McCain is not Able

Often in comments to my articles someone will address “my” party. That’s a laugh. “My” party is so important to me that if John McCain is “our” candidate I will vote for the Democrat in the presidential race.

2008 will be a true values election. The parties, however, have so corrupted the process that they think values utterly unimportant. Democrats claim to be the party of the working people, but the "working" people need jobs and that party thinks nothing of destroying the very small business foundations that actually generate real jobs. Republicans claim to be the party that will stand up for law and order, but they present a candidate like McCain who only backs away from putting felons at the front of the immigration line because his conservative base was about to bury him neck-deep in the electoral desert.

In all of this hemming and hawing over values, though, partisan Republicans are being far more dishonest this year than Democrats. McCain has been the perfect example of a disease that has festered in state houses and the White House equally for nearly two decades. Put simply, Republicans have adopted a stance that they will say anything to get elected and will then do anything they damn well please- right up to the point their constituents are on their doorsteps with pitchforks and torches. McCain stood up for trampling free speech with McCain-Feingold. He stood up for the afore mentioned violations of simple immigration morality with the proposed McCain-Kennedy. He has never seen an opportunity to spit in conservative eyes he could resist, even if it meant voting against reductions in the taxes that sap away the productive heart of the economy.

At the heart of the movement represented by both John McCain and president Bush in the Republican Party there is a belief that people in government are better people than people in private industry. These men attempt to couch this message in a less viciously business-hostile language than that used by Democrats. Ultimately, though, the results will be the same- death to the private economy and rule-of-law that is the foundation of our liberty. I choose to opt for leadership that will honestly attempt to stick a sword in me rather than leadership that will massage me gently with razor blades.

It is something of a twist that, this time around, McCain proposes to be his brother's keeper. As with the original Cain and Abel the results would probably be the same. He is a man for whom I cannot vote under any circumstances. Period.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at January 29, 2008 7:00 AM
Comments
Comment #244123

If McCain is leading by the slightest margin in the polls at all ——-
Be afraid … be very afraid.

The ‘young vote’ in Florida doesn’t know who to vote for because there is NO CLEAR FRONTRUNNER - my guess is that it is the same for all groups.

Imagine if the primaries were held the same way EXCEPT the results could not be revealed until the WHOLE nation had their primaries!! Wouldn’t that be a trip - no one would know who to vote for!!

Posted by: Dawn at January 29, 2008 7:24 AM
Comment #244125

Lee,

Thanks for the good laugh.

“McCain stood up for trampling free speech with McCain-Feingold.”

Virtually everyone agrees that there is too much money in politics, yet no one else has stepped up to the plate with any ideas to rectify the problem. McCain has been pilloried for doing so.
Money is only “free speech” if you have enough of it to say something.
Money talks, lots of money screams.

“He has never seen an opportunity to spit in conservative eyes he could resist, even if it meant voting against reductions in the taxes that sap away the productive heart of the economy.”

I love the way you guys bring up this chestnut without citing the reason he gave for voting against it.
While I might suppose it warms the cockles of the right’s heart to accept any and all tax cuts merely on principle, I, for one, would like to know just what is being cut so that the country could use the money properly, and your rhetoric aside, that was McCain’s objection to the bill.
Were you aware of the fact that McCain has never voted to raise taxes?
Were you aware that McCain has never added an earmark for the state of Arizona?

You guys on the right are truly bi-polar.
After the debacle that has been the last seven years, and the lead up to a Presidential race where everyone was abuzz about Giuliani’s candidacy, you guys don’t think McCain is conservative enough.

Again, thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: Rocky at January 29, 2008 7:44 AM
Comment #244126

I have never felt the slightest threat that McCain was out to take away my free speech.

But he does deserve that label for daring to try and limit corruption in politics. How dare he.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 29, 2008 7:45 AM
Comment #244129

I recently read a good article addressing your concerns. Since I understand that most people will not follow the link, I have cut and pasted some of the highlights.

McCain has earned a lifetime rating of 83 for his Senate voting record from the American Conservative Union; his friend, Fred Thompson, won a very similar lifetime rating of 86 and appropriately dubbed himself “a consistent conservative.”

