- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 8, 2006

McCain in 2008?

There is widespread speculation that Sen. John McCain will be a shoo-in for the 2008 presidential nomination (“McCain Sitting Pretty for 2008 Race,” Thursday, page 1). It is deja vu all over again. In 1996, a liberal Republican, Bob Dole, took on a liberal Democrat from Arkansas named Clinton. McCain versus Clinton will be more of the same. The Democrats will reclaim the White House.

Given those two choices, most of the Republican conservative base will have no choice but to stay home. As a staunch conservative, I will be forced to vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. The reason is clear. A Republican-controlled Congress will keep Hillary in check, while a liberal Republican president with no opposition will be every conservative’s worst nightmare.

There is good reason why the liberal media and liberals in general are so comfortable with McCain. He is essentially one of them. They call him a “maverick,” which is code for someone who sides with them on major issues. This is a Republican who has been consistently anti-free speech, pro-gun control and generally anti-free enterprise.

And, let’s not forget his stance on illegal immigration — teaming with Sen. Edward Kennedy to give amnesty to illegal aliens and increase legal immigration by tens of millions in the next decade. He recently insulted all Americans by telling us that we are too soft, even when offered $50 an hour, to do the jobs now being done by illegal aliens.

John McCain was a Vietnam war hero, but he has done little since then to make Americans proud. The Republican Party can do better.

BEN LAM

Todd, N.C.

As a Republican, I can only shake my head in dismay that, although it is still very early, John McCain seems to be the likely Republican presidential nominee. While I admire his service in Vietnam, he is a purely political animal who uses his “war hero” status to get through otherwise unacceptable behavior.

His political pandering and calculating is obvious — including supporting the Bush tax cuts after years of opposing them and speaking at Liberty University after years of feuding with Jerry Falwell. It seemed that Mr. McCain was back on track toward the good graces of the Republican Party not so much because the party trusts him but because he polls as very likely to beat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. But then he made himself, along with Sen. Edward Kennedy (not exactly a favorite of Republican voters), the poster boy for the outrageous Senate immigration bill.

If a candidate with a history of opposing basic Republican positions and who will be 73 years old if he were to take office is the best the Republican Party can do, it says less about Mr. McCain’s virtues than it says about the sad state of Republican politics.

ROSS KAMINSKY

Nederland, Calif.

A faltering economy

In his Friday, July 7 column, “Strong economy, negative perceptions,” Gary Andres attributed Americans’ negative perceptions of the economy to what he calls “lifestyle inflation.” I would suggest, rather, that most Americans were better off when Bill Clinton was president.

Speaking only for myself, back then I had a secure, well-paying job, generous benefits and yearly play raises that beat inflation. Now, I cannot find a job, despite a college degree and 20 years of computer programming experience.

For every one person like me there are several who are currently earning considerably less than they did in the jobs they lost during the Bush recession of 2001, or the long jobless “recovery” that followed. For every person like that there are several more who have not had a raise in years, even though prices keep rising.

When Americans say that the economy is doing poorly, we mean that our economy is doing poorly. Telling us that we are mistaken is another way of saying, “you are a failure.” The Republican Party cannot win with a message like that.

JOHN ENGELMAN

Wilmington, Del.

Liberal ideology

The entire hullabaloo in the Democratic Party over Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman tells me plenty about the Democratic Party (“Democrats divided over Lieberman,” yesterday, page 1).

That they apparently value loyalty to their party over loyalty to America is a sad commentary on their priorities — and ought to be enough to change the votes of any patriotic Democrat who values the unique character of American life. Democrats are increasingly looking like traitors and seditionists who place more of a premium on the liberal ideology than on our national survival.

NORMAN HENDRICKSON

Bowie, Md.

Advocating or merely predicting defeat?

William Hawkins needs to learn that there is a world of difference between “advocating” and predicting.

Leftists, liberals and progressives are not, as he implies in his op-ed, “Advocating a global U.S. defeat” (Thursday, Commentary).

What many on the left, some in the middle and even some on the right are “predicting” is that the Bush administration’s U.S. foreign policy actions will inevitably lead to a number of conflicts and worsen threats that will result in decline in U.S. power if not a resounding U.S. defeat in war. Aspirations of global empire, combined with several other eminent factors related to unregulated hyper-globalization (free trade of dual-use technologies, lack of standard enforceable global operating procedures regarding control of WMD, pandemics, international crime, genocide or currency flows), will not bode well for the United States.

China is on the ascent economically, politically and militarily. Other nations hostile to U.S. policy — especially those with large volumes of oil, oil needs and/or U.S. currency — will unite “to shape world events to ? [their] advantage” just as Mr. Hawkins suggests we predict. Does he really expect them not to?

The solution isn’t a perpetual race for global dominance in an increasinglyunregulated global environment of unprecedented dangers (WMD proliferation, terrorism, pandemics, climate change, international crime, economic instability) with every nation relying on its own strength to fend for itself.

Real security against these inevitable catastrophic threats rests in the creation and enforcement of international standards that promote and enforce “liberty and justice for all” people and nations. That’s when Americans will begin to see the overwhelming advantages in international cooperation as opposed to our aspirations of empire.

Time is not on our side. It would be most wise and prudent to work globally for a true federation of nation-states before the more horrific consequences of global chaos set in.

This is precisely what our nation’s Founding Fathers did 230 years ago when they realized a confederation of states was inadequate to deal with larger threats (the British) or even the local problems between states.

CHUCK WOOLERY

Rockville


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