Going nuts on McCain

What is it about conservatives that makes us so eager to lose? I wrote this yesterday (excerpt):

Here’s something … conservatives must understand if they don’t want to relegated to a fringe: The electorate is not all that conservative. We will not win the Presidency with a strong conservative candidate. You can’t deduce anything from Ronald Reagan. There was one Ronald Reagan. If another one emerges, we’ll know (some of us were not fooled).

And if you think that you (we) will “teach the nation a lesson,” a la Jimmy Carter [and a wise commenter added, “There was also only one election against Jimmy Carter”], by not supporting the GOP candidate and letting a liberal run the country for four — or eight — years and appoint judges and commissioners, and sign legislation, and take control of the national political dialogue during that time… good luck. See you at the People’s Reeducation Center and Tax Labor Farm. We can plan the next revolution with the other zeks.

But if you want to win, and have any shot at having any of your ideas reign, and to make incremental progress in government, policy and the popular imagination — then you have to realize that politics is now. And act accordingly.

Logic, reason and an appropriate appreciation of what is possible in the art of the possible — even when discussing John McCain — are not a novel idea. Ed Morrissey wrote, last April, as follows:

McCain . . . sits to the left of his party on two key issues: immigration and free speech. McCain has backed away from his partnership with Ted Kennedy on comprehensive immigration reform, but his efforts last year to give citizenship to millions of people who entered the country illegally did not do much to bolster his conservative credentials. On that score, though, I can understand his policy and believe it to have more national-security benefits than most of his other detractors. His efforts to curtail political speech in the form of the BCRA, however, are a blight on American politics, and one for which McCain offers no apologies.

That all being said, Goldberg has a point. Giuliani supported the BCRA as well, and so did Mitt Romney until he didn’t. Fred Thompson, the potential White Knight, voted for the BCRA, one of only eleven Republican Senators to do so. Even McCain now supports a border-first security plan as part of immigration reform. McCain has been far more conservative than his two fellow front-runners over the course of his career. Is the anti-McCain sentiment among Republican conservatives an immature grudge, as Goldberg argues here, or a reasoned final position?

Conservatives: Look at the body of work. Look at the electorate, both the one that put the man into office and the one that you hope will put the next Republican into office. And, notwithstanding the attention-sucking Ann Coulters of the world, take a cold, hard look at life and law under the alternative outcome. And line up behind the GOP nominee, and fight to win this election, this year, for this country — not the made up ones that will never be.

Ron Coleman blogs at Likelihood of Success.

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