Rudy Giuliani

Trouble on the Straight Talk Express

|

In the last 24 hours, John McCain's 2008 presidential hopes were dealt two heavy, self-inflicted blows. First, Brian Bilbray won the special election in California's 50th district. Democrat Francine Busby had endorsed McCain's immigration bill, running footage of the senator in her ads as she discussed how she'd protect the border. On May 31 McCain was scheduled to appear at a fundraiser for Bilbray, but he pulled out at the last minute in either a pique or a strategic decision over Bilbray's opposition to the Senate immigration bill. (It depends whose spin you believe.) That could have redounded to McCain's benefit if Busby won. But she didn't.

This morning McCain broke with his party again and voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment. It was a principled stance, the same vote he cast in 2004, but it represented another break with the mainstream of his party.

The easy take on these votes is that McCain is looking ahead to the fall 2008 campaign and wants to keep a balanced portfolio of votes. His immigration views, at least, are in line with the majority of Americans. But unless Rudy Giuliani also runs, McCain will probably be the only Republican candidate on record against the FMA. He's surely the only candidate who'll willfully piss off other Republicans in the stretch before a critical election. If McCain actually loses the Republican nomination in two years, stuff like this will be the cause.

If you missed Michael Lynch's hard-hitting takedown of candidate McCain in 1999, it's right here.

NEXT: Common Kos?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. You can’t fault him for voting against the doomed marriage crap. I’d hazard a guess that most people, Republicans included, don’t really give a rats ass. If by a miracle it passed the Senate it certainly wouldn’t get the required states for ratification.

    I’m no fan of McCain but in my view this has been the only thing hes done right latley.

  2. “His immigration views, at least, are in line with the majority of Americans.” ???

    Link please?

  3. Does anyone here have a better realistic candidate for the Republican nomination?

  4. I don’t think anybody on here faults McCain for voting against the FMA or the Immigration Bill. The problem with McCain is that for all of his “principled stands” he still votes for government entrenchment and more spending.

  5. Too little, too late. I permanently wrote off McCain after I saw him on television talking about how necessary it was for Big Government to protect the children from the dangers of steroids in Major League Baseball.

  6. “[McCain’s] immigration views, at least, are in line with the majority of Americans.”

    Oh really? I doubt that. Most Americans take a dim view of the elements contained in the Senate Bill. Yes, loaded words like amnesty and law breaker are used in discussing this issue, but the general perception of most Americans is a bit to the right of McCain.

    One of the hallmarks of libertarianism never pretending that your ideas (or anything close to your ideas in a heated debate) are accepted by the majority of Americans. Libertarians have to accept that often, to our dismay, the majority of people will support something we find ridiculous or even horrific.

    Most liberatarians tactically support the House bill, Bush’s views, or something even more lax (for want of a better term) on immigration. Most Americans lean in the other direction. Bibray’s election is an example of this.

    Some libertarians, like Hans Herman Hoppe, favor severe restrictions, but most Americans have never heard of Hoppe or his more unique ideas.

  7. “Does anyone here have a better realistic candidate for the Republican nomination?”

    No, but the Democrats by-and-large only have worse realistic candidates, so if McCain makes it through the primaries he’s almost guaranteed a win.

  8. Does anyone here have a better realistic candidate for the Republican nomination?

    Ummm, how old are the twins now?

  9. Bilbray is a good example of how the republicans went from horrible to horrific — he was elected to Congress the first time around in 1994, a surfer, laid back, member of the Republican Liberty Caucus with Ronnie Raul. Now he’s a racist K St hack who beat a virtual unknown (school board member)Busby, by a relatively narrow margin (3%) only after the RNC outspent the other side by 10 to 1 with Lou Dobbseque attack ads that basically accused her of being a Mexican nationalist – I’m on the edge of the district and had to be exposed to the ads for far too long. (Busby is an idiot as well to be fair, and if I vote I’ll throw it away on the LP candidate gladly)

    Worse yet, they will face off again in November and with such a close margin of victory I will be smashed with massive ad buys from both sides…

    As for McCain, I only wish the Viet Cong had held onto him for another six years or so, that would make him a triple double hero and he’d be president already three times over.

