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Old 04-07-2006, 11:01 AM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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McCain supporters: nauseous yet? (Falwell)

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/34401/


I agree with the opening salvo of the article: he's doing it to become palatable to the religious right in order to succeed in the 'Pubbie primaries.

And I doubt it signals any shift in perspective on his part (although it indicates a troubling willingness to be politically pragmatic at the expense of being on the right side of things. Umm, that was a lower-case r).

Question: is this poisonous to his candidacy? Is a sufficiently large subset of potential McCain supporters composed of libertarian-right conservatives who want the Bible-thumpers the hell out of their politics (esp. after GWB) + folks who perceive McCain as the brave maverick give-'em-hell non-political politician who shoots straight from the hip and doesn't tailor his statements and positions for their voter-appeal (unlike the Hillary of course)? And, if so, will they now turn away from him in disgust?

I think so, myself. At least if he keeps it up. (And if he doesn't keep it up, it will bear insufficient fruit with the religious right).
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:16 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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I dunno, perhaps you overreact a bit. AFAICT, most of your linked cite was the following:
Quote:
On Meet the Press yesterday, when asked point blank if Jerry Falwell, the man who called Mohammed a terrorist in 2002, was "an agent of intolerance," he replied: "No, I don’t." [This makes no sense as stated. "Is Falwell an agent of intolerance"? "No, I don't." Something missing here---Kimstu]

When asked if his ideas were good for the Republican Party, McCain replied:
"I believe that the 'Christian Right' has a major role to play in the Republican Party. One reason is because they’re so active and their followers are. And I believe they have a right to be a part of our party. I don’t have to agree with everything they stand for, nor do I have to agree with everything that’s on the liberal side of the Republican Party. If we have to agree on every issue, we’re not a Republican Party. I believe in open and honest debate."
Now, I agree with you that it is pure political suckup to refuse to finger Jerry Falwell as an "agent of intolerance", which he certainly is. However, as you note, no serious politician is a stranger to this kind of suckup (well, maybe a few).

The general "big tent" blather is also pretty par for the course, and reasonable on its face. I don't like the Christian Right myself, but if Republicans in general don't want them to be a part of the Republican Party, they'll have to say so, not just sit around waiting for major Republican candidates to commit political suicide by trying to shoo them out. In the meantime, they do have a right to be part of the GOP, and thank Og they're over there instead of over here, sez I.

So I don't see this as being particularly "poisonous" to the McCain candidacy in any way. But then, I was never that enthused by the guy, and I never thought much of his supposed ruthless-honesty, straight-talking persona. Nobody who saw how he eventually cozied back up to Bush after the nasty business of the 2000 Republican primaries could really be surprised that he's willing to make nice with someone like Falwell.
  #3  
Old 04-07-2006, 11:29 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu
I dunno, perhaps you overreact a bit. AFAICT, most of your linked cite was the following:
You're right, something was missing. McCain called Falwell (along with Farakan and a few others) "agents of intellerance" in 2000. His point was to link the whackos of all denominations as being, well, whackos. Tim Russert was just calling him on that since McCain is scheduled to speak (give commencement address?) at Falwell's Liberty University.

As for the OP, this just confirms what many of have been saying all along-- McCain is a politician like most of the others. He isn't the saint (pardon the pun) that so many people try to paint him as being. And, he's pretty darned conservative. It's smart of him, politically, at least to acknowledge the relligious right, because they are too many of them to just push them out of politics altogether. The key for McCain is to stay true to his conservative vlaues and show where they overlap with the Religious right, but not to get sucked into the divisive, intolerant politics that group often plays.

The media loves McCain, and that's his biggest risk in getting too cozy with the RR. If he starts talking about how Christians are victims in this country, the media's love affair with him is going to turn into Fatal Attraction.

One thing McCain has going for him is that he really is a uniter, unlike Bush. He has proven again and again that he can work with the Democrats to get legislation pushed thru. That's no small potatoes (the plural of potatoe ).
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:36 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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Gee Mr. Hunter, you mean Senator McCain is a politician?
I never would have guessed that.

