PRESIDENTIAL PROS AND CONS: JOHN MCCAIN — Updated 20 October 2008

elephantgop.pngBased upon the issues I care about, this post is my effort to evaluate John McCain as a Republican candidate for president. The last section of this post, The Issues, describes those issues.

This post was first written during the Republican primaries.  Nonetheless, it still gets quite a few hits.  So I have decided to update it and make certain all the links still work.  Please bear with me.

To make it clear that I am a McCain supporter, albeit a reluctant one, I decided that I had better add this blurb.  Note that I have also prepared a post on Barack Obama, PRESIDENTIAL PROS AND CONS: BARACK OBAMA.  Please compare this post with that one.  Obama may be a nice guy, but his political views are not.  The gentleman is unfit to be our president.  He is a socialist.  Presumably Obama understands what is doing.  If so, then he is deliberately proposing programs he knows will not work.  With his proposals to tax the rich, Barack Obama is using tactics traditionally associated with class warfare to buy votes.   We can only hope there are not enough gullible voters to elect this guy president.

Much of the data in this post is taken straight from the candidate’s websites. In addition, Wikipedia (from here), OnTheIssues.org (from here), The Club For Growth (from here), and some news articles are cited. In addition, I reviewed candidate’s response to a questionnaire from The American Conservative Union (see here).

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?

See this post (HAVE WE BEEN ACORNED?) for an analysis of the poll results.

General Observations

In his response to the questionnaire from The American Conservative Union, McCain offered up an interesting idea.

I believe we should expand the circle of our democratic community, not by surrendering sovereignty but by strengthening its reach through key partnerships. We should start bringing democratic peoples and nations from around the world into one common organization, a worldwide League of Democracies. Too often, the United Nations has simply failed to act responsibly if it acts at all. This new organization would not be like the universal-membership and failed League of Nations of Woodrow Wilson, but much more like what Theodore Roosevelt envisioned: like-minded nations working together in the cause of peace and freedom. It would be the one organization where the world’s democracies could come together to discuss problems and solutions on the basis of shared principles and a common vision of the future. (see here)

If uniting the world’s democracies is a great ambition, then John McCain has great ambitions, and in many respects that is what we need in a president. However, we must ask if the man is up to the task. We must ask what has he done?

McCain’s experience as POW provided the initial impetus for his political career. While McCain brave behavior as a POW deserves praise, being a former POW does not qualify him to be president. What else has he done? As a senator, McCain’s signature accomplishments are either failures, undesirable, or both failures and undesirable.

McCain does not pay enough attention to the Constitution he has sworn to uphold.

  • McCain supported the Line Item Veto Act of 1996. Such a change would clearly change the relationship between the President and Congress as described by the Constitution. McCain tried to make the change the easy way. So the Supreme Court declared the bill unconstitutional.
  • Because McCain has promoted such legislation as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, he is a darling of the news media. That is because such legislation would limit your right-to-know to whatever the news media chooses for you to know. In other words, come election time, your fellow citizens would not be able to work together to broadcast a differing view.

McCain’s efforts to promote amnesty for illegal aliens, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, has become a national scandal. That is why the bill he promoted did not make it through the Senate.

Instead of with solid accomplishments, McCain has achieved most of his notoriety as a maverick. McCain most of all enjoys success annoying the members of his own party. With Republicans like McCain, who needs Democrats?

The Candidate on the Issues

Education – McCain’s website implies support school choice and the No Child Left Behind Act (although he voted against the original bill; see here). However, McCain does not explain precisely what he intends to do. Based upon its research, OnTheIssues.org rates McCain as favoring school choice

McCain supports a program of federally financed vouchers, but states would decide individually whether to use standardized tests to make high-stakes decisions about who could get the vouchers.

McCain’s proposal would create the most ambitious voucher experiment yet, spending $5.5 billion over three years to present one million students with vouchers of up to $2,000 annually.

