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The Senate Race
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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|I've been puzzling quite a bit over the last few days about just what it is that makes John McCain tick. You see, if you examine his legislative record, there are very few pieces of evidence that point to a coherent governing philosophy. He has been, however, roundly criticized--including on this blog--for his seeming willingness, and even joy, at sticking it to members of his own party.|
And then, today, a thought occurred to me: he's been listening to his constituents in the "professional journalist" class so much that he's bought into one of their underlying beliefs: that the last "good" Republican was Teddy Roosevelt.
Consider the similarities (Roosevelt quotes from the White House biography site):
:Teddy Roosevelt was a war hero, having led the Rough Riders in their charge up San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War; John McCain was a war hero, too--did you know he was in Vietnam?
:TR "emerged spectacularly as a "trust buster" by forcing the dissolution of a great railroad combination in the Northwest;" JM has the instincts of an anti-capitalist and said in last week's debate "I think that there's some greedy people on Wall Street that perhaps need to be punished."
:TR's corollary to the Monroe Doctrine prevented the establishment of foreign bases in the Caribbean and arrogated the sole right of intervention in Latin America to the United States; JM, based on the Iraq debate, has at least as muscular an idea of the use of American force as TR ever did
:TR's most effective achievements were in conservation. He added enormously to the national forests in the West, reserved lands for public use, and fostered great irrigation projects; JM has shown such environmental instincts in his opposition to drilling in ANWAR and in the McCain-Lieberman Environmental Bill
:TR had strong regulatory instincts, [holding] the ideal that the Government should be the great arbiter of the conflicting economic forces in the Nation; JM, likewise, has strong regulatory instincts, evidenced by McCain-Feingold and McCain-Leiberman, among other things.
:TR was frequently criticized for being "imperial;" sound familiar?
The problem with the anti-capitalist instincts John McCain displays these days is that the capitalists are not anywhere near as overbearing as they were at the turn of the century; in fact, we've pretty much learned in the last twenty-five years that the capitalists are what make the country work, what give us the financial basis to maintain our military, and what make it possible for everybody--even the "little guy"--to have a chance at prosperity. There is no great need for the sort of regulation that McCain seems to reflexively embrace, and his fundamental lack of understanding of the economy is bound to do terrible damage to our economy.
What has happened, instead with McCain, is that we have a man who believes in big-government solutions, the regulation of industry, the abbrogation of sovereignty to world bodies and world opinion, and political correctness, all disguised under a muscular idea of foreign policy.
In other words: Tony Blair.