February 1, 2008

Why Should We Care Whether Hillary or McCain Wins?

Hatched by Dafydd

In this post, Patterico applauds Ann Coulter for saying that if John McCain is the nominee, she'll campaign for Hillary Clinton for president. Then Patterico concludes:

I won’t go so far as to say I’d campaign for Hillary. But, judges aside, why should I care?

Well, here's why. (This was originally a comment I wrote for a previous post of ours; I'm breaking it out here as a stand-alone post.)

You don't win by losing.

If John McCain is nominated and loses, the next Republican nominee in 2012 will likely be more liberal, not less. There is no "great conservative hope" waiting in the wings to sweep to victory four years later, as in 1980 (or to sweep to catastrophic defeat four years later, as in 1964).

In the meantime, we'll have eight years of President Obama or President Hillary... in which so much of what we consider America is destroyed (politically or literally) that what is left is simply not a country we can imagine. If we think that there is no difference between McCain and either of those two bozos, then we have let passion make a fool of us.

No one's personal conservative faction is going to get 100% of its agenda, because a large percent of Americans -- even a large percent of good Republican conservatives -- don't agree with it. The only way any faction could get 100% of its agenda is to seize power and impose the last 30% of it by force of arms.

We live in a small-d democracy (which includes constitutional republics), and other people do actually get to have a say in the national agenda. If we look back to the Reagan era, he got no more than 60%-65% of what he wanted... but it was the right 65%, a critical 65%... including the death of the Evil Empire and a drastic (and urgently needed) cut in taxes.

You all know I'm not particularly a fan of John McCain, and I didn't vote for him in the California primary. But even so:

  • McCain supports the most important policy for our survival: War against global hirabah;
  • He supports efforts to significantly cut spending, and especially to eliminate earmark corruption;
  • He is pro-life;
  • He supports lower taxes today, even if he voted against them in 2001 (probably out of vindictive pique against George Bush);
  • He opposes same-sex marriage;
  • He supports free-market health-insurance reform, not socialized medicine;
  • He supports tort reform;
  • He supports more drilling in America than we allow today, even if not as much as want to see;
  • He supports the RKBA as a "fundamental, individual Constitutional right;"
  • On space issues, he supports the return to the Moon and a manned Mars expedition.

On every single one of these vital issues, he is on the opposite side of both Obama and Clinton.

Even on the issues where he parts company with most conservatives -- campaign-finance "reform," border control, global warming, how to treat terrorist detainees -- he is nowhere near as far left as those other two: The Democrats want completely open borders; they want to cripple the economy to fight globaloney much more rapidly and thoroughly than he; they want us not to detain terrorists at all, unless we do so as purely civilian criminal matters (and not to fight or confront them militarily); and they want us to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when the intelligence community was not allowed to communicate with the law-enforcement community.

Remember Gorelick's Wall? Jamie Gorelick was elevated to Deputy Attorney General on Hillary's demand, not Bill's. What role would she have in a Hillary Clinton administration? Attorney General? Supreme Court justice?

Finally, if one's biggest concern is presidential temperment... well, Hillary Clinton has a worse rage problem and is more vindictive than McCain. And Barack Obama is less experienced, more feckless, and is much more sympathetic to our enemies.

Therefore, I consider it literally insane -- divorced from reality -- for conservatives like Ann Coulter to say that if McCain is nominated, they will support Hillary or Barack. Medved has taken to calling this "MDS," McCain Derangement Syndrom... and for once, I agree with the lout: If McCain is nominated, any conservative who either supports the Democrat or who loudly and petulantly sits out the election is barking mad.

Ronald Reagan wouldn't have done that. When he lost the nomination in 1976 to sitting president Gerald Ford -- he went out and campaigned for Ford. He didn't announce that he wasn't going to vote or that he would vote for Jimmy Carter.

I want conservatives to grow up: If McCain is the Republican nominee, for God's sake, they should all vote for -- and campaign for -- John McCain, flawed as he is... because he is a thousand times better than the Democratic alternatives (there are no Harry Trumans or Hubert Humphreys left in power in the Democratic Party). To the extent conservatives they whine that McCain will "split (or destroy) the party," what they mean is that they themselves threaten to abandon the party if they don't get their way on every issue.

