This morning, The American Spectator hosted a Newsmaker Breakfast featuring Tom McClintock, the Republican state senator from
McClintock began his talk by saying, "The reason why I'm here is that Republicans decided they want Republicans who actually act like Republicans."
He said that there are always two parties in any society — authoritarians and libertarians, and they both are an outgrowth of human nature. Some people want to be left alone, while others believe that they know what's best for people and want to control behavior.
The central theme for Republicans has always been freedom, he said, and Republicans have done better when they have adhered to that principle.
Despite the difficult terrain for conservative Republicans in
McClintock displayed a clear libertarian streak on a number of issues. He said he wasn't sure about whether he'd vote for the FISA law. While doesn't think the Bill of Rights applies to overseas, he has civil liberties questions.
He had warm words for Ron Paul, saying that he agrees with much of his message, including his support for a return to the gold standard. He even was in agreement with Paul on some foreign policy issues, including that President Bush should have sought a declaration of war after 9/11 in accordance to the Constitution. He gave off the impression that he didn't support the initial invasion of
On illegal immigration, he said he supports securing the border and enforcing employer sanctions, which over time result in a kind of "self-deportation." But he also said he was a strong proponent of legal immigration and an assimilation process that emphasized a common language and culture.
Asked about John McCain, McClintock noted he was a Fred Thompson man, and didn't consider McCain his second, third, fourth, or fifth choice. He said he'd wish McCain would stop talking about "man-made global warming." He did, however, give credit to McCain for taking a strong stand against earmarks, and said he would vote to sustain any McCain veto of a pork-laden spending bill.
Dave Weigel has more.