John McCain’s Got No “New Vision”

Gay fearing Byron Butler provides a great segue into another kooky, confused old man: John McCain! The Republican presidential candidate’s currently on day four of his “Service To America” tour, an attempt to prove his hawkish, conservative chops to a wobbly electoral base. He’s walking a fine line, however, by supporting the war and keeping a distance from President Bush, who started the Iraqi disaster.

Such comparisons have long dogged Senator McCain, and yesterday he unequivocally rejected any equation between him and George W. Bush: “I’m not running on the Bush presidency. I’m running on my own service and my vision for the future.”

McCain must need glasses, because we see a man who’s largely in step with Bush, particularly with regard to us gays.

Sure, some McCain fans will highlight the candidate’s opposition to a federal amendment banning gay marriage, but he voted to prohibit it in Arizona, so those cancel out. Thus, let’s take a look at his current campaign.

Washington Times reports that McCain’s team will not try to “soften” the Republican party’s take on same-sex nuptials:

McCain associates told The Washington Times that his operatives are not going to work behind the scenes to eliminate the party’s calls for constitutional bans on abortion and homosexual marriage before the GOP convention in September.

McCain’s trepidation comes as no surprise. He’s already on shaky ground with social conservatives, some of whom swore up and down they wouldn’t vote if McCain’s the nominee. That tide may turn now that James Dobson said he’ll cast a ballot, but the social conservative stopped should of explicitly endorsing McCain, which means the candidate has no choice but to toe the line. But he can’t come right out and blast gay marriage, however, lest he scare away swing voter. Thus, he’s got no choice but to play by the Bush league’s rules.

This “new vision” doesn’t sound new to us. It sounds like an enfeebled attempt to ride a tide without making a wave.