I warned that if conservatives turned against the GOP-written immigration bill that gave them 80% of what they wanted, demanding all or nothing, then they would get nothing -- and the next bill would be written by a Democratic Congress. Well, it will be.

If conservatives today turn against the Republican nominee, whoever he is, and either take their ball and go home or turn their jerseys and play for the opposition, then the next election will be against a strong, ensconced Democratic incumbent... and we'll lose that one, too.

And in the meantime, all the gains the country has made against liberalism in the thirteen years since the 1994 elections will be reversed, and we'll be right back to the Bill Clinton era of 1993 and 1994... but without any Newt Gingrich to lead us out of the wilderness.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 1, 2008, at the time of 2:57 PM

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The English version of this post can be read here. 著者:ミスター苺 バリバリ保守派女性政治評論家のアン・コルターはマケインが共和党候補に指名されたら自分はヒラリーの選挙運動を応援するとまで語った。これについて苺畑夫婦とはお友達ブログの Patterico(パテリコ)は拍手を送っている。以下パテリコ曰く。 僕はヒラリーの選挙運動までするとはいわないけど、裁判官のことだけじゃなく、何で気にする必要あるわけ? なぜって、これがその理由だ。 負けるが勝ちで... [Read More]

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Tracked on February 5, 2008 7:29 PM


The following hissed in response by: Geoman

Barking mad is what they are.

Yeah, McCain ticks me off. It is likely that he will, at several points in his presidency, take positions inimical to my desires. He is not a reliable conservative.

But, uh. Hate to point his out. But who the heck is a reliable conservative? Bush? Reagan? Those who believe Reagan never deviated fro conservative principals, and always made the right choices, have not the slightest idea of what they are talking about.

My biggest fear is that McCain is not a persuader. Reagan had to compromise his principals less than some others because he had the ability to articulate and persuade people to his position. McCain doesn't have that. Neither does Bush.

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2008 3:49 PM

The following hissed in response by: k2aggie07

I don't think I'd cast a vote for McCain of my own accord. But I would definitely vote against Clinton or Obama via a vote for McCain.

Any conservative who would choose Clinton over McCain is pretty far off from where they need to be.

The above hissed in response by: k2aggie07 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2008 4:34 PM

The following hissed in response by: FredTownWard

I agree, but I have a slight nit to pick with Geoman. I'd argue that McCain will turn out to be WORSE of a persuader than Bush. Bush's inabilities in the area of persuasion seem to come mostly from his English as a Second (or Third!) Language like difficulties with the spoken word NOT from an unwillingness to try or a lack of trying. McCain on the other hand tends to treat anyone who disgrees with him as an enemy to be destroyed rather than a person to be persuaded.

That's why despite the best efforts of BDS Democrat partisans, Bush had SOME success at it.

I'm very much afraid McCain will have a lot LESS, unless he grows up in a hurry.

The above hissed in response by: FredTownWard [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2008 5:01 PM

The following hissed in response by: Seaberry

McCain has basically said, after winning in Florida - The Republican base will follow..., i.e. his lead. He then started courting them, and made that a point.

Hey, I'm not liking the Republican base very much these days, since they started ignoring the War whilst focusing only on...I-M-M-I-G-R-A-T-I-O-N.

Illegal Immigration is like smuggling or the attempt to prohibit the use of alcohol or breaking into any home, i.e. it and the others cannot be stopped. Perhaps slowed down, but not stopped. Spend a Trillion Trillion Gringo dollars on fences and guards along the Mexican border, and illegal’s will swim to unguarded borders or dig under the fences.

Some Americans have been trying to stop the spread of Socialism/Communism here in America for decades before the Islamists ever showed up as a threat. Illegal’s were still coming to America back then. The American Socialists/Communists naturally side with the Islamists now, since they also seek to overthrow/destroy what individual freedoms remain here in America. Illegal’s are still getting into America...

Hey, don't get me wrong, I think that we should be killing a *LOT* of other humans, including at least 50-75 (probably closer to 90%, but I don't want to appear as too violent here) percent of our own; however, at this point, America is too weak to take such natural actions. Example: If some home owner wants to protect his or her property and home by owning firearms, then let them; however, don't call another American a C-R-I-M-I-N-A-L, if that person walks into that home, and takes the firearms and lives of everyone in that home...so to speak gently of calling the cops for help, if you are the only one left alive.

