Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bohlinger for McCain

Good choice. McCain increasingly seems like the only Republican presidential candidate it is possible to vote for. Much as I like Ron Paul, he strikes me as too ideologically pure to govern successfully as president. And the rest of the GOP batch are too soft on torture and civil liberties for my taste.

McCain worries me because I don't like his position on the war, or on campaign finance reform, and his age bothers me a little. But he does seem to be an honest man, willing to take public hits on positions he believes in strongly, and I really don't see that Republicans have anyone else to turn to.

Now we'll see how much heat the endorsement takes off Bohlinger.

UPDATE: In comments, Eric says I'm too liberal for McCain and Mark T. says, in effect, that McCain's war position disqualifies him for the presidency. Mark also indicates that he has trouble telling liberals from conservatives.

Of course, I argue that all Americans are liberals because America is a liberal democracy founded on liberal principles and almost nobody rejects those principles. We pretty much all believe that humans are capable of self rule, that they should be equal under the law and that they have rights that outweigh the power of government. Those are all liberal ideas.

Real liberals and real conservatives both embrace those ideas, which can make them hard to distinguish, and that's a good thing. Telling them apart often boils down to what percentage of GDP they are willing to spend on taxes. But the right-wing talk machine has done a great job of conflating liberalism with socialism, an absurd but politically powerful gambit. And so-called conservatives have in large measure abandoned traditional American principles on torture, on foreign wars and on individual liberty. They should not be confused with real conservatives, who are people I respect and would, in fact, vote for.

As for McCain, I find his war position hard to take. But none of the other Republicans, outside of Ron Paul, is any better. And among the Democrats most likely to win, only Obama was against the war when it really mattered. So yes, I might vote for McCain if it comes down to a choice between a candidate who voted for and still supports the war and a candidate who voted for the war and has been running from the vote ever since.


Anonymous said...

Come on David - you make it sound as if you would actually vote for one of the GOP candidates.

After reading your political opinions for this long I conclude that not even Hillary is actually liberal enough for you to vote for! LOL

Anonymous said...

Do you also admire Bush for his willingness to take public hits on positions he believes in strongly? At some point we have to measure the worth of the man's mind - his ability to reason and think clearly. McCain is pushing a failed policy - failed on so many fronts and in so many ways, immoral and illegal to boot. But he's decisive.

Eric castigates you for your being a liberal. If only liberals were significantly different than conservatives!

Anonymous said...

I must say that this is why I don't understand politicos - -you pretty much say you like Ron Paul for his principles, but then declare you wouldn't vote for him because he wouldn't be willing to compromise his principles. huh? But if it's any consolation (and it probably would be) you aren't alone in this bizarre position. It's discouragingly common. But you are totally consistent in your advocation of comprimise when you claim support for McCain and Bohlinger, just as McCain couldn't have picked a more appropriate representative in Montana. I would rather vote for someone with whom I strongly disagree than these two accomplished compromisers -- at least I would know what I was dealing with and could respect the person for having the integrity to stand for something. It takes guts to stand for someting, so you can draw your own conclusion what that makes of Bohlinger and McCain. The road to hell isn't paved with good intentions -- its paved with compromises. Ron Paul offers voters a true choice for the first time in a heck of along time -- if you find you can't vote for him, I would suggest that you can never again in good conscience complain about the lack of integrity and honesty and character in politicians ever again. But then, what has politics to do with conscience, so you and 93 percent of the voters will go right on complaing long after Ron Paul is gone. Dad always said people get what they deserve.