January 31, 2008

Schwarzenegger Endorsement: McCain Will "Reach Across the Aisle" to "Get Things Done"
— Ace

Michelle Malkin wonders if this is really a point in his favor -- on many issues, conservatives would prefer to not reach across the aisle and not get "things" done if the other option is to stick to conservative principles and at least observe the first rule of medicine, "Do no harm."

Stasis and inaction is preferable to bad change and ill-considered new legislation and benefits, after all.

This dovetails with a point made by a Corner reader:

There's one question that no one seems to have asked McCain about judges: will he apply his "reach across the aisle" attittude to SCOTUS nominations? Or put another way, is McCain going to be the Senate's man in the White House, or is he going to stand his ground on nominations?

It's frustrating to me that no reporters (or anyone else) have asked these kinds of questions of McCain. Here's the long version of the question:

If you are president when the next Supreme Court vacancy occurs, and you seek advice and input about who would be a good nominee, will you ultimately nominate the person who you believe would do the best job on the Court, or would you instead seek a consensus nominee who you think will best satisfy yourself and fifty or sixty United States senators?

I have absolutely no clue how McCain would answer this.

Ramesh Ponuru answers:

Me neither. His remark that consulting with senators is required by the Constitution was not a hopeful portent, but perhaps that remark does not reflect his considered judgment.

I do have a clue. McCain has for years told us with his every action that, when presented with a conflict between conservative principles and cordial bipartisanship deal-making with Democrats, he far prefers the latter.

I don't know how anyone could imagine that McCain, proud of his ability to see past the petty conservative dogma so many of the rest of us are preoccupied by in order to meet the opposition halfway (and then some!), will suddenly become some sort of Federalist Society Stalwart on judges once he's president.

Wouldn't that be playing to partisan animus and ideological litmus tests and special interest agents-of-intolerance, in other words, everything that Maverick McCain heroically stands against?

There's some back-and-forth on this at the Corner; scan down to see the argument.

McCain is telling two audiences two different things. To moderates and Democrats, he says he'll work for compromise in the spirit of friendship and amity. To conservatives, he vows he'll stick to his "Reagan convictions."

This is Straight Talk? It's similar to how he talked up global warming and cap-and-trade legislation in liberalish New Hampshire but then said not a word about this in South Carolina.

Senator, it can't be both. It really, honestly can't.

Posted by: Ace at 02:02 PM | Comments (29)
Post contains 485 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Has any Democrat ever talked about reaching across the aisle? I remember a lot of "ending partisanship," but I always figure they mean "by creating a one-party Democratic state."

Posted by: bgates at January 31, 2008 02:06 PM (z6drm)

It's certainly how Arnold conducted himself in office.  Reach arounds for every donk in Sacramento. 

Posted by: dlm at January 31, 2008 02:08 PM (wxBdh)

3 Meh, I don't know.  Jeff Larkin really sold me on McCain in the other thread, what with the questioning of my manhood and repeated insults.

Posted by: Fred at January 31, 2008 02:21 PM (pSNpE)

4 Here's the thing. In the old days, before Ronald Reagan the GOP "got along" with Democrats by basically doing whatever they were told and passing what the Democrats tried to pass. They complained and scuffed the dirt with their foot and pouted, but they fell in line. This was called "bipartisan" by the press and that's what McCain wants. That's what Schwarzenegger governs like. Democrat lite, we'll do just what they do, but complain about it!

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at January 31, 2008 02:23 PM (hfyfI)

5 Has any Democrat ever talked about reaching across the aisle?

Yeah, but in a Dem sort of way. In the Dem reaction to the 2005 SOTU address , Harry Reid offered congratulations on winning re-election a few weeks earlier, then said "now you need to compromise with us". Which is damn close to a direct quote.

That's stuck in my mind for the last 3 years. Whenever I want to feel cynical and pissed off, I relive the moment. Works every time.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at January 31, 2008 02:26 PM (Ds4I5)

6 Has any Democrat ever talked about reaching across the aisle?

Bingo, bgates.

Which is why I will never vote for McCain. A vote for another watered-down Conservative is a vote that no, our country is not far enough to the left on a whole raft of issues.

And yes, Jeff Larkin, if you are still trolling with us "infants", my principles will warm me just fine. Much better than the cold comfort of a nominal (R) in the White House and a giant slide left for Conservatism.

All you guys that will accept a McCain presidency, please describe for me just what areas this country could stand further "progressive" movement. Because a McCain presidency moves most of the big issues we Conservatives hold dear so far to the left as to change the dynamic of most those debates from "whether" to "how far".

Posted by: krakatoa at January 31, 2008 02:27 PM (1nsAD)


Stewie Griffin Endorsement: McCain Will "Reach Under the Table" to "Get it on"


Posted by: Penn State Marine at January 31, 2008 02:31 PM (DFVTW)

8 Repubs call it reaching out, Dems call it reach around.

Posted by: Lou at January 31, 2008 02:36 PM (RNwpX)

9 The NRO Reader: "There's one question that no one seems to have asked McCain about judges..."

That is a question that should be asked. Likewise, it's a question that needn't be asked. We already know the answer, and anyone who thinks McCain won't break his other arm reaching across the aisle is probably being foolish.

