Hat tip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air
John McCain is a stubborn man and it is a character trait that has held him in good stead. As a prisoner in Vietnam his stubbornness in not giving up and giving in to the five year long ordeal of his imprisonment certainly played a large part in keeping him alive. And stubbornness can be a good quality in a politician, too. God knows Ronald Reagan was stubborn, often proudly saying that one of his political strategies was to get most of what he wanted from the Democrats in one battle, letting them save face with a partial win...and then going back and getting the rest of what he wanted later.
But stubbornness can be a character flaw, too. It can make you blind to the arguments of others. This can be especially problematic when you're wrong and they're right. It can make you arrogant and can alienate people who should be your allies. Which brings us to McCain and conservatives, his base without whom he can't win this election. You see, the problem is McCain really doesn't like us. To a large degree he's bought into the moonbat caricature of conservatives, thinking we're bigots and yahoos who lack hearts. But he's figured out a way to deal with us. He's going to throw us some red meat during the campaign; he'll give us some lip service when he has to and once he placates us enough that we vote him into office, he's stubbornly going to go right back to what he wants to do. You can do that sort of thing and keep a clear conscience when you're doing it to people you don't respect, I guess.
Take a listen to the following clip of McCain answering a question after a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Washington, DC on Saturday.
McCain took a terrible beating on comprehensive immigration reform when the conservative grassroots mobilized against The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 which conservatives asserted was nothing more than a Trojan Horse for amnesty for illegals. Ostensibly chastened by the defeat and with his eyes on winning the Republican nomination McCain toned down his rhetoric and started emphasizing border security enforcement. As a matter of fact, in his prepared remarks at the NALEO he maintained that new line:
I and many other colleagues twice attempted to pass comprehensive immigration legislation to fix our broken borders; ensure respect for the laws of this country; recognize the important economic necessity of immigrant laborers; apprehend those who came here illegally to commit crimes; and deal practically and humanely with those who came here, as my distant ancestors did, to build a better, safer life for their families, without excusing the fact they came here illegally or granting them privileges before those who did. Many Americans, with good cause, did not believe us when we said we would secure our borders, and so we failed in our efforts. We must prove to them that we can and will secure our borders first, while respecting the dignity and rights of citizens and legal residents of the United States. But we must not make the mistake of thinking that our responsibility to meet this challenge will end with that accomplishment. We have economic and humanitarian responsibilities as well, and they require no less dedication from us in meeting them.Only in the q and a session, when he wasn't reading from a script did his real feelings and intentions come out. Comprehensive immigration reform "and not just enforcement" (quote from questioner) "will be my top priority yesterday, today and tomorrow" (quote from McCain). His "top priority". Oh. I see. He pretty much admits that the emphasis on border security is not much more than the usual boob bait for the Bubbas when he says (while he was off-script), "We have to secure our borders. That's the message." Right. That's the message. But it isn't the important part of what he wants to do, which stays substantially the same as when conservatives sank it last year. He also reminds us conservative brutes that illegals may be breaking the law but, by Golly, "They're God's children and they'll be treated in a humane fashion." Well, I guess that means we should all put away our white sheets and flaming crosses. According to McCain, those of us who want the law enforced are inhumane. Nope, he doesn't care for us at all.
He also thinks we're trying to destroy the Earth or something as well, as he's seemingly bought into the Al Gore apocalyptic view of man's impact on the environment. The Wall Street Journal had this to say about McCain's "solution" to global warming:
This is one of those issues where Mr. McCain indulges his "maverick" tendencies, which usually means taking the liberal line. That was the case yesterday, no matter how frequently he claimed his approach was "market based." In fact, if "the market" is your favored mechanism, Mr. McCain's endorsement of a "cap and trade" system is the worst choice for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. The Bush Administration has pursued one option, which combines voluntary measures with subsidies for "clean" alternatives. Since 2001 under this approach, U.S. net carbon emissions have fallen by 3% – that is, by more than all but four countries in cap-and-trade-bound Europe. At the other end of the market spectrum is a straight carbon tax, which would at least distribute costs more efficiently. It would also force politicians to be honest about – and take responsibility for – the true price of their global-warming posturing. Then there's cap and trade, which Mr. McCain has backed for years and would, as he put it with some understatement, "change the dynamic of our energy economy." He noted that Americans have a genius for problem-solving but continued, "The federal government can't just summon these talents by command – only the free market can draw them out." To translate: His plan is "market based" insofar as it requires an expensive, invasive government bureaucracy to interfere with the market.McCain has bought into the whole global warming cult and, as with so many other issues about which conservatives have disagreements with him, he is impervious to points of view other than his own. He refuses to favor drilling in ANWR, convinced beyond all reason that it is the equivalent of the Grand Canyon instead of the mosquito-ridden swamp that it is in summer and the tundra wasteland that it is in the winter, one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. When McCain becomes convinced of something that puts him on the opposite side of conservative thought, he simply ignores counter argument and becomes as suspect of conservative motivations as the average poster on the Huffington Post. It seems unlikely that he would be moved by this counter argument to the assertion that global warming is settled science:
The only evidence that can be said to support this so-called scientific consensus is the supposed correlation of historical global temperatures with historical carbon-dioxide content in the atmosphere. Even if we do not question the accuracy of our estimates of global temperatures into previous centuries, and even if we ignore the falling global temperatures over the past decade as fossil-fuel emissions have continued to increase, an honest scientist would still have to admit that the hypothesis of man-made global warming hardly rises to the level of "an assertion of what has been or would be the result of carrying out a specified observational procedure." Global warming may or may not be "the greatest scam in history," as it was recently called by John Coleman, a prominent meteorologist and the founder of the Weather Channel. Certainly, however, under the scientific method it does not rise to the level of an "item of physical knowledge."
