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Then and Now
February 19, 2007 7:21 AM   Subscribe

McCain: I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, Back then our hero said keep abortiion rights. Now, though, with the gift of a more mature perspective (and a hankering for power), he says: McCain: Roe V. Wade Should Be Overturned
posted by Postroad (101 comments total)

 
I wonder: is there a politician in Washington with less integrity than John McCain?
posted by psmealey at 7:24 AM on February 19, 2007


Yes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:26 AM on February 19, 2007



Lieberman?
posted by bukharin at 7:27 AM on February 19, 2007


More evidence that "The Straight Talk Express" was always a ridiculous fairy tale.
posted by Scoo at 7:27 AM on February 19, 2007


Which one is it?
posted by psmealey at 7:36 AM on February 19, 2007


I wonder: is there a politician in Washington with less integrity than John McCain?

Denis Hastert? Kathrin Harris? (She still lives there). I can think of plenty of former politicians with less integrity. Tom Delay, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham, etc.
posted by delmoi at 7:40 AM on February 19, 2007


McCain is roundly hooted by both the Right and Left (albeit for different reasons) and has effectively marginalized himself into extinction. He isn't a factor in any significant equation.
posted by RavinDave at 7:42 AM on February 19, 2007


Awesome - there goes the .00001% chance that I would have voted for him!
posted by jonson at 7:43 AM on February 19, 2007


In McCain v. McCaine, I'll choose McCain every time.
posted by skammer at 7:44 AM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Republican candidate who's courting the right? Say it aint so! In fact, this is the same strategy as media darling Mitt Romney, who supported the women's right to chose while running for Mass. governor, but now says he's "changed his mind."
posted by muddgirl at 7:45 AM on February 19, 2007


It's time to court the alleged power base. McCain and Romney have had their abortion revelation. Guiliani will be next. They're men. They're old men. They're old rich men. They have no personal stake in women's lives and women's bodies and no problems in that realm that they can't throw enough money at to make go away. They are all craven enough to throw women in front of the train if it gets them the power that they think that they deserve.

Meanwhile, the Oligarchist Paulist Right (to which mcCain, Romney, et al, believe that they must pander in order to get aforementioned power) has sewn up the GOP to the extent that a candidate cannot be elected to a city council seat in this country with a position regarding abortion that doesn't include a statement against Roe v. Wade.

I'm not even sure why it's news any more.
posted by Dreama at 7:46 AM on February 19, 2007 [6 favorites]


Are there politicians with less integrity? Certainly, there are. But there're few greater hypocrites than idealistic presidential candidates who've been consistently denied the nomination.

The bastard also failed to stand up against torture, even though he ought to have known better. That was the move that disillusioned me.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:46 AM on February 19, 2007


Huh. Seems like a good way to lose everybody's vote. Conservatives will still see him as a closet liberal, while liberals will see him as a closet conservative
posted by carter at 7:46 AM on February 19, 2007


Chameleons are still lizards.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:50 AM on February 19, 2007 [9 favorites]


BTW he's scheduled to address the (creationist front) Discovery Institute on Feb 23rd. On foreign policy, of course.
posted by carter at 7:50 AM on February 19, 2007


tasty kool-aid, eh john?
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 7:50 AM on February 19, 2007


McCain is flip-flopping like a political fish on the beach gasping for oxygen.

It is SOOO delicious watching the Republican party disintegrate. The party of fiscal conservatives, small government conservatives, and social conservatives are finding out that one of these conservatives is not like the others.

How can you be AGAINST government regulating business but FOR government regulating the lives of individuals?
posted by three blind mice at 7:53 AM on February 19, 2007 [8 favorites]


Seems like a good way to lose everybody's vote.

Yep. He's being so clutzy about his flipflops, and he doesn't have Bush's "aw shucks" appeal to help folks forget about his former positions. Religious fundies are enjoying his pretty dancing right now, I'm sure, with no real stakes on the line, but as soon as there's a real religious conservative in a real race they'll drop McCain so quick it'll be hilarious.
posted by mediareport at 7:55 AM on February 19, 2007


In McCain v. McCaine, I'll choose McCain every time.

Now that's just sloppy. The Drudge Report spelled his name correctly on both of those links.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:56 AM on February 19, 2007


The DFW article on McCain 2000 ("Up, Simba") is worth searching out.
posted by smackfu at 7:56 AM on February 19, 2007


How can you be AGAINST government regulating business but FOR government regulating the lives of individuals?

That has been a basic plank of the Republican Party platform since I can't remember when.
posted by psmealey at 7:57 AM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


We need to turn abortion into big business and invent a fetus-powered SUV.

