Judging John McCain

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What will we do with John McCain?

It seems the Senator will say anything to woo conservatives, many of whom worry you’re too – gasp! – liberal for the presidency. Today the Republican vowed to take on the dreaded “activist judge.” You know, the ones who rule in favor of the flamers…

While he didn’t use that particular term, McCain made his message pretty clear:

My nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power, and clear limits to the scope of federal power. For decades now, some federal judges have taken it upon themselves to pronounce and rule on matters that were never intended to be heard in courts or decided by judges.

Bush-nominated Supreme Court Justice like Sam Alito and John Roberts will “serve as the model” for McCain’s brand of judicial nominee, he said.

This latest right-wing grab reminds us of a conversation we had Friday with Patrick Sammon, president of the Log Cabin Republicans. We originally asked for some of Sammon’s time to discuss anti-gay McCain pastor pal John Hagee. Sammon told us he “wouldn’t have much to say,” and made good on that promise, saying that McCain “obviously disagrees” with Hagee’s wild assertions, like that God created Katrina to get back at New Orleans, which was prepared to host a gay pride event.

Sammon also spoke of McCain’s “inclusive background” and promised that McCain isn’t “beholden to social conservatives” like President Bush. Sure, McCain’s political life may not be saturated in that particularly frightful conservatism, but he’s sure as shit making a good show of it.

If he’s going to win this election, McCain needs the far-right – a fact he made clear with today’s speech. And, as in all political maneuvers, McCain will inevitably owe favors. (Perhaps they’ll be to his gang of highly anti-homo Attorney General pals, who knows? Regardless, it will happen.)

Apologists may claim that McCain’s simply playing games and definitely doesn’t intend to revive Bush’s ideological culture war, but such an argument rings false. He is, after all, acquiescing to the party’s anti-gay stance.

Even if it is true – that McCain’s simply pandering – wouldn’t you rather have a president who’s honest all the way through the campaign, rather than mouthing the words for repressive party loyalists?

It’s worth noting that Sammon and his Log Cabin comrades have not yet endorsed John McCain, nor do they guarantee they will. The group is, however, having “productive” conversations with the campaign. And they’ve definitely go their work cut out for them.