Ann Coulter is about a braindead as the firearms owners and the Republican base, IMHO. America is at a point of giving Hillary her "Village", and now a Muslim leaning Dem like Obama shows up...Coulter would look great in a full-body burka.

Let'em vote against McCain...

The above hissed in response by: Seaberry [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2008 7:10 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

There are roughly 26 million Iraqis living in Iraq. It took us a number of years, and over 4,000 American Military Lives to free the majority of them from Tyranny. Hillary Clinton and/or Barack Obama would abandon them, and allow mass deaths in the ensuing chaos merely to appeal to a portion of their political base that believes in freedom... as long as it in the United States. The rest of the world can die as far as they're concerned.

Then consider what would happen next: Our Allies are shown that we are NOT to be trusted when we say we are on the side of Liberty. They will see that we are willing to throw away all of the sacrifices our Allies have made if it means that our Elected Leaders get their desired Office. All oppressed people of the World learn that our elected leadership is NOT willing to sacrifice anything in order to free people of color living behind the Shari'a curtain, and that Democracies cannot be trusted as International partners. Our enemies will not need to engage us on THEIR soil... they can come ahead and attack us again on ours.


I'll vote for the last person standing in their way. EVEN if it is *gulp* John McCain. I could NEVER vote for abandonment of either ourselves or our Allies. John McCain will not be a dictator... there is this thing called a 'Congress' that he has to deal with. Congress not good enough for you, either? Hey, a people get the Government they'll settle for. Get to work!

Ann Coulter's idea that Hillary would triangulate on social issues has merit, but only if you would be willing to condemn Iraqi's to chaos and death and abandon America's safety to the Offices of the United Nations. Her hatred is blinding her, and it's sad to see. She has forever sold herself to her own self-interest... and Conservatives are supposed to be above that. They are at least, in my eyes.

There are plenty of local candidates to support for local offices if you cannot work for John McCain; I intend to work hard for Dino Rossi to become Governor of Washington State. I'll support Romney vigorously until he either concedes or wins... but I am a Pro-American first, an Anti-McCain way down from second.

I urge you all to support Mitt Romney. If you cannot do that, fine... support America in any way you see fit. But don't base your political actions upon Hatred... you will have become what you despise.

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2008 8:30 PM

The following hissed in response by: Doc Stephens

Listing the issues arguing for even begrudging support of McCain, leaves the problem unresolved. It is not these issues, it is his character! He's dishonest, intemperate, irascible, mean-spirited, and impulsive. He loses self-control when questioned or criticized. His "straight-talk" is a fiction. The idea that he would be an effective commander-in-chief in prosecuting the war against the unhinged fanatics is absurd.

Unfortunately, Ms. Clinton is similarly unqualifed for high office, and Mr. Obama is eloquent but says very little that makes any sense, or that I can support.

If McCain is the nominee, it will be very difficult to chose between him and either candidate for the Democrat party. I'll probably move to an island in the South Pacific for 4 years and spend my time praying for the best.

The above hissed in response by: Doc Stephens [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2008 9:09 PM

The following hissed in response by: CrankyBeach

Well, well said, o reptilian one. I shall not sit home and pout come November; I shall slither my way over to the pools, hold my nose, and vote for whoever the Republican nominee is, even if they nominate Huckleberry Hound. Because Hillary is scary and dangerous, and Obama is even further to the left than she is. Brrrr.

The above hissed in response by: CrankyBeach [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2008 9:23 PM

The following hissed in response by: Baggi


This isn't the first time we've disagreed, nor will it be our last, i'm certain. But I don't vote like the Democrats vote (Based on identity politics) and instead I vote my political philosophy, whatever folks wish to call it. Usually folks call me a conservative but recently ive been told by Huckabee supporters that he's the real conservative and since I disagree with him, I must not be conservative.

Moving on.

Yes, there is no candidate with which we will agree 100%. I'm a Mitt Romney supporter and ive got several disagreements with Romney.

So why would I not vote for McCain if the choices were Hillary/Obama or McCain?

