Campaigns/Elections

Super-Villain Team-Up: Rudy Hearts McCain

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It's no Dr Doom-Red Skull matchup, but pretty freakin' close: both Fox News on the televisual projection device and Time are reporting Rudy Giuliani, his pandering having failed, dropping out tomorrow to endorse seeming juggernaut John McCain. How the frontrunners have fallen; will this change any one's reliance on pre-anyone-voting national polls in future elections?

UPDATE: Rudy just got a big larf by belatedly adding Ron Paul to his list of honorable opponents he was tipping his hat to, then saying that Paul "won all the debates" if you check those (I paraphrase) "things where people call in after the debates."

ANOTHER UPDATE: Previous update done overlapping Matt Welch's blogging of same thing, above

NEXT: Open Thread about the Florida Primaries...

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  1. be right back with my list of libertarians supporting McCain.

  2. The really amazing thing here is that this may be the first case on record of a party nominating for President a man whom everyone in the party hates.

    The only thing the folks over at the Corner get RIGHT is the fact that they hate McCain.

    In order to like McCain, you have to completely invent shit about him out of whole cloth, the way that [for example] Andrew Sullivan does. If you just make up a record for McCain that doesn’t match his actual record, MAYBE you can like him. A little. So who knows, maybe the rest of the Republicans will pretend they’re Andrew Sullivan, and everyone will just make up a pretend McCain in their own mind, that corresponds to the candidate they want to see exist. McCain / Rashomon 2008.

  3. DONDERRROOOOOOOOOOO. Seriously Dondero, if the Great Libertarian Mayor supports McCain now, why don’t you?

  4. If you look at McCain’s record, he voted against the Medicare drug plan bill, against the Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages, he warned the GOP repeatedly that it had to reduce govt spending *along with* tax cuts, he isn’t beholden to the whacko-Christian right, his surge has caused Iraqi casualties to plummet, he’s against ethanol subsidies, he’s against a national catastrophic insurance fund, etc, etc, etc. Why libertarians hate a man who they agree with 80% of the time boggles the mind. He’s the economic and defense conservative who’s casting off the religious crap that Bush brought into the party, and he’s the only hope the GOP has of stopping Hillary. We should have supported him 8 years ago- we would have been spared the worst calamity in GOP history- the Christian-right coup.

  5. Heh heh. The Little Man in Search of a Balcony came in behind Paul in almost all of the primaries. And the FDNY was in Florida to make sure everyone knew what was behind the “America’s Mayor” facade and his self-serving use of 9-11 as a branding device: an utterly corrupt and loathsome man.

    Last year, I was terrified by Giulianus’s putative front-runner status. I would have even considered voting for Hillary to keep that friggin’ Nazi out of the White House. His views of executive power make the Unitary Executive blather coming from Bush’s lawyers look like the work of Raoul Berger. And his personal history of petty vindictiveness and dirty tricks makes Nixon look like Gandhi. And–dear God–Podhoretz as his chief foreign policy advisor?!

    This country has dodged the biggest bullet since Huey Long was shot.

    I guess now Dondero will be backing the Ken Doll as the new great “Libertarian” Republican hope. And if he doesn’t work out, there’s always Alan Keyes! (snicker)

  6. His negatives are known, but McCain does get an 85% on the RLC liberty index on economic votes.

  7. Scott M.: I don’t like the war and being there 100 years is expensive and stupid. The main reason is everytime McCain can he runs left and the other times he runs right it is on the wrong issues. I love him as a deficit hawk but that is about all he has left. McCain from 2000 would be winning no contest.

  8. Well, Scott –

    McCain-Feingold is all his.

    The final version of the Military Commissions Act is all his.

    That means that few men alive are bigger enemies of the Constitution than John McCain.

    We could delve deeper than that – but why bother?

  9. If anyone calls Ron Paul a loon, all we have to do is point to Jack Ripper McCain, a certifiable loon by any objective standard.

  10. fluffy-why the McCain hate? He was the only GOPer to stand up on MCA btw…He forced Bush to make concessions when everyone else on that side was sucking W’s c*ck…

    Are you THAT hung up on campaign finance reform? Jesus…

  11. The guy who says “double Gitmo” is less a threat to the Constitution than a guy who wants to limit issue ads prior to elections…I just don’t see it fluffy…

  12. Mr. Nice Guy:

    McCain didn’t “stand up” on the MCA. He caved in. McCain also loves spying on people, thus look for the Roger Pilon endorsement.

