McCain’s differences with the Democrats

Some conservatives, including some of you commenters on this blog, are saying that there is no difference between John McCain and the Democrats, that we will, in effect, have a liberal administration no matter who wins.But consider this from  William J. Bennett & Seth Leibsohn, an epic catalog of specific battles that the presumptive Republican nominee has had with liberals in general and Democrats in particular. And these are on hugely important issues: McCain has been consistently pro-life, pro-military, and–his big issue–anti-government spending.

When the battle is joined between the two party’s nominees, the differences will sharpen. McCain would do what President Bush did not do–and for which conservatives have turned on him–namely, get federal spending under control. That long-forgotten conservative principle, in turn, will shrink the power of the central government in a significant way.

I’m afraid the campaign will, in fact, be about Democrat’s promises of huge new spending programs vs. McCain’s calls for fiscal restraint. And you know what side the general public, including many who have been calling themselves conservatives, will go for.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Politico.com: The Dem plan to hit McCain McCain’s not as consistent as we’d like to believe. The big reason why conservatives supported moderates, so they can choose the judges, is also shaky, since McCain didn’t like judges who wore their conservatism “on their sleeve” like Alito.

    I am decidedly undecided about supporting a Republican left of Bush or going third-party. Unfortunately, the third party whose platform may be the most consistent with the Constitution showed some signs of kookiness yesterday.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Politico.com: The Dem plan to hit McCain McCain’s not as consistent as we’d like to believe. The big reason why conservatives supported moderates, so they can choose the judges, is also shaky, since McCain didn’t like judges who wore their conservatism “on their sleeve” like Alito.

    I am decidedly undecided about supporting a Republican left of Bush or going third-party. Unfortunately, the third party whose platform may be the most consistent with the Constitution showed some signs of kookiness yesterday.

  • Bror Erickson

    Hopefully more read this article. It is my beleif that McCain will actually be stronger than Romney on the issues that matter to me, the War in Iraq, and abortion. I don’t like what he did with Campaign finance reform, (I wonder if he does).
    I know he has some problems with the “conservatives.” Yet some of those problems endear me to him even more. Like his stance on immigration, and what needs to be done about the problem. One thing I like about it is that it shows McCain is willing to stand for what he believes is right and not just follow the party line of the day. True leadership does what is right despite how politically correct it is or not.

  • Bror Erickson

    Hopefully more read this article. It is my beleif that McCain will actually be stronger than Romney on the issues that matter to me, the War in Iraq, and abortion. I don’t like what he did with Campaign finance reform, (I wonder if he does).
    I know he has some problems with the “conservatives.” Yet some of those problems endear me to him even more. Like his stance on immigration, and what needs to be done about the problem. One thing I like about it is that it shows McCain is willing to stand for what he believes is right and not just follow the party line of the day. True leadership does what is right despite how politically correct it is or not.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Hi, Bror and hello everyone, I’m new to leaving a comment here – I’ve only been reading and enjoying regularly for some time now – thank you so much for this daily breath of sanity, Dr. Veith. I also happen to be a Lutheran pastor in Utah – and I agree wholeheartedly with my brother, Bror. And I do hope that the country will soon wake up to the very real economic problem that we seem hell bent on making as bad as possible for our children before we do anything responsible about it. I hope conservatives will honestly begin to look at the man McCain and his record now. Again thanks for the blog!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Hi, Bror and hello everyone, I’m new to leaving a comment here – I’ve only been reading and enjoying regularly for some time now – thank you so much for this daily breath of sanity, Dr. Veith. I also happen to be a Lutheran pastor in Utah – and I agree wholeheartedly with my brother, Bror. And I do hope that the country will soon wake up to the very real economic problem that we seem hell bent on making as bad as possible for our children before we do anything responsible about it. I hope conservatives will honestly begin to look at the man McCain and his record now. Again thanks for the blog!

  • kerner

    This article says what I have been trying to say. It should come as no surprise that these brilliant and conservative men have said it better.

