22 Jan 2008

Middle-of-the-Road Moderates Like McCain

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David Brooks (the New York Times’ resident ersatz-conservative) thinks that the Conservative Movement’s definition of a conservative is too narrow, and ought to be enlarged to include not only himself but also Senator John McCain.

McCain is the MSM’s current anointed front-runner on the basis of having come in in first in primaries open to non-Republican voters in New Hampshire and South Carolina. I think myself all those primaries really did establish the fact that John McCain is, by a small margin at the present time, the favorite Republican candidate of non-Republicans.

When I contemplate John McCain’s candidacy and his political record, I feel obliged to agree that McCain deserves to be the presidential candidate of a major party, just not of the Republican Party.

What John McCain really is is a pre-McGovern era, non-urban patriotic democrat. McCain has been a reliable democrat vote in the Senate on every major issue, except for taxes (sometimes) and defense issues. He is not in the least conservative on restraining government, limiting regulation, or defending the rights of the individual outside the sphere of rights supported by the community of fashion. He is the sort of person who would sit comfortably in the Council of Foreign Relations, and who could be trusted to be largely guided by the perspectives of the editorial pages of the Post and the Times.

He differs from other democrats only with respect to a Scoop Jackson-like enthusiasm for defense funding and propensity to take the side of the US rather than that of any available foreign adversary in conflicts overseas.

Dave Brooks thinks McCain is a potentially winning presidential candidate.

If so, I’d say the party he really belongs in, the party of statism, establishmentarianism, and intellectual conformity, ought to be nominating him. He should not be trying to run as a Republican.

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