The Instigator
wingnut2280
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
cody30228
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

John McCain is not a conservative

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,465 times Debate No: 2623
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (6)

 

wingnut2280

Pro

John McCain is not a conservative and should barely be considered a republican. I'm so sick of him crying out for my support just because he has an R after his name. McCain is continually and extremely liberal on all of the major issues that conservatives care about with the exception of life.

On amnesty, McCain-Kennedy took one of the most liberal positions possible on the issue, allowing over 20 million illegal immigrants safe passage to easy citizenship.

On tax cuts, McCain is the only Republican running not for making the Bush tax cuts permanent. He has also voted to raise taxes numerous times and is in favor of keeping the death tax.

These are just a few examples. Whether or not you agree with conservatives is not the question. I just want to know how McCain can justify appealing to conservatives on anything more than the 'lesser of two evils' plea.
cody30228

Con

John McCain is a conservative, and here is why
1.economy
he voted down the Bush tax cuts because he believed that it did not reduce spending. he pushed a plan that lowered taxes and spending. this is his fiscal policy. It focuses on lowering government spending and taxes. this is a conservative viewpoint
http://www.johnmccain.com...

2.amnesty
john mccain has a moderate stance on immigration. he supports the republican great wall of america (c). he supports a more advanced border. both of these are conservative stances. what mccain supports is not amnesty, but advancement. He wants education for children and cheap labor for businesses ( which is most definitely a conservative stance )He supports immigration, but wants legal immigration. the die-hard core republican stance ( which i belong) believes in NO amnesty, which means deporting children in school, cheap labor, and those that need medicine help. this is a dark mark on republicans that borders on inhumane and UNAMERICAN.

When looking at john mccain, he is a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. he is not liberal, but American. if this is the best argument you can make, then i feel you do not understand what it means to be conservative.
Debate Round No. 1
wingnut2280

Pro

Economy-
McCain does have a good record of being fiscally conservative and has run his entire campaign on cutting pork. However, McCain holds several ideals that are blatantly not conservative. For instance, he favors cap-and-trade and organizations that restrict free trade, like NAFTA. McCain wants to keep the death and estate taxes, unlike EVERY conservative. He is fiscally responsible, but that isn't enough to make him a conservative on the economy.

Immigration-
Everyone from Hillary to Fred wants to secure the border first. This isn't a conservative principle but a universal one. McCain-Kennedy gave amnesty to 20 million illegal immigrants. Whatever you want to call it, it gives illegals a special path to citizenship, which is amnesty. Whether or not the conservatives are right, McCain isn't one of them. That is the topic.

There are a slew of issues where McCain is liberal that we haven't even mentioned.

Judge Appointments-
McCain was part of the notorious 'Gang of 14', which denied Bush's court appointments an up or down vote and supported the Democrats move toward using filibusters on appointees.

Free Speech-
McCain-Feingold limited individual rights and states rights. It slapped federal restraints on the abilities of individuals to donate money to their causes while not doing much to stop the donations from PACs and lobbyists.

Foreign Policy-
While McCain supports the surge and makes a lot of conservative headway there, the majority of his views are non-conservative. He is for shutting down Guantanamo and ending torture completely. Again, whether or not you agree isn't the question, but rather, whether or not he is conservative.

Record-
We keep hearing from the McCain camp that he has this great conservative voting record of something like an 85% lifetime from the American Conservative Union. But, look at his recent record. Last year, McCain had a 65, third lowest amongst Republicans only beating out Arlen Specter. We hear that he has continually crossed the aisle to get things done, which would be great. But, when does McCain bring Dems to the conservative cause? McCain has continually taken liberal positions, especially on bills that he has personally championed, like Kennedy and Feingold as well as his work with Leiberman. Why doesn't the Senator pull the cause the other way sometimes? He has to take more conservative positions because he is from a red state. If McCain was from a purple or blue state he might just have a D after his name.
cody30228

Con

Economy-
First, I would like to address the estate tax. So EVERY conservative votes down the estate(death) tax? This is a direct quote from McCain
"I am concerned that repeal of the estate tax would provide massive benefits solely to the wealthiest and highest-income taxpayers in the country. A Treasury Department study found that almost no estate tax has been paid by lower- and middle-income taxpayers. But taxes have been paid on the estates of people who were in the highest 20% of the income distribution at the time of their death. It found that 91% of all estate taxes are paid by the estates of people whose annual income exceeded $190,000 around the time of their death. …"
McCain's reason for supporting the estate tax is a conservative reason. He thinks the estate tax only taxes the rich and not the poor. If this is true, his reasoning is conservative. Notice, conservatives have no problem taxing the rich as long as the poor isn't taxed as well. Furthermore, let's look at NAFTA

In this interview, McCain supports free trade and NAFTA. Now, you think NAFTA restricts free trade? Here is the first tip off that you are wrong. NA Free Trade A.
The purpose of NAFTA is free trade. It's primary job was removing tariffs from the NAFTA members and increasing trade. McCain supported NAFTA (free trade). How else is McCain uber conservative in the economy…
http://www.johnmccain.com...
Read this and learn…oh wait, I already told you to read this. Did you? Apparently not if you still think McCain is not conservative enough with the economy.

