A Taste Of Things To Come: Reaction To McCain’s Florida Victory

McCain’s victory last night combined with the announcement that Rudy is going to drop out and endorse him is really, really bad news for Romney. McCain already had a lead in the national polls and several of the big Super Tuesday states prior to Florida. After winning a 2nd “conservative” state he wasn’t supposed to be able to win, with Giuliani’s voters probably starting to gravitate towards him, and with a little extra momentum, McCain is going to be difficult to stop at this point, even with talk radio and the blogosphere bombing him non-stop from now until Super Tuesday.

It ain’t over until it’s over, but we’re starting to get to the point where we could see it being over — at least on the Republican side — very soon.

If and when that happens, the howls of anguish are understandably going to be loud and long amongst conservatives and I expect at least a few weeks of venting, outrage, and raw fury mixed with largely ignored pleas for Republican party unity before the decision making really starts. At that point some conservatives will enthusiastically support McCain because he’s the Republican nominee, many others will reluctantly, sullenly support McCain because they at least think he’s better than a Democrat, and more than a few conservatives will decide to sit the election out.

Some of the conservative reactions to McCain’s victory last night will give you a little taste of the agony the GOP is probably going to be suffering over the next few months,

“So it is over. Finished. In November, we’ll be sending out our most liberal, least trustworthy candidate vs. to take on Hillary Clinton–perhaps not more liberal than Barack Obama, but certainly far less trustworthy.

And the worst part for the Right is that McCain will have won the nomination while ignoring, insulting and, as of this weekend, shamelessly lying about conservatives and conservatism.

You think he supported amnesty six months ago? You think he was squishy on tax cuts and judicial nominees before? Wait until he has the power to anger every conservative in America, and feel good about it.

Every day, he dreams of a world filled with happy Democrats and insulted Republicans. And he is, thanks to Florida, the presidential nominee of the Republican party.

And on that note, I’m off to climb into a bottle of Bushmill’s. It’s going to be a LONG nine months.” — Michael Graham, The Corner

“Tonight was a big win for illegal-immigration amnesty, remorseless socialization of health care, and big-government solutions to global warming.

If McCain wins in November, he’ll be eager to show he can “work” with a Democratic Congress. If Hill wins, she’ll want to make a mark, fast. And, if it’s Barack, ditto with bells on. A bipartisan consensus committed to change you can believe in.” — Mark Steyn, The Corner

“My principles are mine, they’ve remained unchanged through Hell and high water, and I’m not about to abandon them for they are what I am. Without them, I am nothing. They are not for sale to the highest bidder, much less are they to be discarded in the face of adversity. They are mine, and nobody can take them away from me. I can only lose them by throwing them away myself, and were I to do so, I would be worth less than the basest cur on the planet.

So endorse your McCain, RINOs, carry him on your shoulders to a landslide defeat that will be remembered for all time, but do it without me.

This is my hill, this is where I stand. If you want me off of it, you’ll have to kill me and carry my lifeless body down.

At least I shall die a free man, standing on my feet rather than crawling at the feet of somebody else.” — The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

Last month, I asked readers: “Would you, could you, vote McCain?” How about now? At the moment, I’m with Rush: “I can see possibly not supporting a Republican nominee.” — Michelle Malkin

“An elderly RINO who’s been in the Senate since the beginning of time vs. a Clinton. We know how that goes.

So what should conservatives do, assuming that nothing changes the apparent McCain vs. Clinton match-up? I’ll vote for Ron Paul if he runs third party. Otherwise, I’ll vote for Hillary. Better to come back with a conservative candidate in 2008 than get behind another RINO. And better to let Hillary take the fall for the coming economic troubles.” — W.C. Varones, Polipundit

“My position on Mr. McCain is that he would be a poor one term President. This would be accompanied by congressional losses at the mid-term and probably again in 2012 when a Democrat would most likely be swept into office. This unfortunate turn of events would leave the conservative movement…in whatever form is still exists in 2012…in a very weak, defensive position for the better part of the following generation. This would be very bad for the country and that’s not how I wish to leave it to my children.

I will not vote for Mr. McCain under any circumstances. I have what I think are valid and levelheaded reasons for taking that position. Please feel free to convince me I’m wrong but please stop brushing me aside like a pouty little seven year old.” — Ntrepid, Redstate

“Well, if I learned anything tonight, I’m no longer a GOP partisan. Clearly it’s no longer a party I can consistently support as I have for twenty-years. I may vote for GOP candidates. Romney can still win this thing, though it won’t be easy. But, as it stands, effectively there may be no conservative party in American politics today. Too much of the establishment is backing McCain to say that.” — Riehl World View

“There will be no pale pastels on the Democratic ticket this fall — and I would not want to go up against them with the sense that we somehow had to trim our sails, to elevate our party’s most ardent internal critic, in order to remain in office but not in power. At best, this is a reprise of how Clinton hollowed out the Democratic Party (see how their hearts are with Obama), and what Bush and the Republican Congress did with respect to spending. McCain would reclaim the spending mantle, but would surrender on all other aspects of domestic policy. …None of this is to diminish John McCain as a true patriot. No matter who wins, we must quickly get behind the winner (I’ll have more on this tomorrow).” — Patrick Ruffini

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