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Why I Will Never Vote For John McCain

by @ 7:23 pm on May 11, 2006. Filed under 2008 Election, John McCain, Politics, Republicans

In today’s Washington Post, George Will looks at some recent comments by Arizona Senator John McCain and reinforces for me the reasons while I will never vote for him.

Presidents swear to “protect and defend the Constitution.” The Constitution says: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” On April 28, on Don Imus’s radio program, discussing the charge that the McCain-Feingold law abridges freedom of speech by regulating the quantity, content and timing of political speech, John McCain did not really reject the charge:

“I work in Washington and I know that money corrupts. And I and a lot of other people were trying to stop that corruption. Obviously, from what we’ve been seeing lately, we didn’t complete the job. But I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I’d rather have the clean government.”

In other words, McCain is willing to sacrifice free speech in the name of so-called “clean government.” I suppose that we shouldn’t be surprising given that it comes from the mouth of the co-sponsor of one of the most anti-free speech bills to make its way out of Congress in recent memory. As Will points out in his usual style, it does raise the very legitimate question of exactly what kind of President John McCain would be.

In his words to Imus, note the obvious disparagement he communicates by putting verbal quotation marks around “First Amendment rights.” Those nuisances.

Then ponder his implicit promise to “complete the job” of cleansing Washington of corruption, as McCain understands that. Unfortunately, although McCain is loquacious about corruption, he is too busy deploring it to define it. Mr. Straight Talk is rarely reticent about anything , but he is remarkably so about specifics: He says corruption is pandemic among incumbent politicians, yet he has never identified any corrupt fellow senator.

That’s because so-called campaign finance reform isn’t really about fighting corruption as much as it is about preserving the advantages of incumbents such as the senior Senator from Arizona, which is precisely what McCain-Feingold does by limiting the ability of challengers to mount effective campaigns against entrenched incumbents.

More importantly, though, McCain’s obvious disparagement of liberty should raise serious doubts in the minds of voters:

McCain favors judges who think the Constitution is so radically elastic that government regulation of speech about itself is compatible with the First Amendment. So Republican primary voters will wonder: Can President McCain be counted on to nominate justices who would correct such constitutional elasticities as the court’s discovery of a virtually unlimited right — one unnoticed between 1787 and 1973 — to abortion?

And if McCain doesn’t respect free speech, what does that mean for the rest of the Constitution ?

McCain told Imus that he would, if necessary, sacrifice “quote First Amendment rights” to achieve “clean” government. If on Jan. 20, 2009, he were to swear to defend the Constitution, would he be thinking that the oath refers only to “the quote Constitution”? And what would that mean?

Hopefully, we’ll never have to find out.

Further thoughts at Outside The Beltway.

9 Responses to “Why I Will Never Vote For John McCain”

  1. Makes you wonder if he’d toss the second amendment for supposedly safer streets, or the 5th for better justice.

  2. [...] That makes things difficult. Much like Doug, I can’t see myself voting McCain. We need Newt in this race. He’s a Republican that can salvage the Republican/Libertarian coalition that Bush has nearly destroyed. He has enough credibility amongst real conservatives (something McCain doesn’t have), is a very inspirational speaker, but has been out of office during the most recent stint where the Republicans have imploded. [...]

  3. [...] That makes things difficult. Much like Doug, I can’t see myself voting McCain. We need Newt in this race. He’s a Republican that can salvage the Republican/Libertarian coalition that Bush has nearly destroyed. He has enough credibility amongst real conservatives (something McCain doesn’t have), is a very inspirational speaker, but has been out of office during the most recent stint where the Republicans have imploded. [...]

  4. Ray Givan says:

    McCain spent too much time in the Hanoi Hilton. He is also a political bully. I guess it’s obvious I wouldn’t vote for him against any Democrat, including the slightly less dangerous Hillary.

  5. [...] Ham is right about one thing. The current crop of proposed Republican candidates is underwhleming to say the least. Can you really picture Mitt Romney or Sam Brownbeck as President of the United States ? Neither can I. And others, specifically a certain Sentaor from Arizona, are simply too distasteful for me to ever consider voting for. [...]

  6. [...] It appears, however, that it may be time to remind the world again of the reasons I will never vote for John McCain.   [link] [...]

  7. [...] Given a choice between those three — McCain, Giuliani, and Gingrich — my clear preference would be the former Speaker of the House. McCain is unacceptable for reasons I’ve discussed before, an Giuliani, while a September 11th hero, while having been a great Mayor of New York, just doesn’t have the level of experience on a national level that a Presidential candidate needs. [...]

  8. [...] Why I Will Never Vote For John McCain Bookmark to:   [link] [...]

  9. [...] precious little discussion about Mike Huckabee’s love for taxes, Mitt Romney’s flip-flops, or John McCain’s, well, John McCain-ness. And voices in the party for limited government and rational foreign policy, like Ron Paul,  either [...]

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