Wednesday, February 06, 2008

McCain: Dragging the GOP Kicking and Screaming to Victory

The same group of conservatives who helped deliver Congress to Pelosi and Reid in the 2006 Elections are at it again. This time deducing that John McCain isn’t a true Republican, they are willing to concede the White House back to the Clintons’ for 8 more years of unbridled corruption, or to an inexperienced Media-darling Barak Obama. Their logic is they must destroy the GOP to save it, but the Maverick McCain is having none of it!

Their angst against the Senator and current Republican presidential frontrunner is his previous support for amnesty for illegal aliens, Campaign Finance, and his habit of reaching across the aisle to Democrats, frequently bucking the consensus of the Right. McCain Derangement Syndrome has reached the heights of lunacy, with uber-conservative Ann Coulter declaring she’d campaign for Hillary over McCain. Top conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, forgetting how he previously chastised fellow conservatives for staying home in 2006, has joined the Bash McCain bandwagon.

Despite the many cards set against him from fellow GOPers, McCain continues to surge in the polls, often besting Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton nationwide as more electable. He has received notable endorsements from Senator Joe Lieberman ( a liberal the Right can tolerate!) moderate governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former candidate Rudy Giuliani, who he recently trounced in the Florida primaries.

The Maverick’s star hasn’t always shone so bright. As recently as 6 months ago he was struggling to maintain his presidential campaign, the first since being badly beaten by George Bush in 2000. Hurting for essential funds and often called down for the count, he was widely expected to end his long-held dream for the White House.

With nothing left to lose, the Vietnam Vet placed his support behind the then unpopular strategy, the Surge of troops into Iraq and a change of leaders for the boots on the ground. McCain was for victory before victory was cool, and when most experts wrongly considered the war, like his campaign, was in its death throes. The Senator kept on the attack, in spite of the odds and his many critics. Suddenly the war against the terrorists turned a corner, and his bid for the 2008 presidency now became a greater reality.

His critics on the Right are correct in that the Senator often sides with the Left on issues that concern the nation. Yet, his ability to get along with the opposition and even the antagonistic Media may be his greatest selling point, considering the dire need to bring the entire nation, not just conservatives, in the fight against Islamic Fascism. Hillary certainly couldn’t reach out to Republicans on this issue, and Obama would likely never try. The claim, then that “Mac” is a liberal is bizarre, considering his unflinching support for the Surge, and standing by the President against the terrorists. Especially since it would have been easy to take the opposite road.

Though I still disagree with many of his views, as on immigration and torture, I have also found fault with other GOP presidents from Reagan to Bush, who still had my full support on the issues that mattered the most. If Americans were to elect McCain in 2008, consider that we would have a President who:

1). Never claimed Iraq was a mistake, and that Bush lied to get us into war.
2). Supported the Surge, and the need for the generals on the ground to dictate strategy, not Congress.
3). Stood by the commanding general in Iraq, David Petraeus, never calling him a liar or a traitor.
4). Is pro-life.

I remember John McCain on 9/11, 2001, when he appeared on all the networks. The former Vietnam POW was a voice of calm and assurance in that chaotic period. How often he was against the GOP when we wanted him on our side, but as proven on that dark September morning, and even later when Democrats were calling for surrender and retreat from Iraq, the Senator was there when he was needed. For various reasons today the Republicans fortunes are less than stellar, but John McCain might just be the only candidate out of a less-than-perfect field of contenders who might sustain the Reagan Revolution for a little while longer.