It ma y be that sensible Republican voters are rebelling againstMcCain-bashing orthodox conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, etc. But to write a column dismissing those figures for "emphasizing a host of small-bore litmus tests" and not even mention the major policy conflict over immigration seems like intellectual cowardice verging on dishonesty--or else really bad editing by the NYT. ... Not quite like attacking Eugene McCarthy for challenging LBJ and not mentioning Vietnam. But close. ... [via Lucianne] ... Update: Douthat responds with exceptional non-defensiveness and good faith. He says he left out immigration because it was one of the issues on which he tended to agree with McCain's conservative critics:
A focused critique that stuck to his immigration position, I suspect, would have done far more damage to his political viability - and/or forced him into more specific concessions than he's actually made - than the sweeping and implausible attempt to read him out of American conservatism entirely.
Then say that! ... P.S.: There should be a phrase for the improvements you come up with in an MSM piece only after its been printed and disseminated to millions around the world and you've started responding to critics online. Esprit de l'Eschaton? ... 1:41 A.M. link
Thursday, February 7, 2008
1) He pledges to appoint "judges of the character and quality of Justices Roberts and Alito." [E.A.] "Character and quality"? What about legal ideology? John Paul Stevens arguably has the "character and quality" of Roberts and Alito. He's just a legal liberal. Is there any chance that McCain will appoint someone who would curtail campaign finance reform on First Amendment grounds?
2) McCain said that "only after we achieved widespread consensus that our borders are secure" would he pursue the semi-amnesty part of his immigration reform. This non-trivial concession would be more reassuring if proponents of that reform didn't righteously claim a 'widespread consensus' in its favor in 2006 and 2007. ("[A]national consensus has formed around what the president calls 'comprehensive' immigration reform."-- Fred Barnes, May, 2006.)
3) McCain said he had "respect" for opponents of his immigration plan (which he didn't renounce) "for I know that the vast majority of critics to the bill based their opposition in a principled defense of the rule of law." Not like those others who base their opposition on bigoted yahoo nativism! McCain's semi-conciliatory words aren't what you say when you really respect your opposition--then you say "I know we have honest disagreements." Not "I know most of you aren't really racists." Even his suckup betrayed how he really feels. Which I suspect is sneering contempt! (See his former campaign manager and informal adviser Mike Murphy, who--writing under cover of a pseudonym-- likened Tom Tancredo to the "Bund"!). .... 10:49 P.M. link
Remind me again, what is the evidence--in terms of policies, not affect or attitude or negotiating strategy--that Obama is not an unreconstructed lefty (on the American spectrum--a paleoliberal or a bit further left)? For example, would he roll back welfare reform if he could? ... P.S.: One way to know Obama isn't the black Gary Hart: He's been endorsed by Gary Hart. .... Update-Reminders: Obama "fails to denounce" free trade. OK, that's one. ... More: This site, featuring anonymous posts on what he was like as a law prof, is worth monitoring. Most troubling post so far: