Welcome to the first Said as Southern blog debate. This post will feature two opposing responses to the question, “Should conservatives embrace John McCain for president?” The “no” position is taken by Matt Privett and the “yes” position by G F McDowell. The debate is open for your comments, just follow these simple debate rules:
- Read the two position statements before you comment.
- Begin you comment by stating your position. “Yes” “No” “Unsure”
- I’ll moderate, edit or delete stupid comments.
- There is also a poll about McCain
- Be angry, but sin not.
Why I’m holding my nose and voting for McCain, and why you should, too
by G. F. McDowell
We now have a very good idea who the Republican nominee for president will be. The question of what to do with a McCain nomination presents a dilemma for thoughtful conservatives. In the past eight years, McCain has earned the reputation of being a “maverick” and “moderate” senator who was “willing to stand up to the Bush Administration.” He has disappointed conservatives across the land by supporting embryonic stem-cell research, strongly supporting amnesty for illegal aliens, sponsoring the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill, and most notably by acting as point man for the notorious “gang of fourteen” who defused the Republican Party’s “nuclear option” for confirming key federal judicial nominations. These are McCain’s greatest crimes against conservatism, and they should give us pause. As a conservative Southern Baptist, it is my opinion that McCain’s meddling gang of fourteen Democrat and Republican senators represents the greatest offense to evangelicals. McCain decided that the preserving the filibuster was more important than stocking the federal bench with a pool of strict-constructionist judges who could eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. John McCain elevated senate tradition over and above the lives of the unborn. This is no small matter, and stands as a big black mark on his Pro-Life credentials. This isn’t meant to be a hatchet piece against the Senator from Arizona, but I want my readers to know that what I am about to say about McCain, I say with my eyes wide open. John McCain is by far the lesser of the two evils, and if he is the Republican nominee, I will reluctantly vote for him in November. It is the only responsible choice remaining for evangelicals.
As bad as McCain is on the issue of the sanctity of human life, he is light years ahead of either Obama or Hillary. On this point, there can be no confusion. But if you’re like me and you deplore the number of taxpayer-funded abortions performed each year, just wait until they are ALL taxpayer funded. Both Hillary and Obama want to introduce universal health care. It would be easy to institute with Democrats running the White House and Congress. With government funding of health care comes government control, and a Hillary or Obama administration is not who I want exercising the power of the purse over my health care. The Democrat Party is trying to introduce euthanasia through the back door by calling it the “right to die with dignity.” Will it only be after “death with dignity” is being funded by taxpayer money that we’ll regret not having used our votes to stop the Democrats from taking control of both elected branches of our government? With a Democrat congress and a Democrat President, we can fully expect the rights, dignity, and lives of unborn and elderly image-bearers to be trampled underfoot. Don’t forget, once Democrat administrations and congresses roll out new entitlement programs, we the American people will be stuck with them forever. We cannot afford to let this genie out of the bottle.
Looking to our nation’s history, there were some during World War II who said we should have nothing to do with such a despicable man as Joseph Stalin, or that we had no business fighting “over there” in Europe. I am glad that, in God’s providence, our country ignored their voices and made an alliance with Stalin in order to defeat the Third Reich. World War II would have been un-win-able otherwise. It is in that same spirit that I am willing to vote for McCain in order to defeat either Hillary or Obama. Just because we help elect John McCain once does not necessarily mean we’ll do it again in 2012. Evangelicals should make that clear to McCain, and watch him like a hawk in the coming years. Now is the time for us to put clothes pins on our noses and vote for McCain. It is still not too late to use our votes to stop the nightmare of a Hillary or Obama presidency. Is voting for McCain my first choice? Not by a long shot, but it is the only responsible course of action left open to us today. Not doing all we can to stop Hillary/ Obama while it’s still possible would be a dereliction of our duty.
Why John McCain is not getting this conservative evangelical’s vote
by Matt Privett
Despite Mike Huckabee’s persistent drive to make a last stand, it is clear that he is spitting against the wind and Sen. John McCain of Arizona will be the nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States. However, as a conservative Southern Baptist and lifelong Republican, I will not be voting for him come November. Make no mistake about it, I will also not be voting for Sens. Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. However, this year I refuse to cast a vote against them to boost the chances of a politician whose integrity is at least as questionable as his potential opponents.
