Propaganda means truth becomes the first casualty. As a man lies to his wife to avoid telling the truth about the affair he is having with another woman, McCain's affair with liberal Democrats like Lieberman, Kennedy, and Feingold is no longer incognito. The "foot soldier in the Reagan revolution" has come out of the closet. Attempting to divorce himself from conservatives, McCain is clearly unable to do so. Like the man who desperately wants to divorce his wife but can't because she has all the money and he has squat! So too are the conservatives, who hold all the gold, when it comes to McCain's presidential aspirations.
So what do you do if you are McCain? You forcefully claim the conservative mantle and hope the constituency you speak to is more fearful of Democrats in November 2008 than they are angry at you.
But will conservatives be so easily convinced? Abraham Lincoln declared, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me". Conservative Republicans, who comprise about 30% of the party's voting base have been taken to the cleaners once already. They remember the "compassionate conservative", Bush #43, who promised conservativism in Washington.
He opened the spicket of spending that only the LB J types would have applauded. A Congress with no fiscal restraint and a President with no vetoes meant Republicans would lose the House and Senate in 2006. How angry were Republicans that they chose to stay home in 2006? A three trillion dollar run-up in the national debt under the President's watch, and monstrous federal government programs kept conservatives away from the polls.
And Senator McCain clamors that just because he voted for all of this excessive lard and big government doesn't mean he believes in big government and excess lard. That makes sense-right?
So what does McCain have to do to assuage conservatives this time round? Trot out the propaganda of Jack Kemp, Ted Olson, and all other grey haired conservatives. Let the "oldies but goodies", who are trusted friends, do the dirty work telling conservative Republicans to forget McCain's voting record in the last ten years. Even moderate Bob Dole was found writing a letter pleading to the Rush Limbaugh, leader of 22 million listening ears each week to stop the tantrum of conservatives.
The deceptively stale line that is trotted out: McCain has an 83% conservative voting record-
Twenty-eight years of voting doesn't make McCain a conservative nor a Republican when the last ten years voting record look like Lieberman, Feingold, and Kennedy's.
So why are so many conservative Americans including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, etc...in such an uproar? Consider the following about Senator McCain's record since 1999:
- Voted against 2001 & 2003 tax cuts
- Voted against 2004 repeal of inheritance tax
- Voted for Federal funding of stem cell research
- Voted against DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act)
- Leader of Gang of 14 that blocked President Bush conservative judicial appointments
- Stated to San Francisco Chronicle in 1999 "Roe v. Wade should not be overturned"
- Calls the right wing of the Republican party "agents of intolerance"
- Authored free speech restrictions (McCain-Feingold) in 2004
- Authored bill to eliminate gun shows from American soil (2003)
- Supported pathway to legal citizenship for illegal aliens (2007)
- Voted to grant illegal workers who earn citizenship backpay toward Social Security
- Voted for all big government spending programs authored by Bush including: $750 billion Prescription Health Care bill, No Child Left Behind, and $242 Billion transportation bill
- Promises to fight pork barrell spending; then votes for all the pork barrell attached to legislation
- Received the New York Times endorsement: the most liberal major newspaper in the east
- Received the ringing endorsement from Schwarzeneggar, Lieberman, and Juliani
Even more disturbing? McCain tells the conservative wing of the party to "calm down" in spite of the record he has amassed.
McCain is tied at the hip to conservatives; he knows it. Convincing voters that he is a conservative is pure deception, though it might work. At stake may be the very core principles of the Republican party. If McCain wins the general election, every centrist, moderate, middle of the road liberal will restructure the DNA of the Republican party toward big government, big spending, and big entitlement programs. In essence, doing what GW Bush has done for seven years.
What GW Bush has started, has now snowballed. McCain will prosecute the war like Bush, spend like Bush, but will not appoint conservative judicial nominees, and may not cut taxes like President Bush.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed: "Fool me once, shame on you Fool me twice, shame on me!"