To counter the argument that vouchers siphon money from public schools when students leave, McCain would create a new source of financing: the tax money now spent as corporate subsidies.

The senator has yet to define how the vouchers would be awarded, but he has said the poorest children in the worst schools would be immediately eligible. (from here)

The The Club For Growth provides a more emphatic endorsement of McCain’s position on school choice.

John McCain’s record on school choice is very good. He has consistently supported school choice programs, voting for a Washington D.C. school voucher program in 1997[58] and a trial voucher program in 2001 as an amendment to No Child Left Behind.[59] (from here)

Here is Physics Today‘s take on McCain’s position.

During the 9 December 2007 republican primary debate on Univision McCain (http://www.ontheissues.org/2007_Univision_GOP.htm) stated

“Choice and competition is the key to success in education in America. That means charter schools, that means home schooling, it means vouchers, it means rewarding good teachers and finding bad teachers another line of work. It means rewarding good performing schools, and it really means in some cases putting bad performing schools out of business. I want every American parent to have a choice, a choice as to how they want their child educated, and I guarantee you the competition will dramatically increase the level of education in America.”

McCain has also suggested turning education policy back to individual states and offering federal money through unrestricted block grants. He will keep most aspects of No Child Left Behind legalization in place. (from here)

Law – In his response to the questionnaire from The American Conservative Union, McCain said:

I believe true conservative governance means limiting the reach of government because no government should have a right to impose itself between human beings and their lawful aspirations to make of their lives what they will. I believe that government that governs least governs best; that government should do only those things individuals cannot do for themselves, and do them efficiently. (from here)

That sounds good, but from my perspective McCain’s respect for individual rights leaves something to be desired. In the past, I have written about McCain’s support for so-called campaign finance reform, McCain-Feingold (see here). McCain took a lead role in promoting his version campaign finance reform. George Will says McCain-Feingold “licensed government to ration political speech.”

As a member of the Gang of 14, McCain’s support for the appointment of conservative judges is somewhat dubious.

  • McCain claims he is pro-life, but he has voted to support stem cell research (here and here).
  • McCain says he is against the legalization of same-sex marriage; however, he voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment (here and here)

McCain defends second amendment rights (here).

National Defense – McCain is running as the foremost defense hawk. As his website says, McCain unequivocally supports victory in Iraq.

A greater military commitment now is necessary if we are to achieve long-term success in Iraq. John McCain agrees with retired Army General Jack Keane that there are simply not enough American forces in Iraq. More troops are necessary to clear and hold insurgent strongholds; to provide security for rebuilding local institutions and economies; to halt sectarian violence in Baghdad and disarm Sunni and Shia militias; to dismantle al Qaeda; to train the Iraqi Army; and to embed American personnel in Iraqi police units. (from here)

McCain supports a military modernization and buildup, and he wants a missile defense system. However, he has not quantified his support for these things.

Nonetheless, despite his hawkish stance, maverick McCain has managed to give the Bush administration an extraordinary amount of grief over Iraq. McCain has taken the lead:

  • Trying to increase the number of troops in Iraq. He constantly complained about Donald Rumsfeld’s handling of the war (here). In December 2004, Rumsfeld responded to a soldier’s comments about inferior military equipment by saying “you go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want (here).” Given that our military has not grown significantly, it is quite apparent that neither McCain nor Congress want to understand or admit to the problem they gave Rumsfeld.
  • Opposing anything that even remotely looks like the torture or mistreatment of the prisoners our forces have acquired in the war on terror (here, here, and here).
  • Opposing the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba (here and here).

Immigration – McCain’s position on immigration contrasts radically with his position on National Defense. On his website McCain promises to secure the border (see here). In practice, McCain is a Senate leader in the amnesty movement for illegal aliens (see here). McCain is in bed with Senator Ted Kennedy. McCain and Kennedy crafted the 2007 Senate bill that effectively would have provided amnesty for illegal aliens (here, here, and here). This bill failed only because it so angered the American public that they would not let it pass (see here, here, and here).

