A McCain-Lieberman Ticket? How About A Conservative Ticket Instead?

Here is the mother of all bad political ideas for Republicans…

“Columnist, blogger, novelist, and Army Reserve Col. Austin Bay (has anyone else ever had those credentials?) calls for a McCain-Lieberman ticket in 2008.

A Republican McCain-Lieberman ticket. Is that a fantasy? It strikes me as less improbable than the Kerry-McCain ticket MainStream Media reporters touted in 2004. McCain and Lieberman are friends, with a more cordial relationship now than Lieberman probably has with all but a few of his Democratic colleagues, who are busy endorsing this week’s primary winner Ned Lamont (as they pretty much have to do) and adding gratuitous comments (as Harry Reid and Charles Schumer did in their press release) about how Lieberman has been too cozy with George W. Bush. McCain and Lieberman have also been allies on important issues, on campaign finance regulation (cynically signed by Bush), on response to alleged climate change (where they stand opposite Bush), and on the war on terrorism and specifically the conflict in Iraq (on which they have been utterly steadfast).

…McCain-Lieberman would probably win easily. Pollster Scott Rasmussen has paired McCain and Rudy Giuliani against both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Al Gore in 26 states (subscription required).www.rasmussenreports.com I’m prohibited by membership agreement from disclosing the results, but I think I can say that both McCain and Giuliani run far ahead of both Clinton and Gore–and at a time when Republicans are not doing well in polling for 2006 races. McCain-Lieberman might run behind Bush-Cheney in the South, but that would still leave them ahead in most if not all of the region; they would probably run well ahead of Bush-Cheney on both coasts and would be competitive in many states where Bush-Cheney wasn’t.” — Michael Barone

What could be a worse idea than taking the guy who represents most of what’s wrong with the Republican Party and putting him together with a liberal Democrat Independent so that they can be the standard bearers for the GOP?

We keep seeing some Republicans demand that the GOP move to the middle. Yet, who’s the most beloved Republican President of the last 50 years? Ronald Reagan, a guy who was 4 or 5 steps to George Bush’s right. How did Republicans manage to retake the house in 1994? By running against Clinton, of course, and by running on an agenda of balancing the budget, term limits, welfare reform, tax credits, being tough on crime and other conservative issues.

Let’s go another step further. Why is the GOP in trouble this year? As much as anything, it’s because the base is demotivated by the refusal of the President and the Republican Senate to cut spending and put a stop to illegal immigration. Again, the problem isn’t that the GOP in Washington has been too conservative, it’s that they haven’t been conservative enough.

So, why do people think that RINOs on the national ticket are the answer? Because they, incorrectly, believe that moderate candidates can draw in more independents and Democrats without paying a serious price with the base. What they forget is that by the time the liberal mainstream media spends half a year hammering away on the candidate, most of those Independents and Democrats will fall away. Moreover, like it or not, conservatives do believe in protest votes. There are a lot of conservatives that would rather lose in 2008 than have John McCain and Joe Lieberman represent the GOP to the American public for 4 to 8 years.

Additionally, this isn’t pro-sports. The point of winning isn’t just to wear your favorite team’s jersey and take pride that your side won. The point of winning elections is to make it possible to get your agenda through. So, why in the world would conservatives want candidates who aren’t even going to try to move the country to the right?

Here’s a better idea for 2008: why don’t we rally behind the most electable conservative candidate running and then help him make it to the White House? Then, that candidate can actually do his best to implement a conservative agenda, you know, like Reagan did. Republicans keep asking, “When is the next Reagan going to come along?” Well, if we want another Reagan in the White House, then we’ve got to try to elect another Reagan instead of being willing to settle for a McCain or a Giuliani because of the errant hope that they’ll be easier to elect.

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