Immigration-
Amnesty? Is that what you're calling it? I read the outlines of the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Plan. Amnesty is the granting of citizenship automatically. The McCain-Kennedy Plan allows immigrants to apply for citizenship without returning home first. That doesn't mean 11 million illegals become citizens, it means they have an easier shot at becoming citizens quicker. And you think a conservative has never supported a lenient immigration plan? Ronald Reagan (and if you tell me he isn't conservative you obviously do not know what a conservative is) passed the Immigration and Reform Act that granted legal residency to illegal aliens. McCain is following the same path as the so-called father of the republican party. If you listened to any of the debates, McCain clearly said he supports citizenship for those that deserve it, but would never support amnesty.

Judge Appointments-
Half of your argument here is accurate. McCain was part of the Gang of 14. He did not, however, support democratic filibustering. The Gang of 14 agreed on was stopping republicans from gaining simple majority and democrats from filibustering. The senate count was 55-45. Reps needed 51 for majority and Dems needed 41 to filibuster. The Gang of 14 had 7 Republicans and 7 Democrats so yje count dropped to 48-38. Thus, neither party was helped. This is not a liberal move, it is a moderate move. You, as the resolution claims, need to prove how McCain is liberal. Proving he is moderate or proving that he can put partisan issues aside to do what was best for the country does not prove he is liberal. Notice, 6 other conservatives were on the Gang of 14.

Free Speech/RTBA-
Wow, McCain-Feingold? How much do you know about the McCain-Feingold or BCRA? It's a campaign reform act (hence the CRA). It was made to address two issues. First, it was enforcing a CURRENT law that people can not donate too much money to campaigns. There is a federal cap that was ignored and the BCRA tried to enforce it. The second thing it really did was force candidates to sponsor ads and not random corporations. He does nothing else to ban Free Speech. Actually, he supports many Bill of Rights rights. He supports the right to bear arms, a VERY conservative position. The support of the RTBA is very conservative and makes it almost impossible to make him liberal.

Foreign Policy-
Lets, see, what you are referring to here is the McCain Detainee Amendment. It does not work to close Guantanamo Bay. It does make torture illegal to some extent. It forces FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation to be the sole interrogator. This simply means the army has to follow its OWN manual. His stance against torture can be attributed to the fact that when a POW he was subjected to torture. Maybe this is personal, not political. What you exclude from foreign policy is the Detainee Amendment also denies Habeas Corpus to those in Guantanamo. That sounds conservative to me. You claim the majority of his views are not conservative. You give one. He supports Iraq, the troop surge. He supports sending troops to Afghanistan and other middle eastern countries. He supports aggressive foreign policy modeling that of Reagan. His foreign policy speaks volumes about how conservative he is.

Record-
Your last point has no real impact. He was ranked lowly on conservative scales. Does this make him not conservative? It means he isn't a perfect conservative. But no one. Reagan once was a democrat. I have already showed how his stance on Senate bills were not liberal. He cannot possible take ANYMORE conservative positions on the economy. If he is, as you said, simply taking conservative stances because he is from a red-state, then why would he be such a staunch fiscal conservative? It makes no sense. McCain is always conservative or moderate, but never liberal.
Debate Round No. 2
wingnut2280

Pro

Economy-
So, McCain supports keeping unfair taxes around. The estate tax definately taxes the rich more heavily than the poor. I thought conservatives were for lower taxes across the board and taking the government out of the economy. Just because it would benefit the rich doesn't mean it isn't an unfair tax burden. Conservatives are against heavy tax burdens, McCain is not.

What about other things like the death tax? McCain is status quo on a lot of these issues. While I admit, he does have a good record and position on most economic issues, he isn't as conservative as other republicans. I'm not denying that he is fiscally responsible when it comes to spending, but on the economy he isn't as conservative as he could be or as his republican fellows are.

Immigration-
Conservatives are against special paths to citizenship for illegals. Sure, McCain-Kennedy didn't directly and immediately provide citizenship, but it did allow for the undermining of our laws and give them a special route to becoming citizens. A conservative would be staunch on the issue, not giving indirect amnesty, however you want to spin it. Despite common conception, Reagan isn't the montra for conservatives. While he did do a lot in the way of furthering conservatism, not EVERY position Reagan took was a conservative one. McCain championed a bill that directly undermined conservative efforts on the issue.

Judge Appointments-
I just need to prove that McCain is not a conservative. Being part of the Gang of 14 dropped support for Bush's nominees. It deprived Congress of an up or down vote on judges now and in the future by promoting the right to filibuster. Conservatives were making a move to ban filibusters on judges on the whole. McCain not only didn't support the judges but undermined conservative efforts yet again. Don't confuse Republicans with conservatives, there is a distinction.

