In my previous article, “Vote McCain in 2008 (if you think George Bush deserves a third term),” I wrote about how closely his policies are aligned with those of our current imperial president. It wasn’t always so. In fact, one of the tidbits never reported in the mainstream media (of course) was how John McCain was so upset with the 2000 election and the way the Bush campaign was run that he actually considered leaving the Republican Party and becoming an Independent. While he denies it, there is ample evidence that there were discussions between he and Tom Daschle, as well as several other prominent Democrats. But that was then and this is now.
This could be John McCain’s last chance to become president. If he is elected, he will be the oldest elected president at the age of 71. It is unlikely (never say never in politics) that he’ll mount this kind of effort at the age of 76. While the mainstream media preoccupied themselves promoting McCain as the straight-talk express in the years following Bush’s re-election, he began his transformation to a candidate that would be more acceptable to the GOP base, one of the most influential being evangelical Christians.
Back in 2000, John McCain referred to both Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as “agents of intolerance” and called them an “evil influence” on the Republican Party. After making this statement, his campaign fell apart in Virginia and South Carolina. The rest is history, as George W. Bush became the GOP nominee. Looking ahead to a 2008 run, and seeking to repair any long-term political damage he may have done, McCain met with Reverend Falwell in 2006 to mend fences and discuss their differences. McCain apologized for his comments, telling Falwell that he had spoken in haste during the campaign. McCain also gave the graduation address at Falwell’s Liberty University on May 13 2006, where he defended the war in Iraq. The two men also discussed a federal ban on gay marriage.
In 2004, when the issue of a federal gay marriage ban first came up, John McCain broke with the Bush administration and the GOP leadership stating that the proposed amendment “strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans” because it “usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them.” However, the right had delivered the white house and it was time to pay up. The Republicans forced a vote on a gay marriage ban in 2006, and McCain was one of seven Republicans who voted against it. The bill was defeated. However, while “making nice” with Reverend Falwell, McCain agreed to support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman should a federal court ever strike down state constitutional bans on gay marriage.
While opposing a gay marriage ban on a federal level, McCain supported Protect Marriage Arizona’s 2005 efforts to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in his home state. Some may profess surprise, but that’s because the mainstream media immediately characterized McCain as a fair-minded moderate after he opposed the 2004 and 2006 federal ban efforts. Nothing could be further from the truth. John McCain does not support gay marriage in any context, nor is he open-minded about it. He firmly believes that marriage should only be defined as the union of one man and one woman. He just believes it should be legislated at a state level, not at a federal level.
Setting his sights on Roe v. Wade
Let’s get in the “way back” machine and travel to 1999, when John McCain opposed overturning Roe v. Wade because he felt women would resort to illegal and dangerous abortions. Since taking office, President Bush has systematically appointed Supreme Court Justices with just that in mind, and there is now absolutely no reason to believe that McCain won’t continue that trend. He has again changed his position, stating that Roe v. Wade was a flawed decision that should be overturned. To cover his pandering to the religious right, McCain paints himself as a “states rights” champion, and the mainstream media sucks it up and regurgitates it back to the too trusting public without question or challenge, much in the same way it has handled the Bush presidency.
For good measure, McCain has also stated that, had he been South Dakota’s governor, he would definitely have signed on to that state’s proposed abortion ban. This was enough for the Reverend Falwell, who told ABC News that the pro-lifers in America are “comfortable” with where John McCain stands on the issue of abortion. Mission accomplished.
Going deep to win it all
Unfortunately for McCain, Falwell didn’t make it to the 2008 elections. He passed away in May of 2007. It is unclear how much, if any, fence mending he has done with Pat Robertson. Other evangelical leaders, such as the Reverend Louis P. Sheldon (Traditional Values Coalition) and James Dobson (Focus on the Family) are still wary of McCain. Not to worry, McCain is continuing on his own path to right-wing acceptance.