As a conservative female blogger with a litmus test in the forthcoming U.S. presidential elections, I think we have a lot in common. Ironically, though, our litmus tests drive us to the exact opposite conclusion on Senator John McCain.
I love the man, because his stance on Russia -- my litmus test -- is exactly correct. Boot them out of the G-8 and then do all that is humanly possible to contain their neo-Soviet aggression, which includes sending truckloads of cash to terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, shiploads of weapons to freaks like Hugo Chavez and, worst of all, nuclear technology to Iran. In general, Russia is seeking to destabilize the Middle East so as to keep oil prices artificially high, since their economy depends on oil. The Kremlin is trying to do in 2007 with natural resources what it tried to do in 1967 with nuclear missiles. I presume McCain's stance on other foreign policy issues will be just as good. I have no reason to think otherwise.
You hate McCain, because you think his stance on illegal immigration -- your litmus test -- is exactly incorrect. In the past, he's embraced a very liberal attitude towards what you call "shamnesty," a legal measure that would allow illegal immigrants already her to become legal with due paperwork and penance.
From what I can gather, you like Mitt Romney because he's tougher on immigration (Giuliani is on life support, and also apparently pro-immigrant, so you don't really have any other choice). It probably doesn't surprise you to learn that I disdain Romney because he's way, way too soft on Russia. Indeed, I'm not at all sure he has any clue what is actually going on behind the new Iron Curtain these days.
Now, I want to be clear in saying I'm completely sympathetic with your position on illegal immigration, and I'm sure that you're quite sympathetic to my position on Russia. You've routinely blasted Hugo Chavez, and you're one of the world's leading champions in the battle against Islamic extremism. So I'd like to ask you to take another look at Senator McCain.
He's promised that, if elected, he'll make establishing border security a priority over "shamnesty," and you say you don't believe him. I understand your concern, because he's been abominably wishy-washy on this point. But I think you'll have to agree that Romney has been just as wishy-washy on the subject of America's foreign policy, if not more so, and I'd like to think that Senator McCain is a man of his word. If you'll excuse me for saying so, I don't think you've done enough to criticize Romney on foreign policy, and I'm a bit disappointed by that. Frankly, the idea of him making our Russia policy terrifies me.
That is, it would unless John McCain were his vice president or secretary of state, and given full authority over U.S. foreign policy. In fact, I might even be satisfied if McCain were made ambassador to Russia, with carte blanche authority. Come to think of it, a Romney-McCain ticket sounds quite impressive, especially given the shaky nature of our economy these days, Romney's long suit.
I'd like to remind you that Senator McCain is a well-known maverick, and the old adage about hunting the tiger applies. If you shoot at him, you'd better kill him. If you miss or just wing him, you're lunch. If you deny McCain the nomination, that's one thing, but what if you don't? Are you certain you want to so weaken him that Hillary or Obama becomes president? Assuming he beats them, aren't you concerned that he'll turn a deaf ear to you, and hence grievously damage your cause? And don't forget, by alienating McCain from the process, rather than merely defeating him, you might remove a powerful vote-gathering force in the general election.
In my view, a bit of moderation is called for, and some constructive suggestions as to how this brave patriotic man can best be part of a Republican victory and government next November.
What do you say?