Given how the public hated his horrible bill, why is the McCain campaign still able to make any headway? I can think of only three answers:

  • The news media likes him.
  • With respect to immigration, his competition does not look that much better.
  • Too many of us have short memories.

Limited Government – McCain promises tax cuts and to end pork barrel spending (here). In his response to the questionnaire from The American Conservative Union, McCain said:

To reign in government, I believe we must do many other things with controlling spending a top priority. I believe you cannot achieve limited, smaller government without spending restraint, which is why I voted against the prescription drug benefit that became law a short time ago. Let’s start with pork barrel spending and corporate welfare, eliminate all earmarks, pass the line item veto, employ honest budget accounting, and end emergency spending bills for nonemergencies as a way around budget limits. (from here)

How does McCain’s record compare with his rhetoric? The Club For Growth notes (here) that McCain’s record is mixed. McCain has voted for tax cuts and against tax cuts. Initially (2001 – 2003), McCain opposed the Bush tax cuts. Later, (in 2006), he voted for their extension. However, The Club For Growth is happier with McCain’s position on spending, and they provide a long list of the spending he has voted against (here).

McCain was a major backer of the Line Item Veto Act of 1996. Understandably, the Supreme Court declared this law unconstitutional.

The Environment – Does John McCain believe in Global Warming? The answer is yes (see the video here). In addition, McCain offers up the usual argument that reducing our dependence on foreign energy sources is a national security issue. However, McCain opposes the Kyoto Treat unless China and India join it. Instead, McCain offers up a national energy strategy (see here). He says this stragegy “won’t be another grab bag of handouts to this or that industry and a full employment act for lobbyists.” To some extent, McCain can be taken seriously on that score. Although he now supports ethanol production, he still opposes subsidies for corn growers (here).

The centerpiece of McCain’s plan to attack the greenhouse gas problem is a cap-and-trade system for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions; he opposes a carbon tax (here), something that would be much more simple and straight-forward.

Grist.org reviews McCain’s environmental record here.

Welfare – Health Care reform is this year’s welfare issue, and that is what McCain addresses on his website (listen to the video here).

McCain states a bunch of nice goals. The good news is that he advocates keeping Health Care in the private sector, and he would get employers out of the business of health insurance ($2500 tax credit for any individual with health insurance). What is worrisome is the extent McCain would have federal regulation override state regulation and cripple our drug industry’s capacity to recover research cost via patent protection.

This (here) WSJ article describes McCain’s plan.

The Economy – A 2005 WSJ editorial contains a now infamous quote.

On a broader range of economic issues, though, Mr. McCain readily departs from Reaganomics. His philosophy is best described as a work in progress. He is refreshingly blunt when he tell me: “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.” OK, so who does he turn to for advice? His answer is reassuring. His foremost economic guru is former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm (who would almost certainly be Treasury secretary in a McCain administration). He’s also friendly with the godfather of supply-side economics, Arthur Laffer. (from here)

So what is economic plan? McCain website focuses on reducing taxes and spending. We have had presidents with far worse ideas.

Here is McCain’s economic stimulus plan.

Candidate Website -See ELECTION 2008 PRO AND CONS: JOHN MCCAIN WEBSITE REVIEW for a more complete review.

McCain’s website is professional quality. The website highlights is military service, particularly as a POW, and his attractive lady.

The issues pages, the pages of most interest to me, contain a fair amount of content. Nevertheless, McCain simply avoids providing substantive information on those issues where he has proven himself quite unpopular with rank and file Republicans. McCain’s Lobbying & Ethics Reform page provides a slew of platitudes. This page does not say what McCain intends to do nor does it mention that the Supreme Court declared much of McCain-Feingold and Shays-Meehan, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, unconstitutional because it trespassed on First Amendment rights. To anyone the least bit familiar with McCain role on immigration issues, the Border Security & Immigration Reform page can only be accurately described as pathetically uninformative.