  13. I frankly prefer the Republicans who supported the President’s MCA bill as written.

    At least they didn’t make a great show of how they were going to “stand up against torture” and the rest of the sort of crap that John King says about McCain during the few seconds a day he takes the Senator’s $%^& out of his mouth.

    To accept the accolades of a subservient press corps for being anti-torture, and then to pull the switcheroo and actually facilitate the passage of a “modified” bill that eliminates habeus corpus, immunizes anyone who actually committed acts of torture, and effectively withdraws us from the Geneva Conventions and gives the President a license to torture at will in the future – well, that’s just too disgusting for me to bear.

    And by the way, yes I am that hung up on campaign finance reform. I would probably hate McCain even without the dog and pony show he put on during the passage of the MCA. The MCA just makes me that much more disgusted with the entire McCain cult.

  14. Whoooaaa, wait a minute there dosworth…McCain bravely, lonely, stands up to his party leader on the MCA…He demands x to Bush’s y, which everyone else in the majority GOP swallows whole, and then when McCain accepts z, less of what he wanted but more than the majority would have taken gladly, it’s HIS fault? W-T-F?

  15. Check out McCain’s “Reform Institute,” a peculiar think tank made up of historical McCain campaigners. It gets bread from Soros, Cablevision, Carnegie, and the Proteus Fund…
    THE PROTEUS FUND!

  16. Fluffy’s Rashomon reference was dead on.

  17. Because of the way McCain saw to it that the MCA was passed, everyone involved in abuse of prisoners at Gitmo, everyone who held people in secret prisons, everyone who participated in rendition, etc. can never be prosecuted.

    I think that equals one rhetorical “double Gitmo”.

  18. fluffy-see my previous post about MCA…I don’t see what the f*ck you’re thinking there…He’s at least trying more than the others…He should have fought to the death you think, and nothing less makes you hate him more than the ones who lined up, spread their ass cheeks and said “give it to me baby” to the Prez? WTF?

    I dunno what to say about your campaign finance hang-up. I understand your principled stand. But it’s such a small issue to hate a candidate over…

    You actually prefer a guy who has changed position dramatically on about a dozen major issues whenever it helped him be elected to power? Again, WTF?

  19. So the only thing that held up MCA was McCain, and so he passed, the bill is HIS fault? That is absolutely nuts my friend…

  20. Whoooaaa, wait a minute there dosworth…McCain bravely, lonely, stands up to his party leader on the MCA…He demands x to Bush’s y, which everyone else in the majority GOP swallows whole, and then when McCain accepts z, less of what he wanted but more than the majority would have taken gladly, it’s HIS fault?

    Yes.

    It was a vaudeville routine. That much was obvious at the time and is even more clear in retrospect. He had no intention of seriously opposing the bill, and in fact his changes were less than cosmetic. It was all a big joke, but because McCain went through the motions the possibility of real opposition to the bill was forestalled.

    “Oh, the bill can’t be that bad,” an adoring press cooed. “Saint McCain got changes made!”

  21. Not sure I’ve been happier to lose $10 than on those Giuliani shares I bought over on InTrade a while back….

  22. One of the few concessions McCain, I mean McCain almost BY HIMSELF, forced on the MCA was the Geneva friendly language…

  23. Whhhhaaaat? Do you remember that time? When a lockstep GOP majority just pushed through whatever they wanted? And they were well poised to push through a MUCH worse bill, but McCain (and a handful of other GOPers to be honest) stood up and said WTG we can’t put THAT through. And the Furher said “a pox on these people” and the conservative press laid in on them, and then they let it pass with minor concessions and it is somehow HIS and THIER fault? That is MIND-BOGGLING! C’mon, that’s like Larry Sabato hating on Chuck Robb for “letting him down” when he was a campaign volunteer…

  24. Mr. Nice Guy:

    The Geneva friendly language was mere window dressing. The MCA gave Bush everything he wanted and shreds the bill of rights, all because McCain made a deal. You can have that Dr. Strange wannabe. Libertarians ain’t buying, except perhaps for Roger Pilon.

    Had McCain really wanted to stop the entire bill, he could have fought it and won enough Democratic support to prevail. This is, after all, a Democratic Senate. Mad Bomber McCain made passage of this horrible bill possible.

  25. “This is, after all, a Democratic Senate.”

