McCain's most longstanding conservative principle is his aversion to wasteful spending. But this has always sprung from an aversion to waste, not a Goldwater-esque opposition to government in principle. McCain's reformist impulses on spending are far more congenial to the progressive vision. If nothing else, his longstanding repugnance for pork-barrel spending would hold out the prospect of clearing away waste in the federal budget. McCain voted against the subsidy-bloated 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill. He nobly opposes the farm bill, one of the few issues where McCain has a sensible position and Obama does not. If McCain could actually trim some corporate welfare from the budget, it would create more fiscal and political space for the next Democratic president to spend money on necessary things like health care.
McCain has an aversion to "wasteful spending?" Whose wasteful spending? His own at the gambling tables? His wife's credit card bills? The public money? McCain is a Bush Administration enabler who supported four of the most treasury-busting budgets in the history of this nation. McCain sure is effective at keeping the public money from being spent on taking care of Veterans, helping people get health care, and helping people get an education, I'll give you that. McCain's seven homes are a monument to his frugality, aren't they? Kinda hard to trim that corporate welfare when your staff is chock full of lobbyists, isn't it? And what's noble about opposing the farm bill--he's from Arizona! Go ahead and get rid of every single dollar of "pork barrel" spending--you just saved less than 20 billion dollars from the Federal Budget. Good luck balancing a budget by doing that.
The best aspect of a McCain presidency is that, while it would probably follow the policies of George W. Bush, it would put an end to the politics of Karl Rove.
How in God's name is McCain going to "end" the Karl Rove era in politics when McCain is accepting advice from Rove in this Presidential election?
I'm sorry--that's all I can stomach. What a ridiculous article. Mr. Chait, your editor should have saved you from yourself. Someone else is going to have to wade into the rest of what you've written.