Daddy Mac Has Gotta Problem
The Mac Daddy make you Jump Jump
The Daddy Mac will make you Jump Jump
Kris Kross will make you Jump Jump
Just me? (And yes, I think if anything they are referencing Bobby Darin's Mack The Knife...lighten up, people!)
Anyhow, I was at a dinner party with family last night and the talk turned to politics. Everyone there was liberally minded, but there were a few comments that really stuck with me.
Several people thought that John McCain was pro-choice, and that’s why the Republican party didn’t much like him. I pointed out that he’s virulently pro-life, something made clear today by the endorsement by pro-life nutjob Gary Bauer:
On Monday, Mr. McCain also received the endorsement of Gary L. Bauer, a prominent Christian conservative who was one of the few evangelical leaders to endorse Mr. McCain in his race for president eight years ago.
“John McCain has dedicated his life to defending human rights around the world, including the rights of the unborn,” Mr. Bauer said in a statement released by the McCain campaign. “I admire his consistent 24-year pro-life record and demonstrated commitment to the values that keep our families and communities strong.'’
It’s impressive that McCain has been able to distance himself from the GOP in a way that intelligent informed folks thought he was actually pro-choice. (Of course, each and everyone of these people will vote for Obama or Clinton, whoever gets the nomination.)
But the point overall was that to date, McCain has really gotten a free ride by the press. (I know, not exactly shocking news.)
Some of this is simply because he’s never run a full race – he’s gotten whacked out so early that the fact that the press loves him has sufficed.
But those folks who think he’s a moderate and that he balks at the hardcore right-wing part of the party will learn during this campaign season that:
- McCain is staunchly pro-life. (He has a zero rating from NARAL, the Pro-Choice Alliance.)
- McCain voted against the initial Bush tax cuts but now says proudly that they should be made permanent as the FIRST important thing to do with the economy. All aboard the Straight Talk Express!
- That the man who once called evangelical leader Jerry Falwell an “agent of intolerance” was someone he gave a Commencement speech for at Falwell’s Liberty University. And that without the evangelical vote, McCain simply cannot win.
- The man who led the charge for campaign finance reform just decided not to take public financing so that he can utilize all the holes and gaps he railed against and in some ways helped create via McCain-Feingold.
And so on.
What’s more, it appears McCain’s strategy is to appeal to one half of the country as a moderate, Independent – and to the other as a hardline conservative. That only works if a lot of people simply stop paying attention.
Think about his VP choice – if he chooses someone like Mike Huckabee (or any other social conservative), it will really turn off the moderates who are leaning his way. If he selects nincompoop Rudy Giuliani or Charlie Crist, their pro-choice views and other socially moderate stances will “prove” to the conservative wing of the party that McCain isn’t conservative enough.
So he’s screwed. I’m sure that, knowing McCain and the press that loves him, that he’ll find a way to tow the line in a way that makes him a much stronger candidate than he should be. But the immediate legacy of Karl Rove politics is that there’s no room in the Republican party for a moderate, and what’s more – there’s no room for someone who doesn’t capitulate on every conservative point across the board.
Meanwhile, there probably is no room on a Democratic ticket for a true, hardcore liberal – see Dennis Kucinich, for example. But both Obama and Clinton are moderate to moderately liberal in their views, especially when looking at healthcare. (Note that these scales make little sense when you realize that something like 70% of the country agrees with them on healthcare…does that make 70% of the country to the left of the scale? Shouldn’t every scale be balanced? Hm.)
But the “big tent” of the GOP seems to be as much of a joke as it sounds. And that’s just fine by me.