Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nor The Son Of One

At the risk of sounding self-congratulatory, here's something I wrote the morning after the 2006 elections, about a year and a half ago:
My suspicion is that Republicans are going to try to move to the Left as a result of this election (pointing to the defeats of swing-staters Jim Talent and Rick Santorum as justification), culminating in the nomination of John McCain for president in 2008. If they do, it will officially mark the end of the Republicans' 21st century dominance, as conservative and evangelical voters will have even more reason to sit it out.

If they're smart, however (and I frankly see no evidence of that), they'll see this as a well-timed wakeup call to begin becoming conservative again to reinvigorate their underwhelmed base. Fortunately for them, this was not a presidential election year. They still have time to right the ship (and it does need to be turned Right) in time to avert an era of disaster.

We'll see what they decide to do. I'm not optimistic.
Sadly, I was quite correct. John McCain is going to be the nominee. Between now and the election, many "conservatives" who have great unease about McCain are going to convince themselves that he'd really be pretty good after all, and more and more will "get in line" with the Party. But understand this: McCain is going to lose this election in a 40 state landslide. I'm not kidding. Think about it--which states do you see McCain carrying in November against, say, Barack Obama? I'll give you Arizona. Find me nine more (let alone 20 or 30 more). And that's not even including the specter we'll be treated to in the general election, with John McCain and Barack Obama directly competing with one another on the campaign trail. Obama next to McCain is like a supernova next to a dingy ten-watt light bulb swinging from a cord in a warehouse basement.

Someday someone is going to wake up and realize that in years when the Republicans run as conservatives ('80, '84, '88, '00, '04) they win. And in years when they run as moderates ('76, '92, '96), they get slaughtered. The Republicans are absolutely going to get their clocks cleaned come November. And frankly, it's probably the best thing that could happen to them.

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