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January 31, 2008

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

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.

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posted by Ace at 07:02 PM

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