The Corner

As Mark Steyn says: McCain — faute de mieux

Yes, sports fans, I do know all about how the International Republican Institute, while McCain was chairing it (which he apparently still does), gave goo-gobs of money to a Rashid Khalidi founded Center for Palestine Research and Studies — specifically, $448K, which would be about six times what Khalidi’s Arab American Action Network got from the Woods Fund under Ayers/Obama.

I also know that McCain made common cause with ACORN over comprehensive immigration reform.

How does that possibly render Khalidi and ACORN no longer relevant?  McCain also voted to confirm Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer — does that mean the courts aren’t relevant either?  (If it does, someone should alert the Left, since they certainly seem to think it’s relevant.)

McCain is McCain.  I doubt anyone at National Review has been more critical of him or is less enthusiastic about a McCain presidency than I am.*  He is a big-government centrist who is more left than right on countless important issues.  He became our nominee out of a crowded field no candidate dominated because of early support from Democrats and independents (i.e., non-Republicans) as well as some influential pundits who told us that only someone like McCain — a reach-across-the-aisle moderate — could win in what they assured us was a Democrat year.  Now, predictably, many of those same folks have abandoned McCain for Obama, and McCain’s only chance to eek out a win is to convince the very conservatives he’s been jabbing all these years.  In effect, McCain’s Lefty-light has made beating Obama much more difficult because his many maverick forays make it hard for us to get traction on subjects like ACORN, Khalidi, speech-suppression, immigration, enhanced due-process for terrorists, etc.  A real conservative could have made a much more compelling fight on the issues than McCain has.

But that’s water under the bridge now, and none of it changes the obvious:  Whatever typically infurating dalliances McCain may have had with Khalidi and ACORN, they don’t compare to the depth of relationship that Obama had with Khalidi and ACORN — and like-minded Leftists.  It’s not even close. 

McCain, moreover, is an authentic American hero who loves our country as it is and would essentially preserve it.  Obama is an untried radical who sees our country as fundamentally flawed (America’s “soul,” Michelle Obama tells us, “is broken” and can only be healed by Obama) and loves not America but a vision of what America could be once he’s through imposing “redistributive change” and “social justice.”  If you believe, as I do, that America is already the greatest country in the history of humankind, then the choice we are offered is not a serious one — even if I personally would prefer to have a different alternative.

Even if McCain funded Khalidi, why should that mean we don’t want to hear the tape of Obama both offering lavish praise for Yasser Arafat’s spokesman and offering no defense or outrage against speakers who ripped Israel and American support for Israel?


* This is only a sampling, but see, e.g., here (“a McCain presidency would promise an entirely conventional, center-left, multilateralism”); here (criticizing McCain for failing to lead on surveillance reform and deducing that this is because he was initially on the wrong side of the issue); here (decrying McCain and his Gang of 14); here (doubting McCain’s commitment to appoint conservative judges and arguing that McCain is on the wrong side of the future-of-conservatism debate); here (blasting McCain for stifling the pro-life message in service of his slavish support of campaign finance regulations that suppress political speech); here (arguing against McCain/Kennedy immigration reform); here (arguing that the McCain Amendment, and the senator’s torture demagoguery would harm national security), here (the McCain Amendment could lead to Miranda rights for captured terrorists), and here (critiquing McCain-led opposition to Bush’s military commissions act proposal); and here (wondering why McCain thinks big-government should regulate major league baseball).  I hope he wins, but if he does, I will not be camped out at the mailbox awaiting my invitation to the Inaugural Ball.

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