A conservative look at McCain

NY Times:

Senator John McCain has long aroused almost unanimous opposition from the leaders of the right. Accusing him of crimes against conservative orthodoxy like voting against a big tax cut and opposing a federal ban on same-sex marriage, conservative activists have agitated for months to thwart his Republican presidential primary campaign.

That, however, was before he emerged this week as the party’s front-runner.

Since his victory in the Florida primary, the growing possibility that Mr. McCain may carry the Republican banner in November is causing anguish to the right. Some, including James C. Dobson and Rush Limbaugh, say it is far too late for forgiveness.

But others, faced with the prospect of either a Democrat sitting in the White House or a Republican elected without them, are beginning to look at Mr. McCain’s record in a new light.

“He has moved in the right direction strongly and forcefully on taxes,” said Grover Norquist, an antitax organizer who had been the informal leader of conservatives against a McCain nomination, adding that he had been talking to Mr. McCain’s “tax guys” for more than a year.

Tony Perkins, a prominent Christian conservative who has often denounced Mr. McCain, is warming up to him, too.

“I have no residual issue with John McCain,” Mr. Perkins said, adding that the senator needed “to better communicate” his convictions on social issues.

Richard Land, an official of the Southern Baptist Convention and a longtime critic of Mr. McCain, agreed, saying, “He is strongly pro-life.”

“When I hear Rush Limbaugh say that a McCain nomination would destroy the Republican Party,” Dr. Land added, “what I want to say to Rush is, ‘You need to get out of the studio more and talk to real people.’ ”

...

Dr. Land needs to listen to Rush more often because he is talking to people outside his studio everyday when they call in. He also knows what the callers who don't make it onto the air are saying many times.

In Texas the Governor has now changed his endorsement from Giuliani to McCain. There may be some political reason for him to do that. Right now, of the four who are still in the race McCain is number three ahead of only Ron Paul on my list. I am not that fond of the two ahead of him either. But my issue is the war which we must win. Winning the war is important for the defeat of liberalism as an ideology.

We must demonstrate that we can defeat insurgencies or we will be faced with insurgency challenges to our policies around the world. Liberals operate under the assumption that every insurgency is a quagmire waiting to happen. Liberals want to lose the war in Iraq to use it as an example of why we should never use force in the pursuit of our policies. They have an obvious fetish for futile negotiations, that become even more futile when there is no credible threat for the use of force.

That is the only reason I will vote for McCain if he is the nominee.

His energy and environmental policies are idiotic. Only a fool or a liberal would oppose drilling in ANWR. The man is just not very smart. He was near the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, and his heroism is as the result of the failure of a mission. While he had to endure communist violations of the Geneva Conventions, he has this screwy idea that those conventions should be a unilateral contract binding only on us. The smartest thing he has ever done was marry Cindy and become her trophy husband.

I have a lot of respect for what he had to endure. One of my proudest accomplishments as a lawyer was bringing cases against some bond dealers who defrauded returning POW's out of the back pay they earned while imprisoned in North Vietnam. It was the first time anyone ever got the maximum penalty under the Texas Securities Act.

It takes courage and skill to be a naval aviator and I respect that. Landing on an aircraft carrier has been described as a controlled crash. If I were having to do it there would be the further complication of having my eyes closed for the operation. I think Senator McCain has had the latter problem on several issues where he has sided with liberals.

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