John McCain – The Conservative Who Lost His Way

By: Guest Authors

By Jacob Bodnar

The crowd was going wild for him.

As presidential candidate John McCain walked out to the podium after a big super Tuesday win, his rabid supporters chanted, “Mack is back.”

The 71 year old McCain tried his best to quite the crowd, but they were too raucous. After two minutes of non-stop cheering the decibel level dropped and McCain began his speech.

“Thank you, thank you my friends,” the Arizona senator began.

And that’s when he lost me.

There are plenty of adjectives that can be associated with McCain’s speaking style. Scripted, boring, dull, uninspiring, lethargic, any of those would do. Simply put McCain isn’t going to rally anyone around him based solely on his speeches, he actually has to be a good candidate.

That’s why it pays to be Barack Obama. Having good speaking skills apparently makes up for no experience. Go figure.
But McCain doesn’t have that luxury, he has to prove to the conservatives of America that he’s the right guy. That he can lead the country in a positive direction. And that he can make the government smaller and cut taxes.

He’s got a lot of proving to do.

With a shaky voting record and social beliefs far from the conservative median, McCain is certainly not the GOP’s knight in shining armor. Talk radio has assailed him for abandoning the party on key issues and they’re absolutely right.

Let’s start with campaign reform. You’ve all heard the phrase “I’m [candidates name] and I approve of this message.” During the election season that phrase is more irritating than the fat kid in class who asks way to many questions.

And you can thank John McCain for that.

His Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act forced politicians to “stand by their ad” by alerting everyone they were responsible for the spot. The rule targeted attack ads, however it seems to have done little damage as attacks are still prevalent. In fact it seems mudslinging has increased since McCain fiddled with commercials.

Also in the BCRA was the rule that advertisements paid for by a corporation (including non-profit organizations) could not use a candidates name within 30 days of a primary and 60 days of a general election. In effect the bill limited free speech, throwing out the first amendment and putting set rules on the speech of an organization. Sounds like big government to me.

Lucky for citizens who actually respect the constitution, the Supreme Court deemed that portion of the bill unconstitutional (go figure).

Next up is McCain’s stance on interrogation. He believes that water boarding and torture should be outlawed, pointing to the fact that if we do it to terrorists, they’ll do it us. But McCain forgets that terrorists move past torture and go straight to killing.
There was a story just last week about how Al Qaeda exploited mentally retarded women to execute suicide bombings.
You can’t tell me you wouldn’t love to see water poured up those savages’ noses.

McCain also has fallen into the deep and dark belief of global warming. In 2004 McCain lead hearings about the subject and called on president Bush to do more to fight climate change. He even pointed to studies showing Arctic temperatures were dropping, a stat I’m sure he pulled right out of A Liberal Propagandists Guide to Global Warming.

The Maverick, while touting his plan to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, wants to implement a 50 cent per gallon gas tax to curb emissions. A plan that was originally brought up by lefty Carl Levin and backed by every Al Gore fan boy.

The idea is absurd, tax the American people more in an effort to stop something that is unstoppable. It’s just another example of how McCain gives up his ground to the left in the name of bipartisanship.

To further my point take a look at McCain’s conservative score according to the The American Conservative Union. In 2006 McCain scored a 65 (with 100 being the most conservative). Looking at the overall trend, he started out near 100 and took a huge fall in the 90′s, plummeting to under 70. Proving that McCain really was the conservative who lost his way.

The ranking demonstrates how the democrats have been able to poison McCain. Nancy Reagan once advised, “Just say no,” the same applies to the Arizona senator. He needs to simply turn the other cheek when pressured by the left to co-sponsor a bill or to come up with flashy new bipartisan ideas.

So conservatives are faced with a choice. Abandon what they truly believe in and vote for McCain just because he’s a republican. Or search for the best candidate for them. I choose the latter.

And if McCain promises to go back to his conservative ways he may rally the right around him. They could be the rambunctious ones, standing around and cheering…

…Mack is back.

Jacob Bodnar is the host and producer of the weekly conservative podcast, The Current Podcast. His shows and columns can be accessed at

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