After reading this transcript from today’s Glenn Beck show, I now understand the wisdom of John McCain being the GOP presidential nominee.

STU: Why aren’t you happy? Big primary last night. We had to talk about Republican issues.
GLENN: John McCain won.
STU: Yeah, John McCain, Republican, frontrunner.
GLENN: We’re the Republican radio station.
STU: I know, I know. And John McCain’s Republican. Look at the odds right after his bid.
GLENN: What did you say?
STU: The Rs right after his name.
GLENN: But he is not really a Republican.
STU: No, I said John McCain, R.
GLENN: Have you seen his amnesty proposal?
STU: I know, it’s fantastic. I now love it.
GLENN: What do you mean you now love it?
STU: I now love it. It’s going to be great. The —
GLENN: We were on the air for months hating it.
STU: No, it was —
GLENN: This guy was in charge of the amnesty program. He partnered with Ted Kennedy.
STU: Yeah, I know. We love partnering with Ted Kennedy. I think this is the future of the party.
GLENN: You know who Juan Hernandez is, right?
STU: Oh, Juan, he is a great whopper. He is going to be fantastic.
GLENN: You hated Juan Hernandez. Juan Hernandez is the guy who says there should be one great state, Mex-Ameri-Canada. He says that Canada and Mexico and the United States should just all get together, once a Mexican, always a Mexican.
STU: This is ridiculous. You are talking about yesterday when I said that?
GLENN: What?
STU: You’re talking about yesterday when I said I didn’t like Juan Hernandez.
GLENN: Yes.
STU: This is today. John McCain won last night. Now I love him. I need you to get a little bit more pep in your voice when you are doing these breaks. These songs are way down key. They are low-key. People are excited today to vote for John McCain for President.
GLENN: Hang on. Hey, that’s the eagles and desperado on WGOP radio where, whoo, cowboy, John McCain won last night. And I mean, it’s — hey. Maybe Joe Lieberman could run with him because they’re good buddies, too. Joe Lieberman and John McCain and wouldn’t that be, you know, the whole global warming thing. They will be on top of that one with John McCain in the White House. And congratulations from all of us here at WGOP where the party goes on.

How can you argue against Stu’s logic? After all, isn’t it time that we just set aside our core beliefs for the good of the party? Just because our core beliefs have stood the test of time doesn’t mean that they’ll forever stand the test of time, right? Isn’t it better to agree with the latest opinion poll than agree with time-tested principles like federalism, limited government and sovereignty?

Seriously, though, Glenn’s and Stu’s mock conversation is being conducted all across the United States. People haven’t seen proof that Republicans still have a set of core values. People haven’t seen proof that Republicans stand for something other than being in the majority. The truth is that Reaganite conservatives stand for something quite different than Democrats.

Earlier tonight, I had the good furtune of talking with King. While the conversation started about the upcoming precince caucuses, it soon moved into talk about McCain, Romney and the future of the GOP. One quick point of agreement was that anyone who says that they’re a Reagan Republican should be disqualified from being the GOP presidential nominee. The only top tier candidate who didn’t claim to be created in Reagan’s image was Fred Thompson, the candidate who was most like Reagan philosophically.

According to CNN’s transcript of tonight’s debate, here’s the final exchange between Anderson Cooper and John McCain:

COOPER: Senator McCain, would Ronald Reagan endorse you?

MCCAIN: Ronald Reagan would not approve of someone who changes their positions depending on what the year is.

Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan came with an unshakable set of principles, and there were many times, like when he had to deploy the [Pershing] cruise missile to Europe and there were hundreds of thousands of demonstrators against it, he stood with it. Ronald Reagan had a deal in Reykjavik that everybody wanted him to take, but he stuck with his principles.

I think he knows that I stick with my principles. I put my political career on the line because I knew what would happen if we failed in Iraq. I hope that the experience I had serving as a foot soldier in his revolution would make him proud for me to continue that legacy of sticking to principle and doing what you believe in, no matter what.

It’s interesting that McCain started with a cheapshot at Mitt Romney, violating Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment. I can’t imagine him gaining points with that.

McCain then gave a telling answer, saying only that Reagan “came with an unshakable set of principles.” It’s interesting because Reagan’s “unshakable set of principles” were rooted in the Constitution, including the First Amendment. Not only is it true that McCain won’t back away from BCRA, he wants to ‘strengthen it.’ I’d bet the ranch that Ronald Reagan would’ve swatted BCRA aside the second it hit his desk.

More importantly, Reagan was steadfast because Reagan’s principles were honed over several decades, rigorous debates and constant observation of the economy and the Soviet Union. People viewed Reagan as an “amiable dunce.” McCain doesn’t want to talk about what principles Ronald Reagan held because they frequently would be at odds with the principles that McCain holds dear.

I suppose it’s good news that Sen. McCain is a politician that sticks with his principles. The’res no doubt that the bad news is that Sen. McCain stubbornly defends principles that any federalist, including Reagan, would’ve run from.

The other thing I took from Wednesday’s debate is that McCain was his usual smug self. Bill Bennett correctly stated afterwards that McCain is still evasive:

BENNETT: But Anderson, you pressed McCain on this question of immigration, because he answered three times, my bill will not come up; that legislation would not come up. But you asked, or someone asked, would you support it again. And he finally did say, I think he said no. On the five or six big issues that people try to tag John McCain as being liberal, immigration, campaign finance down the line, he doesn’t respond to those. What he says is well, I’ve got a record. I’ve got a life.

MARTIN: Actually, he did respond, Bill. What he consistently said was, look, the American people let their voice be heard. That’s not going to come up. So that sounds like someone who said look, I have ideas.

BENNETT: Let me finish my point. On those five or six issues, he tends to throw up this cloud of, I am who I am. I have served my country. The point I want to make here is that people want real answers to those question. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t. And he has to watch a kind of moral superiority. Look, I’m John McCain. Everybody admires the hero thing, but it doesn’t constitute an answer to some hard questions.

The truth is that McCain is too often evasive on the stickiest of subjects. He clearly doesn’t like talking about the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill. If you look at the video, he gets visibly defensive anytime he’s asked about it.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

3 Responses to “Three Cheers For John McCain”

  • walter hanson says:

    one thing I noticed in the debate.
    Mccain gave Rommey a lecture that the answer to the concept of a timetable was a “No” and should’ve have been considered.

    Give that standard:

    * Why did he propose Mccain-feingold since that was suppose to be an automatic no

    * Why did he even propose the amnesty.

    Do I need to go on? A man with principals like Reagan would’ve never proposed these let alone needed to be corrected.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • TitanTrader says:

    I see after months of bashing Romney, you finally have come around, I heard you on “the final word”. Too bad it’s to late to stop the Not-so-straight-talk express. I also heard you not committing to vote for McLame after he wins this nomination. Which is fine, I will never vote for the man. My real problem is all these radio host’s and bloggers who, within a few days will be claiming we now all need to jump aboard. I am going to find that very insulting.

    Gary, you seem like a great guy and I am not just picking on you. But, thanks to everyone ripping on Romney we are stuck with McAmnesty and the whole ticket will suffer, all because these so called smartest people in the party couldn’t see what I saw 12 months ago. And that was that Romney was our best choice to rallying the base. Now were screwed.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Titan, Don’t be such a fatalist. It ain’t over by a long shot.

    BTW, had people paid attention to the policies that Fred Thompson had, they would’ve rallied around him, not Mitt.

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