Friday, February 08, 2008

America's "Imperfect Servant"

"For me, that cause has always been our country, and the ideals that have made us great. I have been her imperfect servant for many years, and I have made many mistakes. You can attest to that, but need not. For I know them well myself. But I love her deeply and I will never, never tire of the honor of serving her. I cannot do that without your counsel and support".
- Senator John McCain, February 7, 2008 speech at CPAC

More specifically, John McCain has been conservative America's "imperfect servant". "A great American, lousy senator, and terrible Republican", as Hugh Hewitt likes to romanticize it.

And speaking of Hugh Hewitt, the "Rah, Rah, Romney-man", himself, here is what he wrote Thursday:
The campaign ahead is first and foremost about victory in the war. As Romney argued today, Senators Clinton and Obama are committed to retreat, and Senator McCain to victory in that war. That's all the reason any conservative should need to fully support Senator McCain now that his nomination is assured.
The author of 2004's If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat, also had this to write from 2 days ago:
There are seven reasons for anyone to support the eventual nominee no matter who it is:
The war and six Supreme Court justices over the age of 68.

Folks who want to take their ball and go home have to realize that even three SCOTUS appointments could revolutionize the way elections are handled in this country in a stroke, mandating the submission of redistricting lines to court scrutiny for "fairness."

"It is undeniable that political sophisticates understand such fairness and how to go about destroying it," Justice Souter announced in his diseent in Veith v. Jubilerer, the Pennsylvania redistricting case in which the Court declined by a vote of 5 to 4 to immerse itself in the details of the partisan redistricting of Pennsylvania.

If Democrats control the White House and gain even one of the five seats held by the center-right majority of current justices, this and many other crucial issues are up for legal grabs. When activist judges are more than willing to rewrite rules of long-standing, periods of exile should never be self-imposed "for the good of the party." Exiles can go on a very long time indeed. Ask the Whigs.

They can go on indefinitely when enforced by courts.

The GOP as well is the party committed to victory in Iraq and the wider war. A four year time-out would be a disaster, a period of time in which al Qaeda and its jihadist off-shoots would regroup in some places and continue to spread in others. Iran, even if punished in the months before November, would certainly continue and accelerate its plans under the soft pleadings of a President Obama or Clinton 2.0.

These aren't the years to wish a pox on your primary opponents' heads beyond June.

I don't expect the principals to let up on each other in the two months ahead, and I am especially looking forward to the Ohio and Texas votes.

But it is very possible to play full contact politics without the threat of going home if your team loses. The stakes in the fall are far too high for that.
Hugh Hewitt understands perfectly well what the stakes are, and what party purists can do to the conservative movement, if they refuse to stick to the principled position of sticking to Party. I recommend his book to anyone who is serious about winning elections. The stakes are as great now, as they were in 2004. On "the War", on justices:
In the next four to eight years, we can anticipate that there will be at least two and perhaps as many as five new appointments to the Court. As of November 2008, when the next president will be elected, the ages of the current justices will be as follows: John Paul Stevens (88), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (75), Antonin Scalia (72), Anthony Kennedy (72), Stephen Breyer (70), David Souter (69), Clarence Thomas (60), Samuel Alito (58), and John Roberts (53). The good news for Republicans is that the three youngest justices are solid conservatives, while the two oldest are strident liberals. These two, Stevens and Ginsburg, almost certainly will leave the bench during the next president’s tenure in office. By 2016, Kennedy, Breyer, and/or Souter (not to mention Scalia) also may succumb to age or infirmity. Replacing these justices with solid conservatives may finally accomplish the conservative counter-revolution on the Supreme Court that Republicans have worked tirelessly to achieve for decades.
Much has been ballyhooed on John Fund's WSJ piece, regarding Senator McCain's purported statement on appointing a Roberts, but not an Alito to the Supreme Court, because Alito "wears his conservatism on his sleeve". I can believe that McCain probably said that, and doesn't remember. But from that piece, what the anti-McCain conservatives filtered that to mean is: "McCain won't nominate an Alito to the Bench!!!" But that's not what it means; nor, is that what John Fund wrote:

Hugh Hewitt interviewed John Fund, today, btw. Fund stressed that his piece not be misconstrued and conflated, that McCain WON’T nominate a Samuel Alito justice, but that he might not nominate one. Fund also pointed out, to be fair to McCain, that McCain has been stellar in always supporting every conservative nominee who’s come up, like Robert Bork (who doesn’t support McCain), Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and yes, Samuel Alito. Fund stressed the distinction between who McCain might nominate, as opposed to who he will support, as someone else’s appointment pick. And Fund was right in making his point, as you exemplified how he writes one thing, and the McCDS sufferers hear this:

He won’t nominate a Sam Alito.

MIGHT not, is the operative word, here.
Senator McCain has supported every conservative judge who has ever come up for nomination, including in the lower courts. And he strongly supported voting to have Alito confirmed. What about the "Gang of 14"? It's been one of those issues that I was angry with McCain on, too. I still am. But Michael Medved, puts the case forth, on John McCain's motives, as well as its effect:
LIE #3: John McCain organized “The Gang of Fourteen” to Block the Confirmation of Conservative Judges.

TRUTH: John McCain organized “The Gang of Fourteen” to win- not to block -the Confirmation of Conservative Judges, and his efforts succeeded in the Senate.

This group of seven Republicans and Seven Democrats (representing a full 14% of the US Senate, obviously) ultimately broke the logjam that had delayed confirmation of some of the most conservative nominees of President Bush. Because of McCain’s leadership, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito won Supreme Court confirmation without filibuster from the Democrats. He also secured the previously blocked confirmations of Appellate Judges William Pryor, Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen, and Brett Kavanaugh, previously filibustered by Democrats. At the same time, McCain and his “gang” managed to protect the right to filibuster – an important tool with obvious value now that Republicans find themselves in the minority. McCain has never opposed a Republican nominee for the Supreme Court; unlike some of his prominent fellow Republicans, he actively supported the nomination of Judge Robert Bork. His disagreement with Senate Republican leader Bill Frist on the “Gang of Fourteen” issues involved questions of tactics, not the goal of securing a judiciary that honors the principles of strict construction.

I still don't fully agree with Senator McCain's not sticking to Party, on this; but in the end, given how Democrats are now in the majority rule, maybe Senator McCain did have foresight.

Daniel Henninger of the WSJ had this to say:

The big lesson of the failed Harriet Miers nomination is that a real establishment on judicial nominations exists now in Washington. Throwing another David Souter over the transom and onto the Court is nearly impossible. A participant in this process who has discussed it with Sen. McCain tells me that he says his advisers on major judicial nominations will include Ted Olson, Sam Brownback and Jon Kyl. Miguel Estrada, a victim of the Gang of 14 senators on the judicial filibuster, has endorsed Mr. McCain.

One thing I am sure of: on appointing justices to the Supreme Court, affecting the course of our country for generations, I trust McCain more than I would trust Hillary or Obama, in putting forth (conservative) strict constructionists. And no matter who the pro-life GOP candidate would have been (Rudy Giuliani included), there is no guarantee of predicting how a judge will make decisions, once appointed to the Supreme Court (think Kennedy- appointed by Reagan- and Souter- appointed by Bush #41).

Mitt Romney is now being whole-heartedly embraced by johnny-come-latelies, after delivering a stellar speech prior to McCain's. Romney demonstrates that he understands what's at stake (the "War") in this election cycle; and he's able to set aside his differences for the larger good of the Party and the Movement. The question is: will the Reagan footsoldiers be able to do the same? Or will they allow personal animosity and selfish reasons dictate their decisions over the larger picture?

Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

Previous related post:

McCain Derangement Syndrome Issue #1: Campaign Finance Reform

Why the '08 Election is a Matter of Life and Death

Time for Some Straight Talk

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Blogger Karen said...

Well written, Word. I took your suggestion and began listening to Michael Medved. I like his reasoning much better than the people having the meltdowns!

Friday, February 08, 2008 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes please support McCain since it's your only (though really pathetic) choice. Of course Hillary is more conservative than Johnny boy. Death to the GOP


see you in November!

Friday, February 08, 2008 1:13:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Haha...looks like I tracked back Marie's little snot.

Friday, February 08, 2008 1:17:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Here he is.

Friday, February 08, 2008 1:20:00 PM  
Anonymous SimplyKimberly said...

Well, speaking as one of those having the meltdowns, I think this is a really good post.

I don't like John McCain. There isn't a fancy enough suit to dress him up in that will make me like John McCain. I have my reasons and none of them are deranged. For instance, I live in Texas, so the immigration/border issue is of supreme importance to me.

But here were are, with McCain the eventual nominee. What do we do with that? Well, I won't vote for a Democrat. I shamefully admit I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 because I loathed Bush 41 and I learned my lesson there. But knowing McCain isn't much better than the Dhimmis themselves makes his nomination all the harder to swallow. I am trying to get there. I really I am. It is just agonizingly painful.

Great post wordsmith! I said it over at FloppingAces and I will say it here.

