The truth about the phony “conservative” whom NR is just itching to endorse

Must listening and reading. First (also linked in my exchange with a reader about McCain) is Mark Levin’s interview with former Sen. Rick Santorum, who describes Sen. McCain’s career in the Senate with a frankness that I have never in my life heard from one senator speaking about another. Santorum shows the real McCain, the McCain who didn’t just oppose conservatives in the Senate on one domestic issue after another, but who repeatedly “led the charge on the other side,” constantly weakening the conservative agenda—the McCain who in spring 2007, in closed-door meetings, called his fellow Republican senators xenophobes and racists for opposing the most radical and insane bill in U.S. history, McCain-Bush Comprehensive National Suicide Act. (And remember, this is the McCain whom the editors of NR are just an inch away from endorsing for the presidency, as I discussed here.) The interview is 10 or 15 minutes long. You may want listen to it twice, there is so much in it.

Hugh Hewitt has his own interview with Santorum about McCain, and transcribes parts of it. On the immigration issue, it is even more powerful than the Levin interview:

HH: … Do you believe [McCain has] sincerely changed on the immigration bill to where he understands the message that was delivered last summer?

RS: No.

HH: Why not?

RS: Well, I mean, because John McCain was the leader on the other side of the aisle. John McCain was the guy who was working with Ted Kennedy to drive it down our throats, and lectured us repeatedly about how xenophobic we were, lectured us, us being the Republican conference, about how wrong we were on this, how we were on the wrong side of history, and that you know, this is important for his … because having come from Arizona, knowing the strength of the Hispanic community, that we were going to be seen as racists, and he wasn’t going be part of that, that he was not a racist, and that if we were for tougher borders, it was a racist thing. Look, John McCain looks at things through the eyes, on these kind of domestic policy issues, looks at it through the eyes of the New York Times editorial board, and accepts that predisposition that if you are not, if you stand for conservative principles, there’s some genetic defect. [Italics added.]

And on McCain’s ideology generally:

HH: Why can’t John McCain win this election?

RS: Well, number one, John McCain will not get the base of the Republican Party. I mean, there was a reason John McCain collapsed last year, and it’s because he was the frontrunner, and everybody in the Republican Party got a chance to look at him. And when they looked at him, they wait well, wait a minute, he’s not with us on almost all of the core issues of…on the economic side, he was against the President’s tax cuts, he was bad on immigration. On the environment, he’s absolutely terrible. He buys into the complete left wing environmentalist movement in this country. He is for bigger government on a whole laundry list of issues. He was…I mean, on medical care, I mean, he was for re-importation of drugs. I mean, you can go on down the list. I mean, this is a guy who on a lot of the core economic issues, is not even close to being a moderate, in my opinion. And then on the issue of, on social conservative issues, you point to me one time John McCain every took the floor of the United States Senate to talk about a social conservative issue. It never happened. I mean, this is a guy who says he believes in these things, but I can tell you, inside the room, when we were in these meetings, there was nobody who fought harder not to have these votes before the United States Senate on some of the most important social conservative issues, whether it’s marriage or abortion or the like. He always fought against us to even bring them up, because he was uncomfortable voting for them. So I mean, this is just not a guy I think in the end that washes with the mainstream of the Republican Party.

Hewitt also interviews Michael Gerson about McCain. But Gerson is of course an open borders fanatic, just like McCain, and also, just like McCain, sees all opponents of open borders as bigots, so naturally he is much easier on McCain than Santorum is.

After the main post are many comments. Hewitt has a very strange blog. It consists mostly of commenters who don’t just disagree with him but who despise him, think he’s a phony and a maniac, and undercut everything he stands for. I’ve never seen anything like it. What purpose does he think he serves by hosting commenters who endlessly trash him?

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David B. writes:

During the 1996 GOP Convention, it was remarked that if Bob Dole was elected, he would “stick it to conservatives every chance he got.” While Dole did not win, George W. Bush won in 2000 and has done exactly that and more. Now, to say that McCain would “stick it to conservatives” is the understatement of all time. McCain would be far worse in this respect as President than he has been as a Senator. As a prospective candidate, McCain has (sometimes) been forced to pay lip service to the GOP base. Once in the Oval Office, he would feel no such constraints. This is the character that NR wants to endorse.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 13, 2008 01:55 AM | Send

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