Friday, February 08, 2008

To support or not to support. . .

The New York Times reports on McCain's speech at CPAC:

When Mr. McCain took the stage, he reached out to conservatives in conciliatory remarks.

“Many of you have disagreed strongly with some positions I have taken in recent years,” Mr. McCain told the group in an enormous, overflowing hotel ballroom, where people were held back from entering by security guards who said the raucous crowd exceeded fire code violations. “I understand that. I might not agree with it, but I respect it for the principled position it is.”

Nonetheless, Mr. McCain said, “it is my sincere hope that even if you believe I have occasionally erred in my reasoning as a fellow conservative, you will still allow that I have, in many ways important to all of us, maintained the record of a conservative.”

President Bush is to speak to the group on Friday and will indirectly vouch for his old rival for the 2000 Republican nomination, according to a text of his remarks released by the White House. “Soon we will have a nominee who will carry the conservative banner into this election and beyond,” Mr. Bush is to say.

The mixed reception for Mr. McCain reflected the divisions within the party as it tries to chart a post-Bush ideological and political course in the face of a fired-up Democratic Party.

Although Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Representative Ron Paul of Texas remain in the Republican race, Thursday’s events had the effect of placing Mr. McCain in an almost unassailable position, while Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton face the prospects of a long fight between themselves for their party’s nomination.

Mr. McCain’s speech to the convention was one he had hoped to deliver Tuesday night, after voting in more than 20 primaries and caucuses across the country gave him a commanding lead.

On Thursday, with Mr. Romney out, Mr. McCain, of Arizona, faced the task of generating enthusiasm for his candidacy among conservatives while at the same time beginning to reach out to independents and moderate voters who could tilt the balance in the general election.

Many at the gathering responded to Mr. McCain’s speech with a mixture of resistance and resignation, indicating the magnitude of the challenge he will face if he hopes to match the palpable energy of the Democrats. As soon as Mr. Romney announced that he was ending his campaign, a few activists appeared in the hotel lobby with handmade cardboard signs saying, “Republicans Against McCain.”

"Republicans Against McCain" - that just about says it all.

I believe that God has constructed the universe in such a way that doing the right thing will ultimately produce good results and doing the wrong thing will ultimately produce bad results.

If you place Hillary Clinton's or Barack Obama's opinions on various issues side by side with John McCain's you will find that on a number of issues McCain and the two Democrats differ and that on those issues McCain is in the right, at least if you look at things from a conservative point of view.

Many of my fellow Republicans, even some of the conservative ones, have taken the fact that McCain does hold some conservative opinions (while Clinton and Obama hold no conservative positions) as a rationalization for supporting McCain. After all with McCain we know that we will get much that we do not want but some of what we do want while with a Democrat we will get much of what we do not want and none of what we want.

It is better, the reasoning goes, to vote for the candidate who will give us at least a little of the good along with the bad rather than candidates who will give us only the bad.

This is a tempting argument. It would be very easy to give in to it and just drink the McCain kool-aid and go to sleep. After all I could tell myself that I had taken the lemons and made lemonade. I could congratulate myself on being a pragmatist and not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I could retreat safely back into the arms of the Republican party, which has been my political home for so many years. I could support the party's nominee as I have done since 1980 when I cast my first vote in a presidential election for Ronald Reagan.

I could do this, but I believe that the universe is constructed in such a way that doing the wrong thing must ultimately produce bad results. And for a conservative to support John McCain is the wrong thing.

The recent endorsement of McCain by so many Republican party conservatives like Jack Kemp (good supply sider but an open borders/amnesty advocate) is absolutely meaningless. This is just the craven and detestable practice of party hacks running to jump on the bandwagon of the presumptive nominee to preserve their status as insiders.

The endorsements of conservative commentators like Bill Bennett and Michael Medved is also meaningless. These are inside-the-beltway conservative pundits whose status and access depend upon being seen as team players by the Republican establishment.

No, no matter how many people line up behind McCain supporting him is wrong. The act of rewarding treason is wrong. It is wrong for conservatives to take a man who has built his career on spitting on conservatives and make him our leader. And make no mistake if it were not for McCain's continual trashing of and thwarting of fellow Republicans and the conservative agenda he would be a Senate nobody with no more chance of becoming president than Fred Thompson had.

McCain is a household word in the USA because he constantly ran to the mainstream media, which is the blood enemy of conservatism, and told them exactly what they wanted to hear about his fellow Republicans and their ideas. He is beloved by "independents" and "moderates" (both just liberals who lack the courage to admit they are liberals) precicely because he has been willing to embrace "bipartisanship" which to them means nothing more or less than Republicans abandoning their principles and cooperating with Democrats to enact the liberal agenda at the expense of conservative interests.

If you doubt this just ask yourself how often you have heard Joe Lieberman praised in the MSM for his bipartisanship in working with Republicans to support the war effort.

It is wrong, profoundly wrong, to even tolerate let alone reward this kind of despicable behavior and doing so will ultimately produce a bad result.

The bad result which Republicans have already brought upon themselves by giving so many votes to McCain that he has become the presumptive nominee is defeat in November. Although most conservatives will wind up voting for him they will not give money to him or work for him. They will not make phone calls. They will not knock on doors. They will not put up yard signs or even slap a bumper sticker on their cars. And a sizable minority will not even vote for him.

The liberal newspapers which have endorsed him against other Republicans will not back him against Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. The blue states like New York and New Jersey which gave him their delegates in the primary will not give him their electors in the general election.

The rank in file Republican voters who turned out in 2000 in Ohio and Florida to stand in line for hours, sometimes in the rain, to vote for George W Bush and give him victory over Al Gore will not show anywhere near the same dedication to John McCain.

John McCain at the top of our ticket virtually guarantees Republican defeat in November, especially if Obama is the Democrat nominee. As I said bad deeds produce bad results. The universe is made that way.

But what if McCain pulls off a miracle and wins in November? Won't he fight the terrorists and protect firearms rights and do away with earmarks like he is promising to do? Maybe he will. but remember bad actions produce bad results. What if the Democrats who will certainly control both houses of congress hand McCain an immigration reform bill which grants amnesty to the 20 to 30 million illegal aliens who are in this nation? Will he really veto it?

As I have gone into before legalization of illegals leads to citizenship which gives Democrats a permanent majority and dooms the nation. Bad actions lead to bad results indeed. But won't a Democrat president try for amnesty as well? Yes, but it will be far easier for a united Republican minority in the Senate to block amnesty if they are not being knifed in the back by "their own" president.

The same thing can be said about global warming. McCain has drunk the Al Gore/global warming kool-aid. He has signed on to legislation which will cripple the American economy in the name of fighting a junk-science hoax. Sure Democrats are going to try to turn America into a Third-World cesspool of poverty in the name of "saving the earth" but it will be far easier for Republican legislators and activists to fight it if we are not being sandbagged by "our own" president.

It will be far easier in 2010 to paint all these pathologies of leftism as the curse of the liberal Democrats and hold up the Republican party as the sane alternative - if we don't elect a "Republican" president who will be out in front of all those liberal pathologies cheerleading for them.

Bad deeds have bad results, the universe is constructed in this way.