Thursday, April 06, 2006

John McCain, You Lost Me

Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) has long been one of the few politicians I admire and respect. I often don't agree with him but I've always considered him a man of principle and integrity. Despite my leftist views (and they're pretty far left), I voted for him in the Republican primary of 2000 and then wrote him in for president the following November. I'm a firm believer that voting your conscience is not, as many people argue, throwing your vote away. Plus I live in Virginia, which has been successfully gerrymandered to deliver the state to Republican presidential candidates nearly every time. So I felt pretty good about casting my vote for McCain and I slept a little easier at night knowing that I'd voted for someone I believed in.

That was the 2000 McCain. The 2006 McCain is not getting my vote. Not even if he were running for class treasurer (I have a long and controversial history when it comes to voting for class treasurer, but I'll save that story for another time). McCain has recently done two things that call his political integrity into serious question.

In March, he endorsed South Dakota's criminalization of abortion, which doesn't conflict with his anti-choice record but doesn't exactly demonstrate respect for the rule of law. South Dakota's new abortion law is in direct violation of a Supreme Court ruling and, you know, states just can't do that. I guess McCain figures he has a better shot at winning his party's nomination if he follows in Dubya's footsteps and completely disregards the Constitution.

As if that hadn't degraded his political reputation enough, on "Meet the Press" this past Sunday McCain said that he thinks "the Christian right has a major role to play in the Republican Party. . .because they're so active and their followers are." This would be the same Christian right whose leaders McCain described as "agents of intolerance" back in 2000. It's not like these whack-jobs have grown more tolerant over the past six years, nor should the religious beliefs of these (or any) extremists shape public policy. Perhaps the previously principled McCain simply decided that hopping in bed with these agents of intolerance was a small price to pay for the Republican nomination.

Unfortunately, his strategy just might work. But he's lost my vote and my respect.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Holy Crap.

So much for it not being time to move to Canada.