When Mitt Romney withdrew from the Republican Presidential campaign two weeks ago he did so with style and class. Acknowledging that he numerically could not battle back from his delegate deficit against John McCain, he threw in the towel. He then stated the need for the party to unify behind our candidate by identifying the threat of terrorism as one of the most significant challenges we face as a country. As he said it, â€œThe other party just has no grasp of the challenge and has no answer for it.â€
He later endorsed the front runner and encouraged his delegates to support McCain at the convention. In light of the frequent sparring that occurred between the two, this also was a classy thing to do.
Many conservatives have issues with John McCain, here are just a few. He is thought to have been on the wrong side of the comprehensive immigration solutions discussed in Washington over the past couple of years. He was in favor of a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally, while most conservatives think it is unfair to give priority to those who broke laws to get here over those who are waiting patiently in other countries trying to come here legally.
Many believe he was wrong to co-sponsor the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. This is seen by many as an infringement on the freedom of speech by small groups who would otherwise be involved in the electoral process.
He was also part of the â€œgang of fourteenâ€ in the Senate that effectively blocked many judicial appointments by the President.
McCain is seen to have been on the wrong side of the Bush tax cuts, even parroting the rhetoric about the â€œtax cuts for the wealthy,â€ even though history has shown such rhetoric to be hollow and vapid. The wealthy now pay even a greater percentage of the tax receipts, and more people than ever in the low income brackets pay nothing in taxes according to Department of the Treasury.
Although he occasionally praises the family as the most fundamental unit of our society, he is opposed to Federal legislation to protect against the redefinition of marriage.
Even though the technology has advanced to the degree that embryonic stem cell research is no longer necessary, and never has been viable, McCain would loosen restriction on Federal funds being used to destroy human embryos for the sake of advancing a failed technology. All the advances in this area are coming from adult stem-cell research, and investment capital is pouring into that research because thatâ€™s where the results are coming.
He also buys into the now politically correct, although scientifically deficient, man-made global warming hysteria. Nothing will kill a national economy like pouring exorbitant sums of money into controlling emissions that are still not proven to cause fluctuations in global temperatures.
But there are some things McCain has right. He has the proper perspective on global terrorism which Romney referred to as significant. Especially considering that national security is one of few specific functions of the Federal government explicitly identified in the Constitution.
He says he would nominate constructionist judges who interpret the Constitution like John Roberts and Samuel Alito, rather than those who legislate from the bench. This is significant considering the Supreme Court nominations from either of the other partyâ€™s candidates would more closely resemble Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the former ACLU attorney.
McCain has a history of being very critical of excessive government spending, especially the abuses characterized by â€œearmarks,â€ special pet projects Federal legislators insert into legitimate legislation.
He is also more supportive of free-market solutions for national health insurance rather than creating another massive federal entitlement based on a socialist model.
And the Senator recognizes another fundamental function of government in protecting the lives of Americans, whether born or unborn.
And finally, his vision for the future of the country is based on less government intervention and more free market capitalism. This stands in stark contrast to the socialistic solutions being proposed by either Senators Clinton or Obama.
The question for conservatives now is whether they will do the classy thing like Romney did. In spite of differences of opinion and policy, will they rally behind the most viable option for president? McCain has to be compared with the available options based on ideology, not against an ideal that is nonexistent.
As for the New York Times allegations of an improper relationship with a lobbyist years ago, that shouldnâ€™t even be an issue. Itâ€™s a badge of honor for conservatives to be attacked by the Times, even though they endorsed him just last month. If McCain was a Democrat, an alleged dalliance would probably be a resume enhancement for him.
As for me, Iâ€™ve already resolved what my bumper sticker this election season will say: McCain â€™08, better 50% right than 100% wrong.
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