Monday, October 09, 2006

The GOP's Political Direction: McCain and The 2006 Mid-Term Elections

Peter Brown writes about McCain's plans to run a Joe Lieberman-style campaign, at least in the general election:

McCain is an early favorite for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. He has provoked antagonism from some in his party who view him as not partisan and conservative enough. And, he will need to appeal to the GOP's conservative base in the primaries to get nominated.

But if he does win the nomination, McCain's general election campaign would likely look a lot like Lieberman's.

I think all that is true. I also think I'm like many conservative Republicans. For me, the problem is not McCain's electability, but the unpredictable and mushy way in which he would govern once elected. For example, we'd see "moderates" apppointed to the Supreme Court. Remember, Earl Warren, William Brennan, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, and David Souter, to name a few, were all appointed by moderate Republican presidents who were not thinking about the nominee's ideology. In a general election, McCain would probably beat Hillary Clinton, and I'd certainly vote for him over any Democrat, but at this point we need to think about the policy decisions that a President McCain would make. It's as simple as that.

Turning to the 2006 mid-terms, there certainly is a sense of impending disaster growing about the GOP majority. How much of that is real, and how much is a creation of a very titillated MSM's fevered hopes, remains to be seen. I'm actually quite worried about it. Yes, the GOP has made mistakes, and many conservatives want to make a foolish point by staying home. I hope they like what Speaker Pelosi has in store for them.

There are some who think a conservative loss in 2006 will energize the base and result in a GOP resurgence in 2008. That may well be true. But my conscience won't allow me to stand by and let the country be harmed by today's feckless American left. Many conservatives also think Jimmy Carter's presidency was the best thing that ever happened to America's conservative movement, and that Ronald Reagan would not have been elected without Carter's failed presidency. I simply disagree; Reagan was coming anyway, even after another four years of Gerald Ford. Did we really need 4 years of Jimmy Carter? I also ask those conservatives to look at what has happened in Iran since 1979 and ask whether that 4-year detour into Carterism was worth what America and the world are we are paying for it now.


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