I still think he is a cut above the average politician and a very acceptable candidate. I hope he gets the Nomination and the Democrats find a really good and fairly honorable Candidate also. The last election was one of the worst cases of picking the lesser of two evils I have ever seen.
McCain vs. Fill in the Blank will be a large improvement. If McCain really has Rudy G on the ticket, all the better. He is almost as liberal as an electable Republican can get.

Jim
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:43 AM
black rabbit black rabbit is offline
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I dunno. As long as he keeps his rhetoric a bit toned down, he could probably get an honorary degree from Bob Jones U. and still keep his more liberal supporters on board. They don't seem to care about his voting record.

Here's a thread I started in puzzlement over what I can only assume is a pheremonal thing:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=342989
  #6  
Old 04-07-2006, 11:45 AM
Renob Renob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3
Is a sufficiently large subset of potential McCain supporters composed of libertarian-right conservatives who want the Bible-thumpers the hell out of their politics
Any libertarian conservative who supports McCain should have his/her head examined. The guy opposes tax cuts, supports gun control, is in favor of crippling our economy in the name of fighting global warming, championed a government takeover of the cigarette industry, and was the sponsor of the most egregious anti-free speech bill in recent years.
  #7  
Old 04-07-2006, 11:57 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renob
Any libertarian conservative who supports McCain should have his/her head examined. The guy opposes tax cuts, supports gun control, is in favor of crippling our economy in the name of fighting global warming, championed a government takeover of the cigarette industry, and was the sponsor of the most egregious anti-free speech bill in recent years.
Right anyone on either extreme of the Parties should hate him. That is why he does appeal to Moderates. Most of the so called Liberals that like him are really Moderate leaning Democrats and not John Kerry Liberals.

Jim
  #8  
Old 04-07-2006, 11:58 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by What Exit?
. . . John Kerry Liberals.
  #9  
Old 04-07-2006, 12:05 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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Why, John Kerry isn't a liberal?
I consider the Clintons to be moderates and Kerry and Kennedy Liberals. Is that really an unfair generalization?
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:07 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by What Exit?
Why, John Kerry isn't a liberal?
I consider the Clintons to be moderates and Kerry and Kennedy Liberals. Is that really an unfair generalization?
Yes, it's inaccurate to place Kerry to the left of Clinton on the political spectrum. He ain't.
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:10 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renob
Any libertarian conservative who supports McCain should have his/her head examined. The guy...was the sponsor of the most egregious anti-free speech bill in recent years.
I guess this is a reference to something I have found very impressive - his ability to lead bipartisan efforts at campaign finance reform.

It is typical of politicians of Right and Left to see a need to shore up their credibility with the more extreme elements of their parties in the advance stages of Presidential campaigns and looking toward primaries - and then to swing back towards the middle, hoping that gullible voters won't notice.

McCain has been doing this for some time - emphasizing elements dear to the heart of the religious Right, such as voicing his support for teaching "intelligent design" in public schools, backing the extreme South Dakota anti-abortion legislation, and now sucking up to Falwell.

Maybe you could view this from the other direction, seeing McCain as a guy who's always been pretty right-wing and who voiced contrarian/reform views in an effort to attract moderates and only now is returning to his roots.

It doesn't matter much to me. I see someone who could well have attracted my vote in 2008, but now increasingly creates fears that he's just another hack swaying in the breeze. Bob Dole also had a reputation as an independent-minded non-extreme Republican before his unsuccessful run at the Presidency. Then he began caving to the Right, doing things like making nice with Oliver North, whom he had previously attacked as unworthy of office.

"Relax, he's just playing the game" does not suffice, if you want my vote. If I can't tell what you really stand for (if anything), you lose my support.
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:13 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCain
If we have to agree on every issue, we’re not a Republican Party.
  #13  
Old 04-07-2006, 12:15 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
Yes, it's inaccurate to place Kerry to the left of Clinton on the political spectrum. He ain't.
Really, do you base this on voting records or some other determination?
Or are the only true Liberals like FeinGold? (Who unlike Kerry I at least respect)

