National Defense

"Is It Too Late for the GOP to Dump McCain?"

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That's the question that the Newark Star-Ledger's Paul Mulshine is asking after talking to one Matt Welch, author of McCain: The Myth of a Maverick. From Mulshine's col:

"Since about 1997 or 1998, he has lost all skepticism of the use of U.S. military power, period," said Welch when I got him on the phone yesterday. "He has been totally consistent since then that the answer to any military question is more boots on the ground."

To that end, McCain wants to increase the size of the military overall by 150,000 troops and of course wants to "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," as he so musically put it. But McCain has no idea how to pay for all the military action that will get his mug on Mount Rushmore alongside his hero Teddy Roosevelt.

On domestic affairs as well, says Welch, the earlier version of McCain was a lot more reasonable. As late as his 2000 campaign for president, he was arguing that the next president should deal with such prosaic problems as the debts for Social Security and Medicare.

"McCain would have been more suited to the time of 2000 and might not have done many of the things Bush did," says Welch. "Maybe his tenor was the tenor we were looking for after Sept. 11, 2001. But I don't think it's the tenor we're looking for after 2008."

The funny part, as Welch notes, is that it wasn't really Republicans who nominated McCain. He failed to win even a plurality of Republican votes in the crucial early primaries. The votes of Democrats and independents gave him that insurmountable lead in a crowded field.

The whole col on McCain here.

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  1. Yep way too late!

    McCain 08…the Bob Dole for a new century!

  2. My friends, I know you’ve been hearing some very exciting things on your intertubes about that Osama fellow, but my friends, America needs someone who can turn the engine crank, open up the choke, flip up the rumble seat, and get this country moving down the dirt road of freedom.

    Because, my friends, the future is full of robots, and when robots clamp on with their metal claws, you can’t get away. Because, my friends, robots are strong, and made of metal.

  3. My friends, hope is a powerful thing, my friends.

  4. Operation McKaos is on!

  5. “The votes of Democrats and independents gave [McCain] that insurmountable lead in a crowded field.”

    So what’s wrong with that? Why should people be disenfranchised from voting in Republican primaries just because of some technicality like them not being Republicans?

    Such hate speech!

  6. I wonder if the cross over voters for McCain now wish they had voted for Hillary.

  7. It’s not too late, but RP supporters need to do something beyond airships. Namely, exposing McCain’s weaknesses by going to his public appearances, asking him the questions MSM hacks won’t ask, and then uploading his response to video sharing sites.

    Here’s a question he’ll have trouble with if it’s asked in the right way.

    Note also that he’s going to speak to the group that gave this guy an award, and that group has many more issues as well. Ask him about that.

    Alternatively, RP supporters can go hang some banners on freeway overpasses, and then wonder why no one cares.

  8. I actually support hiring another 150,000 millitary personal. Even if we pulled out of every position between Turkey and the Indian Ocean, we still have commitments in Kosivo, Korea, Japan, Germany, and many other countries. We need to gradually hand over responsibilities to our allies. A quick transfer would creat a power vacuum. The extra hires will relieve our over burdened troops while we refocus our foreign policy.

    Besides, I don’t understand basing foreign policy decisions on finances. If the US was capable of destroying a nonviolent country for $5 and we knew for sure that the remaining coutries would praise us for it, would the low costs make it some how OK? The noninitiation of force should guide our foreign policy, not finances.

  9. Got it. North-eastern newspaper opposes GOP nominee.

    Also: dog bites man; film at eleven.

  10. Because, my friends, the future is full of robots, and when robots clamp on with their metal claws, you can’t get away.

    They can’t be reasoned with. They can’t be bargained with. And they will not stop–ever–until you are dead.

  11. Would someone just ask McCain Lone’s question already? Please?

  12. LoneWackOff, didn’t you say Hillary would win?

  13. Welch/Gillespie ’08!

  14. “The funny part, as Welch notes, is that it wasn’t really Republicans who nominated McCain.”

    Has Reason ever done a “convention delegates for dummies” article? If not, they should. NOBODY has nominated ANYONE yet, although if you took the word of the preponderance of media coverage of this race, you would think that the coming conventions are going to be nothing more than festivities to anoint the pre-elected nominees. That might be true if delegates were actually bound to vote for specific candidates, as selected by their States’ caucuses and/or primaries. But are they?

