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This page contains a single entry by Westley Annis published on September 20, 2008 3:21 PM.

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Would McCain Equal a Third Term for Bush?

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Since the Democrat Party and Barack Obama started spouting this out after Senator John McCain won the GOP primary, I've been wondering if this would really be true. John Lott, a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, wrote an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer that questions if the Obama campaign can back up its claim.

Before McCain announced Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, conservatives, such as myself, were bemoaning the fact that this election cycle would leave us with a choice of either two liberals (McCain versus Senator Hillary Clinton) or a liberal and a socialist (McCain/Obama).

Before even looking at the facts that Lott exposes in his research, I was wondering how anyone could ever think that McCain would be a repeat of President George W. Bush. Back in 1988, at the end of President Ronald Reagan's second term, then Vice-President George H. W. Bush won against Michael Dukakis on the belief that he would continue the practices of President Reagan. Although they disagreed with each other during the primaries of the 1980 campaign, H. W. Bush served under Reagan for eight years and many had hoped he learned the lessons of Reagan Conservatism.

Unfortunately, America found out the hard way the H. W. Bush was not a third term for Reagan and Bill Clinton was ushered into office.

Sen. McCain does not have the working relationship with G. W. Bush that H. W. Bush had with Reagan. Unless ideology is your focusing lens, there is no way to make the jump that McCain would amount to a third term for G. W. Bush.

Let's look at the research from John Lott.

According to Lott, the Obama campaign is touting that McCain voted in line with G. W. Bush's policies 90 percent of the time, using figures from Congressional Quarterly. But, as Washington Post reporter Jonathan Weisman explains, "The vast majority of those votes are procedural, and virtually every member of Congress votes with his or her leadership on procedural motions."

Using Congressional Quarterly, Obama has voted 97 percent of the time in line with his party masters.

Mr. Lott went to several well-known partisan organizations, such as the American Conservative Union (conservative), the Americans for Democratic Action (liberal), and the National Journal (non-partisan), that ranked politicians on how they voted according to issues that mattered most to each party.

From 2001 - 2007, the time G. W. Bush has been in office, "McCain to the left of most Republican senators and to the right of most Democratic senators - though usually much closer to the average Republican."

Each of the organizations listed above, along with the League of Conservation Voters, ranks the members of the Senate on how conservative or liberal they are. McCain's average score among the four of them is 47th. There were numerous votes on taxes, environment, campaign-finance, gun control in which the Senate was tied because of McCain's vote and Vice-President Dick Cheney had to cast the deciding vote.

As Mr. Lott says at end of his column, "In contrast to the very liberal ratings given to Obama, the interest groups find that there are about as many senators to McCain's right as there are to his left. This might not endear him to many conservatives or liberals. But it is a real distortion to claim he is a Bush clone."

Mr. Lott can be reached via email at jlott@umd.edu
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