Personal Life – I write this section last because I find it awkward. We cannot judge each other. We can attempt to judge each other, but we do not know enough for any such judgment to be accurate. And in the end, any such judgment becomes a self-judgment. So what use is this section?

We each set a public example for each other. What of John McCain’s public example (see here)? In spite of his shenanigans as a cadet, McCain record of military service was exemplary; his story as a POW is well known. His infidelity to his first wife is also well known.

More disturbing, however, is McCain’s role in the Keating Five scandal. Without a doubt, McCain at gave the appearance of exercising undue political influence on behalf of a contributor.

As citizens we need to keep in mind is that when politicians exercise undue influence on behalf of contributors, they are acting to destroy our society. The Savings and Loans Crisis cost our government well over a 100 billion dollars. Similarly, unscrupulous lenders peddling subprime loans threaten to launch our economy into a recession. Thus as we read the last few lines of this article, we should keep politicians such as John McCain in mind.

The feds really should have known better. Yet they ignored a basic principle—that no level of government has a monopoly on good policy—to brush aside state legislatures’ thoughtful efforts to protect their citizens from rapacious lenders. As the feds move to clean up the subprime mess, it’s worth remembering that they helped create it. Maybe the next time around, they’ll remember that sometimes the states know best. (see here)

The Issues

  • Education – Ostensibly, the Federal Government has no role with respect to education. Unfortunately, the lack of constitutional authority does not seem to stop elected officials from spending money and issuing mandates. I want this abuse of authority to stop.
  • Law – Our president should understand the law and be willing to live within the law. Our president should take the lead in protecting our rights, particularly freedom of religion, the cornerstone of American Law. As a conservative, I also think Supreme Court judges such as Anthony Scalia and Clarence Thomas have the best understanding of the Constitution. I want more such judges appointed.
  • National Defense – To deter potential aggressors, it is imperative that we have a strong military and an ethical strategy designed to protect our vital national interests. We cannot cavalierly abandon Iraq.
  • Immigration – Our nation is being slowly overrun by poor, uneducated, illegal immigrants. Since most of these people come from Spanish speaking nations to the south of us, our nation is being balkanized into different language and economic groups. What that portends for the future is civil strife.
  • Limited Government – You will not see a balance budget or low taxes in this list. What I am looking for is a candidate who sees all spending as discretionary and that we have too much government. We do not need a candidate who makes promises to hand us other people’s money. As I see it, anybody who will rob Peter to pay Paul cannot be trusted not to rob Tom too.
  • The Environment – A clean environment is a fundamental right. To protect the environment, we need a strong environmental policy. Such a policy cannot depend on the scientific wisdom of politicians. No human being, not even a politician able to make endless promises, has sufficient brain power to figure out how to build a modern industrial society that does not pollute the environment. What our government can do, however, is punish polluters when they dump pollutants into our environment. Thus I want candidate who understands the difference between stopping polluters and trying to run private industry.
  • Welfare – The welfare state is a massive scam; welfare is politicians buying us with our own money. Our cradle-to-grave welfare state is also a steadily growing national disaster. Even though the Federal Government has no constitutional authority throw our money into these idiot programs, each year we put a greater percentage of the Federal budget into welfare programs. Eventually, the money must run out.
  • The Economy – Because none of us know enough to run everybody else’s business, government must have a limited role in the economy. What government can and must do is regulate economic activity. Government encourages economic activity by ensuring that buyers and sellers are honest. In addition, government encourages economic activity by establishing a currency for exchange and standard weights and measures. Government cannot and does not create jobs.
  • Candidate Website – Any candidate fit to run our nation should be able to set up a decent campaign website. That candidate should also be forthcoming about his record and what he intends to do if he is elected.
  • Personal Life – Character makes a difference. If we want our nation to strive for high ideals, then the person we select to lead us must honorable and trustworthy. We should not allow a candidate to buy our vote, but people do. By suggesting that those of us who want to vote for a trustworthy politicians are fooling ourselves, some seemingly revel in the fact too many candidates are unworthy of our trust (see here). That makes for a sad state of affairs and says how much we need to pray for our leaders.
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36 thoughts on “PRESIDENTIAL PROS AND CONS: JOHN MCCAIN — Updated 20 October 2008

