Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I Don't Care What Dr. Dobson Says, I'm Still Not Voting ....

There has been a great poker game going on between religious conservatives and the country club wing of the GOP over the McCain nomination. The defacto leader of the religious right, James Dobson, and the oh so obstinate McCain have been staring at each over the table for the past several months with McCain refusing to even acknowledge the influence of evangelicals and Dobson threatening to sit the election out and throw the contest the Democrats. Like all poker games, one side or the other or both were running a bluff and the real question was, "Who will blink first?" Well McCain has obviously played a lot more poker than Dobson because Dobson blinked and in so doing destroyed any influence and moral credibility the evangelicals might have had in this race and probably future races. The following is taken from the LA Times Blog which can be found HERE:

The GOP concern has been instead that a lack of enthusiasm among....conservatives and Republicans would cause a low turnout on that side come November. But last night Dobson appeared to ease that worry. Stressing that he was speaking as an individual, Dobson did not actually endorse McCain -- yet. But he did tell Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel that though he has "problems" with all three remaining presidential candidates, especially the two Democrats, he fully intended to vote on Nov. 4. That was a signal to his followers that they might have to settle for the least-worst candidate, namely McCain. "Let me just say," Dobson said, "that I will certainly vote. I think we have a God-given responsibility to vote, and there are all of the candidates and the issues down the ballot that we have an obligation to weigh in on and let our voices be heard."

So, Dobson has apparently "released" his followers to vote for the "lesser of evils" candidate. The question then becomes, "Who is he is he releasing them to vote for?" Former Clintonista "Sid Vicious" Blumenthal quietly laid a bombshell on the table yesterday when he announced that he was privy to conversations where McCain seriously discussed leaving the GOP to become an independent and caucus with the Democrats. The following is taken from the Business and Media Institute and can be found HERE:

According to Sidney Blumenthal, a senior adviser for former President Bill Clinton and current adviser to Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton, at one point McCain was going to leave the Republican Party and caucus with Senate Democrats.

“And although he doesn’t want to talk to reporters about it now, there was a time and I was privy to some of those who were involved, did conduct negotiations through third parties about whether or not he would leave the Republican Party and become an independent more or less aligned in the Senate with the Democrats,” said Blumenthal on April 1. Blumenthal did not say when those negotiations took place.

Blumenthal made the remarks before an audience at a Barnes & Noble bookstore to promote his book, “The Strange Death of Republican America: Chronicles of a Collapsing Party.” Blumenthal, the former Washington bureau chief for, referred to McCain’s positions on various issues as evidence he’s not a traditional conservative Republican politician.

“Now John McCain has emerged as the candidate of the Republican Party,” Blumenthal said. “He is somebody who, although he says that he is a 100 percent conservative, is to all of us who have watched him over the years, somebody who has taken a stance at odds with fundamental positions that were the orthodoxy of the Republican Party on issues ranging from torture, to Bush’s tax cuts initially, to global warming, to, and I remember, tobacco – the tobacco settlement, and I remember even on health care.

“I think Republicans as a whole – even though they’re suspicious, many of them of McCain and have been angry at him in the past – are much more disciplined as party members than Democrats are,” Blumenthal said. “There’s the famous saying of Will Rogers, ‘I’m not a member of an organized political party – I’m a Democrat.’ So, I think Republicans will rally behind their candidate to a greater degree than people will recognize right now. Blumenthal even supplied advice for McCain. "So I do not think this will hurt him and if I were advising McCain right now, I would say he’s slightly overreacting to his conservative base,” McCain said. “I don’t think he needs to do that so much. I think they don’t have any choice right now."

It could be suggested that Blumenthal is carrying water for his former bosses with statements like this. But, even if he is, that doesn't mean that he is not telling the truth. Arch conservative David Limbaugh agrees. His comments can be found HERE:

It's disappointing to watch good conservatives demean themselves by trying to present McCain as something he's not. No matter how much they spin, they can't fool conservatives familiar with McCain's record. McCain's detractors are not the ones having to stretch and massage the facts in order to turn McCain — overnight — into a Reagan conservative.

McCain is not only not conservative enough; he has also has built a reputation as a maverick by stabbing his party in the back — not in furtherance of conservative principles but by betraying them. McCain delights in sticking it to his colleagues while winning accolades from the mainstream liberal media.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, whose conservative credentials are beyond question, said, "I don't agree with (McCain) on hardly any issues." Santorum told radio host Mark Levin, "I just have to tell you, as a leader, as someone who had to put these coalitions together, it was always hard and we very rarely on domestic policy had any help from the senator from Arizona." Santorum said McCain has been damaging to conservative causes and would be no friend to conservatives in the White House.

McCain's defenders — in the McCainian spirit of chilling political speech — forbid us from criticizing him because he is a war hero. ... We can recognize and honor McCain's indescribably grueling POW experiences without taking the leap of arguing they automatically qualify him as an ideal commander in chief. His qualifications should be evaluated on the merits, not on sentimental appeals to his service. ...

I respectfully reject that McCain's honorable and sacrificial character-building experiences or his self-description as a "straight talker" place his veracity above question. I remember him sidling up to the media by falsely claiming George Bush didn't level with the American people about how long the Iraq war could take. I remember him blaming dirty campaign tricks on Bush in South Carolina in 2000, when investigations revealed there was no evidence Bush was behind it. I remember him joining liberals in slandering the truth-telling Swift Boat veterans as "dishonest and dishonorable." I remember his disingenuous derision of the across-the-board Bush tax cuts as being only for the rich. I witnessed him changing his position on immigration to shore up support in South Carolina, then after that primary arrogantly denying to Sean Hannity that he'd flip-flopped.

