McCain uses the boilerplate language of all Republicans in saying he will appoint "strict constructionists." This is supposed to end all discussion of the courts. But if he's picking strict constructionists, he will have to appoint judges who will commit to overturning McCain-Feingold.
That could be our litmus test: Will you hold President McCain's signature legislation restricting speech unconstitutional?
In 2004, McCain criticized the federal marriage amendment, saying, it was "antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans." Really? Preventing the redefinition of a 10,000-year-old institution -- marriage, that is, not John McCain -- is part of the core philosophy of being a Republican? I had no idea.
I'm not a lawyer -- oh wait, yes, I am -- but Republicans were proposing to amend the Constitution, a process the Constitution specifically describes.
It's like saying it's antithetical to the core philosophy of Republicans to require presidents to be at least 35 years old. It's in the Constitution! And Republicans -- other than the ones who voted for McCain-Feingold -- support the Constitution. You might say it's part of our core philosophy.
Of course, back in 2004, McCain was considering running on a presidential ticket with John Kerry. Realizing that this would not help his chances to run as a Republican in 2008, when he would be a mere 120 years old, McCain quickly withdrew his interest in being on Kerry's ticket.
But he defended Kerry from the Bush campaign's suggestion that Kerry was not tip-top on national security, saying on the "Today" show: "No, I do not believe that he is, quote, weak on defense." So that was helpful.
McCain also explained to an admiring press corps why he wouldn't want to be anyone's vice president, not even a national defense champion like Kerry, citing the meager constitutional duties of the vice president as: (1) to assume the presidency if the president is incapacitated and (2) "to break a tie vote in the Senate." (At which point several members of the fawning horde were heard to remark, "What is this 'Constitution' you speak of, Senator?")
But McCain conveniently forgot the second of these constitutional duties just a year later when Vice President Cheney was required "to break a tie vote in the Senate" on a matter of utmost importance to liberals: federal judges.
Just one year after McCain had correctly identified one of two jobs of the vice president, he was indignant that a Republican vice president might actually exercise one of them. Better to let a gaggle of 14 Senate malcontents pick the president's judges for him.
As part of the "Gang of 14," McCain hysterically opposed allowing the vice president to break a tie on judicial nominations. Following the Constitution with regard to the role of the vice president, McCain said, "would be a terrible precedent." Yes, if members of Congress actually read the Constitution, they might realize McCain-Feingold is unconstitutional.
If Hillary is elected president, we'll have a four-year disaster, with Republicans ferociously opposing her, followed by Republicans zooming back into power, as we did in 1980 and 1994, and 2000. (I also predict more Oval Office incidents with female interns.)
If McCain is elected president, we'll have a four-year disaster, with the Republicans in Congress co-opted by "our" president, followed by 30 years of Democratic rule.
There's your choice, America.