Thursday, February 07, 2008

McCain and the Death of Small Government Conservatism

Angus and I agree on many things. But not McCain. He terrifies me.

The BCRA (that is, the MCCAIN-Feingold bill against political speech for challengers, also called "The Incumbent Protection Act")

The "Let's Attack, Attack Iraq!" thing

The whole "Let's do more to help ______!", where
the fill in the blank is basically anyone with a pulse.

The national LP mourns the death of conservatism, and the rise of the McCain revolution.

(Nod to SG)


John Thacker said...

His greatest flaws are philosophical, that he seems to fall into the trap of thinking that there is no higher call than government and collective action, and of course the common confusion of economic costs with accounting costs.

OTOH, he's quite good on trade, immigration, and spending.

The "Let's Attack, Attack Iraq!" thing

Not really that fair, in that he was hardly one of those pushing for the initial attack. More of a "let's not ever retreat!" which can of course be equally stupid.

The whole "Let's do more to help ______!", where the fill in the blank is basically anyone with a pulse.

And yet he was one of the Senators helping to sustain the filibuster against the expansion of the "stimulus package," so I don't think that this entirely applies either.

Speaking of trade, it seems that the sugar lobby is running into opposition, thankfully. The Administration is opposing their blatantly stupid plan, and rewriting NAFTA to get a sugar cartel does too much to upset the other agricultural interests.

John Thacker said...

McCain also was one of a few to vote against the prescription drug Medicare bill, incidentally. I think that it's difficult to characterize him precisely the way that you did, though I have serious reservations that I mentioned in the first comment.

Angus said...

Don't be too hard on ole Angus. I merely expressed a preference for McCain over Romney, Huckabee, and Paul, which is hardly a ringing endorsement.

I don't think he's perfect nor does he embody my ideals. I do think he's more of a small government conservative that the Shrub has been or than Romney or Huckabee would be.

However, small government conservatism has been dead for a while now thanks to Shrub, or perhaps the real truth is that it never was alive at all.

Lets just say McCain terrifies me less than do the other dudes.

So in conclusion, I'd ask my friend Mungowitz: who are you supporting over McCain?

Mungowitz said...

Well, the problem is that I think McCain can WIN.

And 4-8 more years of a Republican administration will chan-o-crge the Supreme Court for the rest of our lives.

So, paradoxically, I prefered ANY Republican candidate to McCain. Because they were worse.

I still think Clinton wins the nomination for the Dum-o-crats. And then McCain beats her.

Sure, I'm trying to have it both ways. But just think how FANTASTIC blogging would be with a H. Clinton presidency!

(From the Green Bean coffeeshop, in Greensboro, NC, using the free city-wide wireless network. Socialism for people rich enough to have laptops.)

Dirty Davey said...

"Socialism for people rich enough to have laptops."

Couldn't one equally describe the paving of the street on which the coffee shop is located as "socialism for people rich enough to have cars"?

br said...

On one hand, government provided wi-fi is awesome. To the extent that the internet provides people with the ability to make informed decisions, I can have less sympathy (as if I had any in the first place) for those who make poor decisions. Just like public education.

On the other hand, you have to think that government run information superhighways will eventually end up as clogged as our government run interstate highways.

Josh said...

I agree with Munger here. I speak to Democrats who speak rather positively for McCain, and he absolutely is the only Republican candidate who has a chance to win the presidency.

Angus you emphasize that you're concerned with gridlock, but besides Congress and the Executive, we need to concern about the judicial branch. With McCain, you're likely not even to get "better" right-leaning justices of the Scalia-Thomas brand, since it is pretty important that a justice McCain support's wouldn't consider political donations to be a part of free speech.

And, even if you do want gridlock with Congress and the Executive, McCain is likely to pursue an aggressive foreign policy like Bush, regardless of what Congress thinks.

One last thing: As we see with Bush, there's more to a president than the policies he espouses in the campaign: the temperament, humility, and presidential personality, if you will, matter. Bush's approach in foreign affairs reflected a sort of crony-ism where he picked a view held by some major advisors and stuck with it, without regard to argumentation: he wasn't an "honest broker" like some past presidents. McCain strikes me as similar, or possibly, even worse. He is known for his vibrant temper, in which he curses out Senators on the floor for disagreeing with him, and, while his stubborness is not driven by faith, it still exists.

JW said...

Well I have to say voting against the Bush tax cuts and medicare part d does make him an economic conservative in my book, not all bad. Immigration and free speech are a problem, but less of a problem for me than Obama and Clintons full on left tilt.

Tom said...

In these desparate times, America needs a strong leader who has a plan and can inspire the people and the Congress to get behind it.

Just kidding. In these rather normal times, America needs a weak leader whose reach exceeds his grasp and will pitch a hissy fit and use the veto on most of the crap coming out of Congress.

Of the D&R candidates still standing, Ron Paul is the best fit. Of the three that still have a chance, I guess McCain is least bad.

Grid-lock is your friend.