John McCain has spent a lot of time in Washington. Let the record show that the longer a person spends in politics the further corrupt they become. Its human nature. Such is the reason why I appreciate folks like George Washington and Tom Coburn. They realize the flaws in their own nature and therefore they remove the temptation from themselves.

John McCain doesn't know what the world is like anymore outside of washington.

This is, of course, merely my assumptions, conjecture and opinions compiled over time by watching this man be interviewed and hearing the comments about him on talking head shows. It could all be a great big lie, but somehow I doubt it.

Let me give you a perfect example of what I think a John McCain presidency will look like.

When President Bush had to nominate Roberts and Alito, we were told that the Democrats submitted a list of acceptable candidates to President Bush, as if his job was advise and consent not theirs. The media made a big deal out of how stubborn, hard headed, not bi-partisan, whatever you want to call it, President Bush was being by not accepting their list of candidates.

President John McCain would work with the democrats, or as he calls them, "my friends" and has a desire to be seen as bi-partisan. Hearing him in the debates it is clear to me that he doesn't have much of a core value system when it comes to politics. Instead, it is the process that is important. The rules laid down by the Senate, they are important, not some philosophy of governance like conservatism.

This might have been the case back in the 80's when he started in Washington but it is not anymore.

So why would I prefer a Hillary/Obama presidency over a McCain presidency?

If Hillary or Obama wins the Presidency, the majority of Republicans will fight them to win back voters. If Hillary wants to put through some silly social program, Republicans will fillibuster.

On the other hand, a McCain presidency will garner huge swaths of support from both the Democrats and Republicans. Just like the media loves, it will be truely bipartisan. Only, the bi-partisan legislation that is passed will be in the mold of McCain-Feingold or McCain-Kennedy. You won't see bi-partisan agreement on making the Bush Tax cuts permanent.

And so, we'll have 4 years of liberal, Democrat, media driven governance and then a real Democrat will replace McCain because too many Republicans will be fed up with him. And of course, if those liberal policies get through the legislature in that four years, Republicans and even conservatives will get the blame for liberal policies.

No thanks.

The above hissed in response by: Baggi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2008 10:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

Oh great reptile,
Look at how many even here rationalize how Hillary would be OK.
This how we got Carter and Clinton. And getting those two losers is how we got ourselves into the terror war. One set it up by his hatred of America (Carter) and the other let it happen by his fecklessness (Clinton).
I will not sit by and let the next Clinton come in and screw us over.\
I am particularly annoyed that the death wish Republicans would pick McCain to dis. After all, he is the only veteran to get this far in several election cycles. He is the only POW to ever have gotten this far. He has only voted for every Republican Court nominee. He has stood for lower taxes and smaller gov and pro-life for his entire career.
So yeah, why should the death wish Republicans support him?
I mean Ann Coulter has really shown her true depth in picking a pro-abortion, pro-defeat, pro-tax hike enabler over a real American hero.
And Ann has gotten just how many pieces of legislation through after winning how many elections?
The conservative movement is not led by its pundits. It is led by those who can go out and get the votes.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2008 11:47 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

So why would I prefer a Hillary/Obama presidency over a McCain presidency? If Hillary or Obama wins the Presidency, the majority of Republicans will fight them to win back voters. If Hillary wants to put through some silly social program, Republicans will fillibuster.~Baggi

I have to disagree with you, Baggi. If Republicans decide to not support the eventual Republican Candidate (whomever it is) then they will not fight to win back voters. Inertia will just make them sit back in their armchairs and whine "I told you so" whenever things go bad... rather than do anything to fix it.

If they are going to do anything to fix it, I suggest that the first thing to do... is prevent it. Even if it means voting for McCain. The next generation of voters will not be impressed by a bunch of grumpy old quitters in 8 years... or 16. They'll be looking for leadership and finding us wanting... especially if we admit WE voted for Hillary or Obama, knowing them as we do. The uninformed have an excuse... true believers can have their eyes opened by events. (See the latest scorn heaped upon Bill for doing what he has always done.)

But for those who understand what a threat Hillary and Obama's plans and philosophies hold... for us there can be no excuse for voting for either. Or for not voting for their rival.