Jim
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:04 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii
"Relax, he's just playing the game" does not suffice, if you want my vote. If I can't tell what you really stand for (if anything), you lose my support.
The fact of the matter is you're unlikely to have a choice of anyone who doesn't "play the game" in the general election, assuming we're talking about the two main parties. The primaries, mabey, but not the general.
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:38 PM
Frostillicus Frostillicus is offline
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Does anyone else think that McCain would win a lot more votes if he were to clearly state that the good Reverend Falwell was completely out of his fucking mind? Or are there so many Kool-Aid drinkers in the Republican Party that this statement would result in political suicide?
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:45 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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That was kind of my take on it, Frostillicus — that the type of Republican who really like the Jerry Falwells is only going to support McCain if no more Falwellesque Republican enters the primaries (or runs on a 3rd party ticket for that matter). And that meanwhile his best hope for picking up huge chunks of the middle (including nominally Democratic voters who are attracted to McCain for reasons other than his political positions) is to hold that fundie shit in tongs at arm's length with his nose pinched.

I think this just lost him lots of votes in the middleground. And even lots of votes from conservatives of a decidedly secular sort. And it smells so strongly of pandering, rather than his own convictions, that I think it will be sniffed with suspicion by the fundamentalist vote (those folks aren't oblivious to the probability that this is the same old 'run right in the primary and veer left in the general then do what you want when you're in office')
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Old 04-08-2006, 12:37 AM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Did anybody see his Daily Show appearance the other night when Stewart asked him about this (the only reason he was on the show, in fact)? McCain essentailly said that he makes dozens of speeches at colleges each year, this one is no different (I presume it's a paying gig) and that he has disagreements with Falwell but thinks he's a good man.

In other words yep, he's sucking up.
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Old 04-08-2006, 12:41 AM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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I wish somebody would ask McCain how he feels about the fact that Falwell said America deserved 9/11.
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Old 04-08-2006, 01:06 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
The fact of the matter is you're unlikely to have a choice of anyone who doesn't "play the game" in the general election, assuming we're talking about the two main parties.
Probably true, and a significant reason why I voted for third-party candidates in two of the last three presidential elections. I no longer feel the obligation to hold my nose and vote for the slightly less objectionable major party candidate (2004 being an exception).

While a variety of Democratic meltdowns (and security concerns) have helped the G.O.P. overcome this to a large extent, the fact remains that registered Democrats significantly outnumber registered Republicans, meaning that Republicans should always be concerned with appealing to independents, many of whom are turned off by radical excess. It's discouraging to see a candidate like McCain who's had such potential to attract independents (and crossover Democrats) throwing his advantages away in order to secure his "base".

The old saw was that he was unlikely to be nominated but a good shot to be elected*. It appears that he's out to reverse that.


*the corollary being that Hillary Clinton allegedly has a great chance to be nominated but a much poorer outlook for winning in the general election.
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Old 04-08-2006, 03:00 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What Exit?
Gee Mr. Hunter, you mean Senator McCain is a politician?
I never would have guessed that.
That's a weak excuse. And when you're Mr. Straight Talking Maverick Guy, it's even less acceptable than usual. In my view, McCain has proven repeatedly in the last few years that he's a maverick until it suits him not to be one. I've seen very little of his much-talked about principles and freethinking since 2004. What I have seen is McCain going on The Daily Show and saying Bush spends money like a drunken sailor, then hugging Bush on the campaign trail. He'll offer token criticisms of Rumsfeld's screwups, but go on about how right the war was (that'll really appeal to moderates). Now we're seeing him give an endorsement to the ideas of a man he called an agent of intolerance a few years ago. If Falwell and Farrakhan were both agents of intolerance, do you think he'd speak at an event endorsed by Farrakhan? Endorsing intelligent design is nothing but a sop to the religious right. He's hoping his 'maverick' epithet stops people from paying attention to his deeds. If he wants to be a politician, fine. I don't care; there are plenty of politicians in politics. When you claiming to follow your conscience and holding yourself to a higher standard, you surrender that excuse.

