The left of center media seem to be enamored of John McCain. They laud his “centrist” and “maverick” tendencies. So far [this will surely change] they have spared him the brutal reviews normally forthcoming Republican candidates. The New York Times, long comfortable with the senator from Arizona endorsed him for the Republican nomination. The political pundits praise him as the GOP’s best chance to claim four more years in the White House. They say he will be able to take independent and “swing voters” away from the Democratic candidate, whoever that may be. All this may be true but at what cost to the Republican Party? Perhaps, the left is practicing a little political rope-a-dope.
The GOP rose from the ashes in the 1980’s on the back of Ronald Reagan and movement conservatives. The Reagan years were misery for the left and its toadies in the mainstream media. The party began descent from the summit in 1992 when George Bush 41, a mainline “country club” Republican squandered a ninety per cent post Gulf War approval rating and lost a second term to then unknown Bill Clinton. Even though Clinton proved such a disaster to his own party that Republicans swept to control of Congress in 1994, Kansas Senator Bob Dole, an aging war hero and centrist, could not unseat “The Boy President” in 1996. In 2000 self professed conservative, George W. Bush wrested that disputed election from Albert Gore.
In the intervening years W has quietly and steadily abandoned conservatism and like his father, allowed an approval rate nearing one hundred per cent to evaporate. Bereft of original thought Bush the Younger has since followed the purposeless, neither fish nor fowl policies of his father. The decimation of solid majorities in both the House and Senate during Bush 43’s watch is hard to fathom. The desolation is so complete on the right that a book entitled How the Bush Family Destroyed the GOP is likely soon to be published.
Given the mismanagement of the Iraq War, housing in free fall and $4 gas, the press has declared not only Bush to be a failure but conservatism as well. Throughout the past four years we have been treated to a continuous assertion that GWB is a knucklehead, a conservative of the whacked out fringe, when in fact he abandoned early on any pretense to conservative ideals. President Bush has neither promoted such conservative goals as comprehensive tax relief and reform nor used his veto against such dubious legislation as Ted Kennedy’s, No Child Left Behind and McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform. Neither has he imposed discipline on a wild spending Republican Congress got drunk on majority.
The left has only to win the Presidential election of 2008 to effect a total repudiation of The Reagan Revolution. Enter Senator John McCain, the aging war hero and centrist. Co-sponsor of McCain-Feingold, the Senator is a champion of No Child Left Behind. McCain joined the “gang of 14” to block Republican judicial nominees and has supported amnesty for illegal aliens. The presumptive GOP standard bearer joined Democrats to stop [by one vote] drilling in ANWAR and voted against Bush’s post 9/11 tax cuts. He vows he will follow the fiscally catastrophic Kyoto Protocols on global climate change. Most conservative Republicans can’t stand him and may support him only under duress. Many see him as a greater threat than either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama!
In stealthily supporting McCain’s march to the nomination, the left has accomplished a great strategic victory. It has demoralized the Republican base vastly improving the chances of victory in November. And just in case the Democrats do the unthinkable and somehow manage to lose the election, in President John McCain they will have someone the record shows will be easy to co-op. Regardless of what happens on the first Tuesday in November, one thing is for sure, the right will be in tatters.