McCain’s Anti-Social Conservatism

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Yeah, I heard about what McCain said regarding same-sex couple adopting a child. In the interview, he even says it’d be better for the children to remain parentless rather than have two Mommies (or two Daddies). As the aunt (ish. Complicated family tree.) of two rather adorable girls who were adopted by their moms out of China, I had to wonder if McCain’s ever been to a Chinese orphanage. I’d let them be adopted by threesomes if it came to that. Canadians, even.

It turns out that McCain didn’t mean to consign orphans to their lonely fate. His campaign, as they so often do, clarified the senator’s remarks today:

“McCain could have been clearer in the interview in stating that his position on gay adoption is that it is a state issue, just as he made it clear in the interview that marriage is a state issue. He was not endorsing any federal legislation.

McCain’s expressed his personal preference for children to be raised by a mother and a father wherever possible. However, as an adoptive father himself, McCain believes children deserve loving and caring home environments, and he recognizes that there are many abandoned children who have yet to find homes. McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative,” – Jill Hazelbaker, Director of Communications

Yeah, you know, he could have been clearer. I suspect the reason he wasn’t was because he could not end that section of the interview fast enough. I’ve never been one of those who thinks McCain’s social conservatism is for show and that deep down, he’s a closet liberal. He really is pro-life, anti-gay marriage, etc. But it is also true that he would rather not talk about it. His aversion to those topics is at fifth-grade-and-cooties level. It’s his reluctance to discuss those matters that, I think, makes some people hope he’s uncomfortable with the actual views. Who knows, maybe he is. Maybe, if we forced his to talk about, you know, rights and stuff, he’d change his mind.

Or at least learn something.

After the jump: An excerpt from a publication to be named later about my own experience trying to get McCain to talk about gay parents.

John McCain is visibly uncomfortable talking about social issues, and when pressed on them, tends to veer between conservatism-in-a-can boilerplate (“marriage is a unique institution in our society and we have to protect it”) and a kind of jokey admission that he is giving you talking points. In New Hampshire last November, I pressed him on Mitt Romney’s assertion that the weakening of the American family will lead to the weakening of America as a whole. His answer? “Well, strong families are important for America… the most successful children come from strong families…. You need to strengthen the family,” and went on a bit in that vein before his voice took on a sarcastic tone and he added, “And every home should display the flag and every mother should cook apple pie once a week.” We arrived at our destination just as he finished his answer and as he got up to go do his town hall, he said, “Just in time.”