John McCain is more conservative than I am, and he never would have had my vote. But a couple of years ago he did have my respect. I don't know how anybody on the left likes him at this point. I get the sense they're paying attention to his rep and not what he's saying or doing. If he does this for two more years, and the primaries are a long way away, he's going to lose that moderate and liberal vote anyway.
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Old 04-08-2006, 09:03 AM
Digital Stimulus Digital Stimulus is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23
In my view, McCain has proven repeatedly in the last few years that he's a maverick until it suits him not to be one.
That sums it up for me too. It seems to me that there's something akin to confirmation bias going on: the electorate is aching for a pol that will stand up for principles; McCain makes those waves occasionally (which receives a lot of play), but somehow, his unprincipled actions get lost in the shuffle.
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Old 04-08-2006, 11:33 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii
The old saw was that he was unlikely to be nominated but a good shot to be elected*. It appears that he's out to reverse that.
I'm sure he thinks he's only going to reverse the first part. The thing is, the press likes to paint him as a moderate and an independent, but if you look at his position on the issues, he's pretty darned conservative. And I mean socially conservative, not just fiscally so. Plus, he's even more of a hawk on Iraq that Bush is (in the sense of wanting to send in more troops, rather then draw down the ones we already have over there.) My guess is he's going to try and woo that RR vote by demonstrating his (socially) conservative side, throwing in a few references to God to keep them happy.


Quote:
*the corollary being that Hillary Clinton allegedly has a great chance to be nominated but a much poorer outlook for winning in the general election.
Yep. Ain't politics fun!!??
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Old 04-08-2006, 11:34 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Stimulus
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23
In my view, McCain has proven repeatedly in the last few years that he's a maverick until it suits him not to be one.
That sums it up for me too. It seems to me that there's something akin to confirmation bias going on: the electorate is aching for a pol that will stand up for principles; McCain makes those waves occasionally (which receives a lot of play), but somehow, his unprincipled actions get lost in the shuffle.
You are both correct, but my WAG is that the expectations for honor or mavericks have been set so low, that people like McCain still stand out. Look how much play Feingold gets, he gets media attention for bucking the party. Of course he doesn't appeal to Moderates or Conservatives, but I know many Moderates that at least respect him.

Jim
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:01 AM
astorian astorian is offline
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I'm only surprised that LIBERALS are now surprised by McCain's actions.

Has the Left only NOW figured out that John McCain is an opportunist who'll abandon his principles to curry favor with whoever he thinks can help him get into the White House?

Conservatives figured that out nearly seven years ago, which is the main reason a relative lightweight (Bush) got the Republican nomination.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:51 AM
saoirse saoirse is offline
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I don't know where the idea comes from that McCain is abandoning his principles. He has never identified as a moderate. he has always said he was a conservative, and a great admirer of Ronald Reagan. He supported the war from day one.
I'm not likely to vote for him either (barrng the Democrats nominating Cynthia McKinney), but I don't see any substantive change in his policy positions. He's just not poking powerful Republicans with a stick any more, and is making nice with them to show that he doesn't wish he could.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:55 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian
I'm only surprised that LIBERALS are now surprised by McCain's actions.

Has the Left only NOW figured out that John McCain is an opportunist who'll abandon his principles to curry favor with whoever he thinks can help him get into the White House?

Conservatives figured that out nearly seven years ago, which is the main reason a relative lightweight (Bush) got the Republican nomination.
Actually, the main reason was Rove's dirty tricks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mc...President_2000
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:38 PM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic
I wish somebody would ask McCain how he feels about the fact that Falwell said America deserved 9/11.
He would say he disagrees. He can't give commencement speeches if he disagrees with the university president?
  #28  
Old 04-11-2006, 12:41 PM
mhendo mhendo is online now
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Originally Posted by Marley23
John McCain is more conservative than I am, and he never would have had my vote. But a couple of years ago he did have my respect. I don't know how anybody on the left likes him at this point. I get the sense they're paying attention to his rep and not what he's saying or doing. If he does this for two more years, and the primaries are a long way away, he's going to lose that moderate and liberal vote anyway.
Exactly.

Count me as someone who has never liked McCain's politics, even while having a certain respect for him. But if he continues to pander to the far right of the party, even those who like him are going to realize that he's not the saviour of moderates that he has often been portrayed as.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampiro
Did anybody see his Daily Show appearance the other night when Stewart asked him about this (the only reason he was on the show, in fact)? McCain essentailly said that he makes dozens of speeches at colleges each year, this one is no different (I presume it's a paying gig) and that he has disagreements with Falwell but thinks he's a good man.

