When he retired, General MacArthur said, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” That’s not true; some soldiers should fade away, but don’t. Ulysses Grant was an example; during the Civil War he was the only general who could successfully command every front for the North, but after winning the war, he got elected president, and his administration was notoriously corrupt. Now it looks like John McCain is going to follow in Grant’s footsteps.
Judging from the news, Tuesday’s Florida primary, where McCain won with 36% of the vote, may very well decide who the Republican nominee will be. The last time a Florida primary mattered was in 1976, when Jimmy Carter’s victory made people stop looking at George Wallace as a potential front runner for the Democrats. Whenever I voted in Florida, it didn’t make a difference, because the candidates for both parties were usually chosen beforehand in Iowa and New Hampshire. Oh, why did Florida have to wait until I was gone, before it became important in the early choosing of a president?
Yesterday John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the race, so now there are only two Democrats and four Republicans left. Because of the “Super Tuesday” contests, by this time next week it will probably all be over except for the conventions. In previous messages I wrote why I don’t support Hillary Clinton or Ron Paul. Now here are five reasons why I don’t want John McCain in the White House:
1. The kind of endorsements he’s getting. They’re not as bad as Ron Paul’s endorsements, but they ought to make you scratch your head. While the endorsements from not-very conservative Republicans like Arnold Schwarzeneger were expected, what’s with the media endorsements? To any real conservative, getting an endorsement from the New York Times is like getting an endorsement from Satan. We all know the vast majority of employees for most news networks and newspapers are registered Democrats; does anyone seriously think they’ll vote for McCain if he’s still on the ballot in November?
2. The legislation he is chiefly known for. McCain-Feingold. McCain-Kennedy. McCain-Lieberman. All bad laws, which show his willingness to fraternize with liberals, and call into question whether he is a conservative at all.
3. The Savings and Loan scandal, at the end of the 1980s. Until Ann Coulter mentioned it in last week’s column, I thought I was the only person who remembered that McCain was the only Republican among the “Keating Five.”
4. McCain is anti-Christian as well. Has everyone else forgotten the speech he made against evangelical leaders, just before the South Carolina primary in 2000?
5. McCain is expired. I’m not just referring to his age, though he is old enough to be my father, and I’m no spring chicken. Heck, this is the first time I’ve seen a presidential candidate who’s younger than I am (Barack Obama). I’m mainly referring to the fact that he’s been in public office for too long. In 2003, I read a column by Jonathan Rauch where he pointed out something interesting about past presidential candidates. Once a politician gets elected to Congress, as governor, or as the mayor of a big city, he has fourteen years to get elected president, before people get tired of him. The only exception is if he becomes vice-president. If he is a veep, the clock stops ticking for as long as he is in the number two spot, but when his term as vice-president ends, the clock resumes; hence, years in the vice-presidency don’t count toward the fourteen. Every president we have had since Theodore Roosevelt, except for Lyndon Johnson, has entered the White House before the fourteen-year “shelf life” is up. Now for the six presidential candidates left in the ring, how long has it been since they were first elected to a major office?
- Obama = 4 years
- Romney = 6 years
- Clinton = 8 years
- Huckabee = 12 years
- McCain = 26 years
- Paul = 30 years
As you can see, McCain and Paul are well past the point where they’re considered fresh faces. Career politicians for sure!
Gosh, you’d think the Republicans would have learned something from the last attempts at nominating war heroes who have hung around Washington since they mustered out of the service (Bob Dole in 1996, John Kerry in 2004). At this point, I’m tired of voting for somebody solely because he’s better than the alternative. That’s like deciding which of two ugly sisters to take out on a date. Of the six candidates above, I can only cast a ballot for Huckabee or Romney and not feel guilty about it afterwards; if McCain or Paul gets the GOP nomination, I’ll probably look for a third party candidate, or write in somebody like Duncan Hunter. I have a feeling I will avoid writing about US politics here for the next nine months.