  1. I listen to the debates. I had no use for Paul’s position on Iraq. While I do not like us being there, I don’t have a better alternative.

    The other issue is the viability of Paul’s candidacy. While Paul has had ample publicity, he has never achieved broad support.

    McCain now has the delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination. It is over, and that is just the way it is.

    So I guess I will be voting for John McCain.

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  2. Tony Romo

    You are voting for John Mccain? With the contradictions and errors you have cited with Mccain, you still choose to vote for this man. You see that is the problem with America, we are our worst enemy, just like you said. That is hypocritical of you to talk about us as Americans having to take responsibility over our government and you end up “guessing” to vote on a man who (according to the debates which you watched) doesn’t even know what monetary policy is. You trust this man with our economy? You trust a “war hawk” who is so passionate about protecting AMERCIA when the borders are wide open for “illegal aliens” to cross over. I live right on the border, i know this for a fact. Politics, politics, politics, money, politics. I can’t believe you just shrug your shoulders and say, well he’s a conservative so, I’ll just vote for him. I’m not even an Obama or Clinton supporter, incase you passed judgement while reading this. I believe in the Constitution, I thought you did too before i saw you write I guess I will be voting for Mccain. It is funny you have the picture of Thomas Paine on there, he would have been in disgust of all three fixed puppet candidates. You might as well consider this entire blog worthless if at the end of the day with all that you have written take John Mccain, a clear violator of the Constitution over the supreme law of the land. Republicans, Democrats, it’s all a game, and your playing it.

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  3. Tony Romo – Because I am being up front about my assessment of McCain, I am a hypocrite? Are you not forgetting something? All things are relative.

    McCain is the second or third choice of most Republicans. We could sulk and sit out the election. If we did that, then Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would be elected. While I may not see eye to eye with McCain as much as I would like, I still prefer McCain over either Obama or Clinton.

    In time I will do a pros and cons on the Democratic candidate. Perhaps then the reason for my preference will become more apparent.

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  4. Tony Romo

    Not because you are being honest about John Mccain, hypocrite because you aren’t being honest with yourself. Read what I said more carefully and I said that you play the hypocrite when you talk about us as Americans being our worst enemy. That is said in another blog of yours, here is the text of it, “The larger threat to our republic is ignorance. Most people do not bother to read the Constitution.””We, not Neocons, Nazis, Communists, Democrats, or Republicans, are our own worst enemy. It is our government. It is our country. If we do not love it and protect it, no one else will do it for us.”After a nice little reply you post up to Tyler Ballance you then prefer to vote John Mccain into power in this blog. You see you vote on the popularity contest citizen Tom, not on principle, because if that were the case you wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Ron Paul in your blog. “Although Ron Paul is an interesting character, and I believe he has added some value to the debates, I do not believe he has a serious chance of winning.” That is all that matters to you? Whatever polls, popular opinion, and coverage you see on CNN, FOX, or ABC? Or does the upholding of the Constitution, consistent voting records, strong principles and statesmen-not-politicians seem too unpopular? You tell me what John Mccain has over Ron Paul or even Mike Gravel for that matter and you tell me what Thomas Paine stood for. I know what you are going to say, well they are out of the race, well you know what….. write him in the ballot! Of course you won’t do that because you’ll vote on the popularity contest, on the one with most coverage or most political endorsements, on the “top tier” candidates, on the lesser of all the evils. You are not mandated to pick John Mccain just because he won the nomination. Like I said I am neither a Democrat nor Republican, they all have agendas, I believe in the Constitution, John Mccain does not uphold it and you know it, but you will still vote for him. The mentality of, well even if I write them in it will just go to waste, is exactly what the media and these fixed high level candidates want you to think. Like I said, you are just playing the game. You have been sucked in to believing that there is no choice but Mccain, that is false, that is why you have the freedom to write and petition whoever you want in. It is kind of ironic that you say we can sulk and sit out the election, and you do just that, you sit and sulk out the election by picking him just because he is there written in print on a ballot. You write a lot of stuff in your blog, but with the choice you made in picking Mccain, the writing says nothing at all. Oh and I do agree with you as far as all things are relative, Obama, Clinton and Mccain relative to the Constitution are criminals. Prove to me they haven’t violated the Constitution, you can’t.

