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My Take on McCain’s CPAC speech

Posted by cann0nba11 on February 7, 2008

He’s going to be the Republican nominee. Let’s get right to his speech (transcript here):

“Many of you have disagreed strongly with some positions I have taken in recent years. I understand that. I might not agree with it, but I respect it for the principled position it is. And it is my sincere hope that even if you believe I have occasionally erred in my reasoning as a fellow conservative, you will still allow that I have, in many ways important to all of us, maintained the record of a conservative. Further, I hope you will grant that I have defended many positions we share just as ardently as I have made my case for positions that have provoked your opposition.”

In other words

  1. I disagree with your opposition to McCain-Kennedy and McCain-Feingold.
  2. I don’t think I’m mistaken. I think you are mistaken.
  3. I’m passionately stubborn and will continue to demand my way or the highway.


“…the rule of law in our country is not to aggregate power to the state but to protect the liberty and property of its citizens.”

Is that so? What about the property of border towns? What about the liberty of the 60 or so Americans kidnapped from Laredo this year? What about the laws already on the books that make it illegal to enter our country by simply walking across the desert?


“I believe today, as I believed twenty-five years ago, in small government; fiscal discipline; low taxes; a strong defense, judges who enforce, and not make, our laws; the social values that are the true source of our strength; and, generally, the steadfast defense of our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”

Starts off good, this is what Conservatives want. We just don’t these rights extended to illegal aliens. Now more on immigration:

“I respect your opposition for I know that the vast majority of critics to the bill based their opposition in a principled defense of the rule of law. And while I and other Republican supporters of the bill were genuine in our intention to restore control of our borders, we failed, for various and understandable reasons, to convince Americans that we were. I accept that, and have pledged that it would be among my highest priorities to secure our borders first, and only after we achieved widespread consensus that our borders are secure, would we address other aspects of the problem in a way that defends the rule of law and does not encourage another wave of illegal immigration.”

This is good, but is it true? The past voting record is to the contrary. Do Conservatives have enough trust left in the bank to hope that this actually happens? Or, is this just pandering to silence critics until we are distracted by something else.

  • “Senator Clinton and Senator Obama want to increase the size of the federal government. I intend to reduce it.”
  • “Senator Clinton and Senator Obama will raise your taxes. I intend to cut them.”
  • “Senator Clinton and Senator Obama will withdraw our forces from Iraq based on an arbitrary timetable designed for the sake of political expediency, and which recklessly ignores the profound human calamity and dire threats to our security that would ensue.”

Amen Senator. On these items we agree.

“If I am convinced my judgment is in error, I will correct it. And if I stand by my position, even after benefit of your counsel, I hope you will not lose sight of the far more numerous occasions when we are in complete accord.”

To paraphrase the red text above, “I may push forward with legislation that Conservatives may hate, but that’s ok because there have been times in the past that we happened to agree.” Personally, I’d like to hear a single example of a time when the Senator has changed his position based on erroneous judgment. Just one.

“I am pro-life and an advocate for the Rights of Man everywhere in the world because of them, because I know that to be denied liberty is an offense to nature and nature’s Creator. I will never waver in that conviction, I promise you.”

In other words torture is bad, I will not condone it, nor will I condone prisons like Guantanamo.

Summary: I am of mixed emotions over this speech. How much is sincere? How much is pandering? I didn’t witness it so I’m forced to interpret from text alone. I pray that the Senator has truly heard our voices and will work as hard with Conservatives as he does across the aisle.


One Response to “My Take on McCain’s CPAC speech”

  1. Cory Hall said

    Good read, PC.

    I, too, wish that I could swallow what McCain is saying but I can’t. His voting record and recent history put him in the same liberal catagory as Obama and Clinton. Add that to his unwillingness to reach out to the conservatives Senators he works with and (at this point) I can’t bring myself to vote for him.


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