Saturday, May 3, 2008
Ilya Somin questions Jonathan Rauch's claim that John McCain is a Burkean Conservative. I had the same skeptical reaction when I saw Rauch's article in the Atlantic.
At present, I still plan not to vote for McCain. There is just too much I dislike about him and his positions.
One issue where I have tended to agree with McCain is Iraq, but even there I gain little comfort. I supported the War in Iraq as a significant exception to my general opposition to intervention in other countries. I don't -- and never did -- favor intervening throughout the world to promote democracy or humanitarian aims. Like Charles Krauthammer, I supported Iraq, but opposed the intervention in Kosovo (as well as the Sudan, although I don't know what Krauthammer's view on Sudan was). My impression is that McCain would like to intervene in many other places if he could. So I am likely to disagree generally with McCain on military policy, even though we agree on Iraq. Whether I will vote for a third party candidate or not vote at all for the presidency, I am not sure.
Ilya does present the strongest argument for supporting McCain: the desire to promote divided government. If I do end up voting for McCain, that will be the reason. But I am not convinced that a limited period of government by Democrats will be bad -- in the long run -- for the Republic. As I have repeatedly argued, four years of Jimmy Carter made the Reagan and post Reagan boom possible, and two years of Bill Clinton and a democratic Congress made the Clinton-Gingrich boom possible.