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  5. Tony Romo – Hypocrisy involves saying one thing and doing another. Am I a hypocrite? Since I have yet to reach perfection, I probably qualify. I have not always and do not always have the courage to do the right thing. Sometimes, I am just too lazy or impatient. So if you want to call me a hypocrite, have at it. Just remember that the privilege to judge others comes at a cost. You must live by the same standards you set for others.

    Now let us address your point. It seems to me that you have fashioned your argument so that I have to either choose Ron Paul or I am a hypocrite. I dismissed Ron Paul for two reasons. The first is that he has absolutely no chance of winning. The second is because he has some ideas, on Iraq, for example, with which I vehemently disagree.

    Like it or not, elections are popularity contests. Elections cannot be anything else. The first phase of the popularity contest for president is selecting the nominees of the two major political parties. It is almost a dead certainty that one of those two nominees will win.

    McCain is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. Although I regard the thought of McCain as president with dismay, I am even less thrilled with the Democratic Party’s prospective nominee. I have to choose one of these candidates. As a citizen, I have a responsibility to vote and not to throw my vote away. So as hypocritical as he may be, I will vote for John McCain.

    Does voting for John McCain make me a hypocrite? I do not think so. I think it just means that I am trying to make the best of the choices available. When you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, you can pray, but you still have choose between the rock and the hard place. If you pray and work hard enough, you may find that hard place softer than you expected.

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  6. Tony Romo

    Of course you don’t think so, who would admit they are a hypocrite?
    Let me make this simple for you.
    Don’t advocate taking responsibility for ourselves and then turn your back and give your own god given sovereign power away to a corrupt, puppet candidate. Hypocrisy
    Don’t have Thomas Paine as your display picture and then be a conformist by picking the AVAILABLE candidate. Revolutionaries aren’t conformists. Hypocrisy
    Don’t call yourself a citizen and then vote in clear violators of the very reason you are proud to be a citizen, the US CONSTITION. Hypocrisy
    You did not respond to my comment where I told you to prove me wrong when I said McCain, Obama and Clinton are all criminals and don’t uphold the Constitution, which by the way was founded in part by men who had Christian values. I see hypocrisy written all over the board, but that’s just me.
    Perhaps the definition of hypocrisy should also include recognizing your own mistakes and doing nothing about it. You said we are our worst enemy, and you perpetuate the cycle even more with your vote. Oh the Irony!

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  7. Tony Romo – It strikes me that you are too focused on problems and not enough on solutions. Instead of lighting a candle, you would have me curse the darkness too. I can condemn McCain for all eternity. How will that do any good?

    There is no perfect choice for president. Within each and every candidate, there wars good and evil. So it is that John McCain is most imperfect. Yet from amongst the candidates available, McCain is the one my fellow Republicans have selected. We are stuck with that choice. I am stuck with that choice. I can ask what my fellows hoped to achieve by voting for this man, but I cannot change that choice.

    While I may consider those others who chose John McCain foolish, I would not be foolish too. I will not spend my days in condemnation when there still good to be praised, when there are still good works to be done.

