What McCain Means
by Patrick Buchanan
January 25 , 2008
In 2004, the voters of Arizona, by 56 percent to 44 percent, enacted Proposition 200, requiring proof of citizenship before an individual may vote or receive state benefits. Forty-six percent of Hispanics voted for Prop. 200, giving the lie to those who say Hispanics support the illegal invasion of their country. Over 190,000 Arizonans petitioned to put Prop. 200 on the ballot.
As it simply required proof of citizenship before receiving the benefits and privileges of citizenship, who could oppose it? Answer: the entire GOP congressional delegation, led by Sen. John McCain. This is the same John McCain who battled the border fence and colluded with Teddy Kennedy on the amnesty bill rejected by Congress last year after a national uproar.
Bottom line: If the presidential race is between Hillary and Amnesty John, the border security battle is over and lost.
As Laura Ingraham asks, "If Congress passes McCain-Kennedy in 2009, would President McCain sign it?" For conservatives, the stakes could not be higher. For on the great controversies, McCain has sided as often with the Democrats and the Big Media that pay him court as with conservatives.
Where President Bush has been bravest, on taxes and judges, McCain has been his nemesis. Not only did McCain vote against the Bush tax cuts twice, he colluded to sell out the most conservative of the Bush nominees to the courts. In 1993, McCain voted to confirm ACLU liberal and pro-abortion Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But when Bush set out to restore constitutionalism, McCain colluded with Democrats who wanted to retain power to kill Bush's most conservative nominees. McCain helped form the Gang of 14, including seven Democrats, who agreed to block a GOP Senate from using the "nuclear option" -- allowing a simple GOP majority to break a Democrat filibuster of judicial nominees -- unless the seven Democrats approved.
McCain thus conspired with liberals to put at risk the most courageous conservatives nominees of President Bush.
With his record of voting for liberal justices Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, and of colluding with Democrats in their campaign to kill the most conservative Bush nominees, what guarantee is there a President McCain will nominate and fight for the fifth jurist who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?
In the battle over campaign finance reform, McCain colluded again. The McCain-Feingold law denies to gun folks and right-to-lifers their basic First Amendment right to name friends and foes in ads run before elections.
As for the policies that have transparently failed Bush and the nation, McCain remains an obdurate advocate. After America has run five straight record trade deficits that have denuded the nation of thousands of factories and 3 million manufacturing jobs, McCain is still babbling on about Smoot-Hawley. "When you study history, every time we've adopted protectionism, we've paid a very heavy price," McCain told a Detroit paper after informing Michiganders their auto jobs are never coming back.
But what history is John McCain talking about? Was the Tariff of 1816, which saved infant U.S. industries from the malicious dumping by British merchants after the War of 1812, a failure? Were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Calhoun and Henry Clay fools to support President Madison's tariff? From Abraham Lincoln through Calvin Coolidge, the Republican Party -- the Party of Protection -- put 12 presidents in the White House to two for the Democrats, and the United States became the mightiest industrial power in history, producing 42 percent of the world's manufactured goods. This is failure -- while Bush free trade is a success? Tell it to Ohio.
Even Hillary Clinton, whose husband enacted NAFTA with McCain's support, has begun to question the NAFTA paradigm. Not McCain. Where Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon came to office determined to extricate the nation with honor from a war whose costs had begun to outweigh any benefit, McCain is talking about spending 50 or 100 years in Iraq.
Where Bush, by moving NATO onto Russia's doorstep, planting bases in Central Asia and intervening in the affairs of Russia's neighbors, has undone the work of Reagan in making Russia a friend, he sounds like George McGovern alongside the braying McCain, who can't wait to get into Vladimir Putin's face.
Where Bush finally cleansed his administration of neocons, if not of their legacy, a McCain candidacy is the last, best hope of a neocon restoration and new military adventures in the Middle East. If Rudy Giuliani founders in Florida, neocons will be chanting, "Mac is back!"
The three issues that ruined the Bush presidency are this misbegotten war in Iraq, the failure to secure America's borders from invasion and a mindless trade policy that has destroyed the dollar and left foreigners with $5 trillion to buy up America at fire-sale prices. McCain remains an unthinking advocate of all three. But where Bush was at his best, on taxes and judges, McCain was collaborating with Hillary. The question conservatives may face if McCain is nominated is not whom should I vote for, but should I vote.
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