Friday, January 11, 2008

The Most Viable Conservative

This was originally a response to some comments on the last post: the subject being why I'm supporting John McCain for President, rather than some others. On reflection, I decided to make it a stand-alone post.
I would perhaps have felt differently about my choice if I thought that Senator Fred Thompson had a chance of election. He seems to have made rather a hash of his chances. At this point, I think he can have the nomination only at the price of an even more debilitating intra-Party/Movement struggle than is already on the cards.
I think that winning is the thing, and that the Republicans, and conservative interests generally, are best served by winning in November even with a less than perfect candidate. The strife occasioned by supporting a candidate who is more "pure" is not worth the heightening of the already grave risk of defeat.
Surely, we can agree that conservatives would like McCain's judicial nominees far more than Obama's. Surely, we can agree that conservatives would like McCain's foreign and military policies more than Hillary's. Surely, we can agree that conservatives would like whatever immigration legislation a McCain administration produces far more than it would that produced by Obama's or Clinton's. The same can surely be said of for spending and fiscal policy. . .and so on.
There is no advantage whatever to the country whatever in making it easier for any Democrat to walk into the White House. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party is not trustworthy, most especially on national security, and has not been since 1972. The Scoop Jackson Democrats are gone, and the McGovern crowd is now mainstream. George McGovern, incidentally, still thinks its 1972: he called for impeaching the President and Vice President last week.
To my way of thinking, the most practical way to prevent or at least minimize the chances of a Democratic victory -- a calamity for the country -- is for the Republicans to nominate John McCain as their candidate this November.
I might be wrong, Somebody convince me. Somebody persuade me that there is an alternative out there -- today -- who can be nominated and win in November. I'm not seeing it. Fred hasn't done a damn thing since he got in. Romney can't win in New Hampshire. Rudy has too much baggage and Huckabee sure knows the Bible -- but I'm not persuaded he knows nuclear strategy, foreign policy or economics. Paul -- we won't even go there. Finally, somebody please find me another man who can write something like the following (from John McCain's book, Faith of My Fathers, quoted in PowerLine Blog), and produce a resume to back it up:
The sanctity of personal honor was the only lesson my father felt necessary to impart to me, and he faithfully saw to my instruction, frequently using my grandfather as his model. All my life, he had implored me not to lie, cheat, or steal; to be fair with friend and stranger alike; to respect my superiors and subordinates; to know my duty and devote myself to its accomplishment without hesitation or complaint. All else, he reasoned, would be satisfactorily managed were I to accept, gratefully, the demands of honor. His father had taught him that, and the lesson had served him well.
So convince me, people. I'll go with the most viable conservative. McCain's voting record in Congress is in general conservative, and he can win. Show me somebody else who can win. Show me somebody else as persistent. Think on something else: McCain could have been anointed -- walked into this nomination if he wanted -- all he had to do was back-off a bunch of stands that have irritated the Hell out of a lot of us. Okay, most of us on the conversative side of things disagree with his stands. But he made them anyway. He didn't maneuver for advantage, when it was clearly in his interest to do so. He did his duty as he saw it. Show me somebody else, who -- at such great political cost to himself: stands up for what he thinks is best for the nation. Don't we need a strong leader like this, just now ?

Hell, I've been reluctant to do this, but I've been thinking about it a good while, and I think there's no real choice now but McCain. I wish a lot of things were different, and I've disagreed with McCain plenty in the past. But here and now, I just think he's the only horse who can make the ride.


H said...

I apparently haven't figured out how to use backlinks yet but here's, my take on the question. It's a bit too long to post as a comment so check it out when you have time.

Travis, Tulsa OK said...

Try this on for size... Insert "Romney" everywhere in your essay that reads, "McCain."

El Jefe Maximo said...

Much to my own chagrin, Travis, I cannot say that Romney's name fits where McCain's does.

I. said...

One could certainly not be able to include Romney for McCain if they were writing about military service or their children serving. McCain has 2 kids serving, what's up with the Romney boys and this career path?