Conservative Quandary

In many respects this election is a lose-lose proposition for true conservatives. If Obama wins (and that is highly likely) he’ll have a democratic held House and Senate and together they will tag-team the American people, taxing and spending as if there’s no tomorrow. It’s a scenario that is basically a conservative’s nightmare that I think will make us think fondly of the Carter years.

But what if McCain wins? I think there are only a few things that conservatives can look forward to in a McCain administration. One, he will prosecute the War on Terror effectively and can be trusted to do what’s right when it comes to Iran and an increasingly aggressive Russia. Two, he will probably try to be fiscally conservative. He’s promised to work to extend the Bush tax cuts and has promised to veto any bill with pork in it as well as cut federal spending. But these things will be hard to do with a Congress controlled by democrats. Plus he has a tendency to shoot from the hip and jump up on moral high horses as demonstrated by his latest proposal of $300 billion in federal spending to buy up bad mortgages and renegotiate them. So as long as it’s a noble cause (in his eyes) he doesn’t appear to mind putting your tax dollars to work.Three, he says that he will nominate Supreme Court judges in the mold of Alito and Roberts. That would be great as both of the oldest justices that are likely to retire in the next four years are on the liberal side of the court. But many conservatives question whether or not McCain would actually nominate judges like Roberts and Alito. Both have already dealt blows to McCains’ signature legislation, the McCain-Feingold Act. Many conservatives loathe this legislation and view it as a clear infringement on the free speech rights protected by the First Amendment. So the questions is: will McCain nominate someone he knows would be hostile to his baby? So even two of the three things that conservatives can feel good about McCain are shaky prospects at best. And once you set those issues aside, you have all of the issues that McCain “reaches across the aisle” for. The aforementioned McCain-Feingold, Climate Change (not much different from Obama on this), his rampant populism (oil companies, Wall Street, CEOs – all bad). These are all things that concerned conservatives about McCain during the primaries. But then he won the nomination and threw conservatives a bone with Palin and we all went giddy and weak in the knees over her. I know that he nominated Palin to “solidify the base” so that he could move to the center during the general election. I know that allows him to appeal to independents and that they might put him over the top. I know that’s a good campaign strategy. It’s just that the more I see of McCain, whether it’s in the debates or on the stump the more queasy I feel.