If we can get Haliburton in on the ground floor then the GOP will embrace Roe V. Wade.
posted by Mick at 8:00 AM on February 19, 2007 [5 favorites]


The GOP has done what the North Vietnamese couldn't - broken John McCain.

He'll be a far more useful tool staying in the Senate fighting for President Jeb's agenda.
posted by hangashore at 8:03 AM on February 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Huh. Seems like a good way to lose everybody's vote. Conservatives will still see him as a closet liberal, while liberals will see him as a closet conservative

He's never been liberal, or even a closet conservative. The only reason liberals liked him before is because he seemed like he had integrity, and it blinded them to his voting record. Anyone who's looked at his voting record knows he's always been one of the most conservative senators we have.
posted by chundo at 8:04 AM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


That has been a basic plank of the Republican Party platform since I can't remember when.

Oddly enough. Using government's power to regulate/control/change people's behaviour is what the left does. It's what the left was invented for. It seems to me that the natural home of pro-choice SHOULD be the anti-government Republican party, but for some reason anti-government types just can't seem to get along with those long-haired hippie people. A major realignment is needed if America is going to get its act together.

Maybe McCain's flipflopping suicide will be an example to others.
posted by three blind mice at 8:12 AM on February 19, 2007


According to research on the Right-Wing-Authoritarian personality type, they don't actually care about personal integrity, just hearing people agree with him.
posted by delmoi at 8:23 AM on February 19, 2007


I still haven't forgiven John McCain for setting up a stage outside my office window in lower Manhattan during the 2000 primaries and having an all white blues combo sing a song whose only lyric was "John McCain" for SIX STRAIGHT HOURS.

John McCain
John McCain
JOOOOOOOOHHHN McCain
John McCain

John?
McCain.
John?
McCayayaain!
posted by The Straightener at 8:30 AM on February 19, 2007 [7 favorites]


Oddly enough. Using government's power to regulate/control/change people's behaviour is what the left does. It's what the left was invented for.

Give me an example of how "The left" wants to regulate, control, or change people's behavior. Spesifically the Modern american liberals (the Democratic party, Greens, Hippies, Progressive types, etc)
posted by delmoi at 8:32 AM on February 19, 2007


Of course Republican Candidates reject Roe verses Wade. They are advocating their covert third way. Ride a ferry.
posted by srboisvert at 8:32 AM on February 19, 2007


... but ... but... he was SO funny on the Daily Show!!!!

McCain's "maverick" credentials have always been a bit of a joke, really. McCain was the perfect fig leaf for the GOP to pretend that the GOP isn't the solid block that it is -- solidly anti-Roe, anti-scientific research, pro-pollution, pro-war profiteering, anti-Islam, anti-black. On a PR level, he had a great all-American backstory, was good on TV -- fooled Jon Stewart!!! OMG!!! -- and the "liberal" (lol) media even let him get away with saying "gook" (poor Joe Biden).

He was really useful, it was a rightwinger with a human (more or less) face -- certainly more presentable than, say, his old colleagues Helms and Thurmond, and, in more recent times, he does indeed look more human than Cheney (we all do, by the way, so that's not saying much, but whatever)

Then he tried to actually bother the GOP's leadership and the Bush 2000 campaign gave him a little taste of what they had in storage for poor John Kerry in '04, and promptly, ahem, shot him down (tasteless sarcasm, I know -- not as tasteless as the Bush campaign's attacks, though).

He's learnt the lesson of 2000, he's kissing that GOP fundy-Christian, anti-science, pro-Iraq ring so hungrily you can hear the slobbering from across the Atlantic. He took care of Roe, I bet creationism in schools is next.


The GOP has done what the North Vietnamese couldn't - broken John McCain

enough with this "torture" nonsense: McCain was subjected to high-pressure interrogation techniques, if one follows the Bush-Gonzales definition of torture -- he wasn't tortured at all.

I'm sure he will now agree on that, too, and he'll retract his old statements in the new editions of his books.
posted by matteo at 8:35 AM on February 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Straightner-

well, it is obvious he is pro-torture if he allowed shit like that to happen.

I'm serious, that is just cruel cruel. I'd have dropped improvised exploseives on them by hour two.
posted by das_2099 at 8:39 AM on February 19, 2007


john mccain is corrupt. he sold his senate office to charles keating, who ran a crooked savings & loan.
some years ago, my legally blind, hard of hearing great aunt bought a $5000 fake certificate of deposit from that s&l. it was actually a junk bond. she cashed it in before the bad news broke! end of story? not quite.
american continental corporation, parent company of the s&l, filed bankruptcy. under a provision of bankruptcy law known as "voidable preference", the u.s. trustee can sue payees of the bankrupt debtor during the 180 day period immediately prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition, to recover assets for the estate. the trustee sued my great aunt (and many others) to get back the $5000 the bankrupt debtor had swindled from her in the first place!

