Home Committed Conservative Views The McCain GOP Betrayal is Good for Conservatives and America

The McCain GOP Betrayal is Good for Conservatives and America

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Susan Walsh/AP

John McCain was a war hero.

Senator McCain is a reactionary and a remarkable underwhelming policy wonk.  He’s reliably self-centered, and his strategic, political decision-making is often muddled, confounding, and ineffective.    His willingness to work with and be used by smarter democrats has garnered him the main-stream media moniker of a “maverick.”  Maverick is code for republican sellout.

McCain betrayed his constituents to stick it to a President who personally insulted him.  What a statesman.  McCain has been running against Obamacare since 2010, and when he had a chance to cast the only vote that mattered on its repeal, he didn’t do it.  Why?  He hates Trump.

Here’s the irony. McCain might have inadvertently helped Trump, Republicans, Conservatives, and America.

Make no mistake, McCain is single-move, checkers’ player.  Any long-term, intricate, sophisticated, strategic advantage his political moves might have are purely accidental.  In this instance, republicans, and particularly conservatives … who are stuck voting for republicans … might be the primary beneficiaries of McCain’s betrayal and grandstanding. Go figure.

McCain: The Cafeteria Conservative

Given how this man works, it’s clear that his latest move isn’t a serious, long-term strategy to help the republicans or conservatives.  He’s no conservative.  McCain has always been a cafeteria conservative.  He picks the parts of conservatism that he enjoys most, ignores the fruits and vegetables, and will only be photographed with fellow diners when it suits him.

McCain’s latest betrayal was quintessentially about sticking it to Trump.  I even jokingly tweeted the night of the repeal vote why McCain was holding out.

Of course, long before he voted, I rightly tweeted out the expectation that he would disappoint republicans.

But … should the Republican party really be disappointed?  That is the central question that the GOP, Trump, the country, and even the #resistance should be asking.  I posit this theory, which ironically Mr. McCain may not like:

The McCain betrayal is likely to save the GOP majorities in the House and Senate, and because of that, it is likely to lead to a minimum of two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court for President Trump.

Here’s why I think so.

The amalgamation of voters who make up the dysfunctional republican party come from many factions.  The tent is larger than many realize.  For real conservatives, those of us outside the party, we have only one party for whom to vote. Because of that reality, the survival of the GOP is essential.  We may not want to be blamed for its ineptitude.  We may not like the association we have with it, and the perception that conservatives and republicans are one in the same.  And, we surely may not have any respect for its leadership.  Likewise, we may have lost nearly all influence inside that party.

If the GOP dies under Trump’s incompetence, real conservatives have nowhere to go.  We will be left wandering in the darkness for 50 years under despotic, left-wing rule.

For conservatives, the good news is … the republicans failed to repeal Obamacare. I know, that sounds strange.

For many Americans who have healthcare coverage and who find a way to pay for it, they don’t want to see people “lose their health insurance” by repealing Obamacare to “give tax cuts to the rich.”  Stupid as those arguments are, making those arguments is a cottage industry for democrats and the media.  Republicans after all, only propose legislation to steal from the poor, pollute the environment, subjugate women and minorities, and when possible, kill or starve old people. Taking away their healthcare is pretty tame, all things considered.

That’s reality … political reality.

Now … let’s talk about the real politics of it all from a conservative perspective.  Of course, committed conservatives want the ACA dead.  We want an American healthcare system based on free market, deregulated, consumer driven, competition.  Repeal and replace never offered us that.  The “skinny repeal” was a fat lie.

Yes, Obamacare lives … for now.  It is, however, on life support.  The prognosis for Obamacare is grim.

Let’s do the analysis that John McCain could never do.  In so doing, let’s understand why and how the democrats really lost in this failed vote.  Let’s also come to understand how McCain accidentally helped Trump, the Republicans, and Conservatives with his petulant vote.

What the democrats and the resistance need more than anything else is an election issue for 2018. 

To win back the House and/or the Senate, the democrats need an issue that excites, motivates, and infuriates their voters.  The democrats thrive on fear, whether it be by race, gender, sexual orientation, or class, democrats motivate their core supporters by insisting that evil republicans are taking away rights, oppressing, hurting, and exploiting people.

For the party insiders, they know, and they have always known that once Trump won they had to start a war on Trump to stop him.  That war would be to wound him first while they try to find some way to win back Congress.  Team Hillary and the media are working hard on the Russian collusion issue, but that dog isn’t going to hunt as a national issue in the 2018 Congressional races.  Democratic party insiders and consultants know this fact … the entire fight until 2020 is about the Supreme Court.  They also know they have lost two rounds.