    There are too many conservatives who think McCain is a liberal. When, as Bennet and Liebsohn make clear, McCain is a conservative who has taken a few liberal positions (and a couple more that are called liberal by conservative pundits, but really are not). How did this happen?

    The pundits and radio personalities who are advocates for conservatism have been relying too heavily and for too long on devices like hyperbole (gross exageration used to make a point) and over simplification in making their arguments. These are legitimate debating tactics in small doses. But, when used over and over again, some listeners will make the mistake of believing that the exagerations are true.

    To call McCain a liberal or just like Hillary Clinton is JUST NOT TRUE, but I have heard statements like that repeated so many times in the radio and the blogosphere that I am not surprised that some people have come to believe the hype. And that’s really too bad.

    It wasn’t always like this. I remember when conservative radio was optimistic and satirical. Remember when Rush Limbaugh was funny? When he said that liberals were a bunch of kill-joys who didn’t want people to enjoy the fruits of their own labor? When he had confidence in the American system and the American people to accomplish great things and triumph in the end? Now Rush Limbaugh sounds like some prophet of doom standing out on the corner with a sign and a beard predicting the end of the world.

    Limbaugh used to (and sometimes still does when he’s not too busy predicting dissaster) point out that liberals are invested in defeat. If the USA wins, liberals lose. Ironicly, it now almost seems that Limbaugh is now the one invested in defeat. If McCain actually wins the election and actually accomplishes some of the very worthy and conservative goals that he espouses (in other words, if Rush’s prediction that this will be the end of the Republican party and the “conservative movement” turns out to be wrong) what will that say about Rush? Will Rush “lose” if McCain and the USA win without Rush?

  • kerner

    This article says what I have been trying to say. It should come as no surprise that these brilliant and conservative men have said it better.

    There are too many conservatives who think McCain is a liberal. When, as Bennet and Liebsohn make clear, McCain is a conservative who has taken a few liberal positions (and a couple more that are called liberal by conservative pundits, but really are not). How did this happen?

    The pundits and radio personalities who are advocates for conservatism have been relying too heavily and for too long on devices like hyperbole (gross exageration used to make a point) and over simplification in making their arguments. These are legitimate debating tactics in small doses. But, when used over and over again, some listeners will make the mistake of believing that the exagerations are true.

    To call McCain a liberal or just like Hillary Clinton is JUST NOT TRUE, but I have heard statements like that repeated so many times in the radio and the blogosphere that I am not surprised that some people have come to believe the hype. And that’s really too bad.

    It wasn’t always like this. I remember when conservative radio was optimistic and satirical. Remember when Rush Limbaugh was funny? When he said that liberals were a bunch of kill-joys who didn’t want people to enjoy the fruits of their own labor? When he had confidence in the American system and the American people to accomplish great things and triumph in the end? Now Rush Limbaugh sounds like some prophet of doom standing out on the corner with a sign and a beard predicting the end of the world.

    Limbaugh used to (and sometimes still does when he’s not too busy predicting dissaster) point out that liberals are invested in defeat. If the USA wins, liberals lose. Ironicly, it now almost seems that Limbaugh is now the one invested in defeat. If McCain actually wins the election and actually accomplishes some of the very worthy and conservative goals that he espouses (in other words, if Rush’s prediction that this will be the end of the Republican party and the “conservative movement” turns out to be wrong) what will that say about Rush? Will Rush “lose” if McCain and the USA win without Rush?

  • http://blog.gpiper.org/ Glen Piper

    In addition to the 3 things you listed, Dr. Veith (and pro-life, pro-strong defense, and pro-fiscal restraint/responsibility are all important planks), McCain also offers one important thing that Obama/Clinton do not: hope for proper, strict-constructionist, judicial appointments.

    And that’s nothing to sniff at!

  • http://blog.gpiper.org/ Glen Piper

    In addition to the 3 things you listed, Dr. Veith (and pro-life, pro-strong defense, and pro-fiscal restraint/responsibility are all important planks), McCain also offers one important thing that Obama/Clinton do not: hope for proper, strict-constructionist, judicial appointments.

    And that’s nothing to sniff at!


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