2008 February 09 Saturday
Mickey Kaus: John McCain Has Contempt For Many Republicans

Mickey parses John McCain and the results are not pretty.

2) McCain said that "only after we achieved widespread consensus that our borders are secure" would he pursue the semi-amnesty part of his immigration reform. This non-trivial concession would be more reassuring if proponents of that reform didn't righteously claim a 'widespread consensus' in its favor in 2006 and 2007. ( "[A]national consensus has formed around what the president calls 'comprehensive' immigration reform."--Fred Barnes, May, 2006.)

3) McCain said he had "respect" for opponents of his immigration plan (which he didn't renounce) "for I know that the vast majority of critics to the bill based their opposition in a principled defense of the rule of law." Not like those others who base their opposition on bigoted yahoo nativism! McCain's semi-conciliatory words aren't what you say when you really respect your opposition--then you say "I know we have honest disagreements." Not "I know most of you aren't really racists." Even his suckup betrayed how he really feels. Which I suspect is sneering contempt! (See his former campaign manager and informal adviser Mike Murphy, who--writing under cover of a pseudonym--likened Tom Tancredo to the "Bund"!). .... 10:49 P.M. link

I liked Reagan because he didn't hate the Republican base.

Mickey also thinks Obama is very far left.

Remind me again, what is the evidence--in terms of policies, not affect or attitude or negotiating strategy--that Obama is not an unreconstructed lefty (on the American spectrum--a paleoliberal or a bit further left)? For example, would he roll back welfare reform if he could? ... P.S.: One way to know Obama isn't the black Gary Hart: He's been endorsed by Gary Hart. .... Update-Reminders: Obama "fails to denounce" free trade. OK, that's one. ... More: This site, featuring anonymous posts on what he was like as a law prof, is worth monitoring. Most troubling post so far:

I took his Voting Rights Class at UChicago Law at the crack of dawn. His class was still packed. He was incredibly charasmatic and engaging, but is really, really, far-left liberal in the socialism completely rocks kind of way.

This is why I'm hoping Hillary gets the Democratic Party nod. Obama really looks to be left of Hillary. Of course Hillary is left of her husband Bill. In addition to pining for the fjords I also pine for the day when the major Presidential candidates were well to the right of our remaining 3 contenders.

Note that during a recession the party in power always loses. There's no exception to this rule in the post-WWII era that I'm aware of. So in theory whoever wins the Democratic nomination wins the Presidency. Hillary's weakness against Obama might just be setting us up for putting a guy in the White House who is further to the left than any President in the post-WWII era. We'll be at most risk in the first 2 years of Obama's presidency. Then the Republicans will probably win back the House in 2010 due to a backlash against Obama's policies. After that he won't be able to get what he wants through Congress.

On the other hand, if McCain could bring himself to take positions he doesn't really agree with he could create a big enough contrast with Obama to have a chance of winning. He could, for example, attack Obama for supporting drivers licenses for illegal aliens. Can McCain bring himself to take such a position given his general lax attitude toward illegal immigration? Maybe. He has shifted toward border enforcement before amnesty. Can he go even further and support interior enforcement before amnesty?

Audacious Epigone sees a leftward shift of the Supreme Court as the biggest downside of a Clinton or Obama win.

I'm mixed on a best-case scenario. The major hangup I have with a McCain defeat is what it will mean for the Supreme Court. Justice Stevens will turn 90 during the next President's term. There has only been one other nonagenarian judge in the Court's history, and he (Oliver Wendell Holmes) left within the year of becoming one. Scalia, Ginsburg, and Kennedy are all in their seventies. With Democratic control of both the Senate and the Whitehouse, that could spell a drastic leftward shift in the court, especially if Scalia retires.

But the worst-case scenario doesn't seem as cloudy. Obama versus McCain, with McCain winning, strikes me as the least desirable outcome of all. The GOP's performance among Hispanics would be maximized, possibly eclipsing the 50% mark, as Hispanics otherwise tending to support the Democratic candidate would be unenthusiastic about voting for a black. Many would stay home, and others would 'defect' to McCain and his pal Juan Hernandez. If you think the WSJ bilge over the essentiality of the Hispanic vote as garnered through support for open borders is nauseating now, just wait.

I think McCain is worse than Hillary on immigration because McCain has co-sponsored and actively worked for immigration amnesty bills. Also, immigration is more important than the Supreme Court. Demographic damage is very long lasting, much more so than Supreme Court appointments.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 February 09 09:49 AM  Politics American Presidency

Audacious Epigone said at February 9, 2008 10:36 AM:

That a racially obsessive, far left politician (as far into leftfield as the Senate goes, according to National Journal's review of '07 Congressional voting records) is able to run a Presidential campaign as a 'red and blue state uniter' with little apparent substance and even less media scrutiny is testament to the cultural-political malaise the US is in.

Robert Hume said at February 9, 2008 11:09 AM:

"Also, immigration is more important than the Supreme Court. Demographic damage is very long lasting, much more so than Supreme Court appointments."

Thanks for this way of looking at things. It's helped my thinking.

HellKaiserRyo said at February 9, 2008 1:55 PM:

Well, Clinton does support a border fence...


I like her a lot...

I really do not think we need a far leftist although she is rather mild for a leftist. But how would she play this game when she is in office. Would she pander to her party or hispanics? I am more concerned about the fence, I do not care if amnesty is offered.

Yeah, I support policies that tax the rich... I just hope that happens in Mexico too.

Bob Badour said at February 9, 2008 7:42 PM:

The battle this year is in the legislature. As far as immigration goes, the presidency has been lost. As far as conservatism and republican values go, the presidency has already been lost.

Focus the immigration issue on Congress and the Senate. As we have seen under Bush, a President cannot successfully push an open borders amnesty in a legislature fearful of the electorate. The electorate has to make the legislators fear. There is a risk the legislators will look to the presidential campaign and lose their fear.

The President can side-step the electorate in the primaries. Representatives and Senators cannot.

It's time to start a "Forget the presidency! What do your local representatives have to say?" campaign.

averros said at February 15, 2008 4:34 PM:

I also have contempt for many Republicans.

Especially those who were so incredibly stupid to as to vote for that old chickenhawk who was so traumatized by his encounter with people in that other country that now he only wants to kill everyone not looking like amerikan.

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