Friday, June 13, 2008

The Manchurian Maverick?

So the Internet has been flooded with rumors for the better part of 6 months with all sorts of lunacy about Barack Obama being a sort of Manchurian Candidate that is intent on destroying the USA from the Presidency. This claim has often been discarded by 17people as silliness, xenophobia, and fraud by those who are sick in the head.

When thinking about Republican nominee John McCain I have come up with my own 'theory' that could shake the Republican base at their core.

Here it is:

Until he became the Republican nominee for President, John McCain was every Democrat's favorite Republican. I can't tell you how many Democrats in the past 10 years, including me, have said, 'if there is one Republican I could vote for, it would be John McCain.'

McCain led the fight for 'Campaign Finance Reform' with the McCain-Feingold bill. Yes that would be the same Russ Feingold who was the only Senator with the courage to vote against the Patriot Act. McCain along with moderate Senators like John Breaux, Susan Collins, and Lincoln Chafee also raised questions and voted against measures of Bush tax cuts. McCain also joined and brought together the "Gang of 14" a few years back which ended Republican efforts to invoke the 'Nuclear Option' when it came to Bush judicial nominations that were being filibustered by Democrats.

In the past year, he co-sponsored immigration reform with Ted Kennedy that was railed against by Republicans so heavily that McCain had to back off of his support for the bill. And who can forget the rampant rumors in 2004 that John Kerry wanted John McCain on his ticket for VP. Not the kind of offer for which any individual in another party ever get considered.

In a calculating manner though, in the past couple years, McCain has cooled his jets on his 'Maverick' ways. He recruited the best of the Bush campaign team and fundraisers when he decided to run for President. He quieted his rhetoric and ran a very safe 'party-line' campaign.

While his comeback is often credited with his getting back to his 'Maverick' ways, there are others, like me, who feel the ineptitude of the Republican field led to him becoming the only logical choice.

Could McCain be running as a conservative only to run the country as a Maverick? Isn't this why Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh have been railing against so hard?

His trademark issues and biggest domestic ideals trend left of center. Other than his hawkish stance on the war, McCain is 'greener' on the environment, less a believer in Tax Cuts as the only economic answer, and less influenced by Religious ideaology than the vast majority of Republican candidates.

There is also this to consider, McCain is very stubborn and hates to be bullied or handled. Those that expect an open door from Republican Presidents may find McCain less welcoming than others. He will tend to do what he believes is right, that what the Right Wing thinks is right.

Also at 72 it is conceivable, should he win, he would just want to be President for one term. This scenario has not come up since Ross Perot in 1992. This is an interesting thought becasue elected officials who don't worry about reelection are much freer to Govern as they want or feel they should because they don't fear voter repercussions. This is why Ted Kennedy could be the liberal lion, because he is never in danger of that hurting him in Massachusetts or why Strom Thurmond could be a staunch Conservative, because he knew there were at least 50.1% of voters who would back him in South Carolina.

I see a situation that if McCain finally achieves his life's great ambition and wins the White House, he would then governs the way he wants for four years. Since Democrats will most likely expand majorities in the House and Senate he would only be able to get issues voted on and discussed that his party hates.
  • He could further strengthen campaign finance
  • Appoint more moderate judges
  • Push for comprehensive immigration reform
  • Push cap and trade for Carbon emissions
  • Drastically scale back Bush Tax Cuts on the wealthiest Americans
  • Elminate pork barrel spending (though both parties would hate this)
I will not vote for John McCain and think his election would continue failed Iraq policies. Yet I feel like he has been 'acting like a Republican' in order to win the nomination and establish his support amongst his base.

You can only 'act' for so long until your true ideals and beliefs come out.

If McCain wins, which I do not think will happen, it would not be surprising to see him govern as he has been a Senator. This would mean that Moderates would love him, Democrats would respect him, and many Republicans would hate him.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

I agree totally.

Plus, I think McCain is salty enough to harbor a grudge. He should have been the Republican nominee in 2000 but was savaged by the Bush elements of the party (remember the "McCain has an illegitimate black baby" rumors they started?)

He seems to be using them to get into the White House now. I'm not sure I'd want to actually be them if he makes it.