February 07, 2008

Conservative: Noun Or Adjective?

Huh? OK, Gary's been hitting the cooking sherry again.

I've been thinking about this the last week trying to figure out how John McCain got the lion's share of votes and delegates to date because I used to really believe that - when the rubber met the road - the level (or lack thereof) support for McCain could not possibly result in his getting the nomination. Clearly, that instinct was based on a fallacy.

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We've been hearing from so many Conservatives (with a capital "C") throughout the party hierarchy, in the punditocracy and across the blogosphere. And the consensus from those voices was "no way" on McCain. And that "movement" if you will has crashed and burned. At first I chalked it up to an inability to coalesce around one candidate. But I think it goes much deeper than that.

Those voices we've heard and columns we've read (and blogs we've surfed) are made up of many "movement" Conservatives. And a lot of these folks don't refer to themselves as being "conservative" (the adjective), they say they are "Conservatives" (the noun). In other words, the term conservative is more than just a way you lean on the issues it's an identity. They can run down a list of issues and check off that "conservative" box on just about every single line. That's all fine and good. But what about the regular Joe voters that show up at the polls? I'd say in more cases than not they say they are conservative but don't necessarily identify themselves as Conservatives.

I'm not just parsing words here. I'm not hung up on semantics. My point is this: I think those voters who take politics seriously but don't rely on media feeds like oxygen regarding who's up in the polls or who's doing better in a particular state or even who has to win a certain contest to remain viable are the ones who make the difference.

For them, there is not a set of parameters that determine if someone is a true conservative because they don't subscribe to the idea that calling oneself conservative means fitting into a specifically defined box. Many issues are important but few are deal-breakers. Call them squishy if you will but I think they get the idea that none of these candidates really fit the pre-determined "Reagan template".

So what did they do? The went with the guy that was the most consistent. Agree or disagree on this issue or that, at least they knew what they could expect from John McCain. And they decided that they could live with it. They see McCain the warrior, the hero, the patriot. They see they guy with the sack to say what he means and mean what he says. They see a guy who's not going to bother twisting himself one way or the other to make a particular group happy.

I'll admit, like it or not, with McCain what you see is what you get. So the next question (assuming you can live with him as the nominee) is "can he win?". And clearly the folks who voted for him decided that yes, he was.

So now we essentially have a nominee. And we have him sooner rather than later which is a major advantage.

Lots of people are smarting at the result and there's nine months to go. Yes, there will be a significant number of hold outs for some time but the bottom line is that a Hillary or Obama Presidency (with a Democrat controlled Congress) represents a scenario daunting enough to scare the sweet BeJeezus out of enough voters (GOP, Independent and even a few Donks) that John McCain can win - and win big. The key here is that I think his own party will be willing to meet him at least halfway. The rest is up to him.

He knows this. And he wants this. And anyone who can endure what he did at the Hanoi Hilton for five years has the fortitude to do what he needs to do to make it happen. I for one am willing to meet him halfway. Voting for Hillary (or Obama) is just not an option. And not voting is even less of an option. So many have sacrificed so much for my right to pull that lever in November (not the least of which is one John Sidney McCain III). I'm not about to turn my back on that right.

How enthusiastic I am nine months from now depends largely on Sen. McCain.

So let's pull together here. Let's remember who would sell us out to Islamic Fascism for political expediency. Let's remember who would try and make our decisions for us. Let's remember who thinks of us as children who need to be controlled. Let's remember who could give two flaming bags of poo about our freedem to live as we chose.

Let's keep our eye on the ball and remember what's at stake.

Come November, let's vote John McCain.

Hey, worst case scenario we get another shot in 2012. I'm willing to take the shot. What say you?

Posted by Gary at February 7, 2008 08:37 PM | TrackBack

"...John McCain can win - and win big."
And you are high on something. McVain will get trounced by either Cankles or Obama-llama-ding-dong in the general. Doesn't matter which stinky turd runs on the donk side. The MSM has been sharpening their knives in anticipation of McVain's GOP nomination and now you will start to see the beginning of the full court press to bring out ALL the skeletons in the closet. Age factor, pissy temperament, racism and/or sexism charges, financial shenanigans (Keating 5 anyone?)....You name it, they will find it or invent it and pronounce it from the highest mountain-top.