    In the end, I think that, if McCain is nominated, it will be Republicans who nominate him. As I understand the system (and who REALLY understands it, hence my suggestion that Reason run an article to give us some help) Republicans will indeed nominate the GOP standard-bearer, regardless of the crossover voting that we saw in abundance this year.

  15. Writing at the site for reasoned commentary, John-David says: Would someone just ask McCain Lone’s question already? Please?

    Actually, a wee lassie asked a variant of my question. The problems are that she spent 30 seconds on useless talk, and she failed to get out the most damning parts. And, she failed to ask it in a way designed to make him look bad.

    Now, certainly, if she can do it then RP’s supporters can do it too. They’ve just been busy with other things, like making Digg sockpuppets, and hanging things off freeway overpasses, and playing video games, and things like that. Don’t worry! They’ll get to it after Star Trek or something.

  16. LoneWacko, don’t you have some Guatemalan hookers to frequent?

  17. I’m hoping for a sound VP pick and an early, incapacitating illness of POTUS.

  18. Glad to see a Mulshine column on here. I think he best captures on a regular basis all the things that make the modern-day Republican party such a disaster (he’s been way out in front for some time now on the madness that is the neoconservate movement). And he usually does it with a great deal of wit.

    For those worried about robots, just get Old Glory Insurance. They cover you in the unfortunate event of a robot attack.

  19. “They’ve just been busy with other things, like making Digg sockpuppets, and hanging things off freeway overpasses, and playing video games, and things like that. Don’t worry! They’ll get to it after Star Trek or something.”

    You, on the other hand, have adopted the strategy of trying to convince people of your position by being a self-absorbed, condescending asshole. Everyone’s got their own favorite strategies I guess.

  20. Sparky, I’ve said that about LoneWackoJob many times but never put it so well.

    We think he has Asperger’s Syndrome, btw.

  21. Look, whatever you want to say, the only people nowadays with the guts to confront politicians are truthers: example here. It’s just that they’re too stupid to realize how counterproductive junk like that is, or they’ve been “compromised” into doing stupid things.

    RP supporters talk a good game, but then they don’t do anything that works and then wonder why RP really never gets anywhere.

  22. “We think he has Asperger’s Syndrome, btw.”

    Yeah, I could definitely believe that.

  23. Lonewhacho is hear. How trite.

  24. hear – here. Fuckin’ homonyms.

  25. Not very cosmotarian of you, J sub D, hatin’ on homonyms.

  26. The noninitiation of force should guide our foreign policy, not finances.

    I know a few Democrats who make similar arguments about public welfare.

    Econ 101: you cannot consume more than you produce.

    Now if only we required all our politicians to take this course, before they were allowed t start their jobs.

  27. Theres going to be another front in the War on Islamofascist Terror opened in September or October, folks.

    The new front will be Iran.

    The big losers will be Ahmadedinijad and his pal Allahbama with his Democrat Party.

    The big winner will be President-elect John McCain.

  28. More lead-pipe-lock predictions from Reverend Wrong, I see.

  29. Really Joe, what would your boy do if theres a war with Iran in the fall?

    Tell me. What would he do?

  30. What would stop Bush from doing it?

    He doesn’t care about polls, he cares about HISTORY!

    Whats the Democrat Congress going to do? Impeach him? LOL!

    Obama: “Oh uh, uh, we should negotiate! NEGOIATE!” ROFL

  31. Theres going to be another front in the War on Islamofascist Terror opened in September or October, folks.

    The new front will be Iran.

    The big losers will be Ahmadedinijad and his pal Allahbama with his Democrat Party.

    The big winner will be President-elect John McCain.

    Followed by:

    What would stop Bush from doing it?

    He doesn’t care about polls, he cares about HISTORY!

    Apparently, a war with Iran would be such a huge boon for the Republican Party that Bush realizes it would hurt them in the polls.

    More brilliant political analysis from Reverend Wrong.

  32. What’s the argument against political parties closing their primary elections? In favor?

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