i blame john mccain for hurting a member of my family. he isn't fit to be president. it is not heroism but merely bad luck to be shot down by a north vietnamese missile. first thing he did when he got back, he dumped his old wife (who had advocated tirelessly for him in his captivity) and married younger, blonde money. the younger, blonde money was later involved in a scandal where she was abstracting prescription drugs from her own charity. we don't need these people in washington, i'm surprised they're still wanted in arizona. i would vote for clinton or obama over mccain reflexively, no-brainer.
posted by bruce at 8:44 AM on February 19, 2007 [6 favorites]


McCain just jumped on a grenade for Rudy, who himself won't drink the pro-life kool aid. He has been getting good buzz from Limbaugh, Hannity, and others of their ilk 'in spite of his pro-choice and pro-gay stance'. Nice how they rhetorically distance themselves whlist calling Giuliani a 'leader'. And we get set up again. Fuck a doodle doo.
posted by nj_subgenius at 8:48 AM on February 19, 2007


Don't believe the hype. McCain's stance on abortion is one of the few things we did know certainly when McCain was being discussed for the 2000 elections. Recall the 1992 and 1996 elections -- Clinton beats incumbent Bush Senior and then beats challenger Bob Dole. Where do you go, as a conservative candidate looking to win the presidency? You either go way to the right or you cast yourself in the middle. This is why was done with McCain in 2000 -- he was placed as a "liberal" Republican to the forthright religiousness of Bush and Keyes and the old Republican image of Buchanan and Forbes. Throw in Nader as the ultra-liberal and Gore as -- whatever Gore's image was at that point -- and you get the only scenario where McCain ever looked like a moderate. If you don't like Lieberman because he toes the line, McCain's smile and handshake shouldn't obscure the fact that he is solidly with the Bush administration.
posted by VulcanMike at 8:51 AM on February 19, 2007


McCain is by far the most right-wing and conservative of all the plausibly electable GOP candidates for 2008, which is why I find the fervor right-wingers are taking in utterly destroying him both fascinating and hilarious.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:54 AM on February 19, 2007


YouTubeFilter: John McCain vs. John McCain
posted by Target Practice at 8:58 AM on February 19, 2007


Poor John McCain. He's like Gil the Car Salesman from the Simpsons; affable but desperate, and willing to eat one of his own shoes for a dollar.
posted by boo_radley at 9:09 AM on February 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


McCain is gonna get way more conservative before this thing is over. Why? Giuliani. Giuliani is a serious threat. McCain's best strategy is to paint Giuliani as a fag loving adulterer. So going Attila The Hun on social issues as soon as possible is what gonna get him the nomination.

The right doesn't care about flip-flopping - there are damn few current Republicans that aren't total hypocrites to the supposed "core" conservative principles. Hell. Remember how much they bitched at Clinton's use of troops in Bosnia, Somalia and Kosovo? THEY didn't "Support The Troops" like they call for now.

THE defining quality of modern ELECTABLE Republicans now is how tough they can talk and how much MORE they hate fags over the next guy. That is pretty much it.
posted by tkchrist at 9:10 AM on February 19, 2007


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by frecklefaerie at 9:14 AM on February 19, 2007


Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

Roe v. Wade should be overturned.

These are not inconsistent positions, and are fact ones that have a rather impressive breadth of support among legal scholars. I don't know if McCain was aiming for that legal of distinction, but we all know that sloppy terminology can lead to what appears to be inconsistent positions when they are actually nuanced (See, e.g., Kerry in '04).

McCain won't be the nominee no matter what his position on this topic is. Nevertheless, I look forward to the resolution of the abortion debate once and for all in this thread.
posted by dios at 9:15 AM on February 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Is there anything McCain won't do to become president?

Seriously -- I'm thinking of asking him to carve a wooden statue of my head, rewrite Harry Potter by hand, and make a video of the Dead Parrot sketch.
posted by fungible at 9:21 AM on February 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


McCain is by far the most right-wing and conservative of all the plausibly electable GOP candidates for 2008, which is why I find the fervor right-wingers are taking in utterly destroying him both fascinating and hilarious.

The hardcore social conservatives want Brownback. They know he's completely unelectable as president, but might be vice-presidential material. So the question becomes: who would be most willing to buy the social conservative vote in '08 by choosing Brownback as a running mate? McCain's conservative bonafides make him unlikely to pick Brownback--in fact McCain would almost certainly look to his political left for a running mate, in order to widen his voting base. The other plausible candidates--Romney and Giuliani especially--are far too liberal to win the social conservative vote on their own. However, if they choose a running mate like Brownback, it would go a long way towards helping them gain the SC vote (an essential component--if only for the highly organized and motivated grassroots and GOTV organizations it controls--to any Republican's campaign) and making, ultimately, a credible run at the White House.