    Dodsworth, you are a dumbass. The MCA did not pass under a Democratic Senate. It was GOP majority Senate that passed it in OCTOBER of 2006 (before the change of hands)…

  26. MNG,

    How many members of that “lock-step majority” McCain “bravely” stood up to walk around patting themselves on the back and getting head from Andrew Sullivan because they’re anti-torture?

    How many members of that “lock-step majority” stand on the stage in debates and get all faux choked up about how they oppose torture “’cause they know something about it”?

    Sorry. McCain is even more offensive than an open authoritarian like Giuliani. Because he tries to pretend he’s a man of honor, when he is contemptible scum.

    And you just aren’t getting the fact that I simply think it should be obvious to everyone that McCain didn’t really oppose the MCA, and that he merely pretended to oppose it in order to facilitate its passage in a modified form that gave the President everything he wanted anyway.

    And the passage of the MCA was not a done deal. It was a last-minute piece of legislation slapped together in desperation in the waning days before the 2006 elections, when it was starting to be clear that the Republicans would lose their majority in one or both Houses, and Bush desperately needed a bill to immunize his torturers and formalize his kangaroo courts. All that was needed to stop the MCA was a delay. McCain produced a “modified” bill in record time, and his imprimatur on the modified bill made it irresistible.

  27. So, uh….who did oppose the Military Commissions Act?

  28. Actually fluffy, McCain had a passionate exchange with Romney over how bad torture is…Romney would not have taken the pro-torture position he did if it were not popular with GOP voters. McCain took a stand, once again, that was decent and right…

    Do you really entertain the fantasy that the MCA would not have passed WITHOUT McCain’s opposition and then acceptance? WTF? Do you have any proof that enough Republicans were poised to vote against it to make it fail? You are just mad McCain did not “fight harder” for a position that he did fight FOR more than any other GOPer at the time…

  29. A stand, I shoud remind you, that has made McCain take hits from conservatives EVERY time he has taken it…

  30. and for devils advocate, wasn’t the MCA at least better than the status quo -> indefinite detention with absolutely no accountablility to anything nor anyone?

  31. His negatives are known, but McCain does get an 85% on the RLC liberty index on economic votes.

    That happens when you vote no on lots of ultimately inconsequential pork amendments. It still adds up to chump change because McCain’s favorite windmill, earmarks, isn’t where the real money is.

  32. Here we go:

    NAYs —34
    Akaka (D-HI)
    Baucus (D-MT)
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Biden (D-DE)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Cantwell (D-WA)
    Chafee (R-RI)
    Clinton (D-NY)
    Conrad (D-ND)
    Dayton (D-MN)
    Dodd (D-CT)
    Dorgan (D-ND)
    Durbin (D-IL)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Feinstein (D-CA)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Inouye (D-HI)
    Jeffords (I-VT)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Kohl (D-WI)
    Leahy (D-VT)
    Levin (D-MI)
    Lincoln (D-AR)
    Mikulski (D-MD)
    Murray (D-WA)
    Obama (D-IL)
    Reed (D-RI)
    Reid (D-NV)
    Sarbanes (D-MD)
    Schumer (D-NY)
    Wyden (D-OR)

    Four current or former presidential candidates.

  33. You see this here a lot…It’s bullshit in whatever form…Since half of the Democrats voted for the AUMF it’s just as much THEIR fault, in fact maybe MORE so, because they SHOULD have fought it more….Let’s ignore that the ONLY party with significant opposition to the AUMF was the Democrats (about half compared to 1 GOPer), and that ALL the other party rammed it through, hey, they are BOTh equally at fault…What is this crazy thinking? McCain takes significant political heat for doing something, which let’s face it, does not happen much these days (a GOPer standing against a GOP Prez), and because he does not hold out for everything he fought for the bill is actually more HIS fault than people who are on record saying they LOVED the bill…

    That is crazy…

  34. Yeah, Franklin Harris, and the other GOP candidates (Huck and Mitt) would have bravely fought earmarks…Whatever..Comparing what we have to a utopian or perfect alternative is what Marxists did, donthca know?

  35. You forgot Biden.

  36. Mr. Nice Guy:

    Ron Paul voted against the horrible MCA and opposes torture. That is the truly “brave” stand to take.

    McCain singlehandedly enables the MCA to pass but gets some totally unenforcible langauge about the Geneva convention. McCain’s stand is that of coward and political opportunist.