    Of the presidential choices that still remain available, I think John McCain the best. So while I am not blinded to his faults, I will work for his election. If you have a better idea, then offer it. Light a candle.

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  8. CK

    Tom,

    McCain doesn’t have a chance and he isn’t viable. He simply cannot beat Barak Obama. Obama is an excellent orator who studies Reagan. And, McCain is not able to excite the base. I have been trying and folks just aren’t responding.

    A better idea? While the idea of the libertarian party or their platform is sorely distasteful to me, Barr is far more palatable than McCain. Right?

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  9. CK – I think John McCain can win. Barak Obama may be a fine orator, but he is also quite radical. Even if McCain does not excite the Republican base, Obama will do a fine job of it.

    Bob Barr is a former Republican. Although I gather Barr is fairly conservative, I suspect the reason he is running as a Libertarian is because it is easier to get that nomination, much easier. I doubt Barr will be much of threat to McCain. Barr is more likely to be an asset to Obama.

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  10. CT,

    I do think there’s a shot at McCain winning but only if Hillary’s supporters revolt on Obama and desire to punish him en masse. If you’ve not seen it, there is an interesting poll at this blog: http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2008/06/tracking-poll-north-carolina-president.html

    It seems to indicate a trend that Barr isn’t having an much of an effect—or that Hillary’s supporters are furious with Obama. I can’t exactly figure it out.

    You’re also right about the Republican base getting nervous about Obama. He’ll be the first full blown Marxist in the Whitehouse which ought to scare the doo doo out of real Americans. I’m also nervous, however, about what will happen to the party under McCain’s leadership. The RNC will have to hold firm though I know they won’t. My concern is that we who support the First Amendment will then be treated like gadflys.

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  11. CK – While I understand the attraction, I don’t pay much attention to polls anymore. I have reached the conclusion that the darn things are mostly just cheap manufactured news.

    Political surveys provide an easy way for media pundits to sound knowing, but just about all such surveys are good for is giving you an idea of who has a chance of winning. The only poll that tells who will actually go to the polls is the poll we take on election day.

    If we want good government we have no choice except to assume the average adult is rational. Yes, I know that sounds naive. Nonetheless, we each tend to think we are rational. So what should do when we disagree? Our republic provides a solution. As conservatives, I think the best thing we can do is what you and I are doing on our blogs, remind people what a republic is and why we have one.

    PS – McCain has his strong points. Fiscal discipline seems to be one of them.

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  12. Tony Romo

    I’ll tell you can do, but ofcourse you won’t do it, because Mccain has been thoroughly washed into your skull. We live in a republic, citizen tom, not a democracy, if you should say, well whats the use of voting for this guy, he has no shot, you adopt the subordinate role in a collective rather than your god given individual ability to govern. We will never do that though, we are too focused on our illusory lives and don’t want to give up our materialistic posessions or see through our conditioned brains so we just pick whoever they say has the best chance and whoever they tell us to pick. Don’t feed the machine TOM, very simple. Don’t be subordinate, you have the power, don’t give it away. If people truly cared what these people stand for, than why dont we learn how to do it ourselves? Because we don’t want to do it, because we “THINK” we don’t have the capability to govern, because we think they are better at handling such matters, because we would rather leave it up to them. In reality, we don’t care. We say “let the government take care of us”, and then we blame them for not. Citizen Tom….your just as foolish as those who foolishly pick Mccain. Both of you, regardless of the mental though invested in picking, will get the same result with him. As far as the war is concerned, who serves in your family? Have you served?

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  13. “we have no choice except to assume the average adult is rational.”

    Oh thank you Tom. I needed a good laugh!

    I have this problem, you see. I often think people know more than they actually do. It’s a fault of mine that I’m working on getting over.

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  14. ” Similarly, unscrupulous lenders peddling subprime loans threaten to launch our economy into a recession.” YES! And let’s not forget student loans that have fallen into that ravine as well.