McCain has been a U.S. Senator since 1986 and a member of Congress since 1982, but he burst onto the national scene in 2000 when he was George W. Bush’s chief challenger for the Republican nomination. His “straight-talk express” was praised by the media and by more moderate Republicans, but after putting up a fight early he subsequently got hammered in South Carolina and subsequently withdrew from the race. Weeks after Bush took the oath of office, McCain met with several key Democrats about the possibility of leaving the Republican Party (something Jim Jeffords would actually do eventually). Now he seeks to convince us that he’s a true representative of conservative values. His record, however, screams otherwise.
- The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act was and is an attack of First Amendment freedom-of-speech rights that has done nothing to eliminate money from the political process.
- He cannot stop talking about his support for the troop surge in Iraq, as if he is solely responsible for its success, and he touts himself as the war candidate. However, he is an “open borders” guy who introduced the biggest attempt at granting amnesty to illegal immigrants yet. Today he says he’s learned his lesson and that he will secure the borders first, but in a world where campaign promises are worth as much as Monopoly money, you have to look at his record. McCain-Kennedy was amnesty, pure and simple, and an attempt to subvert the rule of law in this country. It’s clear he doesn’t consider border security part of the War on Terror, no matter his campaign rhetoric (which should be a big red flag, especially for a Senator from Arizona).
- He voted against the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. Today he says that he did so because there were no budget cuts to go along with them. Fair enough, but why didn’t he say that in 2001 or 2003? Instead, he railed against the tax cuts with class warfare rhetoric worthy of Al Gore or John Edwards. Now he says he wants to make the tax cuts permanent, but on what basis should we trust him on this issue?
- He has worked against American energy independence by voting against drilling for oil in ANWR. He played a key role in the defeat of a bill that would have most likely allowed this country to pry itself out of the tight grip of OPEC and become more energy independent, driving down gas and heating oil prices as a result and further securing our country.
- He buys into the liberal environmentalist agenda that drives up the costs of food and other goods and sabotages the American economy. The McCain-Lieberman bill regarding greenhouse gases and taxing authority is evidence of this.
- His support of embryonic stem cell research betrays any pretense of a view that he defends the sanctity of human life. His record may, by and large, be pro-life on the issue of abortion, but his view on stem cells makes that iffy at best.
- McCain helped engineer the “Gang of 14” which kept Senate filibuster rules in place that make it very difficult to appoint judges. This has not so much been a factor with Bush’s Supreme Court nominations as it has with his federal court appointments that receive much less publicity but still hold a very important role. These rules betray the Senate’s given role in the Constitution to “advise and consent.”
McCain has done his level best to appeal to the conservative base of the GOP and convince the world that he is a faithful follower of the Reagan revolution. But that is what Republicans hoping to win their party’s nomination do during the primary season. Once the nomination is secure, probably with a more conservative VP candidate, I expect him to begin swinging left in an attempt to woo those independents and Democrats he’s famous for appealing to. I suspect we’ve heard the most conservative rhetoric out of the Senator from Arizona that we’re going to here, and if he wins in November he’s going to take the Republican Party down with him.
Obama or Clinton will be bad for this country and I am by no means rooting for them; however, I believe McCain will be just as bad. In the process of defending their President out of a misguided sense of party obligation, the Republicans in Congress will be impotent (see George H.W. Bush’s term as President), rather than galvanized against a Democratic president (see Bill Clinton’s first term).
I’m hoping conservatives will learn their lesson. I’m a conservative who is utterly disappointed with our President (especially domestic policy) and our Republicans in Congress (utterly unwilling to dig in and fight). The Republican Party doesn’t own my vote just because that’s where it has always gone. I will search for an independent party candidate for President this year, knowing there is little to no chance that candidate will win, because it is what I believe is right, responsible, and politically smart. For what it’s worth I believe McCain will lose in a landslide to either Obama or Clinton. Ultimately, God appoints nations and their leaders so I trust in His sovereignty. Perhaps He will grant me wisdom between now and November if I am wrong, but as of right now, I cannot vote for McCain in good conscience, and so will not do so.