The Social conservative establishment is working to derail McCain because they suspect that, if elected, he would be strong enough to operate without them. With Romney or Giuliani, they might have the ability to retain a greater level of influence and exert more control over key policy decisions, using access to their political machine in `12 as a bargaining chip. After the Bush debacle (and the nation's growing disenchantment with the Right's policies), a weak Republican president is more important to their long-term agenda than electing someone who actually agrees with them, but might have broad enough support (and a suspiciously independent streak) to ignore them when his own political agenda conflicts with theirs.
posted by Chrischris at 9:22 AM on February 19, 2007


Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

Depends on how "rare" is intrepreted. Making it "rare" by making it harder for women, and teenage girls to get will definetly not help make it 'safe'. In fact the only thing making it unsafe is innaccess to abortion clinics.
posted by delmoi at 9:25 AM on February 19, 2007


Chrischris: most of the republican establishment has lined up with McCain. These are the people who run the party (i.e. big business and the moneyed elites, rather then the Santorum types)
posted by delmoi at 9:28 AM on February 19, 2007


this is what is known as the flip-flop torture technique
posted by phaedon at 9:28 AM on February 19, 2007


Live by the wedge, die by the wedge.
posted by edverb at 9:30 AM on February 19, 2007


I said it after I first met the man face to face in 2000 and I'll say it again: America isn't ready for a comb-over president.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:32 AM on February 19, 2007


Chrischris: most of the republican establishment has lined up with McCain. These are the people who run the party (i.e. big business and the moneyed elites, rather then the Santorum types)

Well, big business may provide the money. but it is the Social Conservatives who have provided--in the last 2 campaigns at least--the actual manpower and votes to determine who gets through the gate. To win the nomination (and become the actual benefactor of all that money) a Republican candidate has to run the primary gauntlet--and more than ever, it is the Social Conservative establishment (which may or may not--depending on the issue--find themselves aligned with the business wing of the party) that holds the key to that phase of the race.
posted by Chrischris at 9:35 AM on February 19, 2007


I don't know if McCain was aiming for that legal of distinction

Legal expertise is invalidated by concepts a six-year old child can understand. A Republican candidate saying "Roe v. Wade should be overturned" is a Republican candidate saying abortion should be illegal. If you think otherwise you're either lying or think everyone else here is an idiot.

Nevertheless, I look forward to the resolution of the abortion debate once and for all in this thread.

Was that the point of the thread? Did you think it was? Are you trying to troll a way into making it that?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:36 AM on February 19, 2007


A Republican candidate saying "Roe v. Wade should be overturned" is a Republican candidate saying abortion should be illegal. If you think otherwise you're either lying or think everyone else here is an idiot.

That's the kind of black and white rhetoric that will lead to nuanced discussion. Thanks for making the Internet a more interesting place, what with your discussion of state's rights, whether a decision from the 70s properly covers options that weren't available back then, etc.
posted by yerfatma at 9:44 AM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


This thread needs a reminder of David Kuo's book Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction, which dared to suggest that GOP leaders like Rove use religious conservatives while laughing at them behind their backs.
posted by mediareport at 9:56 AM on February 19, 2007


. . . how "The left" wants to regulate, control, or change people's behavior.

California's scary-gun ban, helmet laws, seatbelt laws, smoking taxes & laws, gasoline taxes. . .
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:59 AM on February 19, 2007


Abortion should be safe, legal and well done.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:02 AM on February 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


The State-by-State Consequences of Overturning Roe v. Wade
posted by homunculus at 10:08 AM on February 19, 2007


California's scary-gun ban, helmet laws, seatbelt laws, smoking taxes & laws, gasoline taxes. . .

Indeed, such huge infringements on personal freedom as they are. [/sarcasmfilter]
posted by jokeefe at 10:09 AM on February 19, 2007


That's the kind of black and white rhetoric that will lead to nuanced discussion. Thanks for making the Internet a more interesting place

In the magical land of fairies, I can imagine a politician taking the stance of "well, Roe v. Wade wasn't the best-argued decision the court's ever made; not that I disagree with the general upshot of it, but shouldn't the court come to a new decision that is more in line with similar jurisprudence?"

You are talking about the real-world Republican party here.

"I support the repeal of habeas corpus! Well actually I'm not sure the Constitution grants that right. See, I just want something slightly different. More in tune with our crazy modern times. Come on!"
posted by furiousthought at 10:11 AM on February 19, 2007


mediareport we also need to be reminded that Religious Conservatives WANT to be used. They are designed to be used and are ripe for the picking.
posted by tkchrist at 10:12 AM on February 19, 2007


Abortion should be safe, legal and well done.

