Anybody But McCain


“John McCain has always struck me as a man to willing to stand in the spotlight, blame the Christians when Rome burns, and ignore first principles if they conflict with prime time headlines.”

Let me return and be perfectly clear and blunt: consider me in the anybody but McCain camp.

Lots of my friends have jumped on the McCain bandwagon. These friends usually begin their conversations with “Yes [you’re right on X], but . . .,” which is inevitably followed by him being right on spending, North Korea, Iraq, abortion, or some other single issue of importance.

Notwithstanding all of that, John McCain is wrong on the fundamentals. However pretty the veneer is, a rotten foundation will cause his structure to crumble. And we have seen that happen repeatedly. All John McCain needs is a CNN camera crew and he stands ready to shove conservatives under the bus if he’s guaranteed prime time and Anderson Cooper crying tears of joy while Chris Matthews stands by blowing kisses.

John McCain is not my choice because he thinks he invented the First Amendment. When groups spoke critically of John McCain, he decided to curtail their First Amendment rights to do so. He sees nothing wrong with a campaign finance scheme that marginalizes individuals in favor of the media companies biased against his party, but partial towards him. He sees nothing wrong with a campaign finance system that benefits incumbency and shafts the little guy. John McCain sees nothing wrong in anything he does, which should be a red flag for the fawning media who constantly demand of George Bush a litany of his prior wrongs.

John McCain is not my choice because he seeks to regulate first and ask questions later. He could not help himself in investigating professional sports, curtailing free speech, writing scores of burdensome regulator acts, and pretending to try to stop perverts from getting on the internet all while making life difficult for the average joe on the net.

Now, and I realize this is not generally something to say in polite company, John McCain is not my choice because I question his mental disposition. We got a glimpse of that in 2000 when Maria Shriver sought to ask him questions and he went postal. We saw it by the way he reacted to Christian evangelicals who sided with Bush over McCain in 2000. We’ve seen it by the way he reacted to groups who criticized him, from going on TV to berate them to passing BCRA. We see it today by the way his minions are trying to oust state party chairs who don’t bow before him. At best, John McCain is a bully who uses people to his advantage before stabbing them in the back. At worse, there are some poorly connected wires upstairs.

John McCain may be right on spending. He may be right on abortion. He may be right on North Korea. But fundamentally, John McCain has always struck me as a man to willing to stand in the spotlight, blame the Christians when Rome burns, and ignore first principles if they conflict with prime time headlines. He certainly can prove me wrong, but I won’t hold my breath.

About the author

Erick Erickson


  • Erick,

    I’d like to hear some more about your choice, because I actually like McCain and originally choose him over Bush in 2000. Maybe it’s because I do not consider myself an extremist Christian Coalition type (that does not mean I am not a Christian nor do I not want Christians in politics, I just generally like to steer away from religion and politics being placed together). So… I’m just curious.

  • Thanks for the advice, but I stand by my support for Newt. If you read my post you’ll notice that I also consider him to be a long shot when it comes to actually winning. My statement is more of a pipe dream than anything, but I do think he would make a great president. The point I was trying to make is that if I could choose someone, based not on ability to win, but solely on principles, it would be Newt. It says more about the current crop of “front-runners” than anything else.

    For what it’s worth, I couldn’t care less that he’s from GA. The last prez to hail from GA was, and continues to be, a disaster.

    Unfortunately, ability to win is a big factor. I’m just sick of having to compromise and vote for a pseudo-conservative because 80% of America is too ignorant and apathetic to think for themselves.

  • Dear Dennis,

    Let me give you some advice. Put your wallet away and your checkbook away, too before donating money to Newtie boy for Prez. Newt does not have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. With the Internet, people can now sort out the fluff from reality, and the smart people know that Newt sold us out on immigration, and like most politicians lined the pockets of the corporate lobbyist. Sorry to Newt because three years ago, I thought you were who you profess to be. But I won’t get fooled again. I know that people in Georgia want the President to hail from Georgia, but it is time that we all used our brains and voted for someone that is good for saving the United States as a place and not just an idea whose time has come and gone.

    It is time to tell the politicians, “you are either with us or against us.”

    Merry Christmas all!

  • I hate to think about the possibility of having to vote for McCain in the general, should he win the primary. I don’t see it happening in the end, but at this point he’s definitely the front-runner.

    You’re absolutely right about him, and I really hope people will see past the coming media onslaught. He’s been way too willing to abandon conservative principles when it gets him support and attention from the media, and I have a feeling Chris Matthews & Co. are going to be all too willing to help out. He has a gift for taking advantage of the media’s malice toward the Bush administration, and it’s been effective so far.

    It also amazes me that so many people are willing to support him simply because he’s a war hero and POW. As far as I’m concerned, what he did before he took office is pretty much irrelevant.

    As far as I’m concerned, the only person who’s in the picture right now that would have my total support is Newt. I would back him all the way, but I’m just not sure that he can win in a nationwide election.

  • Actually, we should be bold and recruit a people’s choice for President. Afterall, the people are Time’s person of the year. I nominate Peyton Manning for President! Go Peyton!!!!!!!

  • The man that people should be getting behind is Jim Gilchrist because anyone such as McCain that has sold the country out on immigration does not have a chance of pulling votes in the Southwest. And if we want a Mormon to represent the Republican party, we need someone from Utah not Massachusettes. Just thought I would add my two cents worth. Actually a Buchanan/Gilchrist ticket would be the medicine needed, but people listen to what the media tells them to do like a bunch of idiotic blind sheep.

By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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