  10. Much as in ’04, I’m having difficulty finding candidates on either side worthy of my vote. And yet I continue to go to the booths. Maybe there’s something wrong with me…

  11. “Most liberatarians tactically support the House bill, Bush’s views, or something even more lax (for want of a better term) on immigration”

    I would assume most libertarians would favour the status quo over either bill and certainly over what will come out of conference. Most libertarians want Congress to go on recess until at least the November election…

  12. Why don’t we go straight for McCain’s wife to be Prez?
    We shoulda done that with Slick Willie.
    Much more efficient.
    And Mrs. McCain is a hottie!

  13. The status quo, to borrow a term from another thread today, sucks.

    While the Congress (and the President) haven’t had much sensible to say on the matter, it’s not impossible that what comes out of the sausage grinder will be slightly better than the status quo.

  14. Barb and Jenna are way too young yet. Besides, they are in the military serving our country in its time of peril from the terrorists. Are’nt
    they?

  15. As for GOP candidates, I’d still like to see Rice run — if Clinton and she went up against each other, we’d at least get the nonsense about a female President out of the way, and we might well get a minority President in the deal.

    Of course, I do not yet know enough about Rice’s politics to say that I could support her, but she’s got to be at least as acceptable as McCain (who I regard as having demonstrated a complete inability to read the plain words of the First Amendment…)

  16. And Mrs. McCain is a hottie!

    This thread is useless without pics.

  17. realistic

    A viable, realistic, frontrunner can become a has-been nutjob within weeks. Think Howard Dean. Trying to pick the 2008 candidates is like picking the 2008 Super bowl teams.

    But I would like to see McCain and Chuck Hagel in a WWF Smackdown cage match.

  18. George Allen is an almost lock. Dumb? Terrifyingly, makes W look sharp. Fundy? Check. Southern? Can play it on TV.

    Agreed though if McCain makes it through the primary somehow, I don’t see how he loses the election.

  19. George Allen is an almost lock. Dumb? Terrifyingly, makes W look sharp. Fundy? Check. Southern? Can play it on TV.

    He also wants to deport ALL illegal aliens. 11 million of them.

    Here is an article about him entitled “Can George Allen bring a libertarian sense to the White House” by Fred Barnes. See if you can find one viewpoint that can even be remotely described as libertarian:

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008274

  20. “It was a principled stance”

    In what alternative universe?

  21. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If McCain would just switch to the Democratic party already, the McCain-Clinton (or Clinton-McCain) ticket would win in a landslide.

    McCain’s policies are so far left, I can’t believe the Republican party hasn’t ousted him already.

    MDH

  22. I’m still predicting that the 2008 race will be Sen. Warner (R-VA) vs. Sen. Warner (D-VA).

    If one of them wins by a small margin, there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  23. Seems to me that McCain’s main problem is that he only seems to make principled stands voting against bills that are doomed to (pick all that apply):

    1. be voted down in the Senate.

    2. be defeated in the House, thence never getting to the conference committee.

    3. be vetoed by the sitting POTUS (Clinton years).

    4. be nullified by the “activist judges” on the U.S. Appeals Circuit and Supreme Court.

    Has anyone ever noted him voting against a Republican sponsored measure that passed and was signed into law?

    I also agree with the comments above that McCain also is way, way to much of a STATIST, Big Gov. interventionist to be a viable alternative for libertarian crossover voting in ’08.

  24. Mac Daddy – would that be one of the signs of the apocalypse?

  25. And Mrs. McCain is a hottie!

    This thread is useless without pics.

    You mean like this?

  26. Mac Daddy – would that be one of the signs of the apocalypse?

    I don’t know, it might be kind of fun to watch.

  27. Thanks for the pic, MP. She’s attractive, but she’s no Barbara Mikulski (shoutout to Ruthless).

  28. And Mrs. McCain is a hottie!

    and her family owns the budwieser distributorship in Phoenix

  29. I’m still predicting that the 2008 race will be Sen. Warner (R-VA) vs. Sen. Warner (D-VA).

    Goldang, I can’t wait to see what the Palm Beach voters’ll do with that doozy. 🙂

  30. FWIW, Mark Warner is the former governor of Virginia, and as far as I can tell, is not in and has no plans to run for the Senate this year.

  31. jf, that was just plain old mean. Bleargh.

  32. A Quote from Lynch’s ’99 piece on McCain:

    “In this country we have two parties,” says the ACU’s David Keene. “One of them is the pro-government party; one of them is the anti-government party.”

    Has that dichotomy been overtaken by events or what?

