the appocalyse if the man is nominated or elected is silly. Your rhetoric shows that you have left the realm of thoughtful debate and have gone into a world of your own creation. I wish you luck there.

  5. You better believe Mr. McCain's past will come out - and there's alot out there. Even his wife was stealing drugs from the charitable organization she was working with a few years ago. A "deal" was struck to allow her to escape prosecution. The McCain's do not fare well under pressure. His temperment alone scares me, let alone his lying and past record. There are LOTS of skeletons to dig up and his age will be brought up by the dems also.

  6. I cannot vote for McCain any more than I can vote for Hillary. Selling out my conscience has always made me queasy.

    McCain will lose in 2008 because conservatives will stay home. If you thought 2006 was bad, wait until you have McCain on the ballot, Republican turnout will be cut by 30% and it is very likely that the democrat candidate will have a 49 to 50 state sweep.

  7. In 25 years of voting, I have never had so many qualms about voting for a federal candidate with an R after his name as I have with McCain.

    Now, before the McCain-iacs go ballistic on me let me say I totally respect the man for his service for our nation in both the military and in politics. He is a patriot...he just holds some very bad positions on some very important issues.

    And that is the crux of the matter. For conservatives like me, the very issues we disagree on are often those the movement is currently defined by. He departs from conservatives - and belittles them as "bigots" and "foolish" - and then believes we MUST vote for him.

    Well, the government can take my money (and certainly does via taxes) but I still have my vote. It is McCain's to work for and prove worthy of. He should not and can not assume it is his by virtue of the R after his name. I have to much respect for myself and the value of my one vote to allow McCain to take it for granted.

    Moreover, Hillary's foibles and blotches are known quantities and already factored in. McCain has not faced the rigor of that scrutiny from the Dems and the MSM as of yet - and he will face it. He esentially has no where to go from here "ethically" other than down. Given the choice between an ethically challenged real Democrat and an ethically challenged Republican masquerading as a Democrat, I think we all know who will win.

    And don't go bragging about the few national polls showing McCain topping Clinton or Obama. Just ask President's Gore and Kerry about how reliable those are this early out.

  8. Two skeletons that WILL stick:

    1. The Keating Five (that will play well for a guy who keeps talking about integrity as the difference between him and his opponents.)

    2. The guy who just said he wouldn't have voted for his amnesty bill. Umm, two days ago...
    (Any bet some MSM'r notices this little discrepance AFTER super-tuesday?)

    If you need more, how about this: A guy tells you he's going to break into your house, kick your dog, and molest your wife. You...
    a. Thank him for his candor and "straight talk" and say, "at least he won't hog the remote."
    b. vote for the libertarian with the creepy cult following who hasn't figured out why it's called a two party system.
    c. vote for the really likable, articulate guy who seems to think Christianity is best practiced with other people's money and can never win because he'll be too busy fielding questions about "Jesus horses".
    d. vote for the guy who has definitely changed his positions, but does seem to have a lot of personal integrity (look at his family life), claims to uphold the core values of the conservative base, (i.e., the same people he will depend upon for support even after he gets elected), is obviously very accomplished, and will actually represent something other than Hillary-lite come November.

  9. I am a Republican that will not, under any circumstances, vote for McCain. But then I had enough sense to not vote for GW Bush, for all the good that did. Don't know what the rest of you "conservatives" saw in this obviously mentally handicapped man who was being handled by psychotic Neo-Cons. He is undoubtedly the worst President in recent history. As far as the worst President ever, that could possibly be GW's great- great grandfather, on Barbs side, Franklin Pierce.
    So let' see if the ignorant "conservative" masses will ever do their homework, or instead continue to dance to the Neo Con's drum beat.

  10. Who really thinks with all the the junk in McCain's past that the press will give him a free pass is inhaling. No way in a McCain vs. Democrat (woman/African American) that all his double talk will go unnoticed. He is the LEAST electable of the R's left.