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Political Suicide Watch

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“b/cs observer” — the pseudonym of an occasional contributor to this blog who resides in Aggieland — posted a smart comment (which means I agree with it) to my article of yesterday, “The McCain Mutiny.”

This hatred of McCain still mystifies me to some extent.

McCain may not be the most conservative candidate, but he is far better than Democrats on many issues, especially national security, and I cannot see how a true conservative would rather sit at home and let liberals take control of the White House.

I guess the only fiscal conservates left in the GOP are the tax cutters. The only deficit control guys left are Tom Coburn and a couple guys in the House. The GOP built a lot of success on talking about controlling the deficit. Wonder what happned to the deficit hawks?

But with the rampant earmarks, the tax cutter pholiosophy has been discredited. The country is heading towards bankrupcy because no one in the White House took a stand against earmarks. So the GOP cannot stand on ficsal restraint anymore.

On Illegal Immigration, McCain was probabaly closer to the reality that some kind of guest worker program is going to have to be part of any fix. Letting guys like Tom Tancredo drive the debate for the GOP was awful. The issue has stirred up jingoism in the GOP and been used by Democrats to convince Hispanics the GOP is full of rascists.

I think the right wing fools like Limbaugh and Coulter who are bashing McCain have done little to stem the bleeding of the GOP and have made it worse. They are busy slamming McCain on tax cuts but where were they when Bush let it all slide? When the House leadership let it all slide?

And what about the future of the party? What to the talk radio types have to offer? Bush was making inroads in the hispanic population, but the illegal immigration disaster may have sunk those permanently. Thanks Rush.

Paul, I think you are correct about evangelicals seeing many issues in moral terms, but it goes further than that- they are not particulary concernd by the “non moral” issues, like earmarks. They have a certain set of policies they see as moral issues they care about and after that they are indifferent.

But then again evangelicals would probably not be only in the GOP if the Democrats still had room for people who were conservative on social issues but liberal on other issues like entitlements or the environment.

The inability of Democrats to accept deviance from the party line on social issues has ensured that evangelicals would flow to the GOP, since they have nowhere else to go.

I find his argument for McCain to be compelling. (Full disclosure: I’m on record here as being for McCain.) What are the conservatives like Limbaugh thinking about when they say, as Limbaugh did (from the transcript on his Web site), “If one such as myself happens to believe that there’s not too much of a substantive difference between Mrs. Clinton and a couple of the Republican potential nominees — and if I believe that either the Republican or Democrat nominee is going to cause great damage and harm to the country — I would just as soon it happen on the watch of a Democrat.”

This is nuts. “b/cs observer” nails Limbaugh on the issue of national security. So Rush would rather have Clinton or Obama in the White House than McCain? Clinton supports a phased withdrawal of troops to begin within 60 days of taking office, with most troops gone by the end of 2013. Obama wants all troops out within 16 months. McCain will not set a timetable for withdrawal. At least Clinton’s position is responsible. Obama’s is not. McCain’s position is based on a centuries-old rule of diplomacy: Don’t show your cards. The war is a mess, and Bush just watched while Rumsfeld screwed it up (read Bob Woodward’s third book on the war), but that’s in the past. In the future, we are going to need troops in the most volatile area of the world.

This paragraph I agree with word-for-word:

“On Illegal Immigration, McCain was probabaly closer to the reality that some kind of guest worker program is going to have to be part of any fix. Letting guys like Tom Tancredo drive the debate for the GOP was awful. The issue has stirred up jingoism in the GOP and been used by Democrats to convince Hispanics the GOP is full of rascists.”

Finally, “b/cs observer” is right that the Democrats purged their conservatives when they were in power, just as the Republicans have tried to purge their moderates. Two Texans, Jim Wright and Martin Frost, moved to strip Phil Gramm, then a Democratic congressman, from his seat on the Budget Committee after he co-sponsored Ronald Reagan’s budget cuts in 1981. So Gramm switched parties and became a three-term United States senator. Republicans embarked on their own purge of moderates in 2006, a campaign that was led by Rick Perry and Tom Craddick and their minions who posted lists of RINOs on their preaching-to-the-choir Web sites. When a party is so successful that it enjoys a long run in power, it gets arrogant. That happened to the Democrats, and it is happening to the Republicans.

The conservatives in the Republican party are apoplectic not because McCain is a liberal, which he certainly is not, but because he is independent. He won’t follow the conservative orthodoxy across the board. And that’s not the only reason why McCain has become their arch-fiend. A Washingon Post-ABC News poll published today shows McCain leading Romney nationally, 48% to 24%. This is a killer for conservatives, because it reveals something that the right does not want the world to know: that the Republican party is considerably more moderate than the faction that controls it — or, to give it a Texas twist, the March Republicans are far more conservative than the November Republicans. In a state of 23 million people, Texas politics is controlled by one-half plus one of 655,919 people: the majority of the turnout in the 2006 Republican primary. This distorts politics in Texas and renders the political system responsive to the wishes of the big donors and the primary voters but unresponsive to the state’s needs. This is political suicide.

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