February 1, 2008


McCain Signals End of Reagan-Bush Era (E. J. Dionne, 2/01/08, Real Clear Politics)

Some on the right feel it would be less damaging to their cause to lose the 2008 election with the Republican-conservative alliance intact than to win with John McCain.

For those outside the conservative movement, such anxiety seems strange. McCain's voting record in the House and Senate has typically won high ratings from conservative groups. His positions on key issues (support for the Iraq War, opposition to abortion, his long-standing criticism of government spending) are those of an orthodox, conservative loyalist.

If McCain is the nominee, Democrats will have plenty of ammunition to persuade middle-of-the-road voters that he is not a moderate. And in Wednesday's California debate, McCain repeated his oft-declared claim that he had been a "foot soldier" in Ronald Reagan's army.

GOP: Stronger or Broader? (Debra Saunders, 2/01/08, Real Clear Politics)
Jon Fleischman, publisher of the influential conservative blog, the Flash Report, told me Romney has to "define this race as a conservative versus a moderate" race. And for Fleischman, only the most conservative conservative wins.

But doesn't Romney have to appeal to centrists? I asked Romney's California campaign Chairman, Tony Strickland, before the debate. Strickland countered that Romney does appeal to voters outside the GOP. "He was governor of Massachusetts, which is not exactly a bastion of conservatism," said Strickland, reciting the Romney mantra that the Mittster would be the best nominee because he has shown he can win in a blue state.

I've heard Romnulans say that before. And it sounds great, if you forget that Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts when he was a pro-abortion, pro-gay rights Republican.

The Beltway Right's flirtations with the pro abortion, pro-gay candidates--Rudy and Mitt--testifies to their disinterest in the issues. They just want a nominee who will kiss their...rings.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 1, 2008 8:13 AM


Your comment rings very true. Conservative radio chatterers and movement types have evinced little interest in policy. This became very clear when they began to remap their take on conservative ideology so that Maverick became a heretic. Two days ago I heard Hugh Hewitt sputtering on his show that McCain was insufficiently conservative because he opposed drilling in ANWAR. I've never read "Reflections on the Revolution in France," so I'm looking forward to finding all of the detailed energy policy prescriptions that Burke included.

Posted by: John Sterling at February 1, 2008 8:47 AM

It's real easy to figure out, John. McCain doesn't kiss up to Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity, and all the rest of the pundits. The only thing that they got going is if someone listens to them. If not, then they are the almighty Oz.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2008 10:23 AM

"Ultra-conservatives" dislike McCain's immigration stance. But the Saintly Reagan granted blanket amnesties to illegals.

Ultras don't like McCain-Feingold which passed Congress while the Reps were the majority, signed by Bush, (who, by the way "has destroyed the Republican Party").

Ultras always want to teach the Republicans a lesson. What lessons have the Republicans learnt after 2006?

Ultras always blame Republican moderates, but they cannot hold a majority without the moderates.

Ultras are waiting for the second coming of Reagan, but can't recognize someone who is more Reagan than Reagan himself. (Hint: someone who has never raised taxes in eight years, while his Saintliness raised taxes in his final years; someone who stands up and fight, while his Saintliness withdrew from Lebanon after the barrack bombing; someone who holds spending to a lower percentage of GDP than his Sainliness; someone who passed senior drug plan in which insurance premiums decrease every year, and private insurance companies make a tiny bundle.)

Posted by: ic at February 1, 2008 11:56 AM

IC: Shh! Don't confuse them with facts.

Really, their temper tantrum is not about policies, it's about themselves, what makes them feel better. Facts have no place when everything has to revolve around their ego.

Posted by: sam at February 1, 2008 12:36 PM

Let everyone say whatever they want as long as they make it clear they plan to vote for the Republican candidate in November NO MATTER WHO IT IS!

Posted by: erp at February 1, 2008 2:16 PM

Harold Stassen?

Posted by: ratbert at February 1, 2008 6:48 PM

If necessary.

Posted by: erp at February 1, 2008 11:13 PM

I think he's dead.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at February 2, 2008 7:11 AM