The Corner

His Natural Allies

The media are back in McCain’s corner, and in a big way. The surprise, to me, is that they are led by the Union Leader, which used to be a reliable conservative voice. But, then again, New Hampshire used to be a reliable conservative state.

Yes, McCain urged sending more troops to Iraq, but that’s not what has helped turn the tide in Iraq. It’s the strategy that Petraeus has put in place with the additional forces, and despite my best efforts, I can find no evidence that the Petraeus strategy was developed with McCain’s assistance. So, the credit McCain receives for urging the deployment of more troops has grown into something mythical.

Moreover, one of the problems Bush had when he took office was that the military had been hollowed out. There weren’t enough soldiers, and I would argue there still aren’t. Bush had to simultaneously rebuild the military and fight the war. If McCain were such a great leader on military affairs, and as competent at “reaching across the aisle and working with Democrats” as he claims, why didn’t he make this a priority? In fact, he has spent a great deal of his time in the Senate on domestic issues, and in that he has a mixed record. And when he did focus on the Pentagon, he attacked its wastefulness and sought, at times, to micro-manage it. But let’s no rewrite his record into something it was not.

And as I have said repeatedly, his record on homeland security — which is every bit as important as our military operations overseas as they are, in essence, one in the same — is very poor. He has picked up the ACLU’s brief for the enemy and advanced it in the Senate and in public debate. I am more than happy to discuss this further, as I have before, but I really don’t think that’s necessary.

McCain’s consistent support for the war in Iraq is one chapter in a long story. It doesn’t speak to the entirety of a more complex and, in some way, troubling record. I believe it is accurate to label McCain a hawk in some ways, but I don’t believe he is a conservative.

(Yes, he opposes earmarks and deficit spending, but he also supports an activist, interventionist federal government, which was his record as Commerce Committee chairman, so he can hardly be called a credible voice for limited government.)

Mark R. Levin — Mark R. Levin is president of Landmark Legal Foundation. Previously he served as Landmark’s director of legal policy for more than three years. He has worked as an attorney in ...

Most Popular

National Security & Defense

Leave McMaster Be

About every two months, there are rumors that Gen. H. R. McMaster might be let go as Trump’s national-security adviser (along with many other stellar appointees). The world, however, is a much more logical and predictable place than it was 14 months ago. We’ve restored ties to the Gulf monarchies; Israel ... Read More
Economy & Business

What Kudlow Got Right in 2007

Lawrence Kudlow’s appointment to be director of the National Economic Council has brought out the critics, who have combed through his copious writings to find every wrong call he has made over the decades. One passage that has come in for some ridicule, though, doesn’t deserve it. Here’s Kudlow, writing ... Read More
Film & TV

Love, Simon Outs Hollywood’s Youth Exploitation

Simon (Nick Robinson), the 17-year-old white gay high-school student in Love, Simon, appears to be a comic version of the protagonist in Moonlight. Rather than blatantly copy that Oscar-winning black-gay-victim film, Love, Simon remakes the pathetic Moonlight in the more marketable guise of a sitcom about a ... Read More

Don’t Bork Gina Haspel

President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director is about to experience a good Borking. No one doubts her professionalism, and she’s been endorsed by Obama intelligence officials. Yet Gina Haspel’s long career at the agency, including extensive work undercover in the field, is getting blotted out by her ... Read More