John McCain Has a Small Government Track Record? Who Knew?

| May 7, 2008 | Reply

One of the great things about blogging, at least on the right, is that you can heartily agree with someone one hour and bitterly disagree with them the next. As much as I often agree with Ed Morrissey, I’m afraid on the subject of John McCain and his storied anger, we’re going to bitterly disagree.

McCain decided to harness his supposed anger and focus it on the subject of wasteful government spending. Now, that’s a good thing for we voters to be angry about and it’s high time we put and end to the officially-sanctioned bribery that our federal budget has become. Ed is pretty keen on that. Here’s how he makes the case:

However, this gives him an opportunity to display passion about the ills of federal government, especially the stupidity and corruption that angers most voters. To whom will voters relate more — someone who offers academic criticism of business as usual, or someone with an actual track record of reform who sounds pissed off about the need for more of it? [Emphasis mine]

Excuse me? John McCain has an “actual track record of reform” on government spending? Someone’s going to have to show that alleged track record to me because I’ve never seen it and, goodness knows, I’ve looked.

One would have thought that a reform-minded soul with a lot of seniority and influence on both sides of the aisle might have made some progress in at least slowing down the earmark gravy train. Especially if that person was in the majority for a few years. So how’s the earmark reform coming along? Besides a bill that put some details behind earmarks for the public to see, but didn’t actually slow them down any, I can’t see a darned thing that John McCain’s done to get in the way of the pork.

What’s worse are his policy proposals that have the lobbyists just licking their chops. His “green” policies look to send the lobbying groups in a white-hot frenzy of spending the likes of which we’ve not seen in a while. They’re not revving up their cash machines because they think that money’s not going to come back to them many fold. I would think that a guy who has railed so often and so vituperatively about government corruption would have expected this to happen. I would definitely have thought that a guy like McCain claims to be would know better than to propose something that would increase government spending (thus increasing the waste and corruption that is unavoidable in such spending).

If you’re looking for someone to rein in federal spending, John McCain just isn’t that guy. He’s had his chances as a senior member of the Senate to turn his anger on the bloated, wasteful, abusive federal budget. Instead, he’s turned that anger on conservatives over and over and over again. Putting him in the White House won’t change the track record he does have for spurning conservative principles for a little more media popularity and Democratic accolades.

But even if John McCain really was serious about curbing the budget, putting him in the White House is a bad idea. No President has the power to rein in spending. Spending is wholly the function of Congress. All the President can do is veto spending bills and we saw during the 1980s how successful a tactic that is. How quickly do you think Congress will send a veto-proof bill to the White House, assuming McCain has the guts to run afoul of the people he’s bechummed for four decades by vetoing a budget bill? I’d say a snowball will last longer in hell.

I can understand Ed’s getting behind John McCain. As a Republican and a conservative, he doesn’t have anywhere else to go. I sympathize with the choice. What I don’t understand is why he’s putting so much lipstick on such an obviously ugly pig? John McCain has deep, deep flaws that ought to concern any conservative. Ignoring them won’t help us any. Shining us on about them is even worse.

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