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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

US News: McCain's Years of Public Service Have Earned Him Enemies

I still think GWB is the coolest. He rocks more than Reagan (and any other president), but that's just my precious opinion! Still, I'll root for McCain... just because.


When Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi talked about John McCain in January, he didn't merely violate the GOP's 11th commandment; he spat on it. Cochran, rejecting Ronald Reagan's counsel not to speak ill of a fellow Republican, told the Boston Globe the idea of McCain as president "sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper, and he worries me." Cochran has clashed famously with McCain over appropriations. But infighting is not new for the man waiting to be crowned the GOP presidential nominee. For reasons of substance and style, during his 25 years in Congress, McCain has amassed a slew of enemies, but now, many are coming around--or lying low.


McCain is nothing if not a maverick. He has irritated GOP leaders, who couldn't count on his vote. He's worked hand in hand with Democrats on legislation--and, after his presidential run collapsed in 2000, reportedly toyed with leaving the Republican tent. By 2004, there was talk of him sharing the ticket with John Kerry. In addition, while he can exude charm, he can get in your face, too, and that explosive side--and sailor's tongue--cause trouble.

McCain was not Cochran's first choice for president (that was Fred Thompson) nor his second (Mitt Romney). But after the two men quit the race, Cochran picked up the phone to join the Arizona senator's team. "I think we're all encouraged that we may have a winner on our hands here," Cochran says. "We're all being nicer to him now. He's rising to a new level of leadership in our party and in our country, and he's due our respect."


Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the GOP's No. 3 man in the chamber until he lost re-election in 2006 and a strong social conservative, can be counted as an old foe. He ticks off the issues on which McCain has strayed--among them campaign finance reform, a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and embryonic stem cell research. Santorum plans to vote for the man he calls "a friend . . . but not by any stretch of the imagination a close friend"; however, he's not sure his fellow social conservatives will help efforts to get out the vote.

One McCain ally, Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, says it's the appropriators who often have crossed swords with McCain. Santorum agrees, saying: "Ted Stevens [of Alaska], Cochran, [Sen. Pete] Domenici--you can go down the list."

Others note that campaign finance reform, which McCain championed with Democrat Russ Feingold, makes him a thorn in the side of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.


McCain's temper is also something that spawns enemies. In 1997, Washingtonian magazine dubbed him "Senator Hothead." Today, it's a touchy subject; the rare lawmaker who will venture an opinion--Cochran is one--insists McCain has matured.

Years ago, McCain insulted GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa by calling him "f - - - - - - jerk" during a hearing on POWs and MIAs. The two didn't speak for many months. Now, Grassley backs McCain and even cut him a $5,000 check.

McCain also has had fighting words for Domenici. Once during a spat over the federal budget, McCain called the New Mexico senator an "asshole." Domenici, too, is now on board.

Last spring, McCain shouted "F - - - you" to GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas during negotiations on immigration reform. Still, Cornyn skipped a day of votes in late February to stump with McCain before that state's primary.

Insiders say McCain apologizes, but bruised feelings can persist. Still, many of these onetime enemies are putting aside hurt feelings for the sake of the party.

McCain's team sounds weary of the topic. "McCain is a passionate person who has on occasion had some spirited debates," says Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman.

Party faithful. Outside the Capitol, McCain has also ruffled feathers. One leading conserva-tive, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, was a vocal enemy of McCain, slamming him in 2005 as a "gun-grabbing, tax-increasing Bolshevik." But now, Norquist says McCain's desire to extend the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 means he's behind him. "There are always reasons to criticize a candidate," Norquist says. "But if you have 30 seconds to talk about McCain, do you say he's good on tax policy or do you complain about McCain-Feingold?"


Aside from Norquist, it's unclear how robust his support will be among other Republican influentials like Rush Limbaugh, who, day after day, wielded a buzz saw on McCain just as the other Republicans were quitting the presidential race. Lately, the king of conservative talk has been urging listeners to prolong the nasty nomination fight on the Democratic side by crossing over to vote for Hillary Clinton in the primaries.

Richard A. Viguerie, an old guard of the conservative movement, was on hand when McCain addressed the Council for National Policy, which drew conservative opinion leaders to New Orleans in early March.

Viguerie thinks the nation's 400 or 500 top conservative leaders are, for now, lukewarm about McCain. "He hasn't reached out to us. He's trying to get our support on the cheap," he says. "The feeling is...the next step is up to McCain. We're waiting to see if he's going to reach out."

Viguerie says conservatives are closely watching McCain's choice of a running mate. He says some of the prospects being mentioned--Govs. Charlie Crist of Florida and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and former Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania, who led the Homeland Security Department--don't cut it among conservative influentials. Likewise, they're not warm to McCain's one-time rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, whom Viguerie said "had a late conversion" to conservativism. But he declined to say who would pass muster for the veep's job.

Viguerie says he and a host of others were disappointed at McCain's remarks at the conservative gathering, saying McCain sidestepped a question on whether he would appoint conservatives to key positions in his administration. "Personnel is policy," he notes.

Viguerie also says there's concern about McCain's potential judicial picks, saying Supreme Court nominees in the mold of John Roberts and Samuel Alito were acceptable but there's concern that McCain would be unlikely to nominate judges who would dismantle his campaign-finance law.

