Friday, February 1, 2008

The McCain Dilemma

Super Tuesday is fast approaching which means it is possible that we may definitively know who the two presidential nominees will be. On the other hand, we may be even more muddled than ever.

The Republican field has finally dwindled down to the final four: Mitt Romney, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and Ron Paul. The first two were expected to still be neck-and-neck, but several months ago nobody would have conjectured that Huckabee and Paul would still be around and while it is highly unlikely that either will capture the nomination, they remain pivotal players. Ron Paul's campaign website, has announced that the Texas Congressman has no intention of dropping out before the convention if they can help it. Their hope is obviously to save enough money to make it to the Convention in Minneapolis this September. The Paul supporters could be the decisive ones on who gets the nomination, whether it's their candidate or not. Huckabee is running out of cash fast and his campaign desperately needs a win on Super Tuesday, which is possible with so many primaries being held in the South, one of his strongholds, but the same can be said of McCain.

Speaking of that egotistical gasbag, McCain has become the media-anointed front runner of the Republican field. The most liberal Republican candidate left in the race was the focus of this week's debate on CNN. Most of the exchanges were between McCain and Romney while Huckabee and Paul were glorified spectators. If anyone needs an example of McCain's pomposity, hubris, and sense of entitlement, I urge you to find the debate on youtube or find a transcript. He was beyond offensive to conservatives. He had a chip on his shoulder which leads me to believe that he is not running for president out of a personal conviction to serve his country but because he feels he is owed it. His sense of entitlement for the nomination is appalling and makes him look more like Bill Clinton confronting reporters than Ronald Reagan. When answering a question about why he feels he should be commander-in-chief on the foreign policy and domestic policy front, he answered, "Because I'm a leader. . ." Well, I think I'm a leader too, Senator McCain, but I do not feel that entitles me to the Republican nomination.

Nearly all politicians run for selfish purposes: money, power, fame, etc. But most are pretty good about hiding those intentions. McCain, however, exhibits arrogance which I find absolutely offending. McCain has spent his career snubbing the conservative base of his party while appealing to liberals for which he has been rewarded by Democrats and the media for being a "maverick." Another way to put it is "a Democrat in Republican clothes." President Bush owes his second term to conservatives and actually listened to them when the outcry over the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers was announced, a pro-choice nominee. Bush took back the nomination (formally Miers withdrew her name) and nominated Sam Alito in her place. The president recoiled because he infuriated his base, his last remaining bastion of any support. McCain could possibly win the nomination without the Republican base. If he can get enough Democrats and Independents to vote for him, he could very well win the election. If he does, then expect conservatives to be marginalized even more. Bush still pays a modicum of attention to conservatives. McCain will devote little if any attention to the right wing of the party. It is being said right now that the conservatives are abandoning McCain. I say that the opposite is true. McCain long ago abandoned conservatives for political expediency. He does not represent conservatives and I believe he never will. The warmongering, open borders advocating, economically ignorant McCain would be the worst candidate the Republicans ever put up and his election could destroy the party and the conservative movement.

As Super Tuesday approaches, we may begin to see who the Republican candidate will be. If it is McCain, we may begin hearing "Taps" played for conservatives.

For more on McCain, I direct you to the preview of the next issue of "The American Conservative:"

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