Friday, February 08, 2008 1:48:00 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Excellent Post Word,

People are going to have to wake up and see that this election is ALOT more than just about the Presidency!

I mean that has ALOT of course to do with it (Geez lol, shakes her head) but what's at stake is alot more important.

Like you and Hugh Hewitt wrote and a number of others, the SCOTUS, and the one issue that is nearest and dearest to my heart, winning the War on Terror and Our National Security!

I LOVE that quote from McCain at the top of your post, and I love another quote he made when his campaign was falling apart, it was honest and I think we are seeing something in just this one quote:

"I would rather lose the Presidency than lose the war"!

If you notice since he made that remark, his campaign came back to life in a very big way.

I know McCain got alot of Reagan Democrat votes and Independents, Veterans, but I am beginning to believe he got alot of pro-victory supporters as well.

There is a shift happening in this Country but it isnt leaving all of our Conservative principles behind either, we are a Nation At War, and maybe it took McCain to wake them back up and remember that, but it's true and we are going to need someone with experience to fight it.

I would have felt safe with Fred, Rudy, or Romney, but I also feel safe with McCain.

And I recall alot of our friends saying in the very beginning of this race "ANY of our candidates could beat Hillary or Obama".

Well now is the time to prove it, McCain is one of OUR candidates! And now will become the nominee.

Not because as some have put it "It's his turn" but I believe after his speech yesterday he truly believes he is the best person to protect us after Bush and will take the war where it belongs, where the terrorists are and not on American soil.

Get Ready!! We are going to be slammed by the Ron Paul idiots, and the Democrats.

As you can tell, it's already happening on my blog.

But what has happened has happened and we all need to pull together and support our nominee if we do care what happens to America.

If the words "President Elect-Clinton" or "President Elect-Obama" dont scare the absolute hell out of people then there is something wrong with THEM, not US!

Oh No you tracked back to me? lol

I have to add you and some others that are starting to come around to my post that I am going to leave up top for a bit.

Friday, February 08, 2008 6:33:00 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Gee Anonymouse,

yes please support McCain since it's your only (though really pathetic) choice. Of course Hillary is more conservative than Johnny boy. Death to the GOP


see you in November!

God! You are such a child! You followed Word back over here or vise versa either way you are a child who should'nt even be allowed on the internet!

Talk about pathetic, at least most of my Anonymous posters have enough sense to make up a name. but then again that's the chickenshit way to do things isnt it? Drop in as anonymous and skip along to the next blog never letting anyone know what you are supporting or anything about you except the nonsense you spew.

Stupidity at it's finest!

Friday, February 08, 2008 6:42:00 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...


I better copy and paste my comment so I can take to FA. lol

I will never remember what all I said lol

Friday, February 08, 2008 6:50:00 PM  
Blogger Danny Vice said...

Conservatives are beginning to amaze me in their inability to see what's really at stake here. This election is about more than McCain and his inability to follow conservative principals.

How is handing the whole country over to liberals a suitable alternative to McCain?

There is a serious difference between McCain and a purebread liberal who is bent on destroying ALL conservative values as well as our country with them.

Anti McCain commentators such as Rush Limbaugh have ventured the idea that perhaps we should sit this election out and let the Dems have a term in office, claiming it might pave the way for a future shot at a candidate he and others will like in four years.

Imagine the damage our country will endure if Democrats control all three branches of government for 4 to 8 years.

This would give liberals what they will treat as a clear sign from America that is it ready to move sharply to the left. Not slightly to the left.

Cherry picking our candidate is exactly what got us INTO this mess, and if conservatives aren’t careful, they will throw the entire country into a liberal free for all...

There is no such thing as a quick recovery from 4 years of liberalism unchecked. We may be facing what will take years and years of damage to undo. What’s more, there’s no guarantee that it WILL be undone. Have conservatives completely forgotten Roe v. Wade and other extremely important issues? We need an allie on every core issue we can get.

Questioning McCain was right and highly useful for a time and a season. Many of us wish we had acted sooner to support Romney or Huck....

But staying home on election day allows liberals a pass to capture all THREE branches of Government. Do you want your kids growing up in that kind of environment?

I'm not asking anyone to sacrifice their own belief or convictions, but we have a serious serious problem here, that we can't afford to fall asleep on.

Give it some thought, friends.

Danny Vice

Friday, February 08, 2008 7:01:00 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...


I think that's exactly what Word and I are trying to get across.

There is alot at stake in this election.

Alot of Senate and House seats up for grabs!

Not to mention our Country!!

You are on the right path :-)

Friday, February 08, 2008 9:50:00 PM  

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