Thursday, February 07, 2008

Not This Time Ann Coulter

I like to call myself a moderate conservative. What this means to me is that I try not to let my ideology keep me from changing course when it's prudent or let it keep me from making logical decisions. It also means I believe that extremists from the right are as disruptive of the democratic process as are extremists from the left.

The reason for this introduction is that I have changed my mind. Previously I supported Fred Thompson for president and said that I could support Romney or Giuliani if nominated, but I would sit on my hands for McCain and actively oppose Huckabee.

Now that Senator McCain has all but won the nomination, I realize I can’t possibly live with myself if I help Clinton or Obama win the presidency by withholding my vote and support for McCain; either Democrat would take us back to the days when we did not take seriously the dangers of Islamic terrorism; either Democrat would throw away the gains made against terrorism – gains made at a huge cost in blood and treasure and, domestically, either Democrat would move us further into the mire of collectivism.

Ann Coulter is wrong; Republicans should vote for McCain for the reasons Bill Kristol lists below. Coulter is probably just trying for attention again so she can sell more books.

Dyspepsia on the Right

By WILLIAM KRISTOL, New York Times February 4, 2008

The prospect of John McCain as the likely Republican presidential nominee has produced a squall of anger on the right. Normally reserved columnists and usually ebullient talk-radio hosts vie to express their disgust with McCain, and their disdain for the Republicans who are about to nominate him. The conservative movement as a whole appears disgruntled and dyspeptic.

Now I have nothing against a certain amount of disgruntlement and dyspepsia. The ways of the world, and the decisions of our fellow Americans, occasionally warrant such a reaction.

But American politics tends to be unkind to movements that dwell in anger and relish their unhappiness. In the era from Franklin D. Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy, liberals tended to be happy warriors — and that helped their cause. The original civil rights movement succeeded in part because it worked hard to transcend a justifiable bitterness. Liberalism faltered when it became endlessly aggrieved and visibly churlish.

The American conservative movement has been remarkably successful. We shouldn’t take that success for granted. It’s not easy being a conservative movement in a modern liberal democracy. It’s not easy to rally a comfortable and commercial people to assume the responsibilities of a great power. It’s not easy to defend excellence in an egalitarian age. It’s not easy to encourage self-reliance in the era of the welfare state. It’s not easy to make the case for the traditional virtues in the face of the seductions of liberation, or to speak of duties in a world of rights and of honor in a nation pursuing pleasure.

One reason conservatives have been able to navigate the rapids of modern America is that they’ve often gone out of their way to make their case with good cheer. William F. Buckley, the father of the conservative movement, skewered liberals, but always with wit and élan. By 1980, bolstered by the growth-oriented doctrine of supply-side economics, and speaking the language of American uplift more than that of conservative despair, Ronald Reagan won the presidency.

Since then we conservatives have had a pretty good run. We had a chance to implement a fair share of our ideas, and they worked. In the 1980s and 90s, conservative policies helped win the cold war, revive the economy and reduce crime and welfare dependency. American conservatism’s ascendancy has benefited this country — and much of the world — over the last quarter-century.

This is an important moment for the conservative movement. Not because conservatives have some sort of obligation to fall in behind John McCain. They don’t. Those conservatives who can’t abide McCain are free to rally around Mitt Romney. And if McCain does prevail for the nomination, conservatives are free to sit out the election.

But I’d say this to them: When the primaries are over, if McCain has won the day, don’t sulk and don’t sit it out. Don’t pretend there’s no difference between a candidate who’s committed to winning in Iraq and a Democratic nominee who embraces defeat. Don’t tell us that it doesn’t matter if the next president voted to confirm John Roberts and Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court, or opposed them. Don’t close your eyes to the difference between pro-life and pro-choice, or between resistance to big government and the embrace of it.

