It seems John McCain can say goodbye to that Republican nomination for the 2008 Presidential election.
We recently questioned McCain’s position in the political spectrum; in the past he’s appealed to independent voters as a “moderate Republican,” but rumors have recently surfaced that his alignments have switched to the more conservative side. Now, in a move sure to disappoint his supporters (it’s certainly a disappointment to us), he is officially flip-flopping to the far-right, forging ties with Ã¼ber-bigot Jerry Falwell, going so far as to speak at Falwell’s religious college, Liberty University, during their May 13 graduation ceremony.
Speaking at Liberty, or appealing to Jerry Falwell in general, isn’t the issue; McCain’s downfall is his inability to stick with a position. His political career up to now has been based on standing up against “special interest groups” (look at the picture!), going so far as to label Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” and lashing out against Falwell in a speech during the 2000 Republican primaries:
“Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.”
But now that he’s planning a run for 2008, he has met with Falwell, the Grand Pooba of Christian Special Interestedness, in the hopes of receiving Evangelical support. Said Falwell:
“I was in Washington with him about three months ago,” Falwell said. “We dealt with every difference we have. There are no deal breakers now. But I told him, ‘You have a lot of fence mending to do.’”
Falwell’s big problem was McCain’s opposition to a constitutional Federal Marriage amendment. McCain said it was “un-Republican” to legislate Federal laws about Americans’ private lives, and helped kill the bill before it ever went to vote. But Falwell says McCain now supports the issue:
Falwell said McCain has expressed a willingness to support a Federal Marriage Amendment, an issue dear to conservative Christians.
The amendment would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Christian conservatives, including Falwell, are concerned about efforts by homosexual groups to have civil unions between same-sex partners recognized as marriages. McCain previously has said the matter of defining marriage should be handled by state legislatures, but now concedes that a federal statute may be necessary, Falwell said.
McCain’s Presidential run has already drawn skepticism from the Republican party, due to his age (he’d be well into his 70’s by the time he took office, if he won) and his moderate politics angered members of the “far right.”
There is the possibility that he is just giving lip service to the Evangelicals, in order to secure the nomination, and he really isn’t changing his views. Support for a federal ban on gay marriage will most likely never happen, regardless of any President’s support due to the extremely complex process of amending the Constitution (2/3 of Congress must vote in favor). So supporting it could be just for show, since he knows he’ll probably never have to actually do it. But now, no one knows what to think.
John Kerry was defeated mainly because of his inability to take a definitive stance on major issues; people didn’t trust him. McCain, too, is falling into the political trap of “try to please everybody, and nobody will like it.”
McCain to speak at Liberty U graduation [NewsAdvance]