03 November, 2008

A McCainiac to the end

The subject won't surprise anyone who reads this blog. My reasons are few, straightforward, and perfectly assailable. Feel free to disagree in the comments, but please don't do so disagreeably. Then go vote tomorrow, and whatever the outcome, go work to make this country a better place for our children. America is, more than ever, the land of opportunity for everyone.

  1. The first, and most important, is this pair of quotes:
    I'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.

    I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.
    My brother recently joined the army. (This action took me by complete surprise, but that's beside the point.) Senator McCain persisted doggedly in arguing for a surge of forces in Iraq. It meant catching flack from conservatives who believed in the Rumsfeld "small footprint" approach. It meant catching flack from liberals who believed in the "defeat at all costs" approach. It appeared to mean political suicide in the polling that preceded the Republican primary season. It meant political cartoons that mocked McCain for his optimism on the surge's initial signs of success. It meant the media's credulity at the opposition's attempts to attribute the surge's success to anything but the surge, and to point to every unresolved issue as a sign of complete and utter failure.

    McCain stuck to his principles, and it paid off for the president—and, more importantly, to the nation—to finally listen to the soldier. McCain's brave and wise choice has meant that my brother's life will be safer. It has also meant that the lives of millions of Iraqis will be safer, inasmuch as they no longer face a smoldering civil war.

    I did not favor the Iraq war five and a half years ago. My position, as expressed in a letter I wrote at the time, was that we should pack our bags, withdraw from Saudi Arabia, and let the French and Russian governments figure out how to deal with the consequences of their obstinacy. Nevertheless, we cannot shirk the consequences of our actions, nor our responsibility for them. It is a question of honor and decency. McCain showed that he understands this.
  2. Character matters, and McCain's service to the country outshines anything that any other candidate has to offer. I don't refer here to his war record—that is indeed impressive—but to his record in the House and Senate. Americans have supposedly always wanted for president a man who bucks the party and works with the opposition whenever principle calls for it. McCain also helped normalize relations with Vietnam, which can't have been easy for him personally. We should reward, not discount, a lifetime of service.
  3. McCain believes in the economic freedoms customary to American life, along with the civil liberties we have enjoyed. McCain wishes to expand our economic freedoms and make them more widely available, rather than restricting them and making us more dependent on the benevolence of our government.

    He has favored government intervention and regulation in many cases, including regulations that could have helped prevent the current crisis. McCain's attachment to honor and sincerity has led him to restrict himself to public financing for his campaign, at great cost, considering how his opponent has outspent him in advertising. McCain's fundraising has moreover been scandal-free, and transparent to the point where the records of who has donated what are available to the public.
  4. McCain has consistently opposed wasteful spending, especially the kind awarded through the merits of political connections rather than peer review. Earlier this year, McCain's dogged opposition to waste included stopping a wasteful contract of Air Force tankers, saving the taxpayers billions of dollars.

    At a time when our government faces mounting debts thanks in no small part to entitlements and the multiplication of financial rights, I want McCain's opposition to the encroachment of government into our economy, along with his commitment to honest, transparent, and accountable government.
  5. McCain has not found it necessary to state on one day that he cannot disown friends with whom he has maintained long, intimate associations, or who have inspired the titles of his books—only to disown the very same people one or two weeks later, once it became apparent that they were becoming serious political liabilities.
  6. Finally, I plan to vote against the mass media, whose behavior towards McCain has not been unfair: it has been shameful, dishonest, and dishonorable. As if McCain's opposition did not have sufficient funds to out-shout McCain, they have engaged in a constant drumbeat on attacks, amplifying and reinforcing any avenue they could. Don't take my word for it; the Pew Research Center has documented it:
    [C]overage of McCain has been heavily unfavorable -- and has become more so over time. In the six weeks following the conventions through the final debate, unfavorable stories about McCain outweighed favorable ones by a factor of more than three-to-one—the most unfavorable of all four candidates—according to the study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. …[Palin's] coverage, while tilting negative, was far more positive than her running mate's.

    My disgust is exemplified by a quote from Peter Beinart in today's Washington Post: the drip, drip of scandals from Alaska. He has to use the phrase drip, drip drip instead of flood or even stream of scandals, because all of it turned out to be more or less without merit. The stories on Palin's per diem, her supposed attempt to ban library books, the true parentage of her Down syndrome son, even the attempt to uncover an affair, have turned out to be false. It's been so bad that the New York Times attempted to manufacture a sexual scandal on John McCain, while ignoring a genuine sexual scandal regarding a supposedly leading nominee for Vice President on the Democratic side.

    Endorsements of McCain's opponent attempt to explain their support by pointing to a smooth, well-oiled campaign, and the man's apparent "temperament". Similar things were said in 2000 of the man that both McCain and Obama seeks to succeed. The endorsements have similarly expressed disappointment that McCain picked for Vice-President someone with little foreign policy experience—whereas Obama's foreign policy experience is more or less non-existent, and Biden's apparently led him to conclude that the United States and France drove Hezbollah out of Lebanon, rather than the other way around.

    Color me baffled. I supported McCain already, so I'm not voting "against" anyone. If I didn't favor McCain, however, I would definitely be voting against the media.

Update! Even Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post is now admitting that the media's coverage of the campaign has been biased.
If anyone doubts there is a liberal entertainment establishment, it has been vividly on display.
He doesn't mean the Post, of course—just the talk shows, the entertainment shows… everyone except himself. At least he mentions the double standard on Palin's openness to the press as contrasted to Biden's.

Another update! The so-called "Troopergate" scandal—the one I didn't mention in my list of drip-drip-drip non-scandals—also turns out not to be a scandal. The AP is reporting,:
A report has cleared Gov. Sarah Palin of ethics violations in the firing of her public safety commissioner. The report, released Monday, said: "There is no probable cause to believe that the governor, or any other state official, violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act in connection with these matters."

Third update! The Washington Post is also reporting it! …on page A04.

At least one of their original articles on the alleged scandal appeared on page A01. The per diem non-scandal appeared on page A01.

I don't blame the Post for not placing this story on page A01: it's no longer newsworthy that Palin isn't ethically challenged. The Post, by contrast…


Tom L said...

All good reasons. I'd add that, as long as the Democrats are the party of death, they can't have my vote. That's absolute.

Democrat platform:
"... we stand proudly for a woman's right to choose ... regardless of her ability to pay."

Republican platform:
"... we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed."

jack perry said...

…and it remains the party of tax-payer subsidized death at that, as your quote makes abundantly clear.

I was trying to make a positive argument for McCain—why I support him—rather than a negative argument—why I oppose the other candidate, or the other candidate's party. But, yes, if not for his position on abortion, I might well have voted for at least one Democratic presidential candidate of years past.