Bush Even Makes McCain Look Good


I'm not a big John McCain fan, but he made the right noises in speeches yesterday to the Federalist Society and GOPAC:

We lost our principles and our majority. And there is no way to recover our majority without recovering our principles first….

[Voters] rejected us because they felt we had come to value our incumbency over our principle. And partisanship, from both parties, was no longer a contest of ideas, but an ever cruder and uncivil brawl over the spoils of power.

Americans had elected us to change government, and they rejected us because they believed government had changed us…

Last year, a Republican Congress passed a highway bill with 6,371 special projects costing the taxpayers 24 billion dollars. Those and other earmarks passed by a Republican Congress included $50 million for an indoor rainforest, $500,000 for a teapot museum; $350,000 for an Inner Harmony Foundation and Wellness Center; and of course, as you all know, $223 million for a bridge to nowhere. I didn't see these projects in the fine print of the Contract with America, and neither did the voters.

Although McCain obviously is brushing up his bona fides with economic conservatives in preparation for his presidential campaign, he does have a pretty good record of opposing pork and advocating fiscal restraint. He also shares George W. Bush's relatively tolerant approach to immigration—one of the few positive aspects of the president's platform. And he has stood up to Bush on executive power issues when most Republicans were eager to give the president everything he wanted. I'm not sure if that's enough to make up for McCain's assaults on the First Amendment and his hawkish foreign policy views, but he certainly is looking better than, say, Bill Frist.