McCain: Myth of the Maverick

Title of the new book by Reason editor Matt Welch.  Here he is along with (another libertarian) Will Wilkinson on Bloggingheads.

Since they’re libertarians they are not huge fans of John McCain’s “national greatness conservatism“.

What Welch actually does which the press never has never will with McCain is read his books and give an overview/analysis of McCain’s governing philosophy.  McCain is so beloved in the media, his biography, maverick mantle, nobody ever bothers to read his books or ask what he thinks about the role of government.

Welch’s point is that McCain too often uses the bully pulpit of government and denigrates free enterprise and individual pursuits.  But he is good on vetoing pork–he was right about the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.  And like his mentor Teddy Roosevelt, he’s for American imperialism.

Sidenote.  Right at the end, Will asks Matt to make some predictions about McCain’s general election prospects (by Wed. morning McCain will have wrapped up the Republican nomination I believe):  against Hillary he has a very good chance of winning; if there is some sort of foreign policy/terrorist attack he beats Hillary; if Obama is nominated he loses by double digits.  Exactly right.

Only the Democrats in a year in which everything is headed in their direction and when the mood of the country is throw the bums out, would nominate (if they do, which I’m increasingly thinking they won’t) or frankly even consider nominating the one person who is the apotheosis of establishment insider mentality and the only one who can unite the otherwise divided Republican party.

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Published in: on February 4, 2008 at 12:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

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