- McCain has been a stalwart Reagan Republican since he first entered politics in 1981
- McCain is a consistent, passionate Reagan Republican who, like the greatest president of recent years, is unabashedly pro-life, pro-second amendment rights, pro-military, pro-peace through strength, pro-small government, pro-spending cuts, and pro-tax cuts.
- John McCain organized “The Gang of Fourteen” to win- not to block -the Confirmation of Conservative Judges, and his efforts succeeded in the Senate.
- John McCain has never voted for an increase in tax rates in 25 years in Congress—never – and clearly and consistently supports cutting and simplifying taxes.
- As Senior Senator from Arizona, McCain has fought for years to tighten border security, stop illegal immigration, increase workplace enforcement and to resist “amnesty” for those who entered the country without authorization.
- McCain-Feingold was a piece of useless, misguided legislation but it’s done no serious damage to the country. (everybody makes mistakes)

Again and again in his 25 years in politics, John McCain has risked his career to provide straight talk to the American people. Those who claim to cherish the integrity of the conservative movement owe it to their party and their country to talk straight about all four of the excellent candidates remaining in this race.

Posted by: Jack at January 29, 2008 8:38 AM
Comment #244132

Lee,

The first goal of a politician is to get re-elected, and that fact is the control mechanism the constituent base has to influence their elected officials. But over the past 15-20 years or so I think McCain has felt that he was immune to election challenge and has legislated accordingly. Many politicians, in this unfortunate (for us) situation, tend to follow the money and go with the highest bidder. McCain had a bad experience with that early on, and that might explain his “maverick” persona now. Whatever the cause, it’s clear that McCain only follows one lead; that of his ego. Just watching him in the Debate a couple of weeks ago, all you see is a stubborn old man who knows he’s right on all subjects. His straight talk is straight as long as you believe as he does.

There’s comfort in knowing that you are right, but there are a few other traits that go along with it.

Posted by: George in SC at January 29, 2008 9:35 AM
Comment #244137

Lee is drinking the GOP coolaid again. Under Democrats and Republicans, small business has grown and prospered more every decade in the last century except for the Great Depression and the 1970’s.

Therefore, your statement that Democrats undermine small business is pure BS. This current lot of Democrats are very much for small business. They are intent, however on taxing the wealthy more. That is true enough. Democrats in the House are discussing behind closed doors the Flat Tax option for after Nov. when they have a non-obstructionist president in the White House, willing to actually follow through and complete something.

A Flat Tax, would virtually if not literally end corporate taxes. It would exempt the very poorest from taxation, and lay the same percentage tax on Warren Buffet’s income as on his secretary and mail room clerk. Warren Buffet btw, says that is the way it should be.

Doesn’t sound like a plan to kill off small business, to me. In fact, it sounds like fiscal conservatives might want to get bi-partisan about this. It would vastly simply the tax code, get rid of business taxes altogether, not punish the very poor, and fairly apply the same tax rate to all others.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 29, 2008 10:24 AM
Comment #244138

George in SC, I couldn’t agree more. And McCain is very honest and upfront about it. He tells his constituents they may not agree with what he will do as president, but, at least they will know what he will do when they elect him.

To a growing number of Republicans, that message has appeal. Rather ironic when you think about it. But, after GW Bush, who was consistent on only two policies in the last 7 years, (illegal and legal immigration, and tax dollar subsidies for religious organizations and schools), it’s not too surprising many Republicans want a president who can be relied upon to do what he says he will, and not change directions as better opportunities arise, or ignorance dictates.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 29, 2008 10:31 AM
Comment #244139

Jack said: “- McCain has been a stalwart Reagan Republican since he first entered politics in 1981”

Only on foreign policy. McCain is far more fiscally conservative than Reagan who thought national debt was an opportunity instead of opportunity cost.

- McCain is a consistent, passionate Reagan Republican who, like the greatest president of recent years, is unabashedly pro-life, pro-second amendment rights, pro-military, pro-peace through strength, pro-small government, pro-spending cuts, and pro-tax cuts.”