And mandatory.
posted by tkchrist at 10:13 AM on February 19, 2007


psmealey: "How can you be AGAINST government regulating business but FOR government regulating the lives of individuals?

That has been a basic plank of the Republican Party platform since I can't remember when.
"

---

Hmm. It would be interesting to see a timeline of their platform. Does anyone know of a great reference site for not just Republican party platforms, but perhaps, for the different parties platforms? Parties that currently exist and historical parties? An interesting idea, especially, perhaps to see the trend of planks in the platforms to see what social issues were viewed as relevant. Homosexuality and Abortion, while certainly a conservative staple, I doubt would've been much a platform plank until these were general social issues pushed further towards the mainstream. Though I could be wrong?
posted by symbioid at 10:14 AM on February 19, 2007


That's the kind of black and white rhetoric that will lead to nuanced discussion. Thanks for making the Internet a more interesting place, what with your discussion of state's rights, whether a decision from the 70s properly covers options that weren't available back then, etc.

It's actually pretty plausible that most states would legalize abortion if needed. South Dakota, of all places, recently legalized abortion in state law by referendum. However if John McCain thinks that, he should say it. Still, you can guarantee that abortion would be illegal in at least a handful of states if RvW was overturned.
posted by delmoi at 10:17 AM on February 19, 2007


and are fact ones that have a rather impressive breadth of support among legal scholars.

Once again, the troll goes on the hunt.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:19 AM on February 19, 2007


Thanks for making the Internet a more interesting place, what with your discussion of state's rights, whether a decision from the 70s properly covers options that weren't available back then, etc.

If there was a GOP candidate who actually made the theoretical argument presented- that he/she was pro-choice and felt abortion should remain legal but just, for reasons completely unrelated to the legality of abortion, thought Roe v. Wade was a bad decision that should be overturned- then yes, I'd be all for "nuanced discussion."

Back on Planet Earth, however, I would prefer to keep political discussion based at least close to reality. If calling the argument that yes, technically a candidate could want to overturn Roe v. Wade but still be pro-choice complete bullshit just because it, by 100% of proven examples, is means I'm being "black and white," then I'm a friggin' zebra.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:22 AM on February 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


California's scary-gun ban, helmet laws, seatbelt laws, smoking taxes & laws, gasoline taxes. . .

Gas taxes have nothing to do with personal freedom, unless you think you should be able to drive on roads that arn't paved or maintained is some kind of moral right.

Smoking taxes? Would you rather they were banned, which is what anti-smoking conservatives would do (it wasn't the liberals who banned alcohol, marijuana, etc).

I suppose the gun thing is a good point, but helmet and seatbelt laws? How does that compare with being tortured, having your phones taped, no habias corpus, no abortion, no drugs, no profanity or boobs on TV (or the internet, if they had their way) and so on and so on.
posted by delmoi at 10:23 AM on February 19, 2007


Gas taxes have nothing to do with personal freedom, unless you think you should be able to drive on roads that arn't paved or maintained is some kind of moral right.

sorry, I was unclear on that . . . proposed taxes to encourage people to reduce their use of gasoline.

anti-smoking conservatives

?

How does that compare with being tortured, having your phones taped, no habias corpus, no abortion, no drugs, no profanity or boobs on TV (or the internet, if they had their way) and so on and so on

The question was asked, and I responded. As a left-libertarian neither of the established parties floats my boat very high.

Note that the only votes supporting California's medical marijuana laws came from the whacko conservatives ('Connor, Rehnquist and Thomas).
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:31 AM on February 19, 2007


it wasn't the liberals who banned alcohol, marijuana
Yeah. Sorry about that. We were way to high and drunk and missed the meeting. Oh. So high.
posted by tkchrist at 10:32 AM on February 19, 2007


Once again, the troll goes on the hunt.

I can't figure out how Dios decides which threads to derail by complaining that the post should be deleted, and which threads to bless with hand-waving appeals to authority and other gobbledyasian. It's all very nuanced.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:42 AM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is there anything McCain won't do to become president?

That sounds like a website waiting to be made. People submit their personal criteria for what John McCain must do to win their vote, and then someone asks him about the most popular criteria at one of those "ask the candidate" forums.

"My question is for Senator McCain. Since it became clear that you'll do absolutely anything to win this election, mccaincanwinmyvote.com has started collecting people's criteria for how you can win their vote. The most popular criteria is currently 'by making pigs fly.' If elected president, would you support or oppose federal funding for pig aviation research?"
posted by scottreynen at 10:54 AM on February 19, 2007


Thank you XQUZYPHYR, both well-argued and, well, cartoonishly fun.