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 1:24 AM

The following hissed in response by: Steelhand


I agree with all the reasons why I should not want McCain. But he is not the antichrist (I don't think...). He may turn out to be our Johnson, presiding over the disintegration of our party. But I cannot in clear conscience pull a lever for Hilbama or vote for a chimeral Liberaterian. Nor will I sit idly at home and "take what I get.

Of the options available, I must vote for McCain as clearly the least worst option.

The above hissed in response by: Steelhand [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 5:40 AM

The following hissed in response by: Caustic Conservative

I see you have accepted their campaign meme for conservatives: "Vote for McCain. Or Else."

Clearly, if there ever is a time to be dealing with this, it is now. GOP voters should vote in the primary for whomever they think best fits their ideals, and not simply "do as they are told." IF the time comes where their candidate is out, they then have to reassess things. Telling people to get in line at this point is pointless. That time will come, but this ain't it.

If conservatives--the key GOP voting bloc--continue to hold out in their support for McCain, he would be keen to realize it now. He has always antagonized them for his own personal political aggrandizement and has perhaps pushed it too far. Imagine trying to govern without any conservative support. This is what is at risk for him.

If you are a conservative who has not thrown in with McCain, I commend you. Doing so will go a long way toward helping him realize who it is butters his bread. Should a solid conservative not win the nomination over McCain, you have another choice to weigh when it happens. At that point, I definitely pull the lever for McCain.

The above hissed in response by: Caustic Conservative [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 5:57 AM

The following hissed in response by: eliXelx

To: caustic Conservative

"If you are a conservative who has not thrown in with McCain, I commend you. Doing so will go a long way toward helping him realize who it is butters his bread."

Well, it ain't YOU, Caustic, or the Pope, or the High Priestess, or the Vestal virgins that make up the Temple of Republican Purity that is called TALK RADIO, who butters his bread, so why do you demand that he kow-tow to you?

You would love McCain on his knees, but hate him on his feet!

Josef Stalin, please come home to your Republican Party 2008!

The above hissed in response by: eliXelx [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 6:13 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

The next 4 to 8 years will determine the Supreme Court for the next generation, I have serious problems with McCain on First Amendment rights ie McCain-Feingold and on Immigration, that said I do NOT think either Clinton nor Obama would be an improvement.

I supported Thompson, now Romney if McCain IS the nominee, I will grit my teeth and do whatever I can to see him elected.

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 7:53 AM

The following hissed in response by: Patterico

I don't think it is fair to claim I "applaud" Coulter in my post. After quoting her saying she'll campaign for Hillary, I say:


The thing is, judges aside, she almost has a point.

The point of my post is that McCain has an edge on judicial appointments (an edge that he seems determined to call into question, but nevertheless one that he currently retains). If you take away that issue -- which would take away my single biggest issue -- I don't think he's much different from Hillary. That doesn't mean I *applaud* someone who says they'll campaign for Hillary, but it does mean that -- if you take the judges issue out of the equation -- I don't much care who wins, and I can almost see the point of someone who says that Hillary would be better in some ways.

The thing is, the judges issue is still very much on the table. And that is why I have told people that it would be immature to refuse to vote for McCain if he is the nominee. At the same time I have said that Gov. Romney deserves our support, because if we still have a chance to defeat McCain -- even if it seems like a distant chance at this point, given the polling -- we should do whatever we can to make it happen. The time is now.

It's a little more nuanced position than the way you portrayed it.

The above hissed in response by: Patterico [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 12:05 PM

The following hissed in response by: Caustic Conservative

The energy in any campaign, EliX, is it's base of support. In the GOP, that comes from self-identified conservatives. These are the people who make the calls, go door to door, send in the $$$$, and get out the vote. Not the Limbaughs, but the people who listen to his show, and others.

What I expect to find this summer is that the energy people won't be there for McCain, unless he makes it right, right now. I have personally worked for every GOP nominee since I was of age--they were all a significant improvement over their opponents. And while I would vote for McCain in a heartbeat over Obama or Clinton, I would not work for his election. That would be asking too much of me, and many other conservatives are in the same boat.

Do you know why, up until now, there has been no formal Independent Party? Because independents and moderates don't like to be hemmed in to any specific set of principles that could be used to identify one. The main characteristic of an independent is somebody who says they are not GOP or Dem. That's it. And while there may be a lot of them, they do not exist in enough numbers to provide the thrust behind anyone's candidacy. They are, by nature, an uncommitted lot.