When McCain was asked at the conservative meeting about his faith, he hearkened back to his years as a prisoner of war and spoke about the faith of one of his Vietnam captors but not his own. The bottom line: "With few exceptions, conservatives are sitting on the sidelines or totally unenthusiastic," says Viguerie, who has a website, conservativehq.com, and runs a political advertising and direct-mail firm that helped launch the modern conservative movement.

Conservatives won't vote Democratic, he believes, but they may not be inclined to rally fellow conservatives and instead roll up their sleeves in congressional races.

Should he capture the White House, McCain would bring a raft of legislative experience. But political scientist James Thurber of American University points out that House moderates are growing scarce and that it effectively takes 60 votes to pass legislation in the Senate, so he doesn't expect consensus on major issues such as Iraq, immigration, and healthcare. "I don't see how he can reach over to the Democratic Party [while wooing] a very conservative Republican Party to get the winning coalition to pass these things."

Any new president has to worry about getting legislation passed, but for McCain, the challenge would be more difficult. He also has to worry about his old foes, some said to have long memories.

(US News & World Report)

2 comments:

Winghunter said...

Too many issues and fault to find for one response but, this link will help;

John "Juan" McCain
http://juanmccain.blogspot.com/


However, I should cover a few of them:

The conservative leadership has chosen the wrong path time after time for decades and they have has cost us dearly. Wherein, people like Viguerie, Dobson and Weyrich are in part responsible for the reason we're looking at a McCain nomination;

GOP Leads Astray
http://gopleadsastray.blogspot.com/


On McCain, the senators who fought him when he didn't support the Bush tax cuts is now being wrongly forgiven for changing his mind after he was proven wrong by the results of those tax cuts. McCain says his argument against them was due to not having the appropriate spending cuts to offset what he thought was going to be a far lower amount of taxes collected but, we all know the IRS collected much more than when the taxes were higher which proves the longstanding republican claim of lowering the tax burden improves the economy where it sustains itself and not by the liberal demands which tax heavily creating a false bubble of our own money which they then spend as magnaminous benefactors which serves nothing other than to increase their own political power...how they manage to hold a single elected office within this republic is merely direct evidence that we have far too many people living here who think freedom isn't worth keeping if they can get a hand-out.

While our president was wrong to offer his "compassionate" conservatism to spend outrageous amounts of new entitlements with a war ( a clearly righteous one ) to pay for until we stabilize the region, McCain was proven wrong by the excellent results of those cuts in not supporting the legislation on both occasions. This is just one of the subjects inwhich McCain suggest he's a "maverick"...well, that self-chosen monicker is merely double-talk for 'liberal'.

For a second example of "maverick" action by McCain, Cornyn certainly doesn't owe him anything for giving him trouble over the amnesty bill that was written in secret behind closed doors and then brought twice to the floor for a vote bypassing the safeguards of our republic so they could shove amnesty down our throats.
Twenty-One years ago Reagan gave us his solemn promise that our immigration laws would be enforced and our borders secured where we would never again be asked to allow 3 Million illegal aliens ( Reagan said it was only 1.5 Million ) to jump ahead in line of the entire worlds population waiting for their turn to come here. Apparently, McCain didn't think we'ld go so far as to crash the senates phone system in our revolt against his ( and our presidents ) attack upon our already suffering sovereignty or any of the other serious problems we now face and pay out of our pockets for to the tune of well over $340 Billion per year.
For THE online sources of illegal immigration to find out how serious this situation is;

Numbers USA
www.numbersusa.com

The Heritage Foundation
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/index.cfm

The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration
http://www.usillegalaliens.com/

Americans For Sovereignty
http://www.americansov.org/info/about_americans_for_sovereignty.html

So, when McCain said "F--- you" to Cornyn, in my mind, he was cussing at all of us...We, the people.


For another example of our favorite "maverick" with McCain-Feingold, the campaign finance reform bill, was only supposed to be about limiting soft money campaign donations which were criminally exceeded by Clinton and Dick Morris for Clinton's re-election campaign. Now, the actual infringement of our free speech comes from an attachment to the bill which was sponsored by McCain with other notorious clowns such as Paul Wellstone, Arlen Spector, Olympia Snowe and James Jeffords. This added legislation is known as the Incumbent Protection Attachment which is responsible for limiting the speech of our organizations to inform us about individual elected officials and their shenanigans. Organizations such as the NRA, other Second Amendment protection groups as well as several others screamed bloody murder but, their mistake was referring to the bill itself instead of informing America the attachment was responsible for their First Amendment infringement and who were the ones who made it happen.

Now that you know the rest of the story the details are everything, aren't they.

Also, as far as I'm concerned Clinton and Morris are just as culpable because we hold any other criminals responsible for injury and damage done due to the act of their crimes but, that certainly doesn't let McCain off the hook.

For much more on our "maverick" socialist;

John "Juan" McCain
http://juanmccain.blogspot.com/


Finally, we're all adults here folks. We can know the whole story and still vote for a clown who occasionally has a glimmer of reason rather than allow unqualified and inexperienced liberal lunatics to occupy the Oval office to damage our country even more than they have.

Perhaps, now you can also appreciate that leaving McCain to come to us for our votes is just plain stupid and the only way we can make lemonade from this lemon situation is to phone and email McCain in vast numbers to make absolutely sure he doesn't pull any more "maverick" socialism games on us in the single term he'll be in office for.

Pick up your phone to call him and start writing him today...I have.

Anonymous said...

Hey Winghunter.....Nice comments. You hit the nail on the head. For all his faults I'll be rooting for McCain anyway.

Rik