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  15. Undecided Girl

    Honesty, still to this point in time, I go back and forth. It seems that it will come down, for me, to the lesser of two evils.

    I agree with CT in a lot of ways, I don’t agree with my partys choice, but do I want Obama in the office? It just takes prayer, and lots of research to understand the politics of it all.

    I almost feel I should just throw a dart and where it lands…

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  17. Amanda

    Obama may not have all the experience of John McCain but isn’t that good? I mean we have had politicians throughout history and this fresh new person could get us away from just corporate crap and to the real issues of the United States Of America. Now Obama has some great ideas to improve the American governmental system and i personally think that obama is exactly what we need to make this country move away from the destruction bush did and start a new country! a better country!

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  18. Amanda – What did you say? What is corporate crap? What are real issues of the United States Of America? How is the bigger government Obama advocates actually going to work? Communism is a fine idea, but it does not work in practice.

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  20. Pingback: 2008 AND THOUGHTS ON ABORTION « Citizen Tom

  21. not old enough

    i think this years candidates are not to good of choices…….. i think either way our countries going to crash and burn. these are my opinions on the subject. really i would like to vote for McCain if i could. I think most are voting for Obama because he’d be the first black president. but really he’s only one percent black and the rest he’s Arabian (im not racial im just stating a fact)

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  22. Ashley Twang

    I’m an independent and i’m lean’in toward Jonh McCain but their is no way John McCain can beat Barack Obama. In every poll Barack Obama beats Jonh McCain by numerous amounts of votes but i’m gonna keep supporting him.!?!?!? :))))))

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  23. Brad

    McCain doesnt have a chance, he doesnt appeal to young people or minorities as Obama does, The key to winning is you get the young people excited to vote and you get a few minorities behind you, then you cant lose. I am voting for Obama, I agree with his strategy on ending the war in Iraq, I agree with his tax policies on spreading the wealth. Call it socialism, facism whatever you want to call it, but the thing is, when lower class-middle class people have more money to spend to live, you would also have to think about so called “poverty crimes” to not end abruptly, but to lower, as in more government funding, with as much as we spend in Iraq, why not help the people who help run this country

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  24. lola

    i am doing a debate project for history as a John Mccain advocate and i need some things cleared up for me. Why is it important to get russia out of the G8, why is it important to have georgia in NATO, and why is john mccains position with cuba (maintaining the embargo) better than obamas (unrestricted rights)

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  25. Lola – It would be inappropriate for me to do your research, but I will give you some high-level answers.

    The USSR was an empire. Russian Czars and latter the Communist USSR conquered a bunch of different peoples. When the USSR fragmented at the end of the Cold War, it broke up along ethnic lines. Georgia was one of the new nations that resulted.

    With an economic recovery and oil revenues, Putin appears to be interested in trying to reconstitute the USSR. Retention of G8 membership is being used as a carrot to induce less warlike activity. Georgian member in NATO is being considered as a stick.

    Cuba is an unrelated story. I suggest you look into the nature of Castro’s regime. I suggest you note that the embargo has been in place for many years and continued under both Republican and Democrat administrations. Note also that it is Cuban refugees who most want the embargo.

    Is the embargo with Cuba wise? Frankly, I don’t know. Few decisions are cut and dry.

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  26. Ashley

    great (in refference to my comment on the Barack Obama article) now I only have con’s for mcain, why do you bother calling this article “PRESIDENTIAL PRO’S AND CON’S” when it’s just “MY DUMBASS COMMENTS”

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  27. Hmmm. Well, I did not use those exact words, but I sort of did say that. Look at the beginning.

    Based upon the issues I care about, this post is my effort to evaluate John McCain as a Republican candidate for president.”

    The only distinction I claim for “MY DUMBASS COMMENTS” is the research I did.

    I also had some positive things to say about McCain. If you don’t agree with my assessment, why is that my fault?

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