Friday, February 1, 2008

How Big is Your Tent?

A few years ago, Christie Whitman wrote a book, the title of which was It's My Party, Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America. It seems timely in light of the reaction to McCain's Florida win. The verbiage unleashed in his direction, not from Democrats but from his own party, is a bit stunning. Reaction has ranged from the morose to the mordant, culminating in Ann Coulter's petulant declarations that she'd rather support Hillary.

Come on, Ann. Two words-universal healthcare- demonstrate the falseness of that position. If that doesn't work for you, try- tax hike. McCain, whatever his original vote, has signed on to extend the Bush tax cuts. Now I love Ann's fiery rhetoric, although at times her anti-immigration rants border on the bigoted, but she calls them as she sees them. Her candor and willingness to take on unpopular causes fills a need in our namby-pamby, politically correct society. But here, I think she's wrong.

All of those trash talking Mr. McCain really need to think about a fallacious underlying assumption in all of their criticism. The Republican Party is not the Conservative Party. At times their interests and their candidates conincide, but not always. Before Reagan, who not only advocated amnesty for illegals but granted it, there were Republicans with a full spectrum of view points. Remember Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javits?

As far as I can remember the less conservative wing of the party did not have public fits of apoplexy over Reagan's emergence. It was accepted with apparent good grace. Time proved that stance correct, but it took a willing suspension of disbelief to support him the first time.

Instead of conservative litmus tests, try asking about McCain's unpredicatbility. Ask whether you would trust him with this finger on the button? Now that gives me reservations. You can raise the issue of age also. It does have real potential consequences. But when you consider the alternatives, the choice is clear. I like Romney, but can he really stand up to the Billary machine or the Obama magic?

My view is simple. Forget about not washing our dirty laundry in public; we shouldn't eat our own, or we'll have our heads handed to us for breakfast.


Henry Gomez said...

Sorry to disagree with you on McCain. You are certainly correct, the GOP was not always the conservative party it became under Reagan. But that's the point. We've been there before and it ain't pretty. There's a reason that people like their candidates to have a basic ideological stance. It makes it easier to predict how a person will react to a particular issue. Forgetting conservative vs. liberal, here's what McCain seems to believe base on what he has done and what he is saying:

The first amendment can be infringed upon in the name of cleaning up "negative" campaigning and to get "special interests" out of politics.

Seeking profit is not an honorable thing.

The government should interfere in the private sector to achieve certain allegedly favorable outcomes.

The U.S. should tax companies in order to lower CO2 emmissions.

The government should tax gasoline to incentivize other fuel sources.

The rich don't need tax relief.

Now if you agree with him on these things and others then you should support him. But I don't agree with any of those things. That's why I don't want him representing my party in November.

To me it's about nominating the guy who would be the best president, not merely playing a game of White House keep away with Hillary clinton.

rsnlk said...

I'm actually not a McCain supporter, but I don't agree with the vicious attacks that have been launched at him.

My point is that the more liberal wing of the party has accepted the more conservative candidates, but that somehow the conservative wing not only won't support but goes out on the airwaves to trash talk.

And it's not child's play to keep the Presidency away from the Dems. Universal health care? How much is that going to cost? Taxes up. Immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Will all those people- troops and civilians- have died for nothing? Obama, the most liberal senator. Hillary not far behind. These are serious considerations.

And you can say, well, we'll just wait out the Democratic administration. But then how are you going to undo the entitlement programs they are sure to put in?

I'm going to have to hold my nose in Nov, no matter what. I just don't think it does any good to unleash such strong attack on a politician who might very well be the party's nominee.

Henry Gomez said...

Vicious attacks? Why are they vicious? In fact I'd say the opposite. Nobody wants to appear to be piling on a war hero, a former POW. There's a party for liberals, it's called the Democrat party and McCain almost joined it in 2001. Would you want Jim Jeffords or Lincoln Chafee to be the nominee? That's basically what McCain is, a Democrat. I'm sorry, there's nothing vicious about pointing out where a candidates views conflict with the overall party views. Especially when McCain himself is not running on his record, he's running on a B.S. line he calls straight talk. What about the vicious and plainly false allegation he made about Romney's position with regards to withdrawing troops from Iraq? Even after he got called on it, he continued to lie about it right there on TV at the Reagan library. That's also where he made profit seeking into a sin.

Sorry, no dice on McCain. If we're going down the path of liberalism, then it should be a Democrat who takes us there. That way in 4 years we'll know exactly who to blame and who to look toward to get us out of it. If McCain wins the general election (which he will not) and governs like the liberal he has proven to be in the last few years, then we're looking until at least 2016 until a conservative Republican can get into the White House.

rsnlk said...

While I have seen much criticism that is rational and normal, on the airwaves criticism has gone out of bounds, hence my use of "vicious."

I suspect this is all a fruitless exercise, because I would be surprised if a Dem didn't win. May it not be so.