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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 19, 2006 / 20 Nissan, 5766

Maverick McCain is now ideological wuss?

By Robert Robb

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | John McCain is being pummeled by the national media for supposedly abandoning his maverick "Straight Talk Express" ways to pander to conservatives.

Critics haven't bothered to explain exactly how one becomes the Republican nominee to be president without appealing to Republican primary voters, who tend to be conservative.

But what about the charge, that McCain is abandoning his core essence in his quest to become president?

Presumably there is nothing wrong with McCain going to conservatives and saying, Look, here's who I am. I think you should think better of me than you do.

The only possible reason to criticize McCain for doing that is if appealing to conservatives is per se a sin, which undoubtedly some of McCain's disillusioned media critics regard it as being.

The hypocrisy would be if McCain is changing who he is to appeal to conservatives, or misrepresenting himself to them.

There are two items most frequently cited to make the claim that McCain is engaged in political hypocrisy: that he voted against the Bush tax cuts but is now supporting their extension; and that he has agreed to speak to Jerry Falwell's Liberty University after sharply criticizing him during the 2000 presidential campaign.

There are two respectable strands of economic conservatism. The growth-oriented strand, often (regrettably) called supply-side, holds that the most important thing in fiscal policy is for the government to remove disincentives to productive economic behavior, such as work, thrift and investment. The other holds that the most important thing is for the federal government to stop deficit spending.

Prior to running for president, McCain was a conventional supporter of Reaganomics, which gave priority to removing disincentives to productive economic behavior. When McCain ran for president, however, he gave priority to reducing the deficit. In opposing the Bush tax cuts, he also indulged in redistributionist sentiments at odds with his previous support of Reagan's tax policies.

Now, there is a perfectly respectable economic argument as to why even those who initially opposed the Bush tax cuts should support their extension. As former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, a McCain economic icon, has pointed out, the lower rates have now become a part of investor expectations. Disrupting them would have adverse economic consequences.

It's doubtful, however, that this is a full explanation of McCain's support for extending Bush's tax cuts. On economic issues, he seems a bit at sea. That, however, hardly constitutes an abandonment of core principles to gain votes.

McCain's speech after the South Carolina primary, in which he denounced Falwell and Pat Robertson, was odd and unnecessarily politically injurious, given that McCain has, throughout his political career, generally supported social conservative causes. While McCain tried to be targeted in his criticism, his remarks were widely taken as an attack on the influence of social conservatives generally in Republican politics.

Now, there are those in the national media who believe that social conservatives should be politically ostracized. That's why they want to regard McCain's speech denouncing Falwell and others as part of his core rather than as an aberration, giving vent to his wrath over tactics used against him in South Carolina.

Social conservatives, however, are a quarter to a third of the electorate, too big to be politically ostracized, particularly by a candidate with a voting record generally agreeable to them.

It's remarkable that the national media are fretting that McCain has abandoned his maverick ways, given what issue is center stage nationally and McCain's role in it. Leading the fight to give legal status to illegal immigrants and allow a lot more low-skilled immigrants into the country each year with a pathway to citizenship is hardly pandering to the populist conservative base in the Republican Party.

Some are saying that the national media are just discovering that McCain is, gasp, a conservative. But that's not quite right either.

Conservatives tend to have a priori principles that guide their positions on issues. McCain does not appear to approach issues this way. Instead, he seems to be an instinctual politician, with unpredictable results.

McCain hardly seems to be hiding this from conservatives. While he is courting them, he's also pushing not only for a liberal immigration policy, but also for more government regulation of political speech and caps on domestic production of greenhouse gases.

Instead, McCain appears to want conservatives to know him better and find him more acceptable. He probably hopes that, faced with the prospect of President Hillary, they will find him a lot lovelier. That's not a bad bet. And it's not pandering; it's selling.

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JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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