McCain may not have realized this yet. But if he is the GOP nominee, I sure hope he does before it is too late. It will be impossible to bring them all back. His career has been made by tarring and feathering conservatives wherever he saw benefit. As we have seen it won't be easily forgotten, but he can survive the loss of support and funds for his campaign if he can manage to still get them to come out and vote. No small task.

The CPAC conference is next week. McCain, despite a long career in which he has described himself as conservative when it suits him--i.e. primary season--has NEVER spoken or attended. At last year's meeting of conservative activists, people grumbled and booed when his name was mentioned. This year, when he needs them, he has decided to make a show. It's going to have to be good, given his past. There's a lot riding on it.

The above hissed in response by: Caustic Conservative [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 12:30 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Caustic Conservative:

The energy in any campaign, EliX, is it's base of support. In the GOP, that comes from self-identified conservatives.

Uh, no, actually; "well there's yer problem right there!"

The "base of support" in the GOP is self-identified Republicans, not self-identified conservatives.

Conservatives really need to get over the delusion that they're the only real Republicans. There are many of us who are just as staunch as they, who work for the GOP nominee, who go out and campaign, who write and speak and actively work on behalf of the party, and who give them literally thousands of dollars every cycle... but who are not conservatives.

We're as much a part of the Republican base as you guys... honestly!


Judges are important. But I just listed in this very post ten major issues -- not counting judges -- where McCain is much more in line with conservatives than is either Hillary or Obama.

Even absent judges, McCain would be a far, far better choice for your particular slice of the GOP pie than the Democrat, whoever -- and I'm not taking sides -- whoever she turns out to be.

And as you note, it's not "absent judges." Despite completely unsourced rumors (see the next post) that McCain once said something less than hagiographic about Samuel Alito, he is clearly and unambiguously better on judges as well.

This is an odd situation: Generally, I'm the one defending Coulter and you're the one who hates her. For some reason, we're reversed this time. I consider her threat to be so outrageous and appalling that, if she actually carries through on it, I will cease buying her books and no longer defend her.

I hope she's just being over-the-top Rantin' Ann; she's perfectly capable of insisting she's not joking, when in fact she is doing precisely that... the East Coast "put on." But if she's not, if she's really serious, if she campaigns for Hillary Clinton... then her career has ended: She'll never be able to sell another book for anywhere near the advance she's been getting, she'll lose her column in most venues, she won't be back on Hannity and Colmes, she won't be lionized or invited to the cool parties anymore -- and I and scores of other by-then ex-fans won't ever defend her again, on any issue whatsoever.

There are some things that are literally unforgiveable; a putative conservative actually campaigning for the Clintons is one of them.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 2:39 PM

The following hissed in response by: Baggi


The Republican party remains the last place for conservatives to go. While around 10% of ultra-libs will never vote for the Democrat for not being liberal enough and about 10% of the the ultra-cons will never vote for the Republican because they are not conservative enough, there is still the majority middle in each party.

And i'm pretty sure that the majority of the Republican party, or as Caustic calls us, the base, is evangelical and conservative.

That doesn't mean there isn't a place here for you, Dafydd. There is. But you're not the base of the Republican party.

The above hissed in response by: Baggi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 7:49 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


I understand your point, Baggi; but it's simply not accurate. "The base of the Republican Party" has never, ever been synonymous with "the conservative wing of the Republican Party."

There is a great deal of overlap; but the base of any party comprises those hard-core members who will vote for virtually anyone that party nominates, will donate money, and will actively campaign for it... and that's it. No particular flavor of Republican required.

Many conservatives fall into this "base" category -- but not all of them. And many of those in the base are conservatives, but again, not all of them.

What we now call the conservative faction of the GOP really only dates back to 1964; while there were always what we would today call conservatives -- Bill Buckley was one even during the Roosevelt era -- they were a tiny fringe within the party until Barry Goldwater's campaign.

Buckley and Goldwater made conservatism respectable; but it took Ronald Reagan to make it popular. Conservatives were the majority faction within the party from, say, 1980 through 2000 (though never 100% -- look at Reagan's own cabinet). But George W. Bush called himself a "compassionate conservative" from the first day of his campaign; and that was widely understood at the time to mean "big-government conservative," which is not what most people would call mainstream conservative today.