  37. Romney would not have taken the pro-torture position he did if it were not popular with GOP voters. McCain took a stand, once again, that was decent and right…

    So you have no problem with someone getting praise for “taking a stand” [including from you, apparently – he’s got the wool over your eyes] and then going home and torturing some guy in their basement? Because that’s pretty much the John McCain story nowadays.

    Thanks for the 34 nays, Joe. Because:

    Do you really entertain the fantasy that the MCA would not have passed WITHOUT McCain’s opposition and then acceptance?

    Yes. There were more Democrat nays before McCain acted as Bush’s sockpuppet. Add in McCain as a nay and maybe Spector and Hagel too, and you’re getting near to enough votes to filibuster, or to bury the bill in a hail of amendments. McCain’s little show was absolutely necessary to provide cover to borderline votes to support the final bill. After all, how could St. McCain, the sanctified victim of the evil commies, support a bill that allowed torture and protected torturers? A Bush torture bill could be stopped. A Bush/McCain torture bill could not be stopped.

  38. Why come to that convulted conclusion (that McCain went through all that, earning the hatred of many hardcore GOPers [very important in any primary mind you], just to ultimately please the Bush administration) when a much more logical conclusion is that he gave an honorable dissent to it and then got what compromise he thought politically feasible…Again, he fought it, single handledy forced some positive changes, and you dump on him because he should have held out for more positive changes? And that is somehow worse than the majority of Senators who were ready to sign on at the beginning? And you don’t think that at the time Mitt would have been panting, Jon Cornyn like, to pass this thin as W FIRST proposed? Get real…

  39. “So you have no problem with someone getting praise for “taking a stand” [including from you, apparently – he’s got the wool over your eyes] and then going home and torturing some guy in their basement? Because that’s pretty much the John McCain story nowadays.”

    It’s plain to me that McCain fought the same way that John Warner (R-Va) did those days. Both former military men, they made comments slowing down the insane, lemur like GOP rush to sanction torture. Remember this was at a time when the GOP was framing the debate as “rights for terrorists” and many Dems were not going to vote against it…This is WHY they rushed it through so close to election day, they were hoping to make the Dems look bad…But McCain, and a handful of other GOPers, god bless me, (just like they did on the “nuclear option”, were you for that btw?) slowed the bill up…So they could not stop it…They were catching amazing political heat (go look at archives from NRO and the like back then)…And they caved earlier than you would have liked…And so it is THIER fault..Amazing…

  40. From the wikipedia site on the McCain amendemnt:
    “The amendment affected the United States Senate Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006, commonly referred to as the Amendment on (1) the Army Field Manual and (2) Cruel, Inhumane, Degrading Treatment, amendment #1977 and also known as the McCain Amendment 1977. It became the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 as Title X of the Department of Defense Authorization bill. The amendment prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, by confining interrogations to the techniques in FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation. Also, section 1005, part (e) of the Act prohibits aliens detained in Guantanamo Bay from applying for a writ of habeas corpus.[1]

    Amendment 1977 amended the defense appropriations bill for 2005 passed by the United States House of Representatives. The amendment was introduced to the Senate by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) on October 3, 2005 as S.AMDT.1977.

    The amendment was co-sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham, Chuck Hagel, Gordon H. Smith, Susan M. Collins, Lamar Alexander, Richard Durbin, Carl Levin, John Warner, Lincoln Chafee, John E. Sununu, and Ken Salazar.

    On October 5, 2005, the United States Senate voted 90-9 to support the amendment. [2] The Senators who voted against the amendment were Wayne Allard (R-CO), Christopher Bond (R-MO), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), James Inhofe (R-OK), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Ted Stevens (R-AK).

    Those nine that voted against it fluffy, they did so because they obviously thought it was too tough on detainees, right? Give me a BREAK…

  41. Biden’s dead to me, Horst. Dead!

  42. MNG,

    You may not realize this, but on the first day of Congress School they teach you that if you don’t want a bill to pass, you don’t want to make it better. You want to make it worse.

    Your wikipedia cite supports my version of events. Eleven Republicans – at least eleven – were not willing to support the President’s bill.

    Rather than just let the bill die, McCain saved the bill. His intervention allowed those eleven + Republicans a way to support the bill while still appearing to stand up to the President.

    If McCain actually wanted the bill to not pass, he would have offered amendments ordering forced abortion for girl scouts or something. He would have offered amendments designed to make the bill unpalatable to more Republicans. He wouldn’t have produced cosmetic amendments designed to make it easier for John Warner to sleep at night.

