Here’s what I’m wondering: Why are conservative yappers like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh so afraid of John McCain? Yeah, he sponsored McCain-Feingold. But President Bush signed the damn thing into law. Bush took us to war in Iraq. McCain will keep us there–for 50 years or more, he says. President Bush is rattling his saber at Iran. McCain has all but guaranteed that if he’s elected, we’ll go to war with them. And just about everyone else.
McCain wants to expand the federal government’s role in health care and education, but it’s tough to see how he could do much worse than the prescription drug benefit and No Child Left Behind, both hallmarks of the Bush presidency. President Bush has been talking a tough talk on pork barrel spending. But that’s traditionally been one of the few issues where McCain’s been good. Conservatives say McCain is soft on immigration. But his primary position (build a wall, enforcement first) is well to the right of what President Bush has advocated the last few years. McCain has also promised to nominate more Supreme Court justices in the tradition of Roberts and Alito. He’s pro-life. About the only issue I can think of where McCain is well to the left of Bush is torture. Is that really the issue conservatives want to use for separation?
Personally, I find McCain pretty loathesome, and his public service/national greatness fetishes creepy. Not to mention the very real possibility of the three words that ought to scare the bejezus out of any liberty-minded person: “Attorney General Giuliani.” But I can’t figure out why the 30-percenters still enamored with President Bush seem to hate McCain so much. Is it just sheer personality? Leftovers from the 2000 election? If it’s because he’s the GOP’s “maverick,” well, that just ain’t true.