OK, McCain it is. I’m not happy. You’re probably not either. I don’t know who all these “Republicans” are who are voting for him in the primaries, because I’m not aware of one person who likes him. But, be that as it may, the RINOs have spoken and McCain is going to be the Republican candidate. What do we do now?
The pragmatists will weigh the pros and cons and decide which candidate will do less harm to the country. The petulants will go home and sulk, and either not vote at all or throw away their vote on a third party candidate. The punitives will actually cross over and give aid and comfort to the enemy in our country’s time of crisis, and cast their vote for the Democrats out of spite.
From a pragmatist perspective, what are the key issues? The economy, the war, immigration, healthcare, and Supreme Court appointments are probably the most important.
The economy is a big one, because there’s a fundamental philosophical difference in the way Republicans and Democrats address the problem. Republicans believe in fixing the economy by cutting taxes to stimulate growth. Democrats believe the way to fix the economy is by raising taxes and redistributing the wealth. Which do you prefer?
- McCain’s plan is to extend the Bush tax cuts, create more tax cuts for middle class families, make the current low capital gains and dividends tax rates permanent, and require a 60% majority in Congress to raise taxes in the future. He’ll also cut government programs that don’t work, earmarks, subsidies, and pork barrel spending.
- Mrs. Clinton’s plan is to eliminate the Bush tax cuts, raise capital gains and dividends taxes back to their previous levels, spend $10 billion dollars on extending and broadening unemployment entitlements, hand over $25 billion to low/no income families for “emergency energy assistance,” establish a $30 billion emergency housing fund, and put a five-year rate freeze on sub-prime mortgages.
The war is another big one. Would you rather we fight it over there or over here?
- McCain fully supports doing whatever is necessary to prosecute the war to the finish. He has consistently supported it from the start, and was an early proponent of the increase in troops.
- Mrs. Clinton and Obama both supported the Iraq spending bill that would have brought most of our troops home by next month. Mrs. Clinton has promised that, if elected, she’ll bring all the troops home within two years. Obama promises to do it in one. Then we can fight the terrorists on our own soil. That ought to be fun.
On immigration, it’s a wash. They all supported the same immigration bill. Yes, McCain was a sponsor of it, but it’s the one thing on which they all agree, so there’s no win here.
On healthcare, we all know what Mrs. Clinton’s plan is.
- Mrs. Clinton wants to legislate that everybody has to buy health insurance. For those who can’t afford it, she’ll just take the money out the rest of our pockets to make up the difference.
- McCain opposes mandatory universal healthcare coverage.
There are likely to be three Supreme Court Justice appointments during the next administration.
- McCain is a strict constructionist.
- Mrs. Clinton would pack the court with liberal judges who believe we all need to be protected from ourselves more than we do from criminals and, like children, we can’t be trusted with firearms. (It’s kind of hard to defend yourself in an emergency with a trigger lock on your gun, but Mrs. Clinton thinks it’s necessary so we don’t accidentally shoot ourselves.)
There’s another consideration for the pragmatists. The president appoints the heads of a lot of federal agencies. If we have a Republican (or even a RINO) in the White House, these federal agencies are going to be run by Republicans. If we elect the Clintons or Obama, they’ll be run by socialists. Remember, it’s not just the president you’re voting for, it’s the party, too.
Question of the day: If McCain were to choose Fred Thompson as his running mate, would that change your mind?