WALTER SCHOEN: McCain Has Doubts to Surmount
In an attempt to denigrate my work and demonstrate his own erudition, a reader lost no time in nitpicking several statistical anomalies contained in my previous column.
In so doing, he completely missed the fourfold thrust of that column: (1) that the U.S.A. is rushing headlong toward bankruptcy unless immediate corrective action is taken; (2) that the cradle-to-grave socialized care advocated by Sens. Clinton and Obama will add significantly to the out-of-control deficit; (3) that our borders are porous and that reliable sources (not necessarily the FBI) have reported that terrorists are infiltrating the nation masquerading as Hispanic workers; and (4) that individual and corporate taxes are much too high.
Other than not understanding the essence of my column, I find it difficult to believe that any person could make a cold call to the FBI or any other intelligence agency and receive a definitive response. However, to the extent that the reader's sources are correct and mine are not, I defer.
Like many conservatives, I was not happy when Sen. John McCain came out of left field to win the Republican presidential nomination from a campaign that was virtually dead in the water. At this writing, the jury is still out on the Democratic nominee.
Obama holds a very thin edge in pledged delegate votes. Clinton is counting on a big win in Pennsylvania, but regardless of the outcome there, neither candidate will have enough votes to lock up the nomination. That means the so-called superdelegates will make the decision about the nominee unless there is an open convention.
Regardless of which way the superdelegates jump, there is going to be animosity. The Clintons have a formidable machine that the supers will have difficulty in bucking. Should Hillary pull out a big win in the Pennsylvania primary and the supers decide she would be a stronger candidate, black Americans, who provide the foundation for the Democratic Party, would never forgive them. And therein lies the dilemma for the Democrats. If Obama is the candidate, those Americans who cannot stomach having a person of color in the White House will pull out all the stops to defeat him.
I have great respect for Sen. McCain, who survived years of hell as a prisoner of the Viet Cong in Vietnam. Nevertheless, his conservative credentials are suspect. Although he has an 82 percent approval rating from the American Conservative Union, much of that record was made earlier in his career.
Republican Tom DeLay said he had served with McCain for 20 years in the Congress and that McCain had repeatedly taken satisfaction from sticking his thumb in the eyes of Republican lawmakers.
Time and time again, he fought with the leadership and frequently sided with Democrats on important legislative battles.
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has said that on two occasions, McCain actively considered leaving the Republican Party and becoming a Democrat. Limbaugh also claims that McCain initiated talks with Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry concerning a Kerry-McCain ticket. That did not occur, but McCain's alleged willingness to run as Kerry's VP is very troubling.
McCain has other baggage. He favors shutting down our Guantanamo base in Cuba, where terrorists captured on the battlefield are getting kid-glove treatment. McCain apparently has no problem providing them with taxpayer-supported attorneys and giving them constitutional rights in U.S. courts.
McCain voted against the two Bush tax cuts, citing as his reasons arguments that sounded suspiciously like the class warfare arguments of Democrats. He initially favored amnesty for illegal aliens, and although he now claims that sealing the border is a high priority, recent comments raised the hackles of conservatives.
He referred to illegals as "children of God who need to be treated humanely." Being a child of God, however, does not give everyone the right to live in America, and conservatives worry that McCain already appears to be waffling on the issue. The senator opposes drilling in ANWAR and also opposes repealing the estate tax.
He has reached across the aisle to join Democrats in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation that many consider to be a restriction on free speech; the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill; and the McCain-Lieberman climate control bill. On that topic, recent reports indicate that the polar bear population is increasing, not decreasing. Respected scientists have argued convincingly that the very slight increase in global temperatures over the past century are due to normal cyclical changes and are not due to man's activities.
McCain has an important but difficult decision to make concerning a running mate. He needs to name a strong conservative if he is to recapture the loyalty of the GOP's conservative base.
Despite his heroic military record, I am not sure McCain has what it takes to really slug it out toe-to-toe with the Democrats. That is why the early selection of a conservative running mate is so critical. The future viability of the GOP is at stake.
Dr. Schoen lives in Pinehurst and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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