Nevertheless, the acceptance of man-made global warming as scientific fact has become so prevalent that the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, recently declared: "The debate is over. It's time to discuss solutions." Leaving aside the question of the secretary-general's qualifications, that is certainly one of the most antiscientific statements ever made. The first question that this raises is why have so many scientists chosen to ignore this glaring failure of the global warming hypothesis to meet the standards of their own profession? The second question is what, if anything, can be done about it?
The first, and most obvious, temptation for this sort of willful blindness is financial. Hearst made only a fraction of his estimated $140 million in net worth from yellow journalism. Global warming, on the other hand, has provided an estimated $50 billion in research grants to those willing to practice yellow science. Influence in the public sphere is another strong temptation. It might not be as impressive as starting the Spanish-American War, but global-warming alarmists have amassed a large group of journalists and politicians ready to silence any critics and endorse whatever boondoggle scheme is prescribed as the cure to our impending climate catastrophe.
Finally, one should not underestimate the temptation of convenience. Just as it is far easier to publish stories without verifying the sources; so is it much more convenient to practice yellow science than the real thing. It takes far more courage, perseverance, and perspiration to develop formulas, make predictions, and risk being proved wrong than to look at historical data and muse about observed similarities. Yellow scientists have fled the risks of science that Albert Einstein described when he said, "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right, a single experiment can prove me wrong."McCain really doesn't want to deal with arguments like these. He's part of the the global warming crusade and those of us who aren't are probably jerks (a favorite term of his) to him. John McCain wants to be President and seems to think that conservatives better get in line behind him, instead of him taking us seriously if he wants our votes.
He has seemed to move some of his positions somewhat to the right but it is hard to tell if all of that is just "message", masking his real intentions. Many conservatives feel it is all mask and no reality. A lot of conservatives comfort themselves with the belief that even if most of McCain's (very tepid) outreach to conservatives is all smoke and mirrors, at least he'll appoint conservative judges. But George Will in a recent column calls even that into question when he notes how conservatives on the Court have ruled on an issue near and dear to his hear:
The McCain-Feingold law abridging freedom of political speech -- it restricts the quantity, timing and content of such speech -- included a provision, the Millionaires' Amendment, that mocked the law's veneer of disinterested moralizing about "corruption." The provision unmasked the law's constitutional recklessness and its primary purpose, which is the protection of incumbents.
The amendment, written to punish wealthy, self-financing candidates, said that when such a candidate exceeds a particular spending threshold, his opponent can receive triple the per-election limit of $2,300 from each donor -- the limit above which the threat of corruption supposedly occurs. And the provision conferred other substantial benefits on opponents of self-financing candidates, even though such candidates cannot be corrupted by their own money, which the court has said they have a constitutional right to spend.
Declaring the Millionaires' Amendment unconstitutional, the court, in an opinion written by Alito, reaffirmed two propositions. First, because money is indispensable for the dissemination of political speech, regulating campaign contributions and expenditures is problematic and justified only by government's interest in combating "corruption" or the "appearance" thereof. Second, government may not regulate fundraising and spending in order to fine-tune electoral competition by equalizing candidates' financial resources.
The court said it has never upheld the constitutionality of a law that imposes different financing restraints on candidates competing against each other. And the Millionaires' Amendment impermissibly burdened a candidate's First Amendment right to spend his own money for campaign speech.
This ruling invites challenges to various state laws, such as Arizona's and Maine's, that penalize private funding of political speech. Those laws increase public funds for candidates taking such funds when their opponents spend certain amounts of their own money or receive voluntary private contributions that cumulatively exceed certain ceilings. Such laws, like McCain-Feingold, rest on the fiction that political money can be regulated without regulating political speech.
The more McCain talks -- about wicked "speculators," about how he reveres the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as much as the Grand Canyon, about adjusting the planet's thermostat, etc. -- the more conservatives cling to judicial nominees as a reason for supporting him. But now another portion of his signature legislation has been repudiated by the court as an affront to the First Amendment, and again Roberts and Alito have joined the repudiation. Yet McCain promises to nominate jurists like them. Is that believable? [emphasis mine]John McCain "is just not that into" his base. Well frankly, we in his base are not really that into him either. He's seems to be pegging his Presidential hopes on the fact that however we feel about him we're still going to march down to our local voting booths and vote for him come Election Day.
Its a helluva campaign strategy, isn't it?
Nocomme1 also posts at The Patriot Room and Flopping Aces