Wednesday, March 12, 2008

John McCain, Inconsistent, Maverick Whatever

Brendan Nyhan summarizes new research on John McCain under the tag “John McCain’s inconsistent voting record” (link). This is good and interesting stuff, but I don’t think “inconsistent” quite captures it (nor, FWIW, the alternate tag, “maverick”). The researcher’s main point is that McCain tracks poorly in terms of their models; they speak of how his views “evolve.”

For my money, McCain is just a radically unreflective guy who believes whatever he believes because he believes it, and wild horses won’t make him think that there is anything that needs explanation or justification—particularly not any supposed incoherence between what he believes right now with what he believed 20 minutes ago.

In his unreflectiveness, he’s a lot like another president we have known all too well, and for too long. But the differences are worth noting. One: McCain does, indeed, change his views, and indeed with no obvious pattern—more like a kind of Brownian motion or random walk. Two, for all his brash, ornery, Naval-Academy hubba hubba, I think he has at least a few shreds of human decency in him and that in itself, at the moment, sounds refreshing.

Oy, how little we settle for. Talk about defining leadership down.

H/T: Tyler Cowen

1 comment:

scottwww said...

Panama John

Since Senator John McCain was not born "in the United States" he is not a natural born Citizen of the United States and therefore is not eligible to the Office of President.

It's really quite simple, and only needs further explanation because the general consensus of politicians and the media has been to duck the issue. All evidence supports the conclusion seen in the topic sentence. Sources that support this conclusion include the U.S. Constitution which is the supreme law of the land, The Naturalization Act of 1790, The Naturalization Act of 1795, and the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty ratified for the construction and operation of the Panama Canal Zone.

John McCain was born on the sovereign territory of the Republic of Panama to U.S. citizen parents. McCain is a United States citizen due to parentage, not naturally by reason of birth on U.S. soil which is a basic constitutional requirement.

The ineligibility of John McCain to serve as president may not prevent his run for the office. However, he cannot hold the office. If he were elected president, legal challenges would be inevitable.

Without an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it is unlikely the Supreme Court of the United States could rule in McCain's favor except by legislating from the bench. The more conservative side of the Republican party has typically represented the case for separation of powers with a louder voice than the more liberal side of the Democrat party. Have conservatives been gagged?

The sidestepping of this critical issue in the media, by the politicians, and the political parties is alarming and may lead to a national crisis in the event of a McCain win in the general election.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 that changed the definition for natural born citizen to include parentage was repealed by the Naturalization Act of 1795. Since then the constitutional requirement has not again been broadened to include parentage in the definition of natural born Citizen.

For more detail see