The EFM Feature

Nancy, it’s clear that you and I agree on the principle. Neither of us is the equivalent of a yellow-dog Democrat; we’ve both made that clear. Neither of us is arguing that Senator McCain would merit our support in November simply because of the “R” next to his name. The question isn’t, “Is he a Republican?” — it’s, “Is he good enough?”
In the course of arguing that he’s not good enough, you do one thing I can live with and one I thing I can’t.
For the first one, you denounce McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman, and McCain-Feingold. Fair enough. I agree with you that all were wrong approaches. And if your “troika” of the three most important issues is immigration, global warming, and campaign-finance reform, then you shouldn’t vote for Senator McCain. He’s terrible on all three, and not recognizably better than any other candidate.
However, as I mentioned, that’s not my troika. Mine is killing terrorists, protecting unborn babies, and small government/free markets. Frankly, while the three you mention are disturbing, my immediate thought is that amnesty and restrictions on political speech simply don’t matter if you’re dead — and that is precisely the threat we the living face from jihadists and that millions of unborn babies face from abortion. And I think the political granddaddy of the surge and a man who fought for the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Alito, and even Judge Bork would do something about that. Given the global threat we face, and the chance we will have in the next four to eight years to create an anti-Roe majority on the Supreme Court, I’m willing to look past the other issues on which a President McCain would surely disappoint me.
And then there is your comment that Senator McCain has “given social conservatives the middle finger his whole career.” Look, I don’t disagree — “agents of intolerance” was strong stuff. But I would challenge you to look past this, and not to allow it to be determinative in your decision-making. Why? Well, first of all, we as Christians are commanded to turn the other cheek — and I don’t think it’s right for us to have continual resentment even when we are mistreated. But of course, that doesn’t mean we turn around and vote for someone who disdains our agenda — it just means we get over the mistreatment.
Which brings me to my other point. What’s the most important thing for social conservatives in the next presidential administration? I know there are a lot of critical matters, but I really can’t see one bigger than appointing the next one to three Supreme Court justices. And if you look at Senator McCain’s career, behind the extended middle finger is a man who — surprisingly, I think — supported, quite reliably, exactly the kind of justices we “agents of intolerance” want.
I know there was the “Gang of 14″ thing. I’m not an expert on that, but I would say two things. First of all, I’m not sure Senator McCain was wrong, and numerous big-shot judicial conservatives have said the same. Secondly, once again, we have to prioritize. Even if you say he’s not trustworthy on lower courts, you can’t throw the Supreme Court away — not with all those babies at stake. And given his record on Supreme Court justices and the endorsements he’s received from pretty much every judicial conservative there is, I think he’s clearly an infinitely — and critically — better choice than anybody else out there.
Oh, and Nancy? You still rock. I await your reply!

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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