Rights-
McCain-Feingold limited the amount of money someone can donate to their own cause or a cause they believe in. It places caps on individuals donations as well as caps on how much people can donate to their own campaign. The right to bear arms is a conservative position. I'm not saying McCain has NO conservative positions. I'm merely pointing out that on most contreversial or difficult issues, McCain has abandoned the conservative cause. Every Republican or conservative can take positions like supporting the RTBA or fiscal conservativism, but how well and to what degree they support them is where McCain struggles.

Foreign Policy-
He has personally mentioned shutting down Guantanamo, even if that particular ammendment didn't purport it, which is contentious. He has strong points here, but again, isn't as conservative as he should be to be considered a conservative. He is against torture and guantanamo. Here again, we see McCain take the easy Republican and conservative postions, like supporting the war on terror, while taking non-conservative positions on difficult issues, like torture and guantanamo.

Record-
You don't answer the most important argument of the debate. His record. How does the lowest conservative rating not matter. We can argue the conservatism of his positions, but the fact is, the ACU has already done it for us. His rating tells us exactly how much conservatives agree with his voting record. This PROVES he isn't conservative. Again, playing the Reagan card. How does his record not matter? He is less conservative than EVERY other conservative in Congress. The fact that he is from a red-state ties his hands and somewhat forces him to take conservative positions on easy issues like RTBA and things like that. When we look at the bills he is passionate about, the ones he champions, he undermines the conservative cause on nearly everyone. He is quick to jump the aisle and support the liberal cause, but NEVER brings people the other way.
cody30228

Con

Economy-
I am confused. You state McCain is not conservative enough on economy yet name only one issue. You ignored McCain's reasoning to the estate tax. He thinks a repealing of the estate tax further perpetuates unfair taxation. He may be wrong, but his reasoning behind supporting the estate tax is he wants to lower unfair taxation. This is conservative reasoning. Furthermore, the estate tax is NOT a heavy burden. So far he is very conservative. Not to mention you ignored by Free Trade argument.

Immigration-
First, the Reagan issue. Ronald Reagan is called THE republican, THE conservative. So he is not 100% conservative, does that mean he is not conservative. My claiming this, you just made it easier for me. McCain doesn't have to be 100% conservative to be conservative.
Second, you are mistaken to think conservatives are staunchly against immigration and making it easier. Conservatives are against illegal immigration, but not against legal immigration. (that would be un-american). Why would conservatives be against making legal immigration easier? This is what McCain supports.

Judge Appointments-
"Don't confuse Republicans with conservatives"
So McCain not voting republican should be a non-issue right?
McCain, if you read what I said, by being in the Gang of 14, stopped the democrats from fillibustering.
"Conservatives were making a move to ban filibusters on judges on the whole"
You just proved McCain was conservative.

Rights-
The right to bear arms is more pressing than campaign donations. McCain supports the more controversial issue as a conservative. So he has not, as you say, abandoned the cause. However, the right to donate money is not really a "right". I don't see how stopping people from effectively lobbying is a liberal stance.

Foreign Policy-
Torture. He doesn't support it. Why? Because he was tortured as a POW. But fine, he does not take the most conservative stance on torture.He takes the most conservative stance on the LARGER issue...war. So he is not 100% conservative. This does not make him not conservative.

Record-
His record does not matter because we are not debating what the ACU thinks he is but what we think he is. He can be 99% conservative and 50 be 100% while 50 are 0%. He is still conservative. He was actually ranked in the 80's on the ACU scale. He was actually, in your ranking, about mid-way between conservatives in congress. Get your facts straight sir.
What is the number one thing we see McCain championing. The troop surge in Iraq. Lower Spending and Taxes. Border wall. His top three are all conservative.
Debate Round No. 3
wingnut2280

Pro

wingnut2280 forfeited this round.
cody30228

Con

Seeing as my opponent did not respond, let me reiterate why McCain is a conservative

economy - conservative
War On Terror - conservative
2nd amendment - conservative
border patrol - conservative
abortion - conservative
same sex marriage - conservative
free trade - conservative
filibustering - conservative

John McCain is very much a conservative by looking at his stance on the issues.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
Names are deceiving.

The Patriot Act?
No Child Left Behind?

They both have good sounding names, but that's all they have going for them Same as NAFTA.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
"organizations that restrict free trade, like NAFTA."

The North American FREE TRADE Association restricts free trade? Yeah... PRO, logic is a really cool thing to use sometimes.
Posted by mattresses 9 years ago
mattresses
i don't feel like debating this, but mccain is a liberal conservative.

if he was a little less conservative, he would be a conservative liberal. unfortunately, he is not that liberal.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
No crap. Is this 25 characters yet?
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Sherlock_HolmesXXI 7 years ago
Sherlock_HolmesXXI
wingnut2280cody30228Tied
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Vote Placed by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
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wingnut2280cody30228Tied
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Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
wingnut2280cody30228Tied
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Vote Placed by SportsGuru 8 years ago
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wingnut2280cody30228Tied
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Vote Placed by Aewl1963 9 years ago
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wingnut2280cody30228Tied
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Vote Placed by cody30228 9 years ago
cody30228
wingnut2280cody30228Tied
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