How we got here we’re not really sure, but the reality seems to be, august Senator, you will be our nominee in the 2008 presidential election. Yes, I was at CPAC and heard your well-reasoned and fairly well-received speech and yes, you did press some of the right buttons. You spoke of your lifelong commitment to pro-life issues and your intention to reduce the size of the federal government; of your opposition to nationalized healthcare and your admiration for Justices Roberts and Alito and your pledge to win the war in Iraq.
But Senator, I also listened to the rest of the voices at the conference, some of which, shall we say, damned you with faint praise, and at this point, that is all that I can muster myself. Some of those voices suggested that, should we all coalesce under Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment and support your candidacy, we can only do so in good conscience by holding your feet to the fire on what you called “positions that have not met with widespread agreement from conservatives.” You vowed to “seek the counsel of my fellow conservatives,” and so I write in the spirit of compassionate conservative counseling.
Senator McCain, you said in your CPAC speech that, “the proper object of justice and the rule of law in our country is not to aggregate power to the state but to protect the liberty and property of its citizens.” Yet you are on record as supporting, and even sponsoring legislation that would cripple the liberty and property of our citizens through excessive and needless carbon cap-and-trade policies, oppressive gasoline taxes and exorbitantly increased energy bills; all to serve an agenda that is based, at best, on questionable scientific evidence.
So Senator, as most conservatives feel that the whole man-made global warming canard, or as it is now more conveniently called, climate change, is nothing but the left’s latest attempt to hamstring and thereby socialize our economy, I ask you to repudiate your support for the McCain-Lieberman Act and to distance yourself from your Democratic opponents — both of whom hold nearly identical views as yours — on this issue. And while you’re at it, can you please clarify your position that drilling for oil in ANWR would be equivalent to drilling in the Grand Canyon?
You also told the folks at CPAC that, “we share a conception of liberty that is the bedrock of our beliefs as conservatives,” and that that liberty, “as Burke warned, it can be ‘nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.'” Well Senator, I wonder if you realize that most conservatives hold you personally responsible not for nibbling, but for chomping off a great deal of our Constitutional rights with your McCain-Feingold bill. Will you own up to the fact that protecting political free speech is at the core of the First Amendment?
Senator McCain, these are but two of the all too many disagreements you spoke about at CPAC that might separate your conservative brethren from you on Election Day. I hope you don’t mind that I’ll be writing you from time to time to remind you of the others. As you probably know, you came in second to Mitt Romney in the CPAC straw poll, even after the former Massachusetts governor announced he was dropping out, with 31 percent of poll respondents claiming they would not vote for you.
The great majority of the folks at CPAC, although crushed by the fact that they no longer seem to have a dog in this fight, treated you for the most part with civility and an openness to be convinced that you truly seek to court them and address their concerns. The ball is now in your court. I urge you to pick up that ball with the graciousness of a winner and treat us with the respect and lack of contempt you have often not shown us. Remember, the Eleventh Commandment goes both ways.
Thanks for your attention. You’ll be hearing from me again, real soon,