The Corner

That One-Term Pledge

McCain is utterly unconcerned about infuriating conservatives with his global-warming agenda, with its cap-n-trade scheme and its promise of enormous tax increases (overt and hidden).

Concurrently, he is promising to appoint conservative judges. Undoubtedly, such judges would invalidate the assault on core First Amendment protected speech, aka “campaign finance reform,” that is McCain’s signature “achievement” as a legislator. Yet, he tell us this is not a concern.

Can someone explain to me why we should trust that McCain would honor his promise to appoint conservative judges, especially if he took a one-term pledge and had no re-election campaign to worry about?

Obviously, infuriating conservatives is not a concern. And just as obviously, McCain’s stated commitments about the judiciary are suspect since McCain also made stated commitments about the purported importance of campaign-finance reform that were every bit as solemn as those he is now making about originalist judges. (Indeed, McCain even went to the Supreme Court to seek to suppress the pro-life message to which he says he is unflinchingly committed because the pro-life group in question was running afoul of his campaign finance regs.)

I am not trying to be a smart-ass. I am trying to understand the logic of the one-term commitment. I am not thrilled with the idea that a one-term McCain gets to pick the GOP heir-apparent, since then we are stuck with McCain’s choice rather than someone we’d choose, under circumstances where we have every reason to think McCain is not with us on many crucial things. And with McCain so willing to send us into orbit now, when he actually needs us, what should we think he’d do once elected — with substantial Democrat majorities in Congress, no 2012 to worry about, and thus no reason to care what we think anymore?

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