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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Case for McCain

For the first time in my life, I am officially undecided about the presidential election. Part of me still hopes for a late-entry independent run from someone who believes in limited federal government and low taxes. But short of that happening, I continue to ponder what I am going to do this fall.

If I touch the screen (pull the lever, dangle my chad) for Senator John McCain, it will be for a simple reason that can summed up in one word - civility.

For years politicians have talked about "politics as usual" and "changing the tone of politics." And while the Clintons and the Bushes used these phrases, partisanism grew deeper and the tone of political conversation got shriller. And the outrageous claims made about political opponents moved to the ridiculous. Democrats are not aiding and abetting the enemy when they question the President's war strategy. And Republicans do not want poor children to starve or die when they oppose the expansion of government programs. The things that get said these days are simply unbelievable.

And then there is John McCain. He, along with Joe Lieberman, is the most purple politician of our generation. When he campaigned, President Bush talked about being a uniter not a divider. Senator Obama speaks the same way about redrawing the electoral map by bringing people together. But neither have done it. For a multitude of reasons -many of them outside of his control - President Bush will leave a deeply divided Washington. And Senator Obama has the most consistently liberal voting record in the Senate.

But John McCain ... John McCain is actually a bipartisan, annoyingly so at times. I am deeply opposed to Campaign Finance Reform, but it was a truly bipartisan effort. I am deeply opposed to the Immigration Bill, but it was a truly bipartisan effort. I am deeply opposed to the Gang of 14, but it was a truly bipartisan effort. The last two decades have been characterized by sharply divided Congresses, but on the rare occasion of a compromise, you will find John McCain.

Because of his role as Republican Maverick, McCain has gotten to know and worked with Democrats more effectively than any other Republican. And as a result, he seems to genuinely respect them. Because of this, his speeches are full of compliments for his opponents. He quickly distances himself from those who use extreme rhetoric about his political foes. He doesn't take the political potshots at his opponents of which many of us are weary.

If America is going to have a renaissance of civility in her politics, it seems to me that a person like John McCain can help to usher it in. And that will be the reason I vote for him - if I vote for him.

13 comments:

Matthew said...

Glad you're back blogging--you were starting to draw the internet's equivalent to flies: spammers.

I have no enthusiasm for McCain either (among his other deficiencies, he's just so old seeming), and I don't know that it wouldn't be better for conservatives and Republicans if Obama were elected (from time to time, it's usually beneficial for any given group to spend a little time in the wilderness to find its way again--and this is especially true for the Republicans), but why do you dislike McCain so? Is it because he's too compromising? I realize, of course, he's no Giulianni...

JayBird's Joint said...

Gee....America really narrowed it down this time! What great choices we have...

Anonymous said...

you obviously don't have any family in Iraq if you think this war monger is civil....

A said...

You have been tagged. Go to my blog for instructions.

Robb said...

Anonymous, when I spoke of John McCain's civility, I was obviously talking about his political rhetoric, not necessarily his policies. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

And for the record, several of my wife's cousins are currently serving in Iraq with honor and enthusiasm. And I am proud of them.

Robb said...

damn you, a

Anonymous said...

Hmmm..That anonymous isn't the real anonymous. McCain I like for the simple fact that he understands war more than anyone I have ever seen run. He has served his country well in war. Let's applaud him for that. However, for some reason I just can't seem to think he will do much to help change this country's direction. The economy is the worst I have ever seen. Gas prices through the roof, house values in the tank, unemployment, shrinking middle class...
I vote Michael Savage..

Robb said...

Anonymous,

I knew that other anonymous wasn't you. You seem like the war mongering type to me.

I think I've decided I'm writing in Margaret Thatcher in November. Want to join my Draft Maggie campaign?

Anonymous said...

Matthew of course, he's no Giulliani? Ugghh.
Let's be honest Giuliani was in it for himself and no one else. He was way too liberal to be a factor favoring gay marriage, for example, and he made New York City an asylum city for illegal aliens. The guy has no conservative credentials. Glad he is out.

As for McCain we know he has experience in war, he lived it. But again what the hell does this guy stand for? He ran in the mantle of Barry Goldwater and then he completely humiliated that legacy by being a senator in the mold of a Rockefeller Republican rather than showing any tinges of Goldwater conservatism.

Please Lord, give me Newt Gingrich or Pat Buchanon.

As for war mongering. I truly hate war. It's awful however it is necessary to rid evil. Angels and Demons battle each day. The wonderful thing is God is in control of all things. I will continue to pray and trust in God as David did. It's in his hands..

Robb said...

Anonymous, I've let the Rudy thing go. When are you going to?

And you're right ... about the only thing McCain has in common with Barry Goldwater is that they were both Republican senators from Arizona who won the Republican nomination for President.

Anonymous said...

Yea Guilliani is toast. I let him go but Matt had to bring that name up again. Ughh..

Robb said...

RUDY!
RUDY!
RUDY!

Matthew said...

I'm sorry, Anonymous, it wasn't my intention to get you all riled up about Giuliani again; although, in my defense, I was talking to Robb.

Now Robb, you've made your case for voting for McCain, you can now make the case for not voting for him. I know why I don't like him (although I'll probably vote for him in the upcoming...it's not like I really have a choice in this matter), and Anonymous has made clear what he likes and dislikes about him. What is it (aside the fact that he's not Giuliani) that you so strongly dislike him?

I don't intend to piss anybody off (this time, anyway), but I always thought that Giuliani and McCain weren't all that far apart, and I could actually see them being on the ticket together (mind you, I don't think McCain is going to offer Giuliani the VP slot at this point, I'm just saying that they seem compatible to me).