Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Conservatives and the Fall of McCain

Many conservatives are expressing glee that the presidential campaign of John McCain appears to be in free fall. They are mistaken.

Senator McCain made enemies of various conservative constituencies by insulting the religious right, championing campaign finance reform, and favoring comprehensive immigration reform over an enforcement only approach. Conservatives will be quick to claim that those issues killed his campaign, but they are wrong. The love affair that the press and many independent voters had with the Senator ended because of his ongoing, principled support of the war. The loss of that support made it more difficult for him to mend fences within the party and re-establish a conservative constituency.

Notwithstanding the above issues, Senator McCain has had a consistently conservative voting record for much of his political career. He stood by the war effort even though he knew it would cost him. He rightly understands that it is one thing to criticize the entry into and conduct of the war. It is quite something else to support a quick withdrawal. That policy will result in a Middle East disaster, and the Senator was willing to say so at great personal cost.

Conservatives have much to complain about with regard to Senator McCain. Still, he deserved better.


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6:53 AM  

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