In other words yep, he's sucking up.
Watching the Daily Show interview, i was of two minds about the whole thing.

My first reaction was that this is, in fact, little more than pandering to the religious ultraconservatives.

But then it occurred to me that the true test of whether or not he's pandering will be not in his appearance at Liberty University, but in the content of his comments. It will be interesting to see a transcript and compare it to his more general positions. After all, wouldn't we all change our tune if he went in there and told them that their divisiveness was undermining America?

Of course, i'm not naive enough to believe that this is actually what is going to happen. And McCain's sucking up to Bush over the past few months, at a time when even many very conservative Republicans realize that the Administration looks pretty bad, suggests that he's not about to rock the boat with the religious right.

Personally, i'm actually quite heartened by his current shift to the right, and i'd be happy to see it continue. It might cause all those liberals who saw him as some sort of saviour to realize that he was always conservative, and that he is no substitute for a good Democratic candidate.

Not sure where we're going to find one of those, though.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:56 PM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace
he's pretty darned conservative. And I mean socially conservative, not just fiscally so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renob
The guy opposes tax cuts, supports gun control, is in favor of crippling our economy in the name of fighting global warming, championed a government takeover of the cigarette industry, and was the sponsor of the most egregious anti-free speech bill in recent years.
None of those positions sound traditionally conservative to me, let alone "pretty darned conservative." It sounds like he's conservative on some issues, and more liberal on others. Wouldn't that make him, overall... moderate?
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:03 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimstu
The general "big tent" blather is also pretty par for the course, and reasonable on its face. I don't like the Christian Right myself, but if Republicans in general don't want them to be a part of the Republican Party, they'll have to say so, not just sit around waiting for major Republican candidates to commit political suicide by trying to shoo them out. In the meantime, they do have a right to be part of the GOP, and thank Og they're over there instead of over here, sez I.
It cuts both ways.

The Democratic Party has a good number of culturally conservative Christians in its ranks, and has shown that their tent is big enough to accomodate them. Indeed, without them, they wouldn't win.

The majority of union rank and file members, black voters, and Hispanic voters certainly can be described in this way.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:08 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Originally Posted by mhendo
But if he continues to pander to the far right of the party, even those who like him are going to realize that he's not the saviour of moderates that he has often been portrayed as.
George Will gets something right occasionally, and even he's noticed a growing chill in the air.
Quote:
St. John of Arizona can seem insufferably certain that he has cornered the market on incorruptibility. So as he begins trying to assemble a presidential majority, he seems, as anyone trying to do that will, like a run-of-the-mill sinner.

But his quest for the Republicans' 2008 nomination was bound to require tactics inconsistent with his carefully cultivated reputation for unexampled authenticity. He has endorsed teaching "intelligent design" theory in schools, and has sought a detente with Jerry Falwell, one of "the agents of intolerance" he denounced in 2000.
But then Will loses it again:
Quote:
This November could produce what McCain could use - grim election returns for Republicans. If on Nov. 8 Republicans are reeling and a re-elected Hillary Clinton is rampant, hitherto unenthralled Republicans might suddenly consider McCain as virtuous as he considers himself. For the politically nervous, "virtuous" is a synonym for "electable."
Um, in short, no.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:16 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves
But then Will loses it again:Um, in short, no.
WHy not? That's the reason so many Democrats gave for nominating Kerry. Even if they didn't like him, they thought he had the best chance of beating Bush. I see no reason that Republicans won't react the same way-- whatever it takes to beat Hillary (or whomever). IOW, it's more important to get a Republican in the WH, whoever he is, than to allow the Dems to win. Isn't that the very argument you have used wrt to a Democrat-- anyone but Bush?
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:21 PM
mhendo mhendo is online now
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves
Um, in short, no.
Like John Mace, i'm not quite sure why you dismiss Will's analysis so readily here.