As for personal freedoms, which plank will be the first to go (or be toned down) as time moves forward - Republicans' anti-abortion or Democrats' anti-gun?
posted by abulafa at 11:02 AM on February 19, 2007


As for personal freedoms, which plank will be the first to go (or be toned down) as time moves forward - Republicans' anti-abortion or Democrats' anti-gun?

Anti-gun: we'll need something to mow down all those mutant super children who should have been aborted.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:06 AM on February 19, 2007


I can't figure out how Dios decides which threads to derail

it's politically motivated ... you rarely see it in a thread that doesn't have a political aspect to it ... and he never can summon the nerve to actually discuss his political views forthrightly, so he chooses legal quibbling, which is content-free ... example

These are not inconsistent positions, and are fact ones that have a rather impressive breadth of support among legal scholars.

except of course, the legal scholars who actually count, the supreme court
posted by pyramid termite at 11:14 AM on February 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


... but ... but... he was SO funny on the Daily Show!!!!

My memory is a little sketchy, but I seem to recall the last time McCain was on the Daily Show (several months ago, via satellite rather than in-studio) Jon Stewart confronted him on kowtowing to the religious right + the flip-flopping. McCain was visibly taken aback and rendered a bit speechless, suddenly aware his love affair with Stewart was perhaps over. I'd be surprised if he is a guest again.

He took care of Roe, I bet creationism in schools is next.

Actually, he already took care of creationism in schools.
posted by General Zubon at 11:19 AM on February 19, 2007


As for personal freedoms, which plank will be the first to go (or be toned down) as time moves forward - Republicans' anti-abortion or Democrats' anti-gun?

I'm hoping for the anti-gun plank, if only so the Dems can win an election after last years.
posted by kableh at 11:24 AM on February 19, 2007


Is there anything McCain won't do to become president?

Since he can't get any whiter or more male, no. The heavy lifting is done.
posted by mobunited at 11:24 AM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


McCain was visibly taken aback and rendered a bit speechless, suddenly aware his love affair with Stewart was perhaps over. I'd be surprised if he is a guest again.

Funny, I remember it as Stewart basically letting McCain off the hook and minimizing what obvious pandering it was while discussing it with McCain. They were pretty biting in the segment covering the story without McCain there, but I bet he'll be on again.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:38 AM on February 19, 2007


McCain is by far the most right-wing and conservative of all the plausibly electable GOP candidates for 2008,

one word: Jebby


Actually, he already took care of creationism in schools.

link doesn't work for me, but I believe you. reality always surpasses one's snark anyway.
posted by matteo at 11:40 AM on February 19, 2007


symbioid noted Hmm. It would be interesting to see a timeline of their platform.

Never, ever forget that the modern liberalization of abortion law began with California's Governor Ronald Reagan.

Who then spent his eight years as President smiling, waving and giving his trademark wink to the anti-abortion activists.

The GOP will always harass women by trying to further limit reproductive rights - but they will never, ever ban abortion.

The day abortion becomes illegal is the day the Republican party loses its major-party status: nobody would ever vote for a republican if they did not promise to Stop Abortion. Once abortion is illegal, their 'base' evaporates. Who would vote purely for the "lower wages/no worker rights/no social safety net" party? Not a working majority of voters: all they'd have left is the "anti-worker/anti-gay" coalition, which isn't enough to win elections.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 11:52 AM on February 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Funny, I remember it as Stewart basically letting McCain off the hook

As I said, my memory was sketchy but I thought I remembered some uncomfortable-ness ... admittedly, Stewart definitely doesn't tear into the right-wingers as often as he used to.

Actually, he already took care of creationism in schools.

link doesn't work for me,


Metafilter strikes in screwing a blog-page's bandwidth, it seems.

He's explicit in his support for intelligent design in this Arizona Star piece (last couple paragraphs).

But then he tries to freakin' have it both ways according to this online New York Sun article:

Responding to a question about a report that he thinks "intelligent design" should be taught in schools, the senator mocked the idea that American young people were so delicate and impressionable that they needed to be sheltered from the concept, which says God had a hand in creation and which has been challenged by Darwinists as unscientific.

"Shhh, you shouldn't tell them," he said, mimicking those who would shield children from the fact that some people believe in intelligent design. The former prisoner of war said he also disagreed with Cold War-era efforts to prevent Marxist-Leninism from being taught in schools, saying it was better for Americans to understand their enemy. He noted that he didn't say that intelligent design needed to be taught in "science class," leaving unclear exactly what class he thought it should be taught in. He said he believed local school boards, not the federal government, should determine curricula.

"From a personal standpoint, I believe in evolution," Mr. McCain said. At the same time, he said, "When I stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon and I see the sun going down, I believe the hand of God was there."

posted by General Zubon at 11:54 AM on February 19, 2007


The day abortion becomes illegal is the day the Republican party loses its major-party status

Only if there are no more Gays.
posted by tkchrist at 12:12 PM on February 19, 2007


tkchrist: yeah, there is something to that.

