Patterico's Pontifications


McCain vs Clinton

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Recently, Patterico asked if there was any reason other than judges for a conservative like him to vote for McCain over Clinton. I’m not a McCain fan but I think Timothy Carney of the DC Examiner (via the Instapundit) has found one:

“Earmarks, and their use of tools of corruption, could play a large role in the 2008 presidential contest if the current front-runners succeed in grabbing their respective parties’ nominations. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is a leading opponent of pork and one of the only lawmakers to forswear earmarks, while Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is Congress’ leading porker.

Clinton’s earmarking is not merely offensive to procedural purists who demand spending go through standard channels. It also is not merely a transgression against fiscal conservatism. Clinton’s earmarks often directly benefit specific corporations and businessmen, who, in turn, make large contributions to her campaign. This “pay-to-play” earmarking, as one left-leaning budget watchdog group put it, highlights the truly dirty side of earmarks.”

Last November, Karl Rove identified corruption, not Iraq, as the central theme of the 2008 elections. If this election becomes a choice between a not-very-conservative McCain and a corruption-prone Hillary, that makes voting for McCain in the general election a little easier for me.

I’m still undecided how to vote in the GOP primary, although like Patterico I would pick Mitt Romney over John McCain.


32 Responses to “McCain vs Clinton”

  1. Hillary: 261 earmarks in 6 years
    McCain: ZERO earmarks in 26 years

    Any questions?

    Missed It By THAT Much (613164)

  2. Good argument for getting Hillary out of the Senate.

    Not Anybody (ed712b)

  3. It just doesn’t matter. Here’s a challenge: Go to your nearest shopping center and ask the first 100 adults what an “earmark” is. Give me $100 up front and I’ll give you $10 for anyone who comes close to an accurate answer. Do I have any takers?

    Old Coot (1fcc3a)

  4. I doubt that any president can curb Congress’ lust for earmarks. McCain might be more inclined to try, or at least make a show of it. In the end any president will let Congress have earmrks if only avoid the fight and have some influence with Congress. Congress controls that purse strings, and money is power.

    DavidL (8a783f)

  5. gee wiz, you guys need to get over it, McCain is going to be repub. nominee. he wasnt my first or second pick either but hey, there are no nor was there ever a perfect candidate. stop whining, its McCain VS clinton/obama, i’ll go with McCain.

    james conrad (7cd809)

  6. I am a huge conservative, but considering that McCain is a liberal – I would vote for Osma or Hitlery instead. Why add insult to integrity?

    Newsradio (d671ab)

  7. I can give you another, big reason: taxes. Mr McCain didn’t support President Bush’s large tax cuts, that’s true enough. But just what tax cuts can we expect under Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton? Senator Obama has promised to “protect tax cuts for poor and middle class families” and has even promised us a middle-class tax cut, a promise that I would expect him to keep in the same way Bill Clinton kept his middle-class tax cut promise. Hillary Clinton has, on her website, a link to her program for “Lowering taxes for middle class families,” though if you actually follow the link, what she says she will do is “extend middle class tax relief, the child tax credit and marriage penalty relief, and reform the AMT to ensure people don’t face stealth tax increases,” which is actually a promise of no middle class tax increase as opposed to a promise of a middle class tax cut. Well, I was not dumb enough to believe her husband in 1992, and I’m not dumb enough to believe her today.

    Dana (c36902)

  8. If Mrs. Clinton gets elected, the Republican Party can survive. The party can not survive McCain. Can the nation survive another Clinton?

    DavidL (8a783f)

  9. With all this anger with McCain, I wonder what y’all think of this poll.

    Joe M. (30970d)

  10. No doubt what McCain cuts in earmarks he will quadruple in Al Gore Greenie fraud. I’m glad porkbusters got the pork but the real problem is entitlements and thanks be to Environmentalism we just added The Environment to the list of things eternally, from cradle-to-grave, entitled to tax dollars. The earmark pork is going to look like pennies in a piggy bank compared to the real problem.

    When you thin about it, it’s funny in an obtuse ways.

    Think McCain will be able to survive 2010 when the tax cuts we have all enjoyed no longer exist. If a Dem were President in 2010 it would be so much easier to remind people why liberalism is a mental disease(ie, let’s make everyone use mercury bulbs to take 144,000 cars off the road); it’s going to be tough if it’s a liberal Republican.