It seems to me that Will is making a fairly straightforward and common argument about pragmatic politics, about people's tendency to support the person who they feel can ensure their party's victory.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:25 PM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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I'd respect McCain a lot more if he would own up to despising Bush. If someone had run that kind of smear campaign against me, I wouldn't be sucking up to him for love nor money. Now he's trying to tie himself closer to Bush, which seems not only unnecessarily humiliating but political suicide. He was a deficit hawk, now he says that letting the temporary tax cuts expire is the same as a tax increase and he won't go for it. The maverick no more, he's just a common politician and a Republican one at that. Why so many are enamored by him is beyond me.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:26 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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I think Will might be right also. We know some people who weren't crazy about Kerry voted for him because they loathed Bush.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:33 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Okay, what do moderate/conservative Republicans mostly hold against this administration? Its unethicality, or simply its incompetence? I'd suggest it's far more the latter, and they'll be looking for a candidate who can run the shop. Okay, how about the Religious Right branch - are they disaffected at all? If they were, would it be because of his morality compared to the other possibilities, or because of his inability to defeat the heathens?

How about historical precedent, then - who has ever been elected President on the grounds of his virtuousness? Carter, maybe, but there too I'd suggest it's mostly because he was of a different party than Nixon or his pardoner.

So who'll get the 2008 GOP nomination? Certainly not anyone closely involved with this Administration, which, granted, already means we're outside the range of precedent, unless you can point to another Administration which has been so repudiated by its own party. If you're sure it will go to the most virtuous-looking non-Bushite rather than the most competent-looking non-Bushite, you're welcome to. But I don't see where those votes are going to come from.
  #37  
Old 04-11-2006, 01:41 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Upon preview

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Originally Posted by BobLibDem
The maverick no more, he's just a common politician and a Republican one at that. Why so many are enamored by him is beyond me.
I think it's left over from his last run. In 2000, he didn't look ethically compromised, he did say what he meant, he did clearly base his positions on principles, and he did have a compelling background. That honest principledness led a surprising number of people to think he couldn't really be a Republican at heart, or even a conservative. Some of that gullibility (or is it simply hopefulness?) remains, despite all of his recent pandering.

I'm amazed at Rove's ability to convince so many people to sacrifice their intergrity and credibility in the cause of this administration's approval ratings (and savage the ones who have refused). McCain and Powell are only the most notable examples of those who've given in.
  #38  
Old 04-11-2006, 02:04 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace
WHy not? That's the reason so many Democrats gave for nominating Kerry. Even if they didn't like him, they thought he had the best chance of beating Bush.
I think I see the source of your confusion now - Will is talking about Republican candidates. Are you suggesting that the main consideration for Republican voters, hoping to hold the White House, will be how different a Republican candidate is from what they see as the defining characteristics of this Administration? That's what Will is suggesting.

If, however, they see "contrasting with the Democrat" as the most important consideration, then they're in trouble until they know who that is. The Dems will have the political luxury of picking a candidate based on how effective and wise a leader and administrator he'd be, not on how he's different from the other guy. The Reps will be stuck with finding one based on his NON-connection with Bush, his apparent REAL Republicanness, his promises to sweep away all of this failed Republican administration and only way down the list will his "virtuousness" come into it - because almost any Democrat will win that comparison just by not being a Republican.

Quote:
Isn't that the very argument you have used wrt to a Democrat-- anyone but Bush?
Is your argument now "anybody but Hillary"? You really think it'll come to that? Do you really want to get into the commonness and origins of your party's and faction's obsession with her, once again?
  #39  
Old 04-11-2006, 02:22 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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Originally Posted by Marley23
I think Will might be right also. We know some people who weren't crazy about Kerry voted for him because they loathed Bush.
So very true. I know a lot of people who vote for Kerry because we loathed Bush/Cheney. As usual, I await the results of the primaries. In 2000 I had hopes of McCain vs Bradley and I got Bush vs. Gore. Instead of two politicians I respected I got two I did not.

Jim
  #40  
Old 04-11-2006, 02:34 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves
I think I see the source of your confusion now - Will is talking about Republican candidates. Are you suggesting that the main consideration for Republican voters, hoping to hold the White House, will be how different a Republican candidate is from what they see as the defining characteristics of this Administration? That's what Will is suggesting.
I don't understand that.

It's clear that Will is saying some Republicans who don't care much for McCain will find him more attractive if they see a resurgent Democratic party that might take the the WH. It doesn't need to be the main consideration, it just has to be an important consideration for enough voters.

