Jack Kelly, conservative columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tried to convince the other conservatives who read his column that Senator John McCain most definitely is not Satan's first cousin. Only time will tell whether he succeeded.
This week, he's taking another tack. This time he's criticising those conservatives who call McCain a RINO (aka "Republican In Name Only"). Our friend Jack:
Hold on to your hats here, my friends, I think J-Kel makes some good points.
The epithet is ridiculous, because it assumes that being conservative and being Republican are identical. Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower were good Republicans, but they weren't conservatives. Nor were Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Bob Dole or George H. W. Bush.
A political party is a conspiracy to obtain power, nothing more. In democratic politics there is nothing wrong with that, because the conspiracies are peaceful, open and -- in a two-party system -- moderating. For Republicans to be successful, they must embrace moderates as well as conservatives. This means moderates get to lead from time to time.
Unfortunately, however convincing I might think Kelly is, James Dobson will probably remain unconvinced. From the AP:
And a few paragraphs later:
James Dobson, one of the nation's most prominent evangelical Christian leaders, backed Mike Huckabee's presidential bid Thursday night, giving the former Arkansas governor a long-sought endorsement as the Republican field narrowed to a two-man race.
In a statement first obtained by The Associated Press, Dobson reiterated his declaration on Super Tuesday that he could not in good conscience vote for John McCain, the front-runner, because of concerns over the Arizona senator's conservative credentials.
Dobson criticized McCain for his support of embryonic stem cell research, his opposition to a federal anti-gay marriage amendment and for his temper and use of foul language. He said he'd sit out the presidential election if McCain were the nominee.Temper and foul language? Well there's this from July of 2006.
A conservative website has launched a full-frontal attack on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who the story says has an "irrational, explosive" temper, citing two former Republican senators and GOP aides.
At least two Democratic aides have told RAW STORY McCain has shown a similar temperament. Multiple sources have also said that McCain has a practice of leaking stories on those he doesn't get along with -- and is believed by several reporters and Senate aides to have been behind a series of leaks in the Jack Abramoff scandal. McCain's office has vehemently denied the claims.
Ok, then. Back to Jack:
According to Newsmax, "McCain's outbursts often erupted when other members rebuffed his requests for support during his bid in 2000 for the Republican nomination for president. A former Senate staffer recalled what happened when McCain asked for support from a fellow Republican senator on the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee."
"The senator explained that he had already committed to support George Bush," a former Senate staffer told the site. "McCain said ‘f— you' and never spoke to him again."
Extreme among the extremists, Ann Coulter is still at it. Here she is from a few days ago:
But the dyspeptic denizens of the Right believe in addition by subtraction. To make the GOP stronger, moderates must be calumnized and driven from it. Polemicist Ann Coulter is so angry with Mr. McCain's occasional embrace of Democratic ideas that she says she'll campaign for Democrats if Mr. McCain wins the nomination.
Ms. Coulter says this sort of thing whenever she feels she's not getting enough attention. Her position is extreme, even among the extremists. But many, brimming with self righteousness, declare they'll stay home if Mr. McCain, or Mr. Romney, or Mr. Huckabee wins the nomination. These guys (and gals) are the true RINOs.
Unfortunately for Jack Kelly, my guess is that St. Ann-of-the-Bulging-Laryngeal-Prominence has a larger reading audience than the P-G's former National Security correspondent.
On the litmus test issues of our time, only partially excluding Iraq, McCain is a liberal.
-- He excoriated Samuel Alito as too "conservative."
-- He promoted amnesty for 20 million illegal immigrants.
-- He abridged citizens' free speech (in favor of the media) with McCain-Feingold.
-- He hysterically opposes waterboarding terrorists and wants to shut down Guantanamo.
Can I take a breath now?
-- He denounced the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
-- He opposes ANWR and supports the global warming cult, even posturing with fellow mountebank Arnold Schwarzenegger in front of solar panels.
The only site that would have been more appropriate for Schwarzenegger in endorsing McCain would have been in front of an abortion clinic.