I saw a request the other day from a Clinton blogger for Obama supporters to make an argument for their candidate that did not include the reason, ‘he’s not McCain’. Therefore, I thought it might also be appropriate for a McCain supporter to put out the argument for Clinton supporters to back McCain without the argument, ‘He’s not Obama’. So here goes…
First, there’s a reason Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter had a meltdown when McCain wrapped up the Republican nomination. A McCain presidency threatens to take the teeth out of their brand of politics. These sorts of conservative commentators feed off the nastiest form of partisanship, and a leader that works with across the isle and doesn’t demonize the other party puts their careers at risk. McCain has been consistently respectful of fellow candiates and colleagues from both sides of the isle. McCain has a history of bipartisanship in the Senate, which has made many conservatives mad. You only have to look back to last year’s immigration debate to realize that he took a stand on an issue that almost tanked his campaign because he believed in it. Global warming, campaign finance reform, and anti-torture legislation are other areas that he worked with Democrats at significant political risk.
Second, McCain as president and head of the party would act as a moderating influence on the Republican party itself. If McCain is elected the party moves towards the center, if he isn’t elected the far right will retain the most influence within the party. This may not seem terribly important to a Democrat, but if you consider long-term objectives, dealing with a moderate Republican party will in the end result in more change than dealing with an extremely conservative Republican party. The reality of politics is that no party continuously holds power, and a shift in party theology benefits those in the middle and those on the left.
Third, you know what you get with Senator McCain. He went to Iowa and took a stand against ethanol subsidies; he went to Michigan and told people that jobs that had gone over-seas were not coming back. Pundits thought this was political suicide, but he stuck to his guns anyway. Certainly some people will disagree with him on these issues, but he is straightforward about where he stands.
Fourth, despite claims otherwise, Bush and McCain are not even close to being the same. McCain is experienced and very well educated. McCain was the only Republican to condemn the Swift Boat ads against Kerry, and the only Republican to call for Donald Rumsfeld’s ouster. There is no evidence that there are any Republican 527’s being formed in this election cycle, and McCain knows all too well about the dirty politicking of the Bush administration as he was one of its first to come into the cross-hairs of Karl Rove in South Carolina during the 2000 campaign.
Fifth, as Senator Clinton said, he passes the ‘commander-in-chief test’. His military and Senate experience make him one of the leading experts in foreign policy. Again some don’t agree with his positions, but he comes at them from a well-informed viewpoint. He understands the ramifications war, and the consequences of leaders actions. He is well studied in history, and if you attend one of his town halls you’ll find out that he answers questions about all subjects, but his aptitude regarding foreign policy is striking.
Sixth, no one is predicting that the Republicans will win back the house or Senate. The conventional wisdom is that they are likely to loose seats. Consequently, there is little risk that Republicans would control both branches of government. A McCain presidency would require bipartisanship and cooperation to achieve legislative goals.
Seventh, he walks the walk. Senator McCain supported the surge with the knowledge that doing so could put his son in harms way. Not only has he served, but also two of his sons serve one of who was active duty in Iraq. He sacrificed in his own service, and now he knows first hand the sacrifice of military families who have a loved one serving their country. He doesn’t talk about his son’s service publicly, but it is more evidence that his convictions are real.
I understand that for some he is too far away from their own political beliefs for them to actively support him. That’s completely understandable, and I appreciate the opportunity to make the pitch. However, I hope some Clinton supporters will recognize that while McCain is not their first choice he brings good things to the table and warrants careful consideration. In the long run there are many benefits to a McCain presidency.
Here are a few sites that may be of interest to Democrats, Independents, and moderates that support Senator McCain.
A long-time McCain supporter and Blue Dog Democrat at Blue and New.
McCain Independents and Democrats Social Network
Started by some Hillary supporters Democrats for McCain are crossing party lines to unite behind John McCain.
Don't be a Good Democrat is challenging Democrats not to support Senator Obama.
Independent Jim is another example of a long time McCain supporter who has been both a Democrat and a Republican.
McCain Democrats Yahoo Group
McCainocrats - the new Reagan Democrats
Purple People Vote the parent site of McCain Indpendents providing commentary from the perspective of a New Hampshire Independent.