Wrong! You can’t be a war monger and be pro-life. Sorry, that kind of hypocrisy can only be tolerated by the religiously faithful on the Right who have no use for logic, rational thought, or reality. Neither can you be pro-peace and pro-world military referee with a bias toward the corner paying your salary. Just makes enemies who don’t foster peace. McCain is Bush, preemptive war if there is a future possibility of threat is just fine with him. So easy to spill other’s blood needlessly when you are a Republican claiming Faith. McCain can’t be pro-small government and pro-world military referee. Just does not equate. What it does equate to is poor taxpayers subsidizing Haliburton, Blackwater, & KBR no bid contracts which no doubt, McCain will do a little insider trading on and become a millionaire like GW Bush whose private life efforts barely kept him in booze money.

Anyone who believes McCain is going to elect to be a one term president by cutting spending so drastically as to balance the budget in his first term WHILE cutting government revenues at the same time, doesn’t understand politics or the federal budget.

- John McCain organized “The Gang of Fourteen” to win- not to block -the Confirmation of Conservative Judges, and his efforts succeeded in the Senate.

Here we find perfect agreement. But, the evangelicals are going to be PO’d if he is elected to find out that he supports the Constitution’s Establishment clause, as well. Supporting the Constitution is going to P.O. 1/3 of the Republican Party no matter how you cut it.

”- John McCain has never voted for an increase in tax rates in 25 years in Congress—never”

Which means he contributed to the Clinton 5.65 trillion national debt growing to 9.2 trillion under GW Bush. Way to go, McCain. Not sure how we should thank you - perhaps sending him to an economics 101 class would be appropriate.

”- As Senior Senator from Arizona, McCain has fought for years to tighten border security, stop illegal immigration, increase workplace enforcement and to resist “amnesty” for those who entered the country without authorization.”

Very good, Jack, you finally got an attribution of McCain’s right and accurate. Gotta throw in a little truth to make the deceptions believable.

”- McCain-Feingold was a piece of useless, misguided legislation”

McCain Feingold was the best down payment on ending corruption of government by monied special interests ever taken. Unfortunately, Republicans took control of government and the down payment was never followed up on, and the doors were flung wide open for the Abramoffs and DeLays.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 29, 2008 10:53 AM
Comment #244141

Rocky, it is pointless. It is obvious from Lee’s comment that he believes money is speech, and those with big money should drown out those without, and use their money to shape how those without feel about it, through control of the marketing, advertising, and public relations hired firms, to shape public opinion and reaction to big money voice in government.

Exxon/Mobil, the Green Energy company. Yeah, right! Just thought I’d throw in an example. This is their latest advertisement, as they take even more taxpayer subsidies during their record profit years, thanks to Bush and formerly big monied Republican energy policy. (I hear the big money is shifting away from Republicans these days as they court the Clintons again.)

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 29, 2008 11:00 AM
Comment #244163

Jack,

McCain has earned a lifetime rating of 83 for his Senate voting record from the American Conservative Union; his friend, Fred Thompson, won a very similar lifetime rating of 86 and appropriately dubbed himself “a consistent conservative.”…Again and again in his 25 years in politics, John McCain has risked his career to provide straight talk to the American people.


Take a look at this article Jack and see what the 82.3 rating actually means in “conservative” terms.

McCain’s ACU Rating

Posted by: rahdigly at January 29, 2008 3:04 PM
Comment #244167

The republican party has foisted on this country a long line of dishonest and/or corrupt and/or dumb-as-a-fence-post heirs or heir apparents to the throne of the presidency. From Nixon to reagan to bush senior to gingrich to bush jr. to allen, all the way to romney. Now, the republicans have the rare opportunity to promote a truly magnificent choice up to the presidency: John Mccain. I’m sure they will blow it.

Posted by: charles ross at January 29, 2008 3:51 PM
Comment #244169

So the semi sane one in the group, McCain, only scores an 83 and he is the problem? Huckabee, Romney and Guliani dont even rate a score by the ACU. But your right make the decision easier for the independants and get your boys Hunter or Tancredo nominated cause they have a higher score. Oh wait the repub voters already spoke up about those 2 didnt they. Seems even the repubs dont think much of the cons and their movement.

I find the whole ACU score thing interesting it helps me to understand why NCLB was such a hit with conservatives.

BTW do you guys have a “I’m more like Reagan than you are” score for these candidates? Afterall WWRD is the mantra for the cons isnt it?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 29, 2008 3:58 PM
Comment #244196

Schwamp,
McCain, bless his little heart, was also one of the “Keating five”, a group of senators who stretched the limits of campaign financing in the late ’80s. He subsequently made “reform” a cornerstone of the rest of his career.

