Sen. John McCain today laid out his domestic agenda in a speech before the Oklahoma State legislature.
The speech is noteworthy for two topics not mentioned by the Senator. First, he makes no promises about additional restrictions on campaign finance. Of course, he also does not promise any liberalizing reforms of government oversight of campaign spending, reforms that might appeal to Republican primary voters.
Senator McCain also omits any concrete proposals about cutting back the federal government. To be sure, he promises a government that is smaller and more efficient. He just does not say specifically what spending will be cut and which programs will be eliminated. He does promise to spend more on the federal workforce. That does not seem likely to lead to a smaller federal government.
McCain praises business and suggests the federal government can become more like successful firms. He does not mention, however, how the burden of taxation might be eased on individuals and the businesses they create and manage.
“Reform” appears to be the theme of Sen. McCain’s domestic agenda. This brings to mind his hero, Teddy Roosevelt, hardly a exemplar of limited constitutional government. Perhaps we should be thankful that Sen. McCain has forsaken for now “reforms” like McCain-Feingold.
But it is hard to avoid the conclusion that McCain has given up on the idea of cutting back government in favor of individual liberty. He wants instead a government run by people animated by “higher aspirations” and “dedication to the national interest.” In other words, Sen. McCain is a big government conservative without qualifications.