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N Y Times Op-Ed on Why Conservatives Dont Like McCain

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Many liberals like me thought our conservative friends were joking when they started saying they wouldn't vote for John McCain--or that he was too much of a liberal!

But they're not joking. Here's a succinct explanation why.

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NEW YORK TIMES

February 4, 2008, 6:46 pm
Why Conservatives Dont Like McCain

By Matthew Continetti

In my job as associate editor at The Weekly Standard, I must get half a dozen e-mails a day from conservative readers who say they will never vote for John McCain for president. Conservative talk radio hosts and bloggers raise the idea that they will not support Senator McCain if he is the Republican nominee in the fall even if that means a Clinton Restoration. When Senator McCain speaks at this years Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in a couple of weeks, its likely hell be booed in person, just as he was booed in absentia last year. Loudly.

It is possible to divide the right-wing critiques of Senator McCain into two categories: the ideological, and what you might call the characterological. The first critique centers on Senator McCains differences with movement conservative policy positions. The second centers on his personality and values. It is likely that the senator from Arizona can overcome the objections from his ideological critics, especially if Hillary Clinton leads the Democratic ticket in November. But it is unlikely Senator McCain will ever make peace with critics of his character.

The ideological critics dislike Senator McCain who has an 82.3 lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union because, it is said, hes no conservative. Senator McCain supported a campaign finance law that banned soft money. He voted against the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. He has championed an immigration reform bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. And he supports a cap-and-trade bill to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Senator McCain is a deviationist.

When you look over the list of his deviations, however, one cannot help thinking of George W. Bush. President Bush, like Senator McCain, has found himself at odds from time to time with the right. It was President Bush who signed his campaign finance reform bill into law. It has been President Bush who has championed immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, throughout his presidency. His version of Big Government Conservatism gave us the No Child Left Behind Act, which lavishes federal dollars on a department conservatives once wanted to close. His prescription drug benefit was the largest expansion of the federal welfare state in 40 years. He has backed farm subsidies and imposed steel tariffs. President Bush is a deviationist.

More important, Senator McCain and President Bush are politicians successful politicians. And because they are conservative politicians and not conservative ideologues, on occasion they champion causes unassociated with, or opposed to, the right. The difference is in the rights reaction to their deviationism. When President Bush bucks the right, many conservatives oppose him, and forcefully, but during such battles there is nowhere near the amount of personal animosity toward President Bush that you find these days among the anti-McCain right.

This is where the characterological critics of Senator McCain enter the fray. One possible explanation for the animosity is that, while Senator McCain and President Bush are both deviationists, the senator is more often at odds with conservatives, and has therefore earned their distrust. Another is that his (wrongheaded, in my view) opposition to the Bush tax cuts is something the right can neither forget nor forgive. A third possibility is that there are still bad memories from the 2000 primary campaign, when in conservative eyes Senator McCain behaved dishonorably by calling Revs. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell agents of intolerance and comparing then-governor Bush to Bill Clinton in an attack ad.

Senator McCains opponents raise questions about his temperament. They question his competence. They shrink from what they see as his sanctimony and personalization of political debate. They call him old, a has-been, a Washington insider who kowtows to the media. These are not political objections. These are claims about who Senator McCain is as a person.

It may seem paradoxical that some conservatives would oppose a politician famous for his character and heroism on the grounds that his character is flawed. What conservatives see as McCains chief weakness, others see as his principle strength. But perceptions change over time. The ideological critique of Senator McCain probably will not be enough to prevent his nomination. But if Senator McCains opponents damage his reputation, it could deny him the presidency. The right may have unwittingly handed the Democrats the blueprints for a general election victory in 2008.
Why Conservatives Dont Like McCain
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JoeKv99
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I still think that Conservative DO NOT want any sort of bi-partisanship in Washington and do not want a president who will converse, consult or co-operate with Democrats.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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I think those in question are the extremist, 'Christian' conservatives. Anyone who doesn't agree with them 100%, particularly on certain issues like abortion, gay rights, etc., is the devil. I don't see them voting for Clinton or Obama in the fall, but I do see them staying home or voting for a 3rd party candidate.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
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Laura Ingraham reads a statement from James Dobson on why he will note vote at all if John McCain is the Republican nominee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RVZcZ3b9RI
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If the ultra-conservatives won't vote if McCain is nominated, I'm about to go out and start campaigning for him.
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I wonder what makes the NY Times, of all papers, think they know everything? Aren't they the paper that hire reporters who make up their news?
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Huh? This is an op-ed.

You know what that means, don't you?
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Not only that, JohnBoy, but the guy who wrote that doesn't even work for the New York Times. He works, as indicated in the first sentence, for The Weekly Standard.
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Laura Ingraham also encouraged Repubs not to dismiss Obama as a fad after his victory in Iowa. She also suggested that the GOP was out of touch Americans who aren't members of the stock-holding class.
#FactsMatter...your feelings not so much.
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You don't actually know what an Op-Ed IS, do you?
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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You don't actually think I bothered to read that, do you?! Don't be silly.
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Well, dear, you responded to the subject line: "Op-Ed" means a guest editorial, rendering your comment meaningless.