David R.,
The courts are remarkably inconsistent about what they will call “speech”. An organization that a person must pay dues to for the right to hold a job can take that person’s dues and, against their will, use them to give political support to whomever they please in large dollar volumes and that is acceptable because it is the dues-payer’s legitmate expression of concurrent political intent, regardless of what he thinks. The Chinese government can give large dollar volumes through monks, or through lobbyists, or through hundreds of individuals who just happen to know a certain person of Chinese extraction, though it is technically illegal for them to give any money at all, because there is “no controlling legal authority”. If I, on the other hand, happen to have, say, $4,000 I can’t use that to express my support for a federal candidate.

That’s silly.

McCain’s corruption and that of his fellows in power is not and was not from money. It is from leaving power-hungry people in positions of power too long. Are they daunted by the strains of getting re-elected? Don’t re-elect them!

McCain loves to express his “independence” at just the point when it can do the greatest harm to conservatism and get him pats on the back over at the New York Times. Fine. Let him be really independent and straight-talking as a private citizen.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 29, 2008 9:39 PM
Comment #244205

Lee said: “An organization that a person must pay dues to for the right to hold a job can take that person’s dues and, against their will, use them to give political support to whomever they please in large dollar volumes and that is acceptable because it is the dues-payer’s legitmate expression of concurrent political intent, regardless of what he thinks.”

Sorry, but, that begs throwing the conservative right to work argument back in your face: That person has freedom of choice as to whether they wish to apply for a union job, or not. You cannot argue this both ways, it is illogical and hypocritcal.

Lee said: “If I, on the other hand, happen to have, say, $4,000 I can’t use that to express my support for a federal candidate.”

But, you can use $2,300 of that $4,000. And you will have the assurance that George Soros’s billion dollars can’t trump your $2,300. Much fairer and by far more democratic when working non-wealthy folks can participate in a meaningful way in the political speech arena without having their voice drowned out by the Soro’s or Romney’s of the world.

Your argument has no currency with the common voter, because your argument implies the wealthiest should have the reins of power by virtue of their wealthy campaign megaphones. Yours is not an American argument, it is a plutocratic argument. America decided long ago that plutocracy was not its intended path. The Plutocrats are still fighting with all their wealthy might that decision, and winning battles. But, the struggle between the plutocrats and the common people continues.

2006 was a battle lost by the plutocrats. If my crystal ball is not on the fritz, November will be another loss for the plutocrats, and a win for common working people of America.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 29, 2008 10:27 PM
Comment #244206

Lee said: “McCain loves to express his “independence” at just the point when it can do the greatest harm to conservatism and get him pats on the back over at the New York Times.”

That is one faction of the disintegrating GOP heard from. Thank you for your playing! Appears there is a whole other lot of Republicans with a very different view in Florida.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 29, 2008 10:29 PM
Comment #244217

“2008 will be a true values election.”

Lee,

Would you care to define “values”?

Does it have anything to do with gays?

Or womens rights?

I’m just curious what you mean by “values”.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 30, 2008 3:57 AM
Comment #244233

I’ve always wondered why the McCain Feingold law didn’t include all Americans, including the Indian tribes….. maybe it has to do with money donations from casinos. That could and is be quite a cash cow for politicians, with no control whatsoever.

I just heard Geraldine Ferrara on Fox say that if McCain is the candidate from the Republicans, then Mayor Bloomberg of NYC will not run as a third party candidate. Interesting tactics - - it almost appears he is working with the Democrats to try and split the Republican party. I couldn’t help but wonder how Ferrara knew all this.

She spoke about how poor Mayor Bloomberg had to ‘clean up the mess’ Guiliani left NYC in when he left. Liberals hate the fact that Guiliani was effective in cleaning up New York City. You can actually walk around Times Square now without wondering if you are on Mars.

Bloomberg is collaborating with the Dems it seems and they would hate someone like Guiliani to run. McCain is their man.

Posted by: L. Davis at January 30, 2008 9:23 AM
Comment #244238

KansasDem,
The values election comment deserves a little exposition. Such Republicans as McCain, Bush, and the imminently corrupt Governor Rick Perry of Texas represent a view that what is of value in the U.S. is a sort of zero-sum thing that can only be realized if it is sold (or sold out).

