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John McCain: I'm not a Maverick





handfleisch
After calling himself a maverick for years, John McCain now says "I never considered myself a maverick."

I once really respected McCain, but running for president in the post-Bush Republican party really broke him down. The GOP likes to accuse people of flip-flopping, but McCain reversed himself on so many major issues to get the party nomination, such issues as Don't Ask Don't Tell, the danger of right wing Christian extremists like Falwell, and Bush's tax cuts for the mega-rich. Now it seems that he has no idea who he is or what he stands for.

It's sad, and somehow McCain is a tragic figure deserving sympathy, not scorn. But he's emblematic of the disintegrating GOP and wrecking power of the right wing in the USA.

Quote:
John McCain: I'm not a Maverick

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20001775-503544.html
edit: fixed link
ocalhoun
WUT? A politician lied? How could this happen!?!
[/sarcasm]
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
I once really respected McCain
Would be interesting to know when you respected McCain, and why you would have "really" respected him?
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
I once really respected McCain
Would be interesting to know when you respected McCain, and why you would have "really" respected him?

He used to represent responsible conservatives, and seemed to follow his conscience even when it meant publicly opposing his own party's positions and extremists. For example, he supported Don't Ask Don't Tell and called out the Christian demagogue Falwell as a dangerous radical.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
He used to represent responsible conservatives, and seemed to follow his conscience even when it meant publicly opposing his own party's positions and extremists. For example, he supported Don't Ask Don't Tell and called out the Christian demagogue Falwell as a dangerous radical.
How would you define a "responsible conservative"? Any examples of responsible conservatives?
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
I once really respected McCain
Would be interesting to know when you respected McCain, and why you would have "really" respected him?

He used to represent responsible conservatives, and seemed to follow his conscience even when it meant publicly opposing his own party's positions and extremists. For example, he supported Don't Ask Don't Tell and called out the Christian demagogue Falwell as a dangerous radical.


It's sad that the only good things you say about a Conservative who you 'really respected' are about how he opposed other conservatives sometimes...
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
He used to represent responsible conservatives, and seemed to follow his conscience even when it meant publicly opposing his own party's positions and extremists. For example, he supported Don't Ask Don't Tell and called out the Christian demagogue Falwell as a dangerous radical.
How would you define a "responsible conservative"? Any examples of responsible conservatives?

That's a good question. First of all, there aren't too many responsible conservatives on the national scene since the so-called Reagan Revolution, which reversed so many tenets of conservatism and turned it into something quite different, an ideology that mainly supports the megarich and corporations, basically, and uses reactionary social issues to propel that agenda.

A responsible conservative would be fiscally responsible and would never advocate the kind of deficit spending done by Reagan and the GWBush.
A responsible conservative would work to balance the budget, the way that Clinton did. So paradoxically Clinton was more fiscally conservative than either Reagan or Bush.
Also a responsible conservative would be circumspect on waging war, not at all the way Bush invaded Iraq.
A responsible conservative would put basic individual rights and the right to privacy high on the list of values, and would never approve of Bush's warrantless wiretapping of American civilians or flagrant violation of one of the bedrock concepts of liberty, Habeas Corpus.
A responsible conservative approaches the law and precedents formally and does not invent reasons to radically reinterpret laws, the way the Bush white house did on torture.
A responsible conservative would be vehement about upholding the separation of church and state.

That's all off the top of my head, there would be more. For examples I have seen some regional or state Republican politicians that seemed quite okay, but it seems that to climb the ladder to national office, you have to be a right wing/corporate ideologue. Look at the Republican candidates for president last time -- there wasn't a moderate in the bunch.
deanhills
Interesting reading thanks Handfleisch. So in your opinion then, are there any responsible conservatives in the US, and if there are, can you name some of them? And do you rate Bill Clinton then as a conservative?
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Interesting reading thanks Handfleisch. So in your opinion then, are there any responsible conservatives in the US, and if there are, can you name some of them? And do you rate Bill Clinton then as a conservative?


By coincidence, an article has just come out on this subject. Here is the beginning of the piece:

http://www.slate.com/id/2251101/
Quote:
Who Killed the Responsible Republican? Bill Kristol, of course.
By Jacob WeisbergUpdated Saturday, April 17, 2010, at 7:14 AM ET

Do you remember the Responsible Republicans? In the 1980s, small herds of them still roamed freely around Washington. In 1982, they voted for the largest tax increase in history to mitigate the fiscal harm of Ronald Reagan's 1981 tax cut.* In 1983, they converged on Capitol Hill to pass a package of tax increases and benefit cuts recommended by the Greenspan Commission to keep Social Security solvent. In 1986, they followed Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson to pass bipartisan immigration reform legislation by a large majority. In 1990, several were spotted with President George H.W. Bush (the Responsible one) at Andrews Air Force Base, conspiring to reduce the deficit.

After the Andrews summit, however, glimpses of them outside captivity became increasingly rare. With their habitats in the Northeast, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest under threat and their natural predators on the rise, the status of the species moved from "threatened" to "endangered." Though occasionally spotted on the rocky shoals of Maine's Penobscot Bay and in beach houses up and down the California coast, they now rarely emerge from the wilderness. During the health care battle, President Obama was unable to find a single Responsible Republican to serve as a mascot. There continue to be rumors of the Double R's return around issues such as immigration, financial reform, and climate change. Yet we have now gone several years without a confirmed sighting.

If Responsible Republicans are in fact nearing extinction, I think we can identify the crucial event that signaled their demise. It was a December 1993 memo by conservative strategist and commentator William Kristol. Kristol's advice about how Republicans should respond to Bill Clinton's 1993 health care effort—and a series of follow-up memos he wrote in 1994—pushed the GOP away from cooperation with Democrats on any social and economic legislation. His message marks the pivotal moment when Republicans shifted from fundamentally responsible partners in governing the country to uncompromising, hyperpartisan antagonists on all issues.
deanhills
@handfleisch. Could be the beginnings of a new book for Jacob Weisberg? Would make a very good subject. I notice that Weisberg has never really been pro conservative anyway, so although well written, one may be able to do a similar article about the Democrats as well?
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