    Maybe McCain can pull a Bloomberg by changing to Independent a couple of months after he’s elected?

    syn (95c574)

  11. I’m going off topic but doing it to address the comment about McCain destroying the party. As I am so fond of telling everyone who will listen, there is absolutely no way I will ever vote for McCain! Now, I vehemently disagree that a McCain presidency will destroy the party or the country. And another 8 years of Clinton wouldnt either. Our country is much stronger than those who make that claim give it credit for. And so is the Republican party. Let the rabid foaming at the mouth DU’ers and Kos Kids make the claims about how McChimpyBusHitler is gonna destroy the world, etc. and how about us Republicans stay sane and leave off the hyperbole.

    Now back to earmarks – #3 I agree wholeheartedly, earmarks and pork are inside baseball that only people really really inside completely understand. Only the really egregious earmarks such as hippie museums or a bridge that benefits about 30 people are able to really upset enough people to matter. Earmarks are the everyman’s farm subsidy.

    chas (fb7ad4)

  12. I can think of another reason: Ann Coulter endorsed Hillary Clinton :)

    Sean P (e57269)

  13. Does Patrick really think that McCain would be as likely as Billary to jump up cap gains taxes or extend social security taxes to all incomes (while retaining the cap on payouts).

    Does he think that McCain is going to foist a mandated health care plan on everyone like Billary or Obama will?

    Or do these issues escape him for some reason? There are economic issues that cause people to vote Republican — not everyone cares that much about social issues or immigration.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  14. I will offer a second reason. Who is more competent in managing and leading our military?

    I was in the military during the 90’s and the first Clinton administration with its cuts in troop strength. It matters to the military how it is led, managed, armed, equipped and trained.
    For the last few years we’ve heard how “horrible” it would be if Hillary or the Democrats were in charge of the military.

    It is time for a serious gut check on the part of those in the GOP who don’t like McCain. No “true” conservatives filled the bill and led to McCain’s probable nomination.
    Abandon the party to Hillary and you abandon the best interests of the troops.
    It really is as simple as that. How much of your “Support the troops” sentiment is heartfelt conviction and how much is empty rhetoric that folds when “your” choice is not the nominee?

    If your loyalty is that fickle, your “support” is no more reliable than that of the far left – get a code pink shirt and cheer on Hillary.

    voiceofreason2 (e1011c)

  15. Earmarks? Earmarks? What a penny-ante reason to base one’s vote. They amount to a fraction of the federal budget, they affect my life and pocket in, let’s see, just about no way at all.

    stevesturm (8caabf)

  16. So if McCain is so supportive of funding the troops how come he wasn’t able to cut any good deals(specifically for the troops) with his Democrats pals he has given so many good deals to?

    We are in the middle of a war yet we are having to beg Congress to give our military and our returning veterans everything they deserve? McCain has a lot of influence behind closed doors, how come he never used it when it came to funding our troops and supporting our veterans?

    McCain has been in Washington a long time so why did Bush have to veto so many of the unclean bills tied to troop support?

    McCain talks it but damn if he walks it.

    My undying support of our military is the main reasons why I want a Republican candidate who is better than McCain.

    syn (95c574)

  17. I think that’s an excellent reason, voiceofreason2.

    DRJ (517d26)

  18. I read today about two human bombs in Baghdad who were young women with Downs Syndrome, wired by al Qaeda to take advantage of the lower scrutiny women get (since they’re less typically suicide bombers than men) from security forces in crowded places — who were then detonated by remote control, murdering dozens and dozens of innocents.

    It’s a horrific reminder of the sheer barbarism of our enemy.

    McCain wouldn’t just manage and lead the military better (as voiceofreason2 argues at #14 above, and I agree). He won’t forget, or deny, that we are quite literally in an existential war on multiple fronts that is likely to last for decades.

    I think — I hope, anyway — that Romney gets this too.

    But I’m quite certain that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama fundamentally don’t.

    I look at my own beautiful, healthy children, and I try to imagine what the parents and families of those two Iraqi young women may be feeling (but fail). Judicial nominations, taxes, earmarks — those are all important things, as are character and leadership. But only people with fatally short attention spans can fail to understand that this still ought to be, anyway, an election about national security.

    Beldar (3df1f4)

  19. Natinal security is primo. It hasn’t been simply by luck and pluck that we haven’t had another attack by terrorist fanatics. Mainstream folks in the U.S. seem to have written off any definitive threat posed by those, well, to use the word “people,” is flattery. Rather, it’s been due to the diligence and responsibility of all of our defensive personnel (however disorganized): law enforcement, military, customs & enforcement, and everyone else, that we have escaped another attack.

    Quibbling over earmarks and taxes, notwithstanding that they are important to the everyday life of citizens, is so far below national security in priority that they shouldn’t even be discussed in the same breath.

    BTW, I hate earmarks, not because of the dollar amount, but because they identify, quantify & symptomize the condition of our current government: the exraordinary level of corruption, the price of influence, the diversion of resources from more worthy objectives, and the overwhelming unaccountability of our legislative branch to the nation as a whole.

