What do we think about John McCain? He makes us uneasy. Two things that bother other conservatives - immigration and Guantanamo/waterboarding - are less of a concern for me. These are difficult issues where the proper resolution is somewhere between the hard left and hard right positions.
I do not like the fact that he opposed the President's tax cuts, although he has been far better than the President on spending. We know that either Clinton or Obama will seek to raise taxes and spending. Tell me, clearly John, that you won't do that and all is forgiven.
His dalliance with the overwrought view of global warming is bothersome, although the Dems are all in on that particular mania. My guess is that reality will restrain policy on this and the science will eventually turn the other way (and, if it doesn't, then some more aggressive policies will be in order.)
Where I really freeze is the area of judicial appointments. As Ilya Somin points out, the notion of appointing conservative jurists and appointing people who will save what is left of McCain-Feingold are probably irreconcileable. It is hard for a textualist or originalist (whatever your version of originalism might be)to say that it is constitutional to tell people that they cannot criticize or petition federal candidates during an election in a way that is likely to be heard or seen by the public without jumping through some fairly narrow and restrictive hoops.
To get there, you have to be willing to say that the free speech guarantee - as applied to political speech - is not as absolute as it reads or as the original intent would suggest that it is. You have to adopt an interpretive method that emphasizes the need to address imbalances in wealth and power. (Although I think that you can make an argument that McCain-Feingold exacerbates, rather than relieves, such imbalances.)
Conservative jurists aren't likely to ee things that way.
So I need to know that his commitment to conservative jurists trumps his concern for any piece of legislation, including his own pride and joy. I need to know that the people who have recently endorsed him - folks like Miguel Estrada and Ted Olson - will be the people that he listens to when he appoints judges. I want to hear a few names of people that he would be inclined to appoint to the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, I know the types of people that Clinton and Obama would appoint. In this area, while I may be uncertain about McCain, I am pretty clear on the Dems.
Most importantly, John McCain is serious about foreign policy. Obama and Clinton simply are not.
I hope that Mitt Romney can derail the McCain boom on Tuesday. I don't think that this should be over yet if, for no other reason than that John McCain has more work to do with conservatives. But I suspect that Romney will be unable to do so and that, next week, we will be pretty sure that John McCain will be the nominee.
And I'll support him.