Whence the lefty hardon for McCain?


I’ve seen it on the SDMB, on other boards I frequent, and among people I know in real life: ostensible Democrats, leftists, pro-choice types, dope smoking hippies, anti-warriors, and other presumed progressives who constantly make bedroom eyes at John McCain.

I mean, the guy’s just about conservative as you can get. He’s been one-hunnerd-percent behind the neocon vision of better living through war. He’s called the WMD issue irrelevant. He wants to prosecute abortion doctors and people who burn the flag. Discrimination against homosexuals in the workplace is A-OK with him, and queers getting married would destroy the family, the country, and make Baby Jesus cry.

He’s never seen a tax cut he didn’t like, and a flat tax wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. He’s in favor of public school prayer and abstinence-only education. He wants to privatize Social Security and lock up pot smokers.

I could go on, but you get the idea. With the possible exceptions of torture (iffy, given his thumbs up to Gitmo), campaign finance reform, and general personal repulsiveness, he’s philosophically not that much better than Bush.

But I hear my supposed idealogical brethren and sistren (that’s actually a word - I looked it up) pine for a McCain 00/04/08 presidential run, because they’d actually vote for the guy if Karl Rove let him get past the primaries, all the frickin’ time.

So what gives? I understand that he’s probably a righteous dude, at least interpersonally, but so was Regan, and I don’t remember any ISO members getting wet at the thought of the Gipper. Quite the opposite, in fact.

What’s the je ne sais quoi that makes my comrades completely disregard everything they stand for whenever the subject of McCain come up?

I heard one self described liberal jounalist put it this way: he’s intelligent and principaled. Those of us who are liberal just cannot get our minds around the fact that someone with both those traits would be a conservative!

Simple fact, most who lust for him have the across the bar attraction. They haven’t yet seen him in the morning light and evaluated how hardcore his conservative creds are. They see him dissing off some conservatives and special interests and like it. They wouldn’t really want a second date, methinks.

I did a search and didn’t find a similar thread, but I should have at least scanned the front page.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. I don’t wanna pick on jrfranchi, but s/he put McCain in the same sentance with Dean and Bill Bradley.

I’m all, like, WTF?

I’ve never understood it either. If the Dems nominated Lyndon LaRouche, I’d probably vote for McCain, but, I mean, c’mon! He is a Republican’s Republican. Honest? Sure. Principled? Sure. Stands for anything I agree with politically? No way.

The funny thing is that a lot of Republican’s DON’T like him because they find him too liberal and doesn’t toe the party line on a lot of the very issues the OP criticised him on. I know that a lot of economic conservatives don’t like him because he seems to be in favor of fairly high social type spending (though how he could be worse than Bush I have no idea). I think a lot of the OP’s criticisms of McCain are partisan based and either skewed or out and out not true.

Myself, I’d vote for McCain, but this is more from personal reasons than politics (he is actually a friend of the families so to speak).


I think that there is a rift in both parties because both parties are actually straddling both parties. If we are going to insist on a bipartisan system, I believe that some people from the Republicans should be Democrats and vice versa.

Personally I get lumped liberal simply because I believe “live and let live”, and therefore that makes me socially liberal. However, economically I’d bring taxes as close to zero as is practically feasible.


You’re wrong.

I think a lot of the love for McCain is because he’s a genuinely good man, regardless of his politics. When he says he believes something, he really believes it, he’s not just pandering to his base.

He has challenged Rpublicans on a lot of things, Campaign finance reform being the one that springs to mind. And he has been treated very poorly by some Republicans. George Bush’s odious campaign against him in the South Carolina Republican primary comes to mind. And, IMO, compared to the likes of Frist, Hastert, and DeLay he’s not just a good man, he’s a veritable saint.

Also although I don’t work in politics living in D.C. has put me in contact with a lot of people who do. One thing they say about McCain is that he is one of the most reliable, honest and trustworthy people on the hill. If he says he’ll do something for you, he’ll do it. Apparently that’s very rare on the hill. (One other guy who has this rep is McCain’s opposite in Chamber, party and ideology: Barney Frank.)

Another aspect is that he talks straight to journalists and either grants interviews or says upfront that he won’t. Again, this is rare in D.C. where “let’s do lunch” is as common a piece of BS as it is in Hollywood. Journalists, even those who disagree with him like him, as he’ll show up and give them substantive answers. Since journalists like him, and since we get most of our info about politicians from journalists, we tend to like him too.

As This Year’s Model said, the dems would have to nominate someone like LaRouche for me to consider voting for McCain for President. And I hope his party becomes the minority party in both houses. But I’d like to see him remain as a member of that minority party, social conservatism and all.

Huh? First off, of course the comments are partisan based. The OP is a liberal and McCain is a conservative.

Quotes from On The Issues date mostly from before 2000. The site has apparently only been updated spasmodically since then, at least for McCain.

What is “out and out not true”?

His occasional willingness to call the administration’s more egregious BS what it is gives him the appearance of being principled. I believe he is principled as Republicans go, but at this point that’s like being the world’s tallest midget.