I believe the conservative faction within the GOP today is the smallest it's been in the last 25 years. Within the base of the party, "national security Republicans" dominate, as can clearly be seen by the way the primaries have been going; but there is still a strong contingent of "limited government Republicans;" and of course, "conservative Republicans" are likely still the plurality within the base, though no longer in control.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 8:25 PM

The following hissed in response by: Doc Stephens

I posted earlier that if McCain were the nominee, I'd slither off to some south sea island and pray. To clarify, that would be after I voted for him. Alas, my vote would not be enough. Obama will bury him in November. I'm not sure that Hillary would though--but that is a contest I don't expect to see.

Romney is the most talented candidate for president I've seen in my lifetime--FDR was president when I was hatched. I don't understand why more don't see it as I do.

The above hissed in response by: Doc Stephens [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 8:40 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Doc Stephens:

Obama will bury him in November.

My gut feeling tells me that the Sauerkraut is wrong; come November, there will be a lot less to Barack Obama (electorally) than meets the dire prophecy today.

He's about as empty a suit as it's possible to be. To the extent he has any substance at all, it's pure, unadulterated MoveOn.org left-liberal defeatism... and I believe that will ultimately destroy his candidacy.

I refuse to believe the American people will ever vote for surrender, defeat, and self-immolation.

But electoral reality will be birthed after nine months gestation from tomorrow.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2008 12:42 AM

The following hissed in response by: rightwingprof

It's not just the White House. If Hillary wins the election, she'll do so with broad coattails, and we'll have a much larger Democrat majority in Congress. The Republicans will be powerless, and we'll get Hillarycare. No entitlement program that has ever passed has been dismantled, and we'll be stuck with it. I'll probably vote for Romney in the primary, but if McCain is the nominee, I'll vote for him in November -- and the most conservative Congressional candidates on my ballot.

As for the controversial issues, most are outside the power of the executive, and I'd rather have McCain in the White House where he can't make law than in the Senate where he can.

The above hissed in response by: rightwingprof [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2008 4:23 AM

The following hissed in response by: ESMcHugh

If conservatives today turn against the Republican nominee, whoever he is, and either take their ball and go home or turn their jerseys and play for the opposition, then the next election will be against a strong, ensconced Democratic incumbent... and we'll lose that one, too.

If conservatism leads people to act in such a way such that the short term ascendancy of liberalism makes the country worse off in the fallacious belief that there will be a restoration in the long run of conservatism, then conservatism no longer constitutes the greatness of America; it becomes parasitic upon it.

If Iraq is lost because of petulant behavior by conservatives, then (by the estimation of this veteran) you will have de facto proved yourselves no better than anti-American liberals.

The above hissed in response by: ESMcHugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2008 8:12 AM

The following hissed in response by: Pam

Great post as always! What angers me the most is how Iraq and overall WOT was supposed to be the most important issue, when McCain was losing, but no that McCain has come back, it is not enough. So, our voters really didn't believe it; we were just mouthing the words to get folks elected or re-elected. Now, that we don't like the front runner we're ok with abandoning Iraq if it comes to that! Come on, folks! We can't be like Democrates, saying what ever we think we need to to win. We own Iraq until that nation can take care of itself. We can't walk away from the mess we helped make. My God if we do, then we'll be just as the Democrates have said we are. Can anyone not see that we need to have a moral foreign policy? Sorry Ron Paul, walking away isn't moral! Finishing what you started, fixing what you help to break, is!

The above hissed in response by: Pam [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 5, 2008 11:08 AM

The following hissed in response by: RFYoung


The must poison in the lizard water!

McCain is 1000 times better than the democratic alternative?? He is barely distinguishable. The question is do you want to elect evil or stupid, and McCain has a track record of supporting stupid legislation.

Then in the comments some deranged suggestion that it would be morally correct to kill a gun owner and his family, if they failed to stop an attack. That they are so far beyond the pale as to not warrant the protection of society.

When was the last time a cop got there fast enough to stand between the murder and the citizen.

Couldn't go any further into insanity.

The above hissed in response by: RFYoung [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 5, 2008 2:09 PM

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