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January 19, 2006
Does John McCain Stand For Anything?

Senator John McCain, widely expected to run for President in 2008 and likely to garner significant support, has a reputation in the media as both a conservative and a "maverick" for opposition to his party's policies. He legitimized the Gang of 14 rebellion in the Senate last year and extended the standoff over Senate filibusters. McCain also pushed through one of the worst pieces of legislation ever to come out of Congress -- the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which violates the First Amendment by curtailing political speech by every organization except newspapers within 60 days of an election. He teamed up with George Soros and sucked up a lot of money for himself and his staff in that effort to end checkbook politics.

Despite all of this, McCain still carries the patina of conservativism due to his staunch pro-life views. Or does he? In a new development, it seems that McCain has now aligned himself with a new movement to bolster pro-choice Republicans. Christine Todd Whitman started IMP-PAC as an adjunct to her book, It's My Party, Too, and an effort to expand the influence of pro-choicers. The strategic partners for IMP-PAC include Planned Parenthood, two different Republican pro-choice groups, and WISH List, which supports pro-choice women for Republican primaries. According to the National Review's Kelly Conway, John McCain has joined its advisory board:

Whitman is trawling for dollars to help her new “It’s My Party Too PAC” (“IMP-PAC”), which shares the name (and the anti-conservative drumbeat) of a book she wrote that was released a year ago. IMP-PAC is described in the letter as “a political action committee, a movement really, dedicated to supporting fiscally conservative, socially progressive moderate Republican candidates at all levels of government.”

One of IMP-PAC’s beefs is with opponents of embryonic stem cell research who, the letter claims, ruined U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s presidential aspirations when he changed his position on stem cells and announced support for increased government funding for it. As a member of the IMP-PAC Steering Committee, the letter suggests, you might rub shoulders with such members of its Advisory Board as former President Gerald Ford, former U.S. Senator Bob Dole and Senator John McCain.

Does Senator McCain stand for anything except elections any more? Is there any there there, or is McCain now merely the Chauncy Gardener of American politics with a keener intellect, willing to reflect whatever it takes to get more power for himself?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 19, 2006 6:32 AM

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Tracked on January 19, 2006 3:19 PM


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