Saturday, February 02, 2008
Let me get one thing clear: I do not like John McCain. He is self-righteous, he is arrogant, and in showing off his (undeniable) war-time heroism and using it to brow-beat Mitt Romney, he has shown a total lack of class. Don't even get me started on the grotesque perversion of the First Amendment that is McCain-Feingold.
Now, having said that -- Rachel Lucas is exactly right.

I am, quite frankly, horrified at how fast the right-wing voter base has become infected with the idea of refusing to vote for McCain no matter what, even if he is the Republican nominee. Were I a conspiracy-minded person, I would suspect an infiltration of Democrat operatives. But alas, it's far likelier that this wound is self-inflicted. It seems that self-righteousness and suicidal moral vanity are not limited to the "progressive" side of American politics.

I've seen several reasons listed for this "principled" refusal to vote for McCain. So far, they all suck:
  • McCain isn't conservative enough on immigration/taxes/guns/whatever. I have to vote my conscience, and that vote isn't for him. - With all due respect, your conscience is not running for office in 2008. So pick a viable candidate whose positions are those you hate the least. It's how a democratic republic works. So unless you think Clinton or Obama would do better on immigration/taxes/guns/whatever, your vote should be for the Republican nominee. Even if it's McCain.

    The good news is: McCain won't be a dictator. There is a Congress, where you have a wider choice of members. Help elect ones that match your conscience more closely.

  • Writing in Fred Thompson will send a message... - Stop. No, it won't. Nobody will ever see your write-in ballot. It will not hang framed on the wall of the Oval Office. No newspaper will publish it. No one will care. The only message of importance will be: Democrats won by a wide margin, so the country wants more of what Obama, Clinton, or Pelosi have on tap. Is that the message you had in mind?

  • Republican congressmen will have an easier time opposing initiatives from Hillary than from McCain. - Says who? Why? And isn't it more important to note that Democratic congressmen -- who will likely remain in the majority -- will have a easier time supporting initiatives from Hillary or Obama?

  • Four years of Democrats will screw up the country so much that voters will sweep Republicans into office in 2012. - I have just one word: huh?! When did that ever happen? What is it that you think the Democrats could screw up and then not talk their way out of through sympathetic media? Bill Clinton's term included high profile failures to capture bin Laden, a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, several U.S. embassy bombings (with zero effective response), the U.S.S. Cole attack, nearly all the preparation work for 9/11 -- and Democrats still managed to push the line about "eight years of peace and prosperity." Even after Jimmy Carter's disastrous term, Democrats kept full control of Congress for 14 years. Who are you fooling?

    And by the way, suppose you're right, and a Democratic president really "screws up the country." Doesn't that prospect worry you? Are you planning to live somewhere else?

  • And now, for my favorite:
  • We survived Jimmy Carter. How bad could it be under Obama/Hillary? - It's true, we survived Jimmy Carter. But while we were busy "surviving" him, his stupid moral vanity drove him to protect Ayatollah Khomeini from the Shah's military, resulting ultimately in Khomeini's turning Iran into the world's first Islamist state. Now, ruled by another lunatic, that Islamist state is about to go nuclear. Oh, and then there's the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, driven in no small part by the Russians' correct realization that Carter was too spineless to oppose it. Thirty years later, we're still paying for his mistakes in American blood and treasure. That is how much damage one deluded idiot can do in four years in the White House -- and in case you haven't noticed, when he isn't spewing banalities about "unity" and "hope," Obama sounds a lot like ol' Jimmy.
But hey, it's far more important that your message be heard. We'll survive whatever happens. Sleep tight, knowing you made your point.