  43. Again, he fought it, single handledy forced some positive changes,

    Uh, Hel-LO? 34 Democratic Nay votes? Other Democrats who would have voted NAY if they’d had the slightest political cover?

    McCain didn’t single-handedly force squat on that bill. He single-handedly bailed on the opposition.

  44. You can not call it a moral stance if he ends up voting “yea” for that bill (which he did). You hold a man accountable for the vote on the thing in front of him. He gave that turd his blessing and should be held accountable for the vote.

    Whether he’s better or worse than the other candidates is another issue.

  45. “Your wikipedia cite supports my version of events. Eleven Republicans – at least eleven – were not willing to support the President’s bill.”

    Where do you get that from?

    “on the first day of Congress School they teach you that if you don’t want a bill to pass, you don’t want to make it better. You want to make it worse.”

    Not it it’s gonna go through either way…

    Joe-“Other Democrats who would have voted NAY if they’d had the slightest political cover?” Where do you get that from? At the time the GOP was framing this as a “do you support rights for terrorists” and many, many Dems were not going to touch it, McCain or not. What Dem wins votes by voting against this?

  46. fluffy-do you deny that McCain was catching hell at the time from conservative quarters for his (in your opinion only feignedly) opposition to Bush on this bill (please say no he wasn’t and make this easy for me)? I’d like you to tell me what he was supposed to gain from this, considering he wanted to win, well, the GOP nomination…What in the world would be his motivation if he were, in fact, wanting to get an awful version of this bill passed…

  47. One thing I can say looking at joes listing of those who voted against that bill, is, thank god for the Democrats….Whenever I get tired of their civil rights pandering, I need to see a vote like this…Note there is NO CONSTITUENCY for this vote…It was framed at the time, as usual, by the GOP (only ONE of which from a MAJORITY had the balls to oppose), as a vote for “terrorist rights.” The Dems had NOTHING to gain from this vote, electorally, and yet still voted as a majority for the right thing…When was the last time the GOP did that????

  48. Yeah, Franklin Harris, and the other GOP candidates (Huck and Mitt) would have bravely fought earmarks…Whatever..Comparing what we have to a utopian or perfect alternative is what Marxists did, donthca know?

    Not quite my point. My point is that the RLC economic ratings are only a vague indicator of economic libertarianism and overstate small-change fiscal issues while understating big ones. A vote against a bridge to nowhere counts the same as a vote against the largest expansion of Medicaid in history because they’re both one vote.

  49. Point taken, Franklin. On the other hand, McCain gets an ‘A’ from NTU (who factor in net spending increases), as does Ron Paul.

    That said, staying in Iraq indefinitely, as McCain states he is willing to do, would be pretty costly.

    > That happens when you vote no on lots of ultimately inconsequential pork amendments. It still adds up to chump change because McCain’s favorite windmill, earmarks, isn’t where the real money is.

  50. Mr. Nice Guy:

    McCain knew he’d “catch hell” from conservatives, in fact he counted on it. It was a political calculation to win over non-conservatives and it has worked thus far. His “brave” (in reality calculated windowdressing) got the normally antiwar press on his side, big time. The war will drag him down in the end, nevertheless.

  51. I don’t follow McCain too closely, but it seems to me McCain had a lot to lose by opposing — even if only partially — the MCA. I’m not sure how running counter to both the party establishment and the predominant sensibilities of the base were supposed to help McCain with the problem most people seem to agree is his biggest challenge: winning the primary race. So the media “loves” him? Don’t conservatives overwhelmingly dismiss the ol’ MSM as very liberally biased anyhow? So that would mean
    MSM enthusiasm for him would tip off the already alienated conservative base that McCain really is not a trustworthy conservative, if he’s favored by the enemy. That doesn’t seem like a sound plan to win the primaries.

  52. MNG,

    Where do you get that from? At the time the GOP was framing this as a “do you support rights for terrorists”

    Yes, exactly, it was being framed as tough-guy Republicans who want to fight terrorists vs. wimpy Democrats who do not. Support from John McCain would have helped to break that frame.

  53. “It’s no Dr Doom-Red Skull matchup, but pretty freakin’ close”

    All they need now is to add Ron Paul to their “team”. After all what team of villians is complete without the unhinged rantings of a virulent bigot?

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