James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Poor McCain

All problems surrounding John McCain's campaign are due to the candidate and his positions. I am happy for his troubles; he was, after all, the neocons' darling in 2000 and is such a pompous busybody who thinks Congress should spend its time investigating boxing and steroids in baseball - as if these are pressing national problems. Five reasons come to mind why he is struggling:

1. The War. Aside from Ron Paul, McCain is just one among many candidates who support it. But Romney and Giuliani enjoy "outsider" status; they are not at fault for how poorly the war is going, whereas McCain, as a member of Congress and vocal proponent of the war, bears some responsibility. He was publicly hawkish against Iraq long before George W. Bush was.

2. Immigration Bill. Well, he supported it. Almost Republican - heck, almost no American - outside of Wall Street did.

3. Campaign Finance Reform - McCain was the most famous advocate of Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform, more accurately described as the Incumbent Protection Act. He knew it was unconstitutional; everyone knew it was unconstitutional (and that speaks to the character of those who supported it). But more relevant here is that, the GOP "conservative" base knew that McCain-Feingold negatively impacted them more than it did the Left, as it censored their pro-life and pro-gun ads. Self-interest and whatever lingering sympathy for free speech and limited government the base may have coalesced in their opposition to this bill, which (though unofficially) had McCain's name all over it.

4. He's old. Yes, Ron Paul and Mike Gravel are even older, and Ronald Reagan turned 70 soon after he took office. But in addition to age, there's a feeling that McCain's time has come and gone, that he had his shot in 2000 and blew it.

5. Pandering. His outreach to the Religious Right seems cynical and fake. It wouldn't impress the Religious Right all that much, and turns off his formerly moderate supporters. It's as if McCain wants to be President too much, and would do anything to get the office. If we're going to have a phony in the White House in any case, who wouldn't prefer a younger version?

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