The following is today's column The following material is new on my blogs, but I wrote it after my appearance on Eric Dondero's Libertarian Republican show on BlogTalkRadio. Eric opposes John McCain for reasons that remain mysterious to me.On Eric's show, the host and I got into a good exchange about McCain.
His point seemingly was that McCain was too liberal. My point was that the facts, such as the ratings by the American Conservative Union and the Club For Growth (fiscal conservatives), indicated that McCain was a conservative.The host continued to disagree.
I said that he had an intellectual and moral obligation to support McCain. I cited the "Club for Growth" rankings for 2005 and 2006 that gave McCain a (good) rating of 76% for both years. The host wondered if Hillary Clinton didn't also have some decent ratings from that group.
I cited The Almanac of American Politics, which showed the Club for Growth gave her a rating of 8% and 0% for two recent years.
Thus, when Ann Coulter tells Sean Hannity that "Hillary is our gal," one wonders exactly is going on. Ms. Coulter is not a stupid person, but she is driven mainly by malice and a desire to say outrageous things, which endear her to some of the conservative "base." Coulter's entire career manifests a commitment not to Republican politics, but rather to often pathetic attempts to call attention to herself. Her support for Hillary Clinton, who doesn't have a conservative bone in her body, illustrates that she has an agenda which is less conservatism than narcissism.
Ann Coulter may be something or other, but her backing of Mrs. Clinton shows that she is not in any sense a conservative. Calling someone a "faggot," as she did John Edwards, does not miraculously transform a woman into Margaret Thatcher. Name-calling is the last refuge of those who lack a coherent political philosophy.
Recently, the Austin Statesman in Texas endorsed McCain and noted that over the years his rating from the American Conservative Union was 82.3%, which is a very conservative performance. The ACU rankings for Hillary Clinton in 2005 and 2006 were an anemic 8% and 12%.
The FACTS -- a category not much valued by Limbaugh and Coulter types -- show that McCain is a conservative and Mrs. Clinton (like Obama) is a robotic liberal. That is NOT my opinion. Rather, it is what the data show.John Kasich, former Ohio congressman who is one of the great conservatives of our time, said on FOX recently: "John McCain is NOT a liberal. In fact, John McCain is not really a moderate. John McCain is a conservative." Kasich, like many national conservatives (Tom Coburn, Rick Perry, Peter King, Saxby Chamblis, Jonny Isakson, Jon Kyl, Lindsay Graham) is strongly endorsing McCain.
Admittedly, McCain is a conservative with a conscience. He is not anti-gay, nor anti-Hispanic, nor anti-Black, not anti-women professionals, not anti-young people. He is a Republican in Arizona who wins his races there by huge margins (79% to 21% in his last race).
So why do the Limbaughs, Coulters, and Hewitts dislike John McCain so much? Part of it is their effort to boost ratings by making outrageous comments. A big element is the fact that McCain despises them for their shallowness and ideological fanaticism. Rush and his "proud dittoheads" have lost their grip on the Party. Their conservative alternatives -- Tancredo, Hunter, Gilmore, (Fred) Thompson, (Tommy) Thompson, and Paul -- couldn't come close to winning elections. They have NO support. Republicans across the country have rejected them. Essentially, the voters have declared Rush and Sean and Laura and Ann and Hugh to be largely irrelevant to the nation's politics.
I told my host Eric that he really didn't have a "right" to his opinion, because there were no facts behind his views. We have a constitutional right, I guess, to be wrong, but we don't have an intellectual or moral right to ignore reality.
I disagree with John McCain on a few of his votes, but frankly that doesn't mean I must be "right" and he must be wrong. When he voted against the anti-gay-marriage amendment, he said it was "antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans." He added, "It usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states believe does not confront them." Is he really "wrong" when he cites the obvious? The American people's stance on something like gay marriage is that they're bored by the subject.
You will not find McCain's thoughtful, constitutionalist statements coming out of the mouth of Rush Limbaugh or Laura Ingraham or Ann Coulter. Their listeners want red meat. They want slogans and venom. They live for polarization and animosity. The wear their bloody banner of Red State simplisms as if it were a badge of honor.
John McCain rejects the politics of hatred. He will go down in history as a great man and, hopefully as a great President. His talk show critics will continue to express their half-baked "opinions" to a diminishing group of people who drool heavily and think infrequently.Note:
Anyone who'd like to honor me by using this column on their own blog or elsewhere, please do so. The only thing I ask is that you cite my main blog as the source (http://camp2008victorya.blogspot.com.)