Quote:
Is your argument now "anybody but Hillary"? You really think it'll come to that? Do you really want to get into the commonness and origins of your party's and faction's obsession with her, once again?
I don't know that it even needs to be Hillary, although I think that helps the Republicans rally their base.

And it ain't my party. I'll tell you right now that I will not vote for the Republican candidate for president no matter who he is if the Republicans control both houses of Congress in '08. I want a split government, and while my preference is generally to have a Republican as president and the Dems in control of Congress, I'll take the reverse of that over one party rule any day.
  #41  
Old 04-11-2006, 06:04 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by Renob
. . . and was the sponsor of the most egregious anti-free speech bill in recent years.
Oh, jeez, you're not talking about that feeble half-assed attempt at CFR, the McCain-Feingold Bill, are you?!
  #42  
Old 04-11-2006, 06:04 PM
Merijeek Merijeek is offline
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Originally Posted by What Exit?
Why, John Kerry isn't a liberal?
I consider the Clintons to be moderates and Kerry and Kennedy Liberals. Is that really an unfair generalization?
Hells yes, Kerry is a librul! He's the most librul Senator in the Senate! Or so it was shouted from the mountaintops in 2004.

Want to put some money on whether or not 2008's Democratic candidate will be "the most liberal XXX in the YYY"?

-Joe
  #43  
Old 04-11-2006, 06:11 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by What Exit?
Really, do you base this [Kerry not to the left of Clinton] on voting records or some other determination?
I base it on his 2004 campaign rhetoric, which offered liberals very little reason to hope, and left-progressives like myself even less. But, if we look at his record -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_ke..._voting_record:

Quote:
John Kerry is member of the Democratic Leadership Council, which advocates liberal and neoliberal positions. Most analyses place Kerry's voting record near to, or somewhat to the left of, center within the Senate Democratic caucus.[26] During the 2004 presidential election he was portrayed as a staunch liberal by conservative special interest groups and the Bush campaign, who often noted that in 2003 Kerry was rated the National Journal's top Senate liberal. However, that rating was based only upon voting on legislation within that past year. In fact, in terms of career voting records, the National Journal found that Kerry is the 11th most liberal member of the Senate. Most analyses find that Kerry is "a bit" more liberal than the typical Democratic Senator. For example, Keith T. Poole of the University of Houston found that Kerry was tied for being the 24th most liberal Senator. [citation needed]

Kerry has stated that he opposes privatizing Social Security, supports abortion rights for adult women and minors, supports civil unions for same-sex couples, opposes capital punishment except for terrorists, supports most gun control laws, and is generally a supporter of trade agreements. Kerry supported the North American Free Trade Agreement and Most Favored Nation status for China, but opposed the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
No. Definitely not to the left of Clinton. (Insofar as we can make comparisons on this basis, Clinton never having served in Congress.) Really, what in the above shows any important differences between his politics and Clinton's at all?

For that matter, not even Howard Dean is much of a liberal, if we ignore his rhetoric and just look at his record as governor of Vermont.
  #44  
Old 04-11-2006, 07:21 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
I base it on his 2004 campaign rhetoric, which offered liberals very little reason to hope, and left-progressives like myself even less. But, if we look at his record -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_ke..._voting_record:



No. Definitely not to the left of Clinton. (Insofar as we can make comparisons on this basis, Clinton never having served in Congress.) Really, what in the above shows any important differences between his politics and Clinton's at all?

For that matter, not even Howard Dean is much of a liberal, if we ignore his rhetoric and just look at his record as governor of Vermont.
I didn't mention Dean, I like Dean.
Your own cites say Kerry is only the 11th most liberal Senator. That is out of 100. To me that equals Liberal. If I am sitting somewhere in the Middle, Kerry is definitely a Liberal Senator. Even 24th is still on the liberal side of the Senate. Most Liberal Senator, I never believed that garbage to start with, but Liberal indeed. The Clintons seem much more moderate in policy and actions.

I am not a right winger and I don't believe anything that comes out of the Bush Campaign (who is a dirty stinking draft dodger!!!) I had little respect for the dolt to start with and the smear campaign they ran against McCain, finished off all credibility with me and many other moderates. BTW: I voted for Kerry the "Librul" decorated veteran because he wasn't Bush the idiot with Evil Puppet Master Cheney.