The first and most important of these values is the sovereignty of the individual citizen. That is to say that we protect the people who actually live, work, and vote- LEGALLY- in the United States. This is the real foundation of the sovereignty of the United States, not the military which can be turned by a corrupt government against the nation’s people. George Bush pushed for, and John McCain sponsored, the legislation which would systematically dismantle protections of the very citizenship that is the bedrock of our liberty.

The floodtide of illegal immigration the current stubborn president has forced on us has diluted the economic bargaining power of the poorest and least skilled workers in our economy. This has, on one hand, the two-fold effect of reducing market pressures for wages to increase and reducing incentives to use technology and education to make existing laborers work more productive. On the other hand it has the perverse effect of making the rich richer and the nation’s poor poorer. From a “Republican” point of view it seems almost cynically calculated to hand talking points to the opposition party.

My mention of Governor (“good hair”) Perry, a close confidant of former Texas Governor Bush arises from his strident effort to sell the highway rights-of-way of this state to a Spanish consortium for toll road construction, along with fifty-year veto power over nearby competing locally financed thoroughfares. This is a frank liquidation of American real estate for international profiteers and a clear indication that the Republican Party as it exists today is too corrupt to permit them to hold the reigns of power in this nation.

If you’re small-minded enough to be distracted into waving a pom-pom for the way someone uses their sex organs- and voting on that enthusiasm- so be it. You deserve the government that vote buys you.

As to “womens rights” that is often used as code words for abortion. That debate turns on the definition of a “human being”. Currently the courts have blatantly seized the right to define what is human from the people- and people who find unborn human beings an inconvenient population are pleased with that situation. Of course, in the past other populations have had their humanity defined away and we judge harshly those who thought Jews, or Australian Aborigines, or native Tasmanians, or Tutus were (or are) similarly inconvenient. For now, though, most people feel secure that they will not be found inconvenient in the same way.

Be reminded that the choice has been handed not to all the people in each state, but to only NINE people in the whole U.S. Look at Musharraf’s actions in Pakistan and you will see how a determinedly corrupt political machine can turn those nine people we have given the power to decide whether we are human or not to their advantage.

Can’t happen here you say? Germany was arguably the most civilized nation on Earth early in the 20th century. Go ahead. Bet your life on it.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 30, 2008 10:10 AM
Comment #244239

David,
Republicans are voting for McCain for the wrong reason. They think he is the only “Republican” who can beat whomever the Democrats nominate (something the left-leaning media gleefully tells them with great regularity). They do this not to have their views represented (the legitimate reason to vote for someone) but out of abject terror that Democrats will lay waste to the nation if they win in November. If we are goaded by the corrupt elements in the Republican Party into a series of hold-your-nose-not-to-lose elections while they consolidate their power over the party eventually it won’t matter even if “our team” does win.

I still hold by my prognostication of two weeks ago. If Republicans win this election, especially with John McCain, I firmly believe it will devastate the party for decades. He IS the Zachary Taylor of our generation.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 30, 2008 10:40 AM
Comment #244253

From todays Senate hearings

Coming to Mukasey’s defense, GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama said it was important to note that U.S. interrogation by torture isn’t widespread.

That’s nice to hear
a) GOP Senator is essentially admitting that the US is conducting Torture, but
guess what
b) We’re only doing it “a little bit”
So its ok, we’re “only a little pregnant”!!!

Posted by: Russ at January 30, 2008 1:53 PM
Comment #244257

Lee, everything you say is true of both parties.

As for McCain destroying the GOP, I think Bush and Congressional Republicans have already adequately taken care of that.

That Day in 1994 when Republicans won Congressional races and the House, they undertook the role of big tent party, compromising the party’s conservative platform and agendas for winning. Everything since then has been inevitable, due to the GOP leadership not having the experience or accumen to maintain both power and the Big Tent coalition.

They chose power over the coalition, and what you are witnessing now is the coalitions fighting over scraps of the carcass of that once and short lived Big Tent GOP.