People can assess for themselves whether McCain is always straight, but hopefully they'll base their decision on the evidence and not his hero status. I seriously doubt McCain will win the GOP nomination, precisely because of his infidelity to conservative principles. Consider:

He crusades against Guantanamo, favors constitutional rights for terrorists but opposes tough interrogation techniques, was the ringleader of the Gang of 14, which legitimized the filibustering of judicial nominees, and is the godfather of political speech-suppressing and Democrat-favoring campaign-finance reform legislation.

He has displayed contempt for conservative evangelicals, opposed Bush's pro-growth tax cuts for reasons other than he says (spending), has engaged in other class-warfare rhetoric like demonizing oil and drug companies, co-sponsored the abominable McCain-Kennedy illegal immigrant-forgiveness/open-borders/Social Security zapping bill, and even voted for the Specter amendment, which could have conferred consulting rights on Mexico concerning the erection of a southern border fence.

He sold out on global warming, opportunistically opposed drilling in ANWR, favors re-importation of drugs from Canada, and promoted the McCain-Kennedy-Edwards patients bill of rights. Even his pro-life credentials are not as pristine as we're told: He opposes reversal of Roe vs. Wade and sided with anti-political speech zealots in filing an amicus brief against Wisconsin Right to Life.

WOW! Does Dr. Dobson really expect us to vote for this guy when BOTH SIDES agree that he is no conservative, no friend of evangelicals and more closely aligned to the Democratic party on key political issues than the conservative base of the GOP?

Let me start by saying that neither Limbaugh, Sid Vicious Blumethal, nor the GOP nor Dr. Dobson dictate my choices in this matter. This is not the old Soviet Union where voting for the candidate offered by the party was mandatory. My reasons for not supporting McCain, even to the extent of not voting at all, are, besides the above, more visceral. I don’t like the man and I don’t trust him. He is by all accounts the exact opposite of the type of person who should be trusted with the presidency and I cannot in good conscience support him. Haven't we learned our lesson yet from the past eight years of rule by a spoiled, rich kid slacker?

To start with, McCain was a marginal naval officer at best. His record shows that he was a hot headed, hard partying slacker that would probably never have graduated from the academy much less been retained on active duty had it not been for the Viet Nam war and considerable command influence from his admiral father. A lot of bad things happened around him but never hurt him. He was the dangerous type of officer that former enlisted men like myself despise. There were thousands of officers who served competently and honorably. Couldn't the GOP at least offer one of those officers instead of McCain?

After returning from his POW captivity, McCain resumed his partying ways, divorced his disabled wife who had stood by him through his captivity and married into a beer fortune which both bought him his introduction into Arizona political circles and provided the type of money needed to buy national office. There are hundreds of qualified politicians who have managed to keep their privates in their pockets and remain faithful to the wife of their youth. Couldn't the GOP offer one of these men instead of McCain?

In office, McCain has been at best unpredictable and at worst an enemy of the constitution and the conservative movement. How Dr.. Dobson could even intimate support for McCain after McCain Feingold which was a blatant attempt to restrict the First Amendment rights of people like Dobson is simply beyond me. There are dozens of GOP luminaries who respect the constitution, the conservative movement and the rights of evangelicals. Couldn't the GOP offer one of these men instead of McCain?

I have said this before and I will say it again. There comes a time when none of the choices are acceptable and the only honorable thing to do is refuse to participate. That time has come in this Presidential election. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. These two convey exactly how I feel about this year's presidential race. Pity. In times like these you would think a country as great as ours has been in the past could/would do better.


It has been pointedly brought to my attention that Dr. Dobson did not say who he would vote for and that it is entirely possible that he may vote Libertarian or even for one of the Democratic candidates. He might not vote for any presidential candidate but still vote for other candidates as I have in the past. For the sake of clarity, here is what Dr. Dobson said earlier in the election cycle:

"I'm deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, who voted for embryonic stem cell research to kill nascent human beings, who opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, and who has little regard for freedom of speech, who organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.

"I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are. He has at times sounded more like a member of the other party. McCain actually considered leaving the GOP in 2001, and approached John Kerry about being Kerry's running mate in 2004. McCain also said publicly that Hillary Clinton would make a good president. Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does not make the medicine go down. I cannot, and I will not vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.

"But what a sad and melancholy decision this is for me and many other conservatives. Should John McCain capture the nomination as many assume, I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime. I certainly can't vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama based on their virulently anti-family policy positions. If these are the nominees in November, I simply will not cast a ballot for president for the first time in my life. These decisions are my personal views and do not represent the organization with which I'm affiliated. They do reflect, however, my deeply held convictions about the institution of the family, about moral and spiritual beliefs, and about the welfare of our country." Link to statement HERE:
And this is what Dr. Dobson said recently:
"Let me just say," Dobson said, "that I will certainly vote. I think we have a God-given responsibility to vote, and there are all of the candidates and the issues down the ballot that we have an obligation to weigh in on and let our voices be heard." Link to statement HERE:
I don't want to believe that Dr. Dobson will vote for McCain. However, I do believe that Dr. Dobson has sounded an uncertain trumpet just as he did earlier in the election cycle when his endorsement could have secured the nomination of either Huckabee or Romney. By sitting on the fence, he cleared the path for McCain's nomination. And, by sitting on the fence again, he has again cleared the path for an outcome that nobody in our movement desires.

The Editor


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