He tells you how you’re going to vote.
And you’re going to vote for John McCain. Out of all the silly people running for President, could you really imagine anyone else as Commander in Chief? Ok, military service doesn’t equal foreign policy experience. If it did, Admiral Stockdale would be qualified to be President. (Yes, Stockdale wass Ross Perot’s running mate and the same dude that fell asleep during the debate.) But we know something about McCain’s foreign policy worldview. He boasts serious foreign policy establishment endorsements from Realist types like Henry Kissinger, Lawrence Eagleburger, Alexander Hague and James Woolsey. This is a break from Bush/Perle/Wolfowitz and their Utopian Democracy promotion vision of foreign policy. Declaring that everyone, even the Radically Muslim Middle East has a “universal” desire for freedom and elections are the way to unleash it and spread it across the region ending the recruitment of Terrorism is just about the most left-wing foreign policy weve had in quite some time. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said that Governments can not change nations and only cultures can. Weve seen the Bush foreign policy ignore this advice and have seen America’s military get figuratively slammed down in a cold back alley in the third world bringing us back to reality. Bush Republicans don’t understand that limits to Government’s power don’t end domestically. Yes, Senator McCain supported the Iraq War and still does but never was enthusiastic about the Idealist Democracy promotion because he understood that throughout history mere elections have created undemocratic Democracy. The Bush 41 types supporting McCain very much take the latter worldview. We know a lot about McCain’s foreign policy.
The Bush/Rumsfeld foreign policy was one of ignoring the Generals. Rumsfeld’s vision of the military is a small, pared down, technological, special forces type of force. The decision to go into Iraq with a limited force seemed to be for the purposes of proving Rumsfeld’s ideology. Ignored were Tommy Franks and Colin Powell who were opting for the strategy of overwhelming force. This Jacksonian approach is the most logical foreign policy. If one wants to fight a war, one better fight it to win it. Or don’t fight it. Americans have typically opted for option C. Take the easy way out. Avoid casualities. Half-way it. We saw this strategy fail in Korea, Vietnam, the Bay of Pigs and now in Iraq. The McCain/Petraeus plan was constantly shrugged off by Bush/Rumsfeld and is now showing success.This leaves your humble blogger more optimistic about Iraq than hes been in a long time. Attacks in Baghdad are down 70%, gee imagine if we had went in with a large force. Who was arguing for that? Who was arguing for an increase in troop levels after that advice warning was ignored? The McCain plan is working whereas others have had tragic, humiliating consequences. The McCain foreign policy is detailed, coherent, and it works.
There is one Republican in the country who has authority with the American people on the subject of Iraq. Someone who literally bears the scars of war will be in a better position to argue against withdrawal in Iraq, whether this is fair or not. John McCain is able to argue this point in a non-combative, but serious and convincing way that is unrivaled. Rudy Giuliani throws out talking points like “the Terrorist war aginst us.” Nice talking point, but it lacks substance. Thompson argues for “Unity”. Ok, Americans opposed to the war should shut up and not criticize? Again no substance. Romney, well barely said anything about foreign policy in his announcement speech. When you announce your candidacy, you should not leave what amount to major problems to deal with out of your acceptance speech. Im not going to forget that, and he cant take the opportunity back.
Rudy Giuliani continues to dissapoint. Ok, he did a good job handling 9/11 and running New York, but hes not running for Mayor of America. Anyway, Giuliani has a very authoritarian streak. I believe the quote was “Freedom is authority. Freedom is about ceding a great deal of individual autonomy to lawful authority.” What a sick worldview. I hope to God this does not represent todays Conservatism. John McCain opposes torture. He opposes King George’s claim that he can take away Habeus Corpus in the name of Terrorism. I wonder how the Bushies react when they learn that Winston Churchill’s Conservative Party campaigned on Habeus Corpus rights while the socialist Labour Party wanted to revoke that right for the greater good. The McCain stance would help heal America’s broken reputation in the world
David Brooks recent article on McCain http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/opinion/13brooks.html sums up alot of my thinking on him. It is an issue of character. A candidate like Romney changes his political identity depending on which election he is running in. John McCain is a conviction politician. Vote for McCain because nobody else has the balls to go to Iowa and oppose Ethanol Subsidies. All of the supposed Conservatives running for President think its great not because it is; but because taking the McCain route is political suicide. (hench the Senator’s current situation in Iowa.) He is acting on conviction because Ethanol subsidies support an energy that can not make it on its own. If it was at all viable, that wonderful thing we call the Market would make it an alternative energy source. This issue is not insignificant. If Ethanol is viable, entrepreneuers would put up big cash for it knowing that there are a lot of consumers who will buy the wonderful product, with the entrepeneuers knowing they can get rich off the consumers. This is Capitalism ladies and gents. We now know which candidate believes in it.
John McCain would rather lose a war than an election. He gives his answers without spin and useless rhetoric. He is very real and genuine. He has a maverick streak that I can admire and identify with to the core of my being. McCain’s military service makes him a personal hero of mine. I will admit this alone does not make him a political hero. However, it all adds up to something I qualify as “character”. It indeed is not something not qualified by quick answers to issue questions. It is not achieved by a good speech or slick debate soundbyte. We should take the character issue into account whenever choosing candidates. When someone has character they have a backbone of steel but also humility. The evidence suggests that John McCain has these rare qualities. This is what makes someone a leader, and sometimes Presidential Timber.
Ive disagreed with some things John McCain does. He was on the wrong side of the tax cuts issue and he now is a believer in the Laffer-Curve. This is admittedly a U-turn. However, McCain does a lot less of this than the rest of the pack and usually does it poorly. Which is endearing. McCain took the Bush/Kennedy side of the immigration debate. The Amnesty-first solution is wrong, but dont think the other side will get off easy. Those who criticize Amnesty as a Terrorism issue are some of the worst demagogues Ive heard of. The Tom Tancredos of the world who pimp the Terrorism-Illegal Immigration link for political benefit know that most people will never hear that the 9/11 hijackers entered the country legally not through the Mexican Border. And of course, Campaign Finance Reform protects incumbents and is anti-democratic.
McCain has the best chance to win the General Election. I know nobody knows that because the media hasn’t pounded it into your head yet. However, his General Election numbers are surging. He is ahead of Hillary nationwide, outperforms Giuliani against the Dems in Virginia,(Rudy loses against her here) Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio,Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington. Rudy makes blue states closer but not close enough whereas John McCain wins swing States. Looking at recent polling, GOPers would be foolish not to nominate John McCain.
John McCain deserves the Republican Nomination for President of the United States.