    ColoComment (598bbc)

  20. Beldar: I doubt that either Hillary Clinton or Obama would disagree that we’re at war. The devil is in the details of how we go about fighting this war, and disagreements about how to best defeat the enemy ought not lead to accusations that those who disagree with you would rather surrender than fight. For example, just because I disagree with McCain’s position on Guantanamo, torture and the first use of nukes against Iran doesn’t mean that I don’t think he recognizes the threat we face.

    And while #14 is correct on the facts of what happened in the 90s, he’s glossing over the context, that pretty much close to nobody recognized the threat in those days. As the saying goes, we’re post 9-11 now, and, as above, I don’t see either Obama or Clinton doing now what was done then.

    stevesturm (8caabf)

  21. VOR2

    McCain was in Congress when in the 90’s. Why wasnt he speaking up and doing something about the military drawdown? Why hasnt he been trying to get the military built back up the last 7 years?

    And #13, I dont know if McCain would do those things or not, thats the biggest problem. I can easily see him adopting those policies after what he has done in the past.

    chas (fb7ad4)

  22. Clinton won’t immediately turn her back on the war effort, she needs Happy Americans to build her utopia. Failure in Iraq during her first term would end her chances of a second term thus ending her chance to completely bring Change to the American landscape.

    She cannot risk screwing up her second term by screwing up her image in the first. Her friends in the media will portray Iraq as a Democrat success with lots of chocolate rivers where Iraq children swim in peace and Americans will feel satisfied that Clinton achieved victory. She’ll numb them in Happy while imposing totaltiarian policies and Americans won’t know the difference.

    Democrats may be evil but they’re not stupid.

    syn (95c574)

  23. Good argument for getting Hillary out of the Senate.

    And a good argument for keeping McCain in the Senate.

    vatar (085be7)

  24. Chas,
    As only one of 100 senators his ability to do much would have been limited.

    Try looking at it only in terms of Iraq. How will the troops be utilized elsewhere, if at all.
    I am puzzled at how easily you will accept the “Totalarian policies” you feel Clinton will bring.
    But hey .. “it could have been worse I could have elected McCain”…. something doesn’t jibe with your logic

    voiceofreason2 (2039f7)

  25. #23
    McCain in the White House with Coburn in the Senate could be a potent combination in regards to fiscal responsibility – may even make Coburn a viable candidate for the “true conservative” everyone is pining for.

    voiceofreason2 (2039f7)

  26. The article by Timothy Carney is quoted in this entry describing HRC as “leading porker” in Congress , but we all know Sen.Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) currently holds the record for delivering the pork.

    grascarp (dcb203)

  27. VOR2 – I guess I’m asking why didnt we have a McCain-Moynihan Defense Priority Spending Bill back in the 90’s? Sure he’s just one guy but he manages to find help to gut conservative principles. Why can’t he work across the aisle to advance anything remotely conservative, or even republican?

    chas (fb7ad4)

  28. McCain was one of the Keating Five. He’s no choir boy. Look it up.

    Phil (193585)

  29. Does anyone actually believe McCain would nominate conservative judges and risk drawing an unfavorable article from the NY Times? There would be only one difference between 4 years of Hillary and 4 years of Johnny–slick Willie would not be getting head in the Oval office during a McCain regime.

    OLDPUPPYMAX (c36902)

  30. If your loyalty is that fickle

    I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I’ve been saying I’ll never vote for McCain for years.

    So, you might want to reconsider your use of the word “fickle.” Tell me to pick between an idea and a person, and I trend to fall back on my Catholic upbringing.

    McGehee (25adee)

  31. #30

    Had a conservative candidate won the nomination would you expect the moderates to support the nominee of the majority of the party?

    I could care less whether or not you feel loyalty to McCain. But if you give one red cent about the well being of the military I would expect you to support the one most likely to be more responsible with our military folks.

    If you feel that Hillary or Obama is better suited than McCain just say so. Interesting how far you’ve come since 2003.

    Hillary appears poised to be the “face of the left” for a while to come… the problem is that she is a bit too far left to be effective on a national level …

    Of course, this is my own opinion, for what it’s worth.

    Tony Rosen • Jun 26, 2003 11:27 AM
    I think you’re probably right. Which is why the Left can’t understand why us Righties aren’t in a panic over the prospect.

    McGehee • Jun 26, 2003 11:57 AM

    voiceofreason2 (e5e0f6)

  32. Note:

    from the point where you saw
    “Hillary appears”

    was a quote from Mcghee’s archive.

    voiceofreason2 (e5e0f6)

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