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Monday, February 11, 2008

Is John McCain a Liberal?

If you are a conservative Republican but find yourself getting tired of Rush and other rightist blowhards talking as if a McCain nomination will be the end of the world, check out this article from the National Review Online by William Bennett and Seth Liebsohn. They argue quite soundly that John McCain is no liberal and would be lightyears better for America than any Democratic nominee. In fact, McCain is a conservative who has taken some liberal positions. While I don't necessarily agree with everything McCain stands for, I'd take him as president in a heartbeat.

The two issues that speak loudest to me personally are life and national defense. John McCain's voting record in the Senate speaks for itself. He is strongly pro-life and strongly pro-military.

HT to Gene Veith.

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Pastor Beisel said...

I will probably vote for McCain if he is the nominee, but I have strong reservations about him. Pro-life and military are not the only issues that face us. He is terrible on illegal immigration, for one, and he is way too intent on "reaching across the aisle" and bi-partisanship. He's got McCain-Feingold and McCain-Kennedy against him in my opinion. You don't ever hear of democrats "reaching across the aisle" to republicans. I was a Fred Thompson fan, and unfortunately he dropped out. If he would have stayed in I would have voted for him, even if he didn't get the ticket.

David said...


Two words: McCain-Feingold.

McCain still supports big government and governmental regulation, though he is a Republican. I thought Republicans were for less government and much less government regulation?

I have no idea who I should vote for POTUS.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Pastor Beisel,

As I said in my post, he is a conservative who has taken some liberal positions. Fred Thompson was my choice as well. But he's not an option now.

The purpose of my post was not to say that McCain is the conservative's dreamboat, but to show that calling him a "liberal" is inaccurate.

Read the NRO article I link to.

As for there being other issues, you speak for yourself on that one. There are always other issues. But on most of those other issues, McCain is right on the money:

- pro-life
- defund Planned Parenthood
- oppose stem cell research
- ban partial birth abortion
- opposes cloning
- maintain Bush tax cuts
- cut pork
- stay and fight in Iraq
- stay on the offense against Islamo-fascism.
- supported Roberts and Alito
- supports school choice

Doesn't sound like a "liberal" to me. Is he my ideal candidate? No. Is he a good candidate? Yep.

Pr. James Leistico said...

I completely agree with you on this, Scott. I was disappointed with the choices I had going into Super Tuesday here in Illinois, and even more disappointed with the results. HOWEVER, that Roberts and Alito support meant a lot to me... and it is what most frustrates me about the conservative media reporting on conservatives saying they are considering voting for a Democrat rather than McCain because they say he is as bad as they are... hardly. good chance whoever is elected in 2008 will nominate 1-3 Supreme Court justices (along with a bunch of lower court positions). Obama nominations worry me, but Hillary nominations scare me.

Jane said...

I have all of the same reservations about McCain that most conservatives have. Since I tend to be more pragmatic than idealistic about politics, I'll probably vote for him, but it won't make me happy.

Now we just have to hope he's running against Hillary. Against her he at least has a chance of winning.

Brian P Westgate said...

Here's the interesting thing. You all are calling McCain pro-military, but apparently the military isn't pro-McCain. You might call this more unneeded Ron Paul propoganda, but here goes nothing:

Top Three Contributors to Ron Paul are U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force (2/14/08)
Message of strong national defense and strictly following the Constitution resonates with American servicemen and women

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – According to, the top three contributors to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s campaign are from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force respectively.

“No matter how you measure it, Dr. Paul has the support of our nation’s brave servicemen and women,” said Kent Snyder, Ron Paul 2008 campaign chairman. “His message of a strong national defense, and only going to war with a declaration of war – as mandated by the Constitution – resonates with those who risk their lives to defend that Constitution.”

No branch of the military appears among the “top contributors” to GOP frontrunner John McCain’s campaign.

Additionally, Ron Paul’s military contributions are greater than those of all other current candidates – John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama –combined.

The “Top Contributors” figures can be found at

For more information on military contributions to Dr. Paul’s campaign, read this press release.

Anonymous said...

He's actually supported embryonic stem cell research, and voted to fund it with tax dollars, just last year.
He's also voted and spoken in favor of fetal tissue research, using aborted fetuses.
I find him in conflict with conservatives on many issues, but am willing to say he's mostly conservative; just not reliably so, and in places where it counts.
The fact that many conservatives are now glomming onto this 'McCain is a conservative' mantra, and prefacing it by calling dissident talk radio hosts 'blowhards', demonstrates possily a lack of total conviction about the matter.
Why it can't just be admitted that he's a flawed conservative or a quasi-conservative or a mostly-conservative, and be done with it, is telling as well. It seems we want very badly to have a conservative Republican nominee. Instead, we have McCain.
And I see many conservatives doing a similar dance as the dance of many Democrats over Obama: we'll call him what we want; hear what we want; interpret as we want, regardless of what his history and record tell us.
Finally, it must be noted that Bennett and Liebsohn included this paragraph:
'Some people predict that a President McCain will open the borders, close Guantanamo, and tie our policies to some false premises related to global warming. We hope he doesn’t...'
Well, duh.
There's always that 'hope' word.
As that Limbaugh-blowhard said, 'I'll meet you at reality when you run out of hope.'

Bob Waters said...

Brian, I don't see your logic. The fact that the leading contributors to the regrettable Paul campaign are military people demonstrates neither that miltary people as a whole were for Paul, nor that they either do or did prefer him to McCain.

In fact, given Paul's liberal stance on the war and on national defense issues generally, I'd be very surprised were this the case.

All in all, I'm afraid your argument makes as much sense as, say, Paulista scaremongering over the fictitious "North American Union." Or, for that matter, Paul's positions on just about everything except life.

Bob Waters said...

Oh. And by the way, John McCain's position on stem cell research is pretty much identical with Mitt Romney's. Fortunately, since alternatives to fetal stem cells have been found, it's pretty much a dead issue.

Roe v. Wade isn't- and you wouldn't believe how pro-Roe
Barak Obama- the only alternative at this point- is.

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