As John McCain neared his momentous primary election victory in Florida after a ferocious campaign questioning his conservative credentials, right-wingers buzzed over word that he had privately suggested that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was too conservative. In response, McCain said he recalled saying no such thing and added that Alito was a "magnificent" choice. In fact, multiple sources confirm that the senator made negative comments about Alito nine months ago.
I realize this doesn't help Novak, and is probably irrelevant to what he is trying to do, but it took me less than four minutes to find this site and discover, lo and behold, that McCain voted to confirm Alito as Supreme Court Justice. So, perhaps McCain doesn't believe that Alito is "conservative". Other conservatives, however, believe he is. The evidence of his actions on the Court would indicate he is. McCain, in the most important act relevant to Alito's sitting on the bench, voted to confirm him.
In other words, Novak is peddling crap. Of course, once again he's a bag carrier for a group of unnamed crap peddlers, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know what he's doing; it's not like he is going to open the bag and breathe deeply the fumes emanating from the pile of offal he has been handed.
Further down the column, Novak reveals that the alleged Alito comments are part of a two-pronged conservative offensive against McCain. The one prong is, obviously, Supreme Court nominees. The second is taxes, and the root source is Grover Norquist, who plays squire of darkness to Novak's Princely role of the same political realm.
Meanwhile, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist is worried because a prominent journalist informed him that a few years ago McCain said to him, off the record, that as president he would have to raise taxes. More recently McCain has told me, on the record, that he would never support a tax increase and, consequently, favors making the Bush tax cuts permanent.
Norquist and McCain have a stormy relationship. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, McCain in 2005 subpoenaed records of Norquist's dealings with now-imprisoned Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Denying wrongdoing, Norquist said that McCain held a grudge against him because he campaigned against the senator's 2000 presidential bid. Norquist told me that he has no animus toward McCain and only wants assurances that McCain opposes higher taxes.(emphasis added)
If you believe the part highlighted in italics, you are either naive or stupid. Norquist is monomaniacal about taxes, and I believe he not only holds a grudge, but would work non-stop to keep someone he even suspected might increase federal revenue out of office. The fact that McCain would come close to questioning Norquist's legal integrity means only one thing - payback time.
This column appears to be, as the title suggests, a shot across McCain's bow. It is also a stern warning to McCain that he is expected to hold to doctrinal purity on taxes and group-love fore Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Otherwise, we can expect more of Novak's columns aimed not at the Democratic nominee, but at McCain, as conservatives continue to eat their own in an attempt to maintain their purity.