I lost any respect that I had for him (and I did have some) when he actively campaigned for Bush in the last election. He didn’t have to campaign for Kerry or anything like that, but if he really was willing to stand up for principle, he would have at least stayed home or kept his support muted.

Sing it, black455.

Also, he and Bush don’t like each other, and he gave Bush the closest thing to a hard time that he got in the primaries, so there’s some enemy of my enemy is my friend stuff there.


Well, if we’re going to live in a country run by Conservatives, we’d at least like to have a decent Conservative. Nobody’s ever accused McCain of hypocrisy - of believing that Conservatism means making other people live up to Conservative ideals.

The only thing that makes sense is that he’s the one Republican Senate most willing to break ranks with his Party. But his politics are **very **conservative. He’s unabashedly in favor of the Iraq war, even if he is critical of some of the exectution part. He’s staunchly anti-abortion. Seeing as how those are on the top of all most lefties’ lists, I don’t see how the hardon is justified, if it in fact exists.

Kerry was nuts when he thouht McCain would join him on the ticket. Nuts.

Now, I’m a conservative talking here, but here’s where I see a problem.

He may be intelligent, but he is not principled. And that is why he will never get a presidential nomination. A long time ago, he decided it was alright to screw over the party, or anyone else, if it helped John McCain get his name in the spotlight. He’s a media hound, and whatever his politics, he just isn’t trustworthy. He got his reputation by proudly standing up now and then and denouncing whatever it was at the moment to establish that he was independant and fiesty. Follow through? No.

Moreover, his sponsoring the McCain-Feingold Act alone is enough to make me gag. For that reason alone I would never vote for him, and would in fact campaign for most Democrats instead, assuming they didn’t support the McCain-Feingold Act. That issue alone is enough to permanently and irrevocably tarnish him in my eyes. There’s no need to go into any other issues.

Heehee. That’s adorable.

That’s all right. I’ll be happy to explain. Bill Bradley is closest to my political bent. He is a moderate democrat. I am a moderate (or disenfranchised) republican.
All 3 are honest, upright men you don’t vote the party line. They all appear to have integrity.
Obviously I am not a liberal though I share many liberal views. Especially about Religion, the environment, fair wages, UHC and Equal/Gay rights.
But I am also a hawk. I do believe in smaller government, which by the way Bush does not if we take actions over lip service. I am an anti-welfare/pro-job program. Actually I don’t think you can pigeon hole me. So I don’t vote a party line or a doctrinal line. I vote for people that I can respect. Lately this has been harder to do.
I am overjoyed I get to vote for a Governor shortly that I respect. Guess what, he is a democrat. He is not liberal however. I am talking about Jon Corzine. Last time I had to choose between a neo Nazi or a Bread and Circuses liberal.

I like Obama too, but he is too liberal for me so far. I’ll wait and see.

I think it the thread you referred; I also included Colin Powell, a perfect choice and Rudy Giuliani my favorite choice. You should probably not just pull a line from my post. It is not quite fair when I am not even in the thread yet.


BTW Male

I’m positive it exists. I’ve been a party to a discussion over the past couple of days with two other guys - one a card-carrying (literally) Republican, and the other a guy who, among other things, smokes drugs, dyes his hair pink, and regularly gets maced at anti-globalization demonstrations.

Rep: “The fact that McCain was in the Gang of 14 should prove to anybody that McCain is a liberal.”

Lib: “Dude, no way. He’s in favor of a balanced budget and stuff, but he’s a moderate. Hell, I’d vote for him in a hearbeat.”

Both of these guys are obviously wrong. I’ll bet anything that Rep is still going to vote for Dewine next November, and I’m going to save his “G o’ 14 = Liberal” quote for when I start arguing that he should stay home instead, natch. But guy #2, despite being very intelligent and pretty politically savvy, almost didn’t believe me about McCain.

I recall some grumbling coming from Rush et al in '00 that McCain had basically charmed his way into the media’s panties, and I’m beginning to see their point, though it kinda undermines the Liberal Media shibboleth. There isn’t that much objective difference between him and, say, Santorum. Maybe it’s that he’s not quite so publicly strident as the other social conservatives; I dunno.

If we were talking about Jim Jeffords, I could understand the lurve, even if he hadn’t actually defected.

I’m a moderate Libertarian. Though I disagree with McCain on a few points, I also agree with him on a few points. I think his best quality, to me, is that he seems sane and willing to listen to differing viewpoints.

Well, what I meant was “if it exists in any real significance among informed liberals”.
Your anti-globalizstion friend probably isn’t well informed. But, you’d probably get a better answer if you just asked them.

Gotcha. I didn’t mean to quote you out of context, it’s just that the contrast seemed pretty striking. Bradley spent the 2000 campaign taking Gore and the DLC to task for being sellouts.

I firmly beleive that if Giuliani lived anywhere other than NYC, he’d probably be a New Democrat. Colin Powell I can see; despite the, uh, “compromises” he made under W, he seems to me like a pretty firm Establishment Republican, though I’m not too up on his positions on social issues.