Why John McCain is finished

Kevin McCullough

1/7/2007 12:00:01 AM - Kevin McCullough

Why does John McCain hate the GOP?

Furthermore how does he expect to win their support for 2008?

Complaints are many from those of us who might be inclined to support him. He sought to author the end of political free speech with his unconstitutional campaign finance reform efforts. He seems clueless when it comes to one of the issues that his base voters care about – the protection of marriage. And he seems to be forgetting that an energized base is what he will need to win the GOP primaries much less the actual general election for President in the next go around.

In this month’s Vanity Fair John McCain seems to have further twice insulted those he seeks the support of. The ten-page tediously detailed profile delves into the Senator’s inconsistencies on the protection of marriage, his feelings on the war on terror, and his near hostility towards protecting the border.

"I think the fence is least effective. But I'll build the goddamned fence if they want it."

In those seventeen simple words the “maverick” (which the media invented through him) has all but signed his political death wish. Republicans can not trust McCain, and neither should the nation at large.

Need reasons why? His most signature work in the U.S. Senate sought to undue guaranteed protections for free speech – particularly in an election cycle where free speech is of most importance. In his own efforts to leverage power in Senate proceedings he purposefully disrupted the will of his own majority party and further slowed down the needed debate on judges. In helping to orchestrate the gang of 14, he stymied clear consensus candidates to the courts as appointed by the President.

But in the Vanity Fair quote he demonstrates something not seen before – direct hostility towards his own base of voters.

McCain, though a champion on fighting the effective fight on Islamic fascists who seek to kill us, has seemed unplugged, uninterested, and yes hostile to voices who are calling for secure borders. He stood by as President Bush locked out John Kyl – his fellow senator from Arizona, and a true champion against illegal immigration – from proceedings that were designed to brainstorm solutions to the border dilemma.

But his statement takes on an even more sinister tone.

John McCain has spent a good deal of time and resources attempting to convince faith-based conservatives that he is the real deal in recent months. Hiring an evangelical blogger to argue his case, appearing at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, and seeking audiences with other evangelicals, McCain has attempted to say to the GOP’s most valued voting block that he is one of us.

It is interesting that the one statement reveals consistency in McCain’s character in two ways – yet neither of them helpful.

If McCain were serious in his efforts to reach the faith-based voter, taking God’s name in vain is a stupid thing to do. Evangelicals, Catholics, even serious Jews all believe that God’s name is sacred and combining it with the idea of hellish damnation is in fact defamation to the Creator.

It may come as a shock to McCain, but some people are actually, truly offended by such a muff.

But in using this style of communication he heaps mountains of contempt upon that same base that is rightfully worried about who, what, and why people are crossing our borders without us knowing anything about them, why they are coming, and what they are bringing with them.

At one point in the Vanity Fair piece the author observes that McCain is not good at talking about social conservatism, and that he is even worse at faking it.

Both aspects of that statement are not only readily obvious but ripe with an aroma that has already caused most faith-based voters to look elsewhere for the GOP candidate of choice in 2008.

McCain of course is only one of the problematic three that are all facing tremendous uphill battles in aspiring to be the party’s mantle bearer. Guiliani fiscally strong and far more consistent in his politics day to day – but is firmly entrenched on the wrong side of the abortion and marriage debates to win any or all of the bible-belt states. Romney is right on the issues, yet his own faith of Mormonism is scary, strange, and apostate to the same block of voters that McCain and Guiliani have also spurned.

John McCain’s voting record could have helped him in the outreach to pro-life voters. But his denseness, arrogance, and lack of discipline have all but done in him in the election before the election.

It didn’t have to be that way. There may even be time to correct course.

It seems terribly unlikely though that a man who has earned the bulk of his praise through being so far removed from the base of his party’s voters, will now suddenly see the light and embrace them sincerely.

I guess however, one can always hope….