Waymon Hudson

The Danger of McCain

Filed By Waymon Hudson | April 23, 2008 11:50 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: John McCain, Supreme Court

Many are all atwitter trying to spin for their Democratic candidate today. They continue the in-party attacks and have taken their eyes off the big prize. While we bruise up each other, we are leaving a dangerous candidate to tour the country, redefine himself, and waltz into the White House.

What we must remember is that John McCain will not just be President. He will get to put forward cabinet members, advisors and potential judicial nominations. The most important of these could be his nominations for the Supreme Court.

We have seen the damage that can be done on the court with Bush's nominations. Young, conservative, and antigay, they will be around to stop forward social movement for years to come.

And McCain will have the same effect.

A gay, conservative political science professor named Christopher Latimer had this to say about why John McCain remains the most dangerous candidate for our community and all progressive social justice movements:

Even if McCain is not actively hostile toward the LGBT community, his cabinet and judicial appointments could have a far greater impact than opposition to a ban on same-sex marriage.

McCain's selection of attorney general would be significant. The attorney general is the final arbiter when it comes to pursuing legal discrimination claims. Given McCain's opposition to adding sexual orientation to the Federal Hate Crimes Bill or the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this could have far reaching effects.

The singular most important difference between a Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton presidency vs. a McCain presidency concerns the Supreme Court. McCain has expressed his disdain for activist judges and has praised President Bush for nominating individuals who strictly interpret the Constitution. This is code for conservative.

The last thing we need are more of these conservative judges who want to turn our country back into the 1950's "Leave it to Beaver" society- where women and minorities know their place and gays are back in the closet.

Many of the Supreme Court Justices that are progressive are on the verge of retiring, so the next President will have the chance to shape the court for generations to come and further tip the balance to conservative, religious based decision making. That is something we should all be mindful of.

So while I think that having a long primary for the Democratic candidate is fine, we must all remember not to destroy or weaken whatever candidate does win. There is far more at stake than Democratic egos. The power to reshape the court and redefine our country's laws is something that must not fall into McCain's hands.


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My only concern is if the justices rule according to law. That is their role.

Exactly, Michael. They should rule by the law- not personal religious or moral views, like Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts do. The Supreme Court’s role is to serve as a check and balance to the other branches, not a rubber stamp to a "moral majority".

McCain has said repeatedly that he would put up more Judges like this. We cannot let that happen.

OMG- if I have to sit through another nomination hearing it will be the death of me. The questions the Judicial Committee asked Alito and Roberts were so pointless, especially Barbara Boxer's. Why do I give a shit if this person supports regulating the sale of handguns under the inter-state commerce clause? Would asking questions about abortion and LGBTQ equality be more relevant to her constituents?

Obviously, I have a grudge to get over. But I think you're making an excellent point about McCain and I don't think the smell of Obama's shit or the color of Hillary's panty-hose is quite as important.

One of the other things that worries me about McCain is, quite frankly, his age. He gets the ability to choose his veep. He's a 4 time cancer survivor of advanced age. The job is one of the most stressful on the planet. The last president even around his age had Alzheimer's in office but it was kept from the public.

I don't want McCain to die in office and then McCain chose our President instead of the public. What happens if chooses Huckabee or Romney to appease the right and then has a heart attack a few months in or his cancer comes back?

I realize I'm opening up myself for abelist and ageist and probably some other ists, but it's something I've thought about.

Right on, Waymon! If McCain is elected (better than 60/40 in his favor right now, I'd say) and keeps his promise to let the fundies vet his nominees for federal judgeships, much of the progress we queers have made in the past four decades could quickly be erased. A couple of McCain appointees on the Supreme Court and Scalia could well realize his oft-articulated dream of overturning 'Lawrence v. Texas' - just one of many cases that have helped open the closet door and let us live as human beings in and full citizens of this country.

Waymon,

We have nothing to fear from actual strict constructionist justices on the Supreme Court. A strict constructionist will take something like DOMA and toss it out without a second thought. For my own part, I will not vote for Obama under any circumstance - so if he's the nominee I will be supporting McCain.

P.S. Your anti-McCain blog has an ad for McCain running in the middle of it.

Dauger-

We have "nothing to fear" from strict constructionist justices? How has that worked out with Scalia & his cohorts, with their horrendous views on everything from LGBT rights, privacy, a women's right to choose, executive power, and just about every other issue? I think we have everything to fear from those judges.

Law.com defines a "strict constructionist" as "interpreting the Constitution based on a literal and narrow definition of the language without reference to the differences in conditions when the Constitution was written and modern conditions, inventions and societal changes." Do we really want more judges stuck in the 1700's that view the constitution as a static document or do we want people that apply it as the living document it was intended to be?

and P.S. McCain could be sitting in my lap and I'd still be posting this "anti-McCain blog". I don't run the ads, I just tell it like it is.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 24, 2008 6:55 AM

I would add that Chief Justice Roberts referred to abortion rights as "decided law" during his confirmation hearings, but the court is willing now to listen to arguments to weaken a woman's right to choose.

Roberts grew up in my home town (well, I was in Michigan City and he was in Long Beach. I went to public school and he went to private catholic school)and his dad was an engineer in charge of a division of Bethlehem steel. My dad worked for the railroad. George W. referred to Roberts having "working class roots" when he nominated him.

I was furious because he allowed his nomination to begin with a lie.

I've been saying it all along, it's like that song "Paper Planes" from MIA: McCain just cares about two things, BANG BANG BANG BANG and KA-CHING!

He doesn't care about those social issues, and it's funny how some gay republicans use that as a positive. Um, no, he doesn't care either way so he's just going to let the Religious Right control all that junk so he can get what he really wants: more war and more money.

We have Supeme Court Justices now giving speeches about how they oppose certain issues, such as gay rights, and who will later have the ability to vote on cases involving those rights.

Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Roberts are NOT strict constructionists.
They are engaging in judicial social engineering to the same extent that they accuse Liberal judges of doing.