McCain and the (Quote) Constitution (Unquote)

George Will is a touch concerned about Senator McCain’s willingness to dismiss the pesky 1st Amendment in his zeal for “reform.”

McCain hopes that in 2008 pro-life Republicans will remember his pro-life record. But they will know that, regarding presidents and abortion, what matters are Supreme Court nominees. McCain favors judges who think the Constitution is so radically elastic that government regulation of speech about itself is compatible with the First Amendment. So Republican primary voters will wonder: Can President McCain be counted on to nominate justices who would correct such constitutional elasticities as the court’s discovery of a virtually unlimited right — one unnoticed between 1787 and 1973 — to abortion?

McCain told Imus that he would, if necessary, sacrifice “quote First Amendment rights” to achieve “clean” government. If on Jan. 20, 2009, he were to swear to defend the Constitution, would he be thinking that the oath refers only to “the quote Constitution”? And what would that mean?

A fair question.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Congress, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DC Loser says:

    Okay, so the 1st Amendment can be thrown out too. Why not? The 4th Amendment has been whittled away already, what’s another one?

  2. RJN says:

    I have thought of Sen. McCain as the Manchurian Candidate for many years. I can’t shake it. I can’t be alone in this, can I?

  3. DC Loser says:

    Well, in McCain’s case, he would be the Tonkinese Candidate or some such other moniker, wouldn’t it?

  4. “If on Jan. 20, 2009, he were to swear to defend the Constitution, would he be thinking that the oath refers only to â??the quote Constitution’â??? And what would that mean?”

    It would mean McCain was a George Bush style President…

  5. G A PHILLIPS says:

    D.C., try, Donkinese candidate.

  6. When he joined the military, and every year he has been in Congress, McCain has sworn an oath to defend the Constitution.

    What does that mean?

    He’s a congenital liar! And unfit to hold public office.

  7. Roger says:

    Big Time Patriot beat me to it.