Thursday, February 07, 2008

McCain - a Republican to be proud of...

Conservative talk radio hosts hate John McCain.

Nobody can remember which outspoken pundit coined the term 'McLame' (my bet is Mark Levin) but they're all using it. Rush Limbaugh. Sean Hannity. Even foxy fascist Ann Coulter is getting on the Hate McClain Train with her angry article here.

Ironically, the more the right wing rail against their leading presidential candidate, the more I approve of him. The conservatives hate the fact that he's not 'conservative enough.' I celebrate that fact - because it means he's a politician who's capable of making his own mind up, instead of sticking to tired and flawed political dogma.

Take, for example, the criticisms Ann Coulter levels against him.

Ann complains: He excoriated Samuel Alito as too "conservative."

Liberals disliked George Bush's decision to appoint Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court in 2006 - pointing out that the 'checks and balances' protecting the democratic process were null-and-void when you've got a conservative President backed by a conservative Congress with a conservative Supreme Court keeping them 'in check.' Or, rather. not.

McCain's criticism of Alito says more about his commitment to democracy than anything else.

After all, Alito has hardly eased the Liberal's concerns by his rulings. In United States v. Rybar he defended the constitutional right to own submachine guns, in Chittister v. D. of C & E D he helped the state government wriggle out of their responsibilities when they fired an employee in blatant violation of the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act.

Ann whines: He promoted amnesty for 20 million illegal immigrants.

McCain's policies towards the issue of Illegal Immigration are utterly transparent. Since 2005, he has been one of the leading campaigners for 'orderly immigration' and penned the McCain-Kennedy Bill which offered a practical and fair solution to the problem of illegal immigration.

I don't agree with his policies - as a legal immigrant to the United States, I expect illegal aliens to be subject to the same strict rules and regulations I was. Any form of 'amnesty' is grossly unfair to the people who respect America's immigration rules - and reward those who break them.

However, one way or another, illegal immigrants in American need to be identified and held accountable. McCain's policies are a sensible way to do this. Although offering the 'carrot' of residency doesn't sit well with me, I am intelligent enough to see that it's a solution that would work - and do so in a much cheaper, more efficient and more humanitarian way than anything loud-mouths like Coulter suggest.

Ann cries: He abridged citizens' free speech (in favor of the media) with McCain-Feingold.

McCain-Feingold was a tricky bit of legislation to get passed - since it dealt with some clearly corrupt elements within the field of political fundraising. Elements who have clout in congress.

The law itself prevents certain lobbying groups from enjoying tax-exemption as "political organizations" under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 527) - while at the same time, remaining independent of lobbying rules and regulations by not registering themselves as 'political organizations' with the Federal Election Commission.

A very clear conflict and one that's been abused for far too long. McCain was absolutely right to stomp this abuse of the rules out.

Ann Coulter's lying when she says McCain-Feingold restricts citizens' rights to free speech. In fact, it merely prevents cynical political groups from bending funding laws - and the only voices they tend to represent are corporations and lobbying organizations.

Ann whines: He denounced the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

One of the organizations that fell foul of the McCain-Feingold bill were the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. I think I'll have to post more extensively about this group of Vietnam vets and former prisoners of war. Their story is an ugly one.

This group lobbied during the 2004 elections to 'expose' the 'truth' of Democrat John Kerry's war record. Instead, they just exposed themselves as liars and political puppets.

McCain, as a former Vietnam Veteran and prisoner of war, quite rightly finds the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to be a disgusting, cynical organization comprised of proven liars who turned on their former brother-in-arms for political gain.

Fortunately, some of those gains were mitigated by McCain-Feingold. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were fined $299,500 for abusing the funding loophole exposed by Senator McCain's bill.

Ann squeals: He hysterically opposes waterboarding terrorists and wants to shut down Guantanamo.

I've already written about how admirable John McCain's opposition to 'enhanced interrogation techniques' is. As the only man in the Republican presidential race to have actually experienced torture, he is the only one who knows first hand what a cowardly and unAmerican act it is.

And while defending America is clearly an important issue for the Senator, he has never minced words when it comes to his condemnation of Guantanamo Bay.

People being held without charge, without trial and without accountability is totally incompatible with the spirit of American society. As long as prisoners are held in Guantanamo Bay, the United States have lost the moral footing which once made us the leader of the free world.

Perhaps we are handicapping ourselves in 'The War on Terror' by refusing to lay down old-fashioned ideas like due process, habeus corpus and the presumption of innocence. But Senator McCain feels that the moment we lay down those things, we become more like the evil that we're fighting. I happen to totally agree with him.

Ann dribbles: He supports the global warming cult, even posturing with fellow mountebank Arnold Schwarzenegger in front of solar panels.

If anybody still clings onto the cynical conservative dogma that Global Warming is not real, I suggest they read this article on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia, being written by the very people who read it, tends to offer a more balanced view of issues than the media. Even their articles on hot-button topics like pedophilia offer mitigating opinions from those in support of such disgusting child abuse - as well as those condemning it.

Yet there is no beating around the bush when it comes to Global Warming. It's here. It's real and the people behind Global Warming Denial are exposed as spreading 'disinformation.' There are no attempts to disprove this fact.

If Ann Coulter and the rest of the conservative right want to continue spreading their Climate Change lies, that's their prerogative. However, in recognizing Global Warming and making a commitment to combating it, Senator John McCain proves that he's far more enlightened than the more extreme elements of his party.

McCain 2008?

John McCain is one of the finest presidential nominees the Republicans have fielded in many years. I have great respect for this man and his commitment to old-fashioned American ideals like truth, justice and freedom.

It's ironic that cackling hags like Ann Coulter expend so much energy trying to turn people against 'McLame.' In actual fact, all that hot air helps lift him head and shoulders above his rivals.

I think John McCain's facing an uphill struggle if he goes face to face with Obama or Clinton in the presidential elections this November. However, if he did miraculously take the White House, I don't think it would be a bad thing for America at all.

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