But "Banning Abortion/Punishing Loose Women" is a litmus test for no more than 10% of the electorate, maybe 20%, tops. Which - given American turnouts - is a critical base for putting republicans in power.

"Hatin' Teh Gay" is the top issue for a much smaller base. I really hope that there aren't enough of them to keep the republicans in power.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 12:30 PM on February 19, 2007


The day abortion becomes illegal is the day the Republican party loses its major-party status: nobody would ever vote for a republican if they did not promise to Stop Abortion. Once abortion is illegal, their 'base' evaporates. Who would vote purely for the "lower wages/no worker rights/no social safety net" party? Not a working majority of voters: all they'd have left is the "anti-worker/anti-gay" coalition, which isn't enough to win elections.

A lot of people think that, but it's actually rather dumb, like saying democrats would lose power as they end the Iraq war or something. Once the Supreme Court overturns it, there will be a lot of agitation for a federal ban, or laws that prevent the free movement of pregnant women to abortion states (just like the fugitive slave laws, awesome!) The issue will always be there, how is it going to be enforced, what will the penalties be, and so on.

As I said, my memory was sketchy but I thought I remembered some uncomfortable-ness ... admittedly, Stewart definitely doesn't tear into the right-wingers as often as he used to.

The last time he was on he seemed depressed. Honestly I don't know what McCain is thinking, he seems depressed and tired all the time. It's not very inspiring, and I don't really think he has much of a chance.
posted by delmoi at 12:37 PM on February 19, 2007


"Hatin' Teh Gay" is the top issue for a much smaller base. I really hope that there aren't enough of them to keep the republicans in power.

Are you kidding? Constitutional bans on marriage have passed in with overwhelming support in most states, it's only failed in one state. Even lots of democrats vote for 'em. Not to say that those same people want to ban gay sex, but the don't want 'em marrying.
posted by delmoi at 12:39 PM on February 19, 2007


I'd like to second smackfu's recommendation about "Up, Simba" (Which I just read yesterday). I can't find the article online (I guess it was in Rolling Stone in March of 2000), but it is in DFW's recent Consider the Lobster.

Wallace talks about the 'Hanoi Hilton', where the VC offered to release McCain and he refused because of the military code and spent another 4 years in a POW camp on principle. He seems to be impressed to find a man who would put principle about self-interest, and 'A presidential candidate somewhat in the ballpark of a real human being...'

And then he looks at McCain's positions and voting record- 'a way-Right Republican senator from one of the most politically troglodytic states in the nation.'
posted by MtDewd at 12:39 PM on February 19, 2007


abortiion rights.

Worst. Wii pun. Ever.
posted by sparkletone at 12:41 PM on February 19, 2007


McCain has a burning question on his website: Do you want more control over the viewing options in your home and your monthly cable bill? Fluff!
But his bio does not mention his birth date.
Assuming that he was 22 when he graduated the Naval Academy in 1958, he is 70 today. That is too old to take on the presidency. Consider your father/grandfather or anyone you know in that age bracket taking on a 24/7 job for a possible 8 years.
Flip flop is not all that disqualifies him.
posted by Cranberry at 1:57 PM on February 19, 2007


Anecdotally, the Republican base (from the Limbaugh ditto-heads up to the relatively more media savvy LGF types) just totally loathe the guy. He was one of the traitorous senators who blocked Bush's genius war on terrah. I mean, you can carry all the water and suck all the figurative dick possible in today's Republican party, as McCain has, and you still get nothing back. To my mind, the funniest thing isn't his flip-flop on abortion, it's how he tried to get ahead of Bush on the "surge." And then Bush called his frickin' bluff.

So it's fun to see the punditocracy now tout Rudy's viability in the heartland. I can't wait till his ex-wives take to the air. Good times.
posted by bardic at 2:17 PM on February 19, 2007


Flip flop is not all that disqualifies him.

this reminds me of the way politics used to be in this country ... meaning there are other reasons to run for president than becoming president ... we have had so many campaigns where there's been one obvious frontrunner for each party after a few primaries that we've forgotten what a close race is really like

what if the republicans don't end up with a candidate who's got it all wrapped up by convention time? ... then we're talking deals in smoke filled rooms ... bargaining for delegates ... trying to trade and dicker for that magic combination of pledges and concessions that will get someone a clear nomination

and if mc cain's got delegates, he's going to be one of the power brokers, if it comes to that

and i think in both parties we may see something like that next year ... no clear winner, deals being made at the conventions
posted by pyramid termite at 2:17 PM on February 19, 2007


