McCain may not be perfect, but a maverick is exactly what the GOP needs now
By Chris Ingram
Shortly after it became obvious Senator John McCain was going to get the Republican nomination for President of the United States, self-proclaimed “conservatives” and blow-hards like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Anne Coulter, and Laura Ingraham began to trash McCain, pronounce he wasn’t conservative, and say they wouldn’t vote for him. I guess I forgot these people own the term “conservative.”
It was a real talent for these people (and many others) to show how short-sighted, narrow-minded, and politically pure they are. What would we do without such hard-nosed bullies in our party? Compromise? Heaven forbid!
Fortunately, most of the rhetoric from anti-McCain forces within the G.O.P. has toned down. Though certainly an Obama or Clinton presidency wouldn’t hurt Rush’s ratings (or Anne Coulter’s next book tour for that matter). Like anything associated with politics, if you want to know the reason for something, just follow the money.
But alas, from the grassroots, there are true ideological conservative purists who find it hard to come out of their shells and admit this is not a perfect world. These are the same people who think there are black helicopters standing-by waiting to infringe on our rights to bear arms, allow women to have drive-through abortions at 7-11, and make our second grade school kids read “Jimmy has two dads.” While yes, we should be concerned about the intent underlying the rhetoric of Sens. Clinton and Obama, I don’t think Hillary and Barack are going to be commanding any black helicopters to force any of this upon us. We can thank our Founding Fathers and the Constitution for that.
These grassroots conservative purists not only think they own the definition of what a conservative is, they believe John McCain will sound the death knell of the Republican Party.
Read the verbatim e-mail I got from one of my so-called “conservative” friends this week:
Should we support McCain to keep a socialist Obama out of the White House, or should we sit on the sidelines allowing the Republican Party to implode so that new conservative leadership can rebuild for wins in 2012 and beyond? A radical leftist with an America hating wife in the White House is a very scary prospect, but so many of McCain’s positions are not one bit better and it would be all the more difficult for the Republican Party to dig out from under his American nation destroying control.
After I read this, I wanted to tell this guy to go pound sand. Does he think for a minute there is any Republican candidate out there with whom he would agree on every issue? I hope not. That’s what leads to totalitarian dictators like Adolph Hitler.
As far as “allowing the Republican Party to implode,” wake up and smell the coffee – it imploded years ago. The GOP imploded when Tom DeLay and his henchmen took over the House of Representatives. And then we imploded again in the last three special Congressional elections which we lost (all in GOP districts we should have retained). We imploded when we allowed our national debt to exceed $9 trillion dollars last year – and don’t get me started on the national deficit. We imploded when our elected officials began talking about their convictions – and they meant criminal convictions not ideological ones. We imploded when we stopped being fiscally responsible and passed the largest entitlement program since LBJ at a cost of nearly a trillion dollars over ten years (not a dime of which we can afford to pay for)! We imploded when we supported and passed the “economic stimulus” package – paid for with Treasury notes bought by the Chinese. Quite simply, our party imploded because we lost our way when we started caring more about pandering than we cared about policy. In time, this practice caught up with us, just like in time, if we go back to a focus on people and policy, we’ll win the campaigns. We are right after all.
My “conservative” friend goes on to reference needing new leadership to “Rebuild in 2012 and beyond”? Who are you kidding, fella? A couple of Supreme Court appointments alone are enough reason why conservatives should rally around John McCain. Can you imagine a Clinton or Obama nominee? McCain’s Supreme Court nominees ultimately may not be as conservatives as say, Gary Bauer’s would be, but they won’t be coming out of the liberal 9th Circuit of California (that’s San Francisco to you non-court watchers) like the Democrats’ might.
Mr. Conservative goes on, “…but so many of McCain’s positions are not one bit better [than the Democrats’.]” I guess here he means he’s still peeved at McCain for his policy on illegal immigration and campaign finance reform. You know what? I think McCain was wrong, too. But so were the hard-liners.
Let’s start with immigration. It is completely unrealistic to think we can round up 14 million people and send them back to wherever they came from. Look how long it took us to find the Unabomber – and that was just one guy. And it is not compassionate to suggest we’re going to break up families and send them packing. And it would not be economically sound to send them home — even if we could find them and didn’t care about being compassionate – because if we did, we’d end up paying twelve bucks for a head of lettuce. Trust me here, $12 lettuce isn’t out of the question. Name one natural-born American you know who is willing to go out into a hot field and pick vegetables for any less than that!
Ultimately, the 14 million illegal immigrants in this country are here because we (our government and many businesses) wanted them here. Now we (the citizens) are saying enough is enough; let’s close the border and make everyone enter legally. Who can argue with that? But for those who are here, we should welcome them, give them 12 months to learn basic English, then legalize them, and make them taxpayers.
As for McCain’s support and promotion of campaign finance reform, I think it was the worst piece of legislation to come out of the U.S. Congress in years. All it did was make a bad situation worse. McCain ought to own up to this fact and work to repeal it. But more importantly, the wrath of the so-called conservatives who oppose this Act should be on one George W. Bush. He could have vetoed the bill, and he didn’t. That would have required leadership. This president provides very little leadership, and it shows. Bush is a large part of the reason for our party’s implosion.
In short, our party is not going to implode because of John McCain. Our party already has imploded because of the likes of Tom DeLay and George W. Bush. Greed, stupidity, self-preservation, ethical challenges, and lack of fiscal restraint led to the downfall of the GOP.
Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.” Voters should take note. Electing the same crooks and scoundrels to Congress every year, after year, and expecting a different outcome is insane.
To my conservative friends, I say, give John McCain a chance. He’s a good man. He’s an American hero. He’s got warts and blemishes, but so do you. McCain will work to turn Washington on its head, and that has the power elite running scared. They’re misleading you into thinking he’s a liberal. He is not. He’s a maverick. In a town full of back-scratching, back-room deal brokers, I say we don’t need another team player. America needs a maverick to get Washington to focus on doing what is right, not what gets politicians re-elected. America needs John McCain.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corportate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Frontpage Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@411Communications.net.