Democrats lost in 1994 for similar reasons. They understood that too, by 1996. They are coming back having reestablished their Big Tent coalition. Now it remains to be seen if they can keep power without sacrificing the coalitions. I don’t see how they possibly can because of the illegal immigration box they have painted themselves into, which refuses to secure our national sovereignty from foreign invaders.

This is why I think it is inevitable that we will witness the rise of an Independent Party in a competitive way over these next 8 years. Too late, perhaps, to save the nation from its future challenges I fear. But, still, perhaps, a better manager of the devastation to our economy and health care system than either of the two major parties in power today.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 30, 2008 2:15 PM
Comment #244285

David,
The client for which I am doing artwork now is a longtime friend. He is a millionaire labor union lawyer and a friend of former president Bush. I deeply respect him for his values even as my relationship with him (lasting more than two decades now) affect many of my own views. He is, of course, a big Democrat. We do not disagree on fundamental values. Rather, we disagree on how best to accomplish the goals.

There’s our problem today. The parties are actively interfering with the conversation about values and the accomplishment of goals, substituting brand-name programming and empty partisan loyalty for clear-headed assessment of the things that work best and taking advantage of the laboratory of the states to discern what those are when we don’t know. They tend to direct the conversation down one of two opposed “my way or the highway” ruts, both of which are flawed. He and I both get caught up in the messages of our respective parties.

That is sad.

Today we see the wisdom in George Washington’s early, prescient, assessment that political parties were fundamentally evil.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 30, 2008 7:52 PM
Comment #244297

McCain is an OLD dog. Go Romney!

Posted by: Chuck at January 30, 2008 10:48 PM
Comment #244298
Republicans are voting for McCain for the wrong reason. They think he is the only “Republican” who can beat whomever the Democrats nominate (something the left-leaning media gleefully tells them with great regularity). They do this not to have their views represented (the legitimate reason to vote for someone) but out of abject terror that Democrats will lay waste to the nation if they win in November…I still hold by my prognostication of two weeks ago. If Republicans win this election, especially with John McCain, I firmly believe it will devastate the party for decades.


Amen, brutter!!! McCain can’t unite the party; he is a joke. And, to all those out there (conservatives especially) that think that McCain can win (solely) out of “FEAR” of Clinton on the ticket is dead wrong!! Read it again! DEAD WRONG! It takes (way) more than fear; it takes inspiration and McCain doesn’t inspire conservatives. Period!

Heck, McCain can’t even beat Romney without Huckabee (still) on the ticket. Also, McCain turned down a debate on Meet the Press this Sunday; one big debate, with the two front runners, before Super Tuesday. Romney (immediately) agreed and McCain declined. Now, why would he do that?!!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at January 30, 2008 10:57 PM
Comment #244304

Lee
FYI,Any uniom member that chooses to can opt out of the portion of their dues that goes to political action.

Posted by: BillS at January 30, 2008 11:51 PM
Comment #244335

rahdigly, this is not going to be your year. Next year when you lay down such prognostications, these you writ today will undermine them. Your party will rally behind the candidate that the primary voters indicate they are motivated to vote for. Your party doesn’t have to like it, and won’t, because your party has no unifying candidates on the trail. The former coalition members are infighting for control of the GOP. But, there will be a Republican candidate to face the Democrats, and regardless of who it is, their nomination will further fracture the Republican Party along fiscal, moral values, and foreign policy lines. Especially after losing to the Democrat’s nominee.

If McCain breaks out the frontrunner, I think Democrats will break out for Obama in a big way. Reason, Obama can beat McCain amongst Independent voters. If Romney wins, Democrats get the Independent voters hands down, unless Romney can do a whole lot more flip-flopping and convince Independents he is serious this time about sticking to his latest flip-flops.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 31, 2008 2:30 PM
Comment #244384

David,
In principle I don’t disagree with you about coalitions, but the coalition idea itself is a little misleading. Each of the parties has a rigid culture of its own and each attempts to force coalition partners to conform to their culture. Far from being a “far-right” party, for example, the dominant culture of the Republican Party is a wishy-washy dead centrist one that is essentially value-free. This is characterized by “leaders” like Presidents Taft and Hoover, Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain, and everybody’s favorite, Richard Nixon.

