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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mr. McCain, Your Wingnuts Are Showing

Posted by on March 28 at 10:16 AM

From Talking Points Memo:

John McCain once called Jerry Falwell an “agent of intolerance.” Now he’s going to be the graduation speaker at Jerry’s Liberty University.

McCain’s run to the right is just revving up. He’ll no doubt make Bill Frist look like a liberal during the Republican primaries, especially if he’s up against Guiliani.

Also: How much you wanna bet that if McCain gets the Rs nomination he’ll ask Joe (“I’m a Democrat, really!”) Lieberman to be his running mate? Or am I just paranoid?

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan unearthed this McCain quote from six years ago:

“Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.”

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FWIW, John Ashcroft was also announced today as the graduation speaker at Ohio State this spring.

Even the local news sees it for what it is: a potential presidential candidate making an early appearance in huge school in a swing state. (OSU will graduate about 7000 students, with an audience of over 10,000)

Honestly, I'm a democrat and don't think that Mccain is far right as people think he is. And I certainly don't think Lieberman is all that much of a traitor either. Lieberman has spent a lot of time in Iraq and Afghan. and has a much more 'on the ground' kind of view. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that to actually visit Iraq is a LOT different than watching some crap on Fox News.

Just because he thinks it's a bad idea to pull out of Iraq doesn't make him a traitor, either--it just means his conscience pulls at him differently based on his experience.

I happen to disagree with him, but I can certainly see where he's coming from. It takes a lot of bravery to go against the very people that fund your campaigns.

I think McCain is yesteryear's news, and just a distraction.

McCain is one of the farthest-right men to have ever served in the Senate. He's not particularly kooky by religious-right standards, though, so now he's having to suck up to them. The alliance between the libertarian right and the religious right has always been a little shaky.

Fnarf wrote: "McCain is one of the farthest-right men to have ever served in the Senate."

Rather than just label someone, can we at least establish what positions make McCain right-wing?

My perception of McCain is far from right wing. I tend to see him as the potential presidential candidate from either party most likely to do something serious about global warming. He's also the Republican most likely to do something serious about the federal deficit.

How about you do the same thing? ranks him fourth-most-conservative in 2004, after Kyl of Arizona, Nickles of Oklahoma, and Sessions of Alabama. That's to the right of favorite whipping boy Rick Santorum or Trent Lott.

He also has a lifetime average of "9" from Americans for Democratic Action and "0" from NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, the NEA, and the ACLU.

The John Birch Society gives him a "90". Most of you folks don't remember who the John Birch Society is, but they are just slightly to the left of Attila the Hun. They were run out of Washington State's Reepublican Party back in the 60s, under the leadership of Dan Evans, who won elections because of it. Concerned Women For America (look 'em up) give him 100 points. So did the American Family Association (raving kook Donald Wildmon) one year -- though being notoriously unstable they gave him 0 the next.

More zeros: Peace Action, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

McCain's most visible aspect is the moral leadership he is capable of bringing to the discussion over torture by US soldiers and agents. Yet, unimaginably, he caved completely to Bush on torture, and allowed his imprimatur on Bush's policy of "it's not torture if we say it's not torture, and besides it's none of your business".

He's bad on the environment, bad on labor issues, bad on abortion, bad on just about everything that matters regarding the US's standing in the world -- all of the dozens of issues that Bush has banished any kind of scientific reasoning from. McCain is the same.

Yes, he's a deficit hawk, but in an old-fashioned Republican "all government spending on anything is bad" way, not a "what are the wise choices" way.

I wasn't really asking for ratings from organizations, which just strikes me as more labeling. I was asking for specific positions of McCain's.

Now, I am aware that McCain is anti-abortion, although I'm not aware of nuances, if any, to his position. But I'm also someone who doesn't approach a politician's abortion stance as a litmus test.

I don't see McCain's history as a deficit hawk as being focused entirely on spending. He was originally opposed to Bush's tax cuts for the rich, although he has apparently recently caved on that -- a shift that can obviously be explained as pandering to that portion of the Republican base.

Also, Fnarf, I'm curious how you can say McCain is bad on the environment. I could have missed some votes of his, so please enlighten me.

McCain has repeatedly voted to allow and encourage building new roads in Wilderness Areas and National Forests. He was a big fan of Gail Norton, and is likely to be of Dirk Kempthorne.

And his much-vaunted concern about global warming seems to ebb and flow with the election cycle. He loves to score points when it doesn't matter, but give Bush all the tongue he needs during elections.

Oh. And by the way: Lieberman was, I believe, the first Democrat to support Clinton's impeachment over a *blow job*. But he can't seem to muster an iota of outrage over toward GWB over *torture.* That may not make him "right wing" but it sure as hell makes him crazy.

Lieberman's a "values Democrat". That's why he's tolerated by the Christian Right, and loathed by the libertarian left. The Christian Right, as Bush has amply demonstrated, doesn't really give a shit about the traditional Republican economic issues; Bush spends like LBJ but the Christianists love him as long as he sends the right message about "values". Hey, even that word "values" is encoded. But Lieberman's pretty liberal on most issues.

But now McCain is down on his knees servicing Falwell--FALWELL--for the gratification of the Christianists--but many liberal Democrats are leaning towards him. Huh?

Fnarf wrote: "And his much-vaunted concern about global warming seems to ebb and flow with the election cycle. He loves to score points when it doesn't matter, but give Bush all the tongue he needs during elections."

When has McCain ever weakened his stance on global warming? Now, I don't know his stance all that well myself. I mean, I don't know what he actually proposes to do about global warming.

The single most effective way to fight global warming on a policy level is with a special fossil-fuels tax. Maybe I'm wrong, but McCain is the one presidential hopeful I could imagine leading on what would obviously be a controversial tax. I sure couldn't imagine Hillary Clinton, for one, doing that.

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