I suppose I could be accused of over-dramatizing, but I truly worry about the direction this nation is headed when contemplating a presidential race where the choices are liberal and liberal-light. If John McCain is the GOP nominee, that's what we'll be faced with, despite the Herculean efforts of some to spin it otherwise.
In that case, the presidential candidates of both parties would be willing to use the bully pulpit and governing power of the presidency to suppress political speech, punish producers, oil companies and drug companies, open wider our borders, cater to the whacko environmental movement and its junk-science-driven pseudo-consensus on global warming, nominate judges who don't "wear their conservatism on their sleeve," close Gitmo, confer constitutional civil liberties on enemy combatants, end life-saving interrogation techniques, demonize evangelical conservatives, and obstruct efforts of conservative Republican legislators.
It is also distressing that many conservative commentators are so deeply mired in rationalization in order to spin their support for John McCain.
Sure, if I'm a paid staffer for McCain or a high-school debater forced to take the affirmative side of the proposition that McCain is a conservative, I can make a colorable case -- intellectual honesty be damned -- that he's a conservative. But I am under no such constraints.
Getting 50 endorsements from well-placed Republican officials or even respected conservatives doesn't make McCain conservative. Being a conservative makes one a conservative. I bet, truth be told, McCain can't even stand the word.
How quickly we forget that McCain said that conservative evangelicals are "agents of intolerance" and that social issues just aren't his thing.
How readily we overlook that his environmental and immigration policies alone contradict his self-identification as a budget hawk.
How quickly we forget that he really was just one of two Republican senators who actively opposed the Bush tax cuts, which, despite liberal disinformation, led to sustained economic growth.
How blindly we're willing to overlook McCain's fib that he opposed the cuts because they weren't coupled with guaranteed spending cuts. That was most certainly not the thrust of his opposition to the cuts -- and he knows it. The facts are available for all to see. He opposed the cuts because he said, quite dishonestly, that they were skewed in favor of the wealthy. That, "my friend," is apparently what he means by "straight talk."