You can see how cohesive this culture is. For example, Texas Governor Rick “good hair” Perry joined the melba toast chorus to rally behind the melba toast (at least he’s crusty) candidate, John McCain, today. If they don’t give us a choice (and they won’t if there is any way to avoid it) they reason we’ll be stuck with them.

Democrats are no better. Look at the choices they’ve given THEIR people. (I take Obama as an exception who has some real qualities, none of them in policy, that could change the framing of the campaign)

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 31, 2008 9:39 PM
Comment #244388

Lee,

Thanks for your response regarding “issues”. I just always kind of cringe when I hear the media utter the words “issues voters”.

Hell, we all have specific opinions regarding the “hot button” issues like abortion, gun control, gay rights, etc.

And they’ll NEVER be truly resolved!

Posted by: KansasDem at January 31, 2008 10:38 PM
Comment #244471

KansasDem,

The values issue is very close to my heart. We are all caught us in a system in which the day to day control of the parties that are supposed to represent our view defaults to office holders. Their reason for being in a given party differs fundamentally from ours. To them the party is a mechanism for gaining and maintaining political power. To us it is a mechanism for gaining a redress of our concerns. This means they can hold our issues hostage if they choose to do so. In the Republican Party this is exactly what is happening.

But what of the “values” themselves? Do we not both want the poor to be provided for, the sick tended to, the fruitful encouraged, and the dishonest chastened? Of course we both want those things. Our problem is that, with our parties focusing the debate on irrelevancies, we are distracted from our most fundamental goals and led to believe we are enemies.

We have deep disagreements on the “how” of value politics, but at some point we must learn to bypass the hijacked party system and realize that our disagreements on the “what” are not large at all.

Posted by: lee Jamison at February 2, 2008 10:21 AM
Comment #244526

I turned eighteen the year Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the President of the United States. I have never voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since that year, which means I have a 26 year record of voting Republican for President of the United States. If McCain is nominated for President in the Republican Party, I will not cast a ballot for President at all in the coming election.

The reason being that I will not vote for McCain and ruin my 26 year record of not having voted for a Democrat. John McCain is not even a dark shadow, let alone a light, of Reagan conservativism!

JD

Posted by: JD at February 3, 2008 10:50 AM
Comment #244532

So JD let me get this straight GHWB and GWB were bright lights of Reagan conservatism? That being said Reagan conservatism equals bigger federal government, raising taxes, borrow and spend, loss of freedom and incompetent government? Yeah we all might be better served should you choose to stay home on election day.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 3, 2008 1:03 PM
Comment #244551

JD, not even Reagan was Reaganesque! Reagan invaded Lebanon, found our troops had been sent into a civil war, and Reagan withdrew them after 240 or so GI casualties which he deemed too many to continue our presence there. Reagan cut taxes in 82, and raised them in 86. Reagan left a greater national debt than the one he inherited.

The Reagan you measure today’s candidates by, is a myth, created and balooned by the GOP for consumption by team loyalists like yourself. Reagan did not measure up to the myth your Party has created. So, if Reagan couldn’t measure up to Reagan, how is any other GOP candidate going to.

Reagan espoused campaign ideals, but, as a president, he was a pragmatist. He went with what would work, principles were for getting elected, pragmatism was for leading the nation. He had become a consummate politician. Which is not particularly flattering. Ah, but then there is the myth for consumption by the unquestioning, the faithful who take the party line as gospel, and loyal who regard any negative comment of their own is baseless, even when it comes from within their own party (the other side must have got to them).

The GOP is a party of lemmings, by and large. Even fiscal conservatives stay with the party despite its historically monumental failure of those principles.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 3, 2008 5:48 PM
Comment #244567

“The reason being that I will not vote for McCain and ruin my 26 year record of not having voted for a Democrat. John McCain is not even a dark shadow, let alone a light, of Reagan conservativism!”

j2t2 and David Remer, I think you need to re-read what I said.

JD

Posted by: JD at February 3, 2008 11:41 PM
Comment #244714

I staunchly avoid idolizing Ronald Reagan.

Had I had the chance in 1980 I would have voted for John Connolly. Early in ‘84 I liked John Glenn.

My principles are about basic freedom and the right of the people to control the public purse, protect citizenship, and set their own priorities without having those dictated to them from above. On two of those three areas McCain is consistently wrong.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 5, 2008 11:13 PM
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