Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bust or McCain?

Mark Helprin rips the right-wing pundit class for its loud and counterproductive attacks on John McCain.

One can agree or disagree with his peripheral positions, but political orthodoxy is political death. If those who are in a hissy fit about Sen. McCain would rather have Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, they will get Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton -- how delightful to go to jail for building your house on land once visited by an exotic moth -- and they will wake up to a great regret, as if in their drunkenness they had taken Shrek to bed.

But, guess what? Even if, as the country veers left, living conservatives gnash their teeth and dead ones spin in their graves, a small class of conservatives will benefit. And who might they be? They might be those whose influence and coffers swell on discontent, and who find attacking a president easier and more sensational than the dreary business of defending one. They rose during the Clinton years. Perhaps they are nostalgic. It isn't worth it, however, for the rest of us.

So, rather than playing recklessly with electoral politics by sabotaging their own party ostensibly for its impurity but equally for the sake of their self-indulgent pique, each of these compulsive talkers might be a tad less self-righteous, look to the long run, discipline himself, suck it up, and be a man. And that would apply equally as well to the gorgeous Laura Ingraham and the relentlessly crocodilian Ann Coulter

He's right.

The Monk is not a big McCain fan. The Senator's opposition to free speech and emotion-driven campaign against non-torturous torture are but two of his less endearing political positions. But in a contest between McCain and Huckabee (who is basically just a white Obama, but less pretty) there is no question who the Republican nominee must be.

Similarly, failing to vote for McCain due to a dubious failure by the Senator to hew to a conservative agenda is simply stupid. Consider the alternatives: (1) the callow, weak, naive and pacifistic Obama; (2) the socialist Hillary Clinton. Is withholding a vote for McCain worth the inevitable benefit that either of the others would realize? Simply stated, no.

Ultimately, in November, McCain will carry the banner of the Republicans and the conservatives need to vote for him no matter how much nose-holding it takes. He will be the worst choice, except for all the others.

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