And don’t treat 2008 as a throwaway election. If a Democrat wins the presidency, he or she will almost certainly have a Democratic Congress to work with. That Congress will not impede a course of dishonorable retreat abroad. It won’t balk at liberal Supreme Court nominees at home. It won’t save the economy from tax hikes.

If, by contrast, McCain wins the presidency — and all the polls suggest he’d be the best G.O.P. bet to do so — he’ll be able to shape a strong American foreign policy, nominate sound justices and fight for parts of the conservative domestic agenda.

One might add a special reason that conservatives — and the nation — owe John McCain at least a respectful hearing. Only a year ago, we were headed toward defeat in Iraq. Without McCain’s public advocacy and private lobbying, President Bush might not have reversed strategy and announced the surge of troops in January 2007.

Without McCain’s vigorous leadership, support for the surge in Congress would not have been sustained in the first few months of 2007. So: No McCain, no surge. No surge, failure in Iraq, a terrible setback for America — and, as it happens, no chance for a G.O.P. victory in 2008.

Some conservatives can close their eyes to all this. They can choose to stand aside from history while having a temper tantrum. But they should consider that the American people might then choose not to invite them back into a position of responsibility for quite a while to come.


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At 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Bill Kristol, especially now that Mitt Romney has dropped out of the election. I for one don't like McCain and never have liked him, but if you consider the grim alternatives on the Democratic side, you'd be foolish not to cast your vote for him in the big election. I don't want to see a Democrat running this country for the obvious reasons that they have shown themselves to be inept when it comes to running the government, weak on terrorism, and being controlled by Left Wing loons with Communist Socialists ideas. Hopefully McCain will pick a more conservative running mate who will keep him in line.

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a few comments...
Mccain is obviously the man going forward, he is better alternative than Clinton or Obama
Mccain (more than Romney or any other recent hopeful) does a better job matched up against EITHER democrat in the election (mostly because of indy votes)
Mccain support for a surge policy not only helped America, helped Iraq...but was probably the single largest reason for his recent resurrection (even counting the Huckabee undermining of Romney votes)
There is a lot about Mccain to not like, but I think it is better to be reasonable, reach out and compromise than the opposite which is the latest rage causing such partisan oppose ANYTHING that the other side suggests or supports even if it makes sense
The Mccain success has proved that the far right wing whether it be Rush and company, or the religious right does not have the power and clout that they think they have.

At 6:44 PM, Blogger ThaLunatic Daily said...

Conservatives are beginning to amaze me in their inability to see what's really at stake here. This election is about more than McCain and his inability to follow conservative principals.

How is handing the whole country over to far left liberals a suitable alternative to McCain? What principal is that?

There is a serious difference between McCain and a pure-bread liberal who is bent on destroying ALL conservative values permanently.

Today’s liberal is not like the Bill Clinton’s Presidency. It’s moved radically left... Clinton is now considered a moderated, and loosing it’s power because it’s not radically liberal enough.

The Democratic candidate that is surging now, Obama, is bottom of the barrel liberal. He is about to take power, unless conservatives stop fighting and get serious.

This would give liberals what they will treat as a clear sign from America that is it ready to move sharply to the left. Not slightly to the left.

Cherry picking our candidate is exactly what got us INTO this mess, and if conservatives aren’t careful, they will allow our country spiral out of control.

There is no such thing as a quick recovery from 4 years of radical liberalism unchecked. We may be facing what will take years and years of damage to undo. What’s more, there’s no guarantee that it WILL be undone. Have conservatives completely forgotten Roe v. Wade and other extremely important issues?

Questioning McCain was right and highly useful for a time and a season. Many of us wish we had acted sooner to support Romney or Huck.... But staying home on election day allows liberals a pass to capture all THREE branches of Government. Our kids deserve better out of us.

I'm not asking anyone to sacrifice their own belief or convictions, but we have a serious problem here that requires that we do everything we can to minimize the damage this election can cause to our society.

I’d rather have 50% of McCains ear, than 0% of a liberals ear.

Give it some thought, friends.

Danny Vice


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