And the sad part about it is, so-called "Conservatives" will piss and moan and do their best to defend this flaming arsehole from the press, but will fail quite miserably. They will attempt their best to deflect criticism away from the most liberal GOP candidate running in a century as well as berate those of us who have simply had enough of "supporting" the lesser of two evils.
"Come November, let's vote John McCain."
Sorry, at least in this Presidential election cycle, NONE OF THE ABOVE will get my vote, however, I will still vote for conservatives on the down ticket. Call me names, berate my character and lack of "party unity"; I've read it all on a dozen other blogs and it does not phase me. No McVain, no way, no how.

You are right on one thing...We'll try again in 2012. Maybe by then the GOP establishment (aka the Blue Blood Country Club Republicans) will realize it is THEY who need to moderate some of THEIR views; that it is THEY who need to "reach across the aisle" to REAL CONSERVATIVES to nominate a candidate more palatable to a wider range of people. I guess they don't call it The Party of Stupid for nothing....

Posted by: Cold Fire at February 8, 2008 12:46 AM

Hey, worst case scenario we get another shot in 2012. I'm willing to take the shot. What say you?

No, worst case scenario is that McCain cooperates with the Dems on another amnesty bill, which passes this time, and confers citizenship on the illegals within four years. As citizens they can vote. And they will vote overwhelmingly D. Ten or fifteen million new D voters will permanently change the balance of political power, resulting in permanent Democrat control of the White House and both houses of Congress. And I mean permanent, for as long as the USA lasts. Which it won't for very long, under Democrat economic and social policies. I give it thirty years, no more.

Posted by: wolfwalker at February 8, 2008 04:50 AM

I'd love a more conservative candidate who could win. Unfortunately, he doesn't exist. So that makes it a non-starter as an argument.

So I'm with you on this one, Gary. McCain is the candidate, and there are no alternatives.

Since Romney is out, I'm with McCain to the end.

Posted by: The Abbot at February 8, 2008 07:26 AM

That was one of the best posts I have seen yet on the convservative/Conservative issue and McCain. I think you are on to something!

Posted by: April at February 8, 2008 07:50 AM

Cold Fire - you sound like my eleven year old when I tell him he can't play his Wii and has to do his homework.

Whatever, stay home. Nobody cares.

Don't underestimate McCain's appeal in Blue States. You'll have to take my word for it but based on a ton of anecdotal evidence I've accumulated, McCain will crush SWMNBN OR Obama in CT. It's seven measly Electoral votes. But if he can win big in CT, imagine WI, MI, PA, OH...the list goes on.

Wolfwalker, tell me how much better an "amnesty" bill will be with a Democrat-controlled Congress and a Democrat President helping to write it. The scenario you describe is pretty gloomy. But, really, if the second coming of Reagan was in the White House for the next eight years wouldn't that future be merely delayed. Like it or not, you can't hold back the dam from bursting. The best you can do is campaign for Congressmen/Senators who will fight it off for the time being.

Posted by: Gary at February 8, 2008 08:26 AM

I was banging my spoon on my high-chair, too, but it took this brief but well-reasoned piece by Cliff May on NRO to settle me down (grudgingly). The GOP shares the blame for this, so maybe it can regroup over time. Meanwhile, let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, as May writes.

Posted by: Monica at February 8, 2008 08:43 AM

Gary, you wanted to know what the worst-case scenario was. I told you. Assuming that McCain is still in favor of immediate amnesty and a path to quick citizenship for illegals, then there's no difference between President McCain, President Obama, and President Bitch. They all lead irrevocably to disaster.

The best case scenario I can think of is that something happens between now and the election that really lights a fire under the issue of national security and border security -- for example, a major terrorist attack launched by foreigners who came in, and brought their weapons in, over the southern border. The media then discovers and trumpets the fact that a lot of the illegals have no intention of assimilating and essentially constitute a foreign army on American soil, here to wage economic warfare by leeching off our economy and real warfare by facilitating terrorism. As a result, we get a Congress and a President who mean it when they say "secure the border," and just-by-coincidence are also spending hawks who mean it when they talk about controlling spending. We get real reform on Social Security and Medicare, and at least for the moment, all is well again.

Is it likely? No, of course not. It requires that our political class show intelligence and leadership. But it is a possibility, and you're right that the only way it could become reality is with President McCain. Obama and the Bitch are too stupid to do anything sensible about security, even with a mushroom cloud rising over New York City or Chicago.

Posted by: wolfwalker at February 8, 2008 09:33 AM

Actually, Gary, I prefer it as an adverb myself.

Posted by: Steve-O at February 8, 2008 10:26 AM

Gary, you can call me and the tens of thousands of others like me names (let's see, there's childish, idiot, stupid, selfish, stubborn, etc, ad nauseaