terms as Senator from Arizona, John McCain has written or co-sponsored
enough legislation to give us a good idea of what he believes the
proper role of government to be without explicitly asking. Even
if we did ask, actions are what matters. Below is an analysis of
McCain's electability based on bills he's sponsored, most of it
in the last 8 years, and various speeches and op-ed pieces. I'll
spare you the suspense, and give you the summary up front; read
the rest for supporting details. McCain sees the federal government
as the solution to nearly every problem, and advocates creating
new bureaucracies and federal databases to track and monitor the
"solutions." His bills are laden with the veneer of free
market controls, tracking databases, and public-private information
exchange and R&D so popular when alleged Republicans expand
government; at the end of the day, he is expanding government in
nearly every conceivable way. He is a committed Clintonian interventionist,
often the lone Republican supporting Bill Clinton's interventions
of choice in Sudan, Somalia, Kosovo, and Bosnia.
himself capable of getting things done in Washington because many
of his bills are bipartisan efforts. The results however, leave
conservatives shaking their heads: Free Speech Control, Gun Control,
Unlimited Immigration, Support for a Greenhouse Gas Tax, and Woodrow
Wilson–Style International Gun-Barrel Democracy. McCain was
the Democrats' useful conservative idiot in each of these cases.
He was the lead sponsor of multiple bills no Democrat could have
pushed through Congress, but given that almost all the co-sponsors
of these bills are hard-core leftists we can see by his actions
this Senator is a big government Republican on matters domestic,
fiscal, and foreign.
Stifles the First Amendment and Free Speech — The
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA)
as the McCain-Feingold
act, this little gem regulates political speech by erecting
limits to who can donate what, how soon before an election, as well
as who can talk about a politician, or make "political"
statements. The alleged intent of the act is to prevent influence
buying on the part of corporations, wealthy individuals or foreign
governments by limiting campaign donations, and "electioneering
speech." As usual, the act completely misses the real problem,
addressing only the symptoms. One probable intention of the act
is to tip the balance of power in favor of incumbents and the Republicrat
party by limiting political speech.
The real problem
is that Congress has too much power. Adhering strictly to the Constitution
would eliminate most of the regulatory agencies, favor granting,
and legislation that create the demand for political contributions
from well-connected businesses. Instead of addressing the problem
of government run amok, this law addresses the symptoms by attempting
to regulate donations and free speech.
A legal challenge
has already been heard by the Supreme Court, with
predictable results. While researching this point, I found the
following. It astounded me, but probably shouldn't. Take
a look at the lead plaintiff in the Constitutional challenge
heard at the Supreme Court. Dr. Paul continues to amaze me with
his consistent, principled, unwavering support of the Constitution.
Here he is leading the charge against tyranny in May of 2003. No
Presidential bid on the line, he was just doing what he does, defending
liberty by arguing in favor of the Constitution. Dr. Paul co-signed
a letter requesting a re-consideration of BCRA, including a
coherent summary of problems with the legislation:
behind regulating electioneering communication was to limit the
use of unregulated and unreported monies from being used to advocate
for or against a candidate. The problem with the provision is
two-fold. First, these regulations overstep the bounds of genuine
election-based communications by including non-election-related
advertisements. Second, they have additionally proved to be ineffective
and perhaps counterproductive in curbing the use of unreported
money used during election season broadcast advertisements. For
instance, groups which operate under the IRS tax code 527 have
bought a great deal of election-influencing broadcast advertisements
in the past couple of months and are unrestricted by BCRA provisions
and the FEC
like to request that these hearings also include consideration
of ways in which BCRA provisions may have overstepped the bounds
of election-related regulation and be infringing upon the First
Amendment rights of literally millions of Americans by limiting
the rights of groups to band together to inform their fellow citizens
on issues of policy and legislation.
is no friend of liberty, but it gets worse.
Second Amendment Sellout — The
Gun Show "Loophole" Law
our Republican from Arizona, an open
carry state with average
crime rates wants to expand the Brady Bill to close a "loophole"
that allows private citizens to buy and sell guns to each other
at gun shows, fund new gun control programs, and expand the BATF.
Wouldn't a true conservative support the repeal of the awful Brady
Law? No. He's expanding it, which is especially weird since he
voted against it eight years earlier. Below is the Summary of
the Bill the "conservative" Senator sponsored. His co-sponsors
on the Bill include Senators Schumer, Clinton, Lieberman, and Carper
(all Democrats) and fellow Republican Mike DeWine.
the Summary down, and added emphasis on the incredibly bad parts.
I should probably just bold the entire thing.
Gun Show Loophole Closing and Gun Law Enforcement Act of 2001
– Amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to provide
for regulation of firearms transfers at special firearms events
(events at which 75 or more firearms are offered or exhibited
for sale or exchange if one or more of the firearms has been shipped
or transported in, or otherwise affects, interstate or foreign
commerce, with an exception).
a special firearms events frequent operator from organizing, planning,
promoting, or operating a special firearms event without meeting
specified requirements. Provides an option for 24-hour background
checks at special firearms events for States with computerized
disqualifying records and programs to improve State databases.
Gun Law Enforcement
Act of 2001 – Authorizes appropriations for: (1) grants to States
and local governments to support prosecutions in high gun crime
areas; (2) establishment of up to 100 additional Project EXILE
programs; (3) additional Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
agents; (4) gun tracing and youth crime gun interdiction; and
(5) grants to research entities developing technologies that
limit the use of a gun to the owner.
So McCain isn't
using bipartisan give and take to strike down provisions of the
Brady law, he's the Conservative catspaw advancing more gun control
goodies than a lefty like Chuck Shumer could ever dream of sponsoring
himself. What's going on here?
Supports Defacto Amnesty – The
Kennedy-McCain Immigration Bill
Kos has a summary of the major titles here for easy reference.
Senator McCain sponsored this bill. His
list of co-sponsors is telling. Barrack Obama, Teddy Kennedy,
his good pal Joe Lieberman (again), and John Kerry are the standouts
on this bill that amounts to an immediate amnesty, and an opening
of the floodgates for low-skill workers.
The 2005 McCain-Kennedy
immigration reform bill would add a low skill visa program known
as H4A visa, and allocate 400,000 "low skill" visas
a year, the first year, with provision to adjust the number
up or down based on demand. As if this isn't bad enough, Title VII
of the bill, creates and grants a new H5B visa to aliens, and I
quote: "not legally present in the United States on the date
on which the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act was introduced."
Read it again, only illegal aliens can get the H5B visa. Poof, they
are now legal, can keep working, get in line for a Green Card, and
need only make a one-time trip home to present themselves at a US
Consulate and pay $500. Amnesty.
of the bill continues to show McCain's belief that government has
all the answers, if only we add enough market-like mechanisms to
the bureaucracy, create Orwellian new people-tracking schemes, stand
up vast new government foundations, and broaden the authority of
existing agencies. Here are the rest of the highlights from the
Summary (emphasis mine):
the Commissioner of Social Security to create a new Employment
Eligibility Confirmation System.
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of
1996 to address the collection of arrival and departure information.
the Department of Labor’s investigative authority under
the Secretary of State to enter into an agreement with foreign
governments whose citizens participate in the H-5A program to
establish a labor migration facilitation program.
the Secretary to establish the U.S. Citizenship Foundation.
a Big Government Answer to Global Warming – The
McCain–Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act
Again, we see
McCain's worldview of the Federal Government as the answer to all
of humankind's problems, if we could just set it up to act like
the free market. This bill is very telling.
First, it funds
all sorts of bureaucratic R&D efforts that assume an implicit
hypothesis I will do my best to state: global warming is real, and
is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases mostly attributed
to human activity. So the chances for real research that validate
global warming, its causes, and humankinds' role in them are practically
zero, since any researchers submitting grant proposals will already
be vetted as Acolytes of the Church of Environmentalism.
see the use of McCain's favorite liberty-chilling device, a database
to track things. In this case, the EPA is going to establish a Greenhouse
Gas Database to track emissions. Third, McCain again attempts to
insert free market controls into a social engineering scheme and
massive free market disruption. From the Summary: "Establishes
a program for market-driven reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs)
through the use of tradeable allowances. Requires certain covered
entities that own or control a source of GHG emissions in the electric
power, industrial, and commercial sectors of the U.S. economy to
submit to the Administrator, beginning in 2010, one tradeable allowance
for every metric ton of GHGs emitted. Allows tradeable allowances
to be sold, exchanged, purchased, retired, or otherwise used as
permitted by this Act."
bill would create a massive new energy bureaucracy to oversee the
ensuing economic debacle, and no doubt serve as clearinghouse for
favors to the politically connected. Again, from the summary: "Establishes
the Climate Change Credit Corporation to manage tradeable allowances."
This is conservatism?
Note that McCain is again advancing a leftist agenda; his co-sponsors
on this bill are Joe
Lieberman, Barack Obama, and Olympia Snowe. Why would any democrats
cross over and vote for a fake liberal like McCain, when they can
get the real thing on a Clinton or Obama ticket?
McCain's Economic Illiteracy
Here's a telling exchange from the
MSNBC October 9th debates. (emphasis mine)
Senator McCain, has Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cut interest
rates aggressively enough? Has Ben Bernanke cut rates aggressively
I don't have the kind of expertise to know exactly whether he has
cut interest rates sufficiently or not. And that's why we
put that responsibility in the hands of the head of the Federal
I do know that this nation has faced some pretty good blows in the
last month or so with the credit crunch and the subprime lending.
I'm glad whenever they cut interest rates. I wish interest
rates were zero. But we leave those responsibilities to
the smartest people we can find, and I think that so far he's done
a good job.
That John McCain
claims to be a huge fiscal conservative, but fails to understand
one of the most important parameters of monetary policy is terrifying.
In this debate
clip, John McCain catalogs various government programs, and makes
nebulous claims about
using the veto pen to control spending. Let me see if I've got
this straight. McCain wants a massive new energy bureaucracy to
regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Yeah, that won't raise the cost
of energy, the single most important input into our economy other
than human labor. He doesn't understand how the Fed works to inflate
the currency and fund the grab bag of programs he favors. Every
bill referenced above has included the creation of a massive new
federal bureaucracy; where does he think the money will come from?
McCain — Clintonian Global Interventionist
met a war he doesn't like. When the Republicans were arguing for
restraint in Bosnia and Kosovo, McCain was there backing Clinton,
ready to intervene. In a recent speech, rather than catalog all
the many, many military actions and interventions
of which the Senator has been in favor, let's concentrate on the
current "Global War on Terror."
that Senator McCain and other supporters of the war have been proven
completely, totally, and disastrously wrong in their basis for the
war against Iraq. Saddam Hussein's Iraq did not possess weapons
of mass destruction. Iraq did not harbor the 9-11 terrorists. How
Senator McCain gets one shred of believability is beyond me, but
rest assured it will end as soon as the Republican debates are over.
In a general debate Obama or Clinton will destroy him on this issue,
correctly pointing out that he… is… and… was… completely… wrong…
The American people have seen through the rhetoric, and even if
a fragile "peace" persists, the war is a losing issue
best way to understand a position is by contrast, so here is another
amazing video of Dr. Paul getting it right on Iraq, back in
2002. Not only does he denounce the war, since "Iraq poses
no threat to the United States," but notes that pre-emptive
war is an incredibly dangerous concept, and this aggression would
be unique in American history. Finally, he correctly notes that
Iraq is an impoverished third-world nation with no Air Force or
Navy, that hasn't hit a single one of our fighters enforcing the
UN no fly zone, even after thousands of sorties.
As you're considering
what man would be best Commander in Chief, recall that McCain has
been disastrously wrong, as have most of the Republicans, and only
Dr. Paul got it right at the outset. Rather than admit his error,
and get out of Iraq, McCain
is fine keeping US troops there for 100 years. Setting aside
the grievous moral error of invading Iraq, the American people are
war weary. The mid-term elections are a clear repudiation of the
war. Any candidate, but especially one like McCain whose support
of the invasion has been unwavering, has no chance in the general
— A Big Government Republican Will Not Win the Presidency
are going to turn out the vote for Obama or Clinton, probably Obama.
To win a modern election, a Republican needs to carry most of these
constituencies: The Republican "base" in Red States, Evangelicals,
the Gun Lobby, libertarians, independents, and Blue Dog Democrats
in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio. Other than the straight Republican
ticket base, McCain has no ability to energize significant portions
of the remaining groups, and based on his legislative track record,
speeches, and debate performance has alienated significant portions
of them. A vote for McCain in the primaries is a vote for Hillary
in the general election.
him mail] writes
from Atlanta, GA where he lives and works.