Rather than just pledge to invite Democrats and Independents to serve in his administration, he should promise to seek out those Democrats and Independents who agree with him on six big issues. Each one wouldn't have to agree on all six, but each could be placed in positions where he or she could work in concert with, instead of against, a McCain administration. Such a strategy could divide the more conservative Democrats from their liberal congressional leadership. Democrats managed to gain their congressional majority in 2006 by running more moderate and conservative candidates than liberals. If the new members of Congress want to keep their seats, they would support McCain on the important things.
Those six big issues should be (1) Defense/Terrorism (Sen. Joe Lieberman, who understands both would be a fine secretary of defense), (2) Immigration. Let's effectively seal the border, make English-speaking Americans of those who are here illegally and then get about the business of legally admitting more highly-skilled and educated immigrants who could do more than slap up wallboard and mow our lawns, (3) Education. We wouldn't need to import so many highly skilled workers if we produced more of them in America. School choice, which emphasizes the student instead of teachers' unions, is the place to start. Feature testimonies from the parents of poor minority students to shame Congress into "letting our people go" from failed monopolistic government schools, (4) Health insurance. Make it national instead of parochial. Why can you buy car insurance and it's good in any state, but health insurance is good only in the state in which you buy it? Competition would lower costs, making it available to more people, (5) Energy independence. Both parties know we need to be free of most foreign oil. Let's get a man-on-the-moon project going and do it, (6) Social Security and Medicare reform. McCain can start by using the 1997 Bill Clinton-Newt Gingrich agreement, which, according to U.S. News & World Report, was never implemented due to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
I am sure McCain can find Democrats and Independents who believe in one, or more (or all) of these six big issues and can work alongside Republicans to solve them, instead of indulging in the constant bickering and political partisanship that does little to promote the general welfare, but promotes instead the welfare of partisans.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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