  33. Look, we’d all like to think that we have a crystal ball that can predict who will be nominated. But any of the current front-runners could still do one or more of the following:

    1) Wear the wrong makeup in a debate.
    2) Yell.
    3) Talk about what he was doing during Vietnam.
    4) Not want to talk about what he was doing during Vietnam.
    5) Drive a tank (nowadays in the US, not 35 years ago in Vietnam).
    6) Jump into a mosh pit at Michael Moore’s behest. (Alan Keyes did. Yes, really, I swear!)
    7) Screw up on flipping pancakes in New Hampshire.
    8) Express skepticism about ethanol.
    9) Be revealed to have a bit too much fondness for ethanol, if you know what I mean.
    10) Be an ardent practicioner of heterosexuality. A little too ardent, if you know what I mean.

    Bottom line: We have a process designed to weed out any number of traits that are totally irrelevant to the actual job description. Any or all of the current front-runners could still flunk that process, leaving us all saying “Who the hell are those guys?” the morning after Super Tuesday.

  34. I’ve said this before; I’ll never vote for McCain, but I will vote for Rice if she runs.

  35. her family owns the budwieser distributorship in Phoenix

    I think I’m in love.

  36. Isaac,

    Thousands of Palm Beach Counties, all over the US.

    Enough in every single close state to get a lawsuit through summary judgement.

    Woo-hoo!

  37. BTW, whats up with all the old people posting pictures of old bitches on this site?

    Just kidding, don’t get mad.

  38. Hey! I’m only 34 goddammit.

  39. Here is an article about him entitled “Can George Allen bring a libertarian sense to the White House” by Fred Barnes. See if you can find one viewpoint that can even be remotely described as libertarian:
    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008274

    Both sides are doing this often in the press in the last few months. They’re starting to attribute certain ideas to libertarians and talking about them in articles and interviews. I’m quite sure that it’s their way to subtly undermine libertarian principles, politics and practices.

  40. Why don’t we go straight for McCain’s wife to be Prez?
    We shoulda done that with Slick Willie.
    Much more efficient.
    And Mrs. McCain is a hottie!

    No, not really. That’s not what the Horn Dog is looking for. The Horn Dog is sort of frightened.

  41. Horn Dog,
    How could you have the balls to give yourself the name and not realize the image you posted proves Mrs. Mc is a hottie?

    MP, thanks for your posting of her image.
    (I’m too old to be able to do that. It’s a wonder I was able to wander into this hotbed of whippersnappers on H&R to begin with.)

    jf, Let’s never look at Mikulski again.

  42. Ruthless,
    You should change your name to Tasteless. 😉

  43. The Horn Dog just looked at the Mikulski picture. I’m on my way to buy some bleach for my eyeballs. After they have been cleaned, they will be burned and I am chopping off my unit and sending it to this guy

  44. I’ve been voting ‘Rep’ as the lesser evil, whenever I could stomach voting for evil, since I first got out of high school in (too long ago).

    If McCain gets the ‘Rep’ nod, I will pull the ‘Dem’ lever no matter who is on it.

    The man is too dangerous to the Constitution, and at least a ‘Dem’ will be fought against.

  45. You know, everyone is assuming that the Republican Party is McCain’s only option, and that therefore everything he does which alienates the Republican base is either a blunder or a brave, principled (whether the principles are good or bad) stance. But this overlooks another possibility: That McCain is at least keeping available the option of a third party candidacy…

  46. I’d still like to see Rice run — if Clinton and she went up against each other, we’d at least get the nonsense about a female President out of the way,

    That would be a golden opportunity for the LP to nominate a male and pick up all the women-can’t-be-president votes. Trust me, there are a lot of those out there…

    And yes, I’m serious.

  47. What about Kerry’s wife? She’s got twice the balls her husband does and she’s better looking than Mme McCain to boot.

  48. What about Kerry’s wife? She’s got twice the balls her husband does and she’s better looking than Mme McCain to boot.

    Not to mention all the ketchup. Mmmm, ketchup.

    Say what you want about Bush (and I mean that), he’s got some hot daughters.

  49. joe, just remember what happened the last time they tried an election stealing contest the elephants just stomped the donkeys. I mean I know that historically the dems have had supremacy in that department but as in all things the torch must pass.

    Just imagine, the Democrats control most of the the election machinery in a state and they can’t even get it together to steal an election. That’s when I learned just what an evil genius Karl Rove is. 🙂

  50. The Straight Talk Express comes out against the Federal Marriage Amendment?

    ROTFL.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.