According to Wikipedia, Senator McCain was born on August 29, 1936, which makes him 70; he'll be 72 on Inauguration Day 2009. Ronald Reagan, the oldest president to take office, was 69 at the beginning of his first term.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:19 PM on February 19, 2007


The age thing is a canard. The Republicans would nominate a 90 year-old if he/she/it could win against Hillary. It's what the "nicer" pundits who buy into McCain's "maverick" status will use against him, as opposed to the majority of the Republican party, who will be happy to Murtha/Kerry/Clinton him, by any means necessary.
posted by bardic at 2:22 PM on February 19, 2007


(Which isn't to say the Republicans have a lock on intra-party smears. Expect the Clinton campaign to make more of an issue about Obama's race than the LGFascist crowd. Less directly of course, but all the more insidiously. Hillary's sense of entitlement to the nomination is the political equivalent of primogeniture.)
posted by bardic at 2:28 PM on February 19, 2007


Here's to hoping that melanoma kicks in
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 2:44 PM on February 19, 2007


Now he's flip-flopping on Rumsfeld.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:05 PM on February 19, 2007


Hey matteo - looks like you and I might be in for a surprise: Jeb's been stumping for... Romney. Could be a front for when Romney crashes and burns (too Mormon, too Taxachussetts) and Jeb is 'reluctantly' enters the fray to heal a divided party.

Of course, under any number of scenarios, Vice-President Bush has an awful nice ring to it.
posted by hangashore at 3:30 PM on February 19, 2007


Do you really think 51% of the U.S. will vote for anyone named Bush in '08?
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:39 PM on February 19, 2007


51% of the U.S.? Probably not.

51% of the 60% (and falling) of the electorate who'll be arsed to actually vote in '08? Now we're talking.
posted by hangashore at 4:10 PM on February 19, 2007


McCain is by far the most right-wing and conservative of all the plausibly electable GOP candidates for 2008, which is why I find the fervor right-wingers are taking in utterly destroying him both fascinating and hilarious.

Actually, Mitt Romney fits that description. I think he's more plausibly electable than McCain in some ways at this point.
posted by blucevalo at 5:36 PM on February 19, 2007


delmoi: A lot of people think that, but it's actually rather dumb, like saying democrats would lose power as they end the Iraq war or something.

I know a number of people who can't bring themselves to vote "D" (ever!) JUST over the issue of 'baby-killing'. If abortion is banned, they would then be free to vote in their own self-interest. There's a sizeable contingent of them.

The anti-abortion plank gives the GOP a committed block of voters. If they should ever wander away, the GOP then returns to its natural status as the minority party. The only way the Dems could renounce their identity in an analogous manner would be if they were to announce that they were no longer the party of the worker (in opposition to the GOP, the party of the owners).

And sure, the rubes lined up for a chance to ban The Threat of Gay Marriage - but they can only do that once in each Red State. That little panic has just about run its course.

I don't see the pendulum swinging back to re-criminalize gay sex: the Lawrence decision was the product of a remarkably conservative court. I've been wrong before, but I don't see America losing ground on this issue. At this point, that would be like repealing the Civil Rights gains of the '60s - it could be done, but I don't see it realistically in the offing.

Anyway, to return to the topic - McCain looks weary, his normal ebullience is gone. However much he whores himself to win over the GOP base, I don't see him lasting (politically) until the 2008 convention.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 6:17 PM on February 19, 2007


Flip flopper.
posted by Balisong at 7:05 PM on February 19, 2007


Yeah, on an easy target; Rumsfeld's fucking gone. What a political coward.
posted by mediareport at 9:31 PM on February 19, 2007


Abortion should be safe, legal and well done.

Actually, I find that tends to make it dry and chewy, and without much flavour. Medium-rare seems to work better.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:49 PM on February 19, 2007


tkchrist: Abortion should be safe, legal and well done.
And mandatory.


Retroactively. FOR MCCAIN'S MOM!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:11 AM on February 20, 2007


Jeb's too smart to enter the 2008 race. It's a shame the brothers didn't get their jobs the other way around. I was aghast when Jeb won the office but he turned out to not be as horrid as I expected, though his travails with his pill-popping daughter (less than a year after he cut rehab funding) were certainly good for some eye-rolling. He certainly one-upped W in one important way: honoring the wishes of his constituency. I expected environmental disaster with Jeb in charge but he did a middling job and stood up on offshore drilling.

Anyway, I think Jeb realizes that trying to run in 2008 would just subject him to a lot of beatings for having the same last name as a currently unpopular president. Maybe 2012, or 2016, when he could get the name recognition without the negative association.

I'm just sorry Lawton Chiles didn't live long enough to run (or, apparently, have an interest in it). That man had the integrity and strength of character that McCain's image brokers want to bamboozle people into thinking he has.
posted by phearlez at 12:13 PM on February 20, 2007


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