This is why 2018 has been their target since the tears and shock of election morning.

The party not in power does tend to win seats in mid-terms, but to win the type of seats the democrats need to win a majority in 2018, they need a real issue.  It’s a non-Presidential year.   The voter turnout will be much lower, and democrats need their voters to turnout in much bigger numbers.  Democrats are most formidable in Presidential years because they raise more than a billion dollars to turnout voters for the perceived big election.

Elections are like Powerball.  When the prize money reaches 500 million or so, people pour out of the woodwork to stand in line for the “important” drawing.  The same people can’t be bothered to lineup for a mere 5 million.  That is how it goes with voting for Presidents versus voting for mere Congressman and Senators. Yet, every two years, the country could change party power if people cared to turn out and vote.

Russiagate isn’t going to drive democrats to the polls like a Powerball Presidential year.  It’s not.  Without a Presidential election, the media coverage, and the billions of dollars, tens of millions of registered voters just won’t show up.

However, if one party can really get the electorate mad, enough voters would show up to change the balance of power.  Both party leaders know this. They are always looking for that wedge issue.

What if you “took way” the healthcare from 22 million people?  That political act might have given the democrats the issue they needed excite their voters.  Just the lie about that issue Democrats would have told and the media would have repeated might have been enough.  When McCain voted to let down his party and constituents, and to flip off the man he loathes in the White House, he actually hurt the democrats.

The democrats were already pushing the “stealing healthcare,” narrative before the vote.

With McCain’s collaboration, however, he handed the hard-left a pyrrhic victory and at the same time handed the Democratic party a nearly certain mid-term defeat.

Do you know what that great political strategist McCain did?  He stole an issue from the democrats!  He also quite literally saved the Republicans.  Moreover, he put Obamacare on a collision course with failure, higher costs, and more dissatisfaction.  All of that would rest on a policy passed 100% by Democrats.

McCain didn’t hurt Trump … he likely saved him two majorities.

For conservatives … why does that matter?  It matters because a non-conservative Trump with a democratic Senate and House gives conservatives … and hence Americans … nothing.

A Republican Senate and House give Trump two essential ingredients to conservative happiness.  First, the House will stop any more creeping, left-wing, socialism.  Even if a GOP House passes nothing, it at least won’t be passing more leftist innovations like Obamacare.  At this stage of the Europeanization of America, that’s a win.

Far more importantly, however, if the Democrats fail to win back the Senate in 2018 … that gives conservatives two more shots at Gorsuch-like appointments.  It gives conservatives a real chance to have a true 6-3 majority on the high court.

Thank you … John McCain … you maverick you.  You are so smart!

John McCain was a war hero … and in this specific instance … we like our war heroes turned Senators to be vindictive, angry, reactionary, and disloyal to their party and President, which ultimately helps conservatives.  And, since conservatism is the last American, familial connection to our limited government, liberty loving republic, that’s a good thing.

Richard Kelsey

Author: Richard Kelsey

Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.

He is an Attorney, a former Assistant Law School Dean, Law Professor, and Virginia state court law clerk. Dean Kelsey was also the CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud. He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV.

Rich graduated from George Mason law school, clerked for the Arlington Circuit Court, and later joined an AM LAW top 10 law firm practicing commercial litigation. He left the firm to be counsel and CEO to a consulting firm, rising to CEO of Turiss, LLC, a technology firm specializing in computer forensics, digital investigations, and fighting cyber-fraud through civil intel services and new technologies. Upon the sale of the company, Kelsey returned to Mason Law, where in the years before his return, he both taught at the school and served as President of the Law Alumni Association. Kelsey was the Assistant Dean for Management and Planning.

At Mason, Dean Kelsey taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation. While serving the former George Mason Law, Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP.

Rich has appeared on radio, TV, and in print hundreds of times as both a legal expert and political and legal commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL. He writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com. He returned to private practice in September of 2016, and he is working on a book/expose on legal education.

In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.

Rich has many opinions, and they are his own. His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.

1 COMMENT

  1. Spot on – the CBO numbers would have energized democrats.

    What is going unnoticed here is the money, which is why it was highest/first on Trump’s list. With repeal, it freed tremendous sums of budget that could be used for building the wall, tax cuts, infrastructure and other priorities. Now Republicans are handcuffed, because if they enact their agenda, it will add to the deficit. Don’t be fooled, this was as much a budget issue as ideological.

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