Buyer beware... or remain intentionally oblivious and enjoy the folly. Either/or.

Posted by: AnonymousDrivel at January 31, 2008 02:41 PM (Y0gTb)

10 The guy believes most of what he says. He's just delusional.

Posted by: MlR at January 31, 2008 02:41 PM (mX6h5)

11 If Ted Olson endorses him, he can't be TOO bad on judges, honestly.

Posted by: copy at January 31, 2008 02:43 PM (p1s9n)

12 Careful now, you might be accused of suffering from McCain Derangement Syndrome for honestly questioning McCain's strange positions.

Posted by: syn at January 31, 2008 02:44 PM (6+0AT)


When he reaches that hand across does he sit on it first or does Teddy K like a nice firm grip and plenty of eye contact.

Posted by: defjavidson at January 31, 2008 02:47 PM (ya07C)

14 You know what? McCain hater that I am, I don't worry that he'll consult the Senate too much. In fact, if the MSM roughs him up in the process of his campaign, he may not reach across the aisle, either. But I don't see him sticking to conservative principles.

More like, "finally, after all these years, I'M KING SHIT OF THE PIXIES! Back up, peons!"

Megalomaniac, I'm thinking.

Posted by: S. Weasel at January 31, 2008 02:48 PM (9jA8/)


More like, "finally, after all these years, I'M KING SHIT OF THE PIXIES! Back up, peons!"

It's funny to listen to McCain while picturing him as Butters. I think Butters is supposed to be a parody of him.

There's some moron on Hewitt's show right now making McCain out to be the second coming of Alexander, Napoleon, and Patton all rolled into one, based on the fact that McCain once had the misfortune to be captured during a war. Can any McCain supporter justify this reasoning? What's the logical linkage between "was a prisoner of war" and "greatest military commander in history"? All I've heard is emotional gushing about "his story."

Posted by: The Band at January 31, 2008 02:57 PM (/94xL)


When the nominations are done, and McCain has to fly solo up against a
Democrat -- which makes him the media's enemy, rather than their
favorite enemy of Republicans -- and the shit starts flying, and all
his fake friends turn on him, one by one and then all at once, and he
loses his fucking mind in some grand public display of the violent
insanity he can barely contain as it is, and all the "moderates" and
"independents" who claim to support him stop lying and come out openly
for Hillary, who they were all always going to vote for anyway, I just
might giggle.

Posted by: Retired (Not Gay) at January 31, 2008 02:59 PM (k5JzA)

17 Retired, I will giggle right along with you.

Posted by: Hongqi at January 31, 2008 03:07 PM (+WuMm)


If Ted Olson endorses him, he can't be TOO bad on judges, honestly.

When the media and the Dems start saying how much we need a "moderate choice" for SCOTUS and how wonderful it would be to "bring the country together," he'll fall all over himself to appoint someone sucky, no matter what he says now. He has no credibility when the cameras and microphones are turned on. He's a whore for attention.

Posted by: The Band at January 31, 2008 03:09 PM (/94xL)

19 Here's a fun fact, the protagonist of The Caine Mutiny, Captain Queeg, was a graduate of the Naval Academy who lived in Arizona when he wasn't terrorizing and shitting on his own people. I'm not sure what made me think of Captain Queeg.


Posted by: JackStraw at January 31, 2008 03:14 PM (t+mja)




Posted by: Robert at January 31, 2008 03:22 PM (Rb4Qc)

21 After 50 debates and a 1,000 interviews, no one has yet to ask these guys questions that actually matter to the voters.

Posted by: dlm at January 31, 2008 03:30 PM (wxBdh)

22 Today on Hannity I heard Thomas Sowell remark in re McCain and his vaunted reach-around (err... reach-across) the aisle: (from memory, forgive me for minor inaccuracy in quoting) "... whenever you hear about a bipartisan agreement, it is almost always at least twice as bad as either partisan position ..." 

Posted by: Jimmy don\'t play that at January 31, 2008 03:34 PM (xcwcN)

23 He reached across the stall divider once with me. 

Posted by: Larry Craig at January 31, 2008 03:53 PM (ERV3B)

24 The only reason I want my guy "reaching across the aisle" is to bitch-slap the opposition. Otherwise, stay on your own side and get about doing what I elected you to do.

I know of exactly one Democrat who reaches across the aisle on occasion. His name is Joe Lieberman. And when HE does it, he's treated as persona non grata by his own.

I don't want a bevy of Trent Lotts, Lindsay Grahams, and John McCains buddying-up to Kennedy, Kerry, et al. I want a bunch of Gingriches and Santorums standing up for what government ought and ought not be doing. And we need to stop this farce of playing by gentlemen's rules, 'cuz THEY sure as hell ain't.

Posted by: red speck at January 31, 2008 04:49 PM (OoMad)


Isn't that what Sen. Craig got arrested for? Hope McCain at least washes his hands when he's done!

Posted by: Aries37 at January 31, 2008 05:09 PM (fRQkv)

26 Reaching across the aisle?...We will soon hear the sound of one hand clapping. And see a big red handprint on that albino skull.

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