Jim
  #45  
Old 04-11-2006, 08:41 PM
Gladstone Gladstone is offline
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Originally Posted by What Exit?
I didn't mention Dean, I like Dean.
Your own cites say Kerry is only the 11th most liberal Senator. That is out of 100. To me that equals Liberal. If I am sitting somewhere in the Middle, Kerry is definitely a Liberal Senator. Even 24th is still on the liberal side of the Senate.
Since the 100 includes the 44 Democrats and the 55 Republicans (as well as the one Independent), then everyone around the 22nd most liberal senator on the list would be around the moderate wing of the Democrats in the Senate. The 44th most liberal senator and those Democrats immediately before that would be the conservative wing of the Democrats. Whereas the Republicans around the 45th most liberal senator and immediately below would be from the liberal wing of the Republicans in the Senate. Thus, the 24th most liberal senator would likely be from the moderate wing of the Democrats in the Senate and not necessarily a liberal per se.
  #46  
Old 04-11-2006, 08:42 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
Oh, jeez, you're not talking about that feeble half-assed attempt at CFR, the McCain-Feingold Bill, are you?!
Yup, and that's the typical line put out by the devotees of unlimited campaign spending. George Will wraps himself in the First Amendment in the same nauseating way:

" Many of those Republicans especially abhor what his media friends most adore - his unwavering commitment to campaign regulations that enlarge the government's power to regulate the quantity, content and timing of speech about itself, with the applauding media exempt from regulation, of course.

Hey fellas, want to empty out your wallets and savings accounts and send the proceeds to me? After all, it's just "free speech", and you wouldn't begrudge me something free, now would you?
  #47  
Old 04-11-2006, 08:54 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladstone
Since the 100 includes the 44 Democrats and the 55 Republicans (as well as the one Independent), then everyone around the 22nd most liberal senator on the list would be around the moderate wing of the Democrats in the Senate. The 44th most liberal senator and those Democrats immediately before that would be the conservative wing of the Democrats. Whereas the Republicans around the 45th most liberal senator and immediately below would be from the liberal wing of the Republicans in the Senate. Thus, the 24th most liberal senator would likely be from the moderate wing of the Democrats in the Senate and not necessarily a liberal per se.
So 11th would be a liberal.
  #48  
Old 04-11-2006, 08:56 PM
mhendo mhendo is online now
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Originally Posted by What Exit?
I didn't mention Dean, I like Dean.
Your own cites say Kerry is only the 11th most liberal Senator. That is out of 100. To me that equals Liberal. If I am sitting somewhere in the Middle, Kerry is definitely a Liberal Senator. Even 24th is still on the liberal side of the Senate. Most Liberal Senator, I never believed that garbage to start with, but Liberal indeed. The Clintons seem much more moderate in policy and actions.
The fact that he's 11th on that list makes him pretty liberal for a Senator.

But that's about all it tells us. We know from this figure that, in a body not characterised by liberalism, John Kerry is relatively liberal.

Hell, adding to Gladstone's point, even if we removed all the Republicans from the equation, that Wikipedia article notes that
Quote:
Most analyses find that Kerry is "a bit" more liberal than the typical Democratic Senator.
As a party, the Democrats have been on a consistent march away from liberal Democratic values, making even someone's relative position among the Democrats a rather poor indicator of how liberal they are.
  #49  
Old 04-11-2006, 09:00 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by Gladstone
Since the 100 includes the 44 Democrats and the 55 Republicans (as well as the one Independent), then everyone around the 22nd most liberal senator on the list would be around the moderate wing of the Democrats in the Senate.
. . . I think there's a fundamental flaw in analyzing a Congresscritter's place on the political spectrum by such a simplistic method (in relation to his/her peers and numerically).

I mean, if Dennis Kucinich held the same views he holds now but every member of Congress were clearly to the left of him, that would not make him a conservative.
  #50  
Old 04-11-2006, 09:21 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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What is the Hangup with calling Kerry a liberal. I take it he doesn't measure up to a true liberals Standard but to a Moderate or a conservative he looks plenty liberal. Next you'll tell me Ted Kennedy isn't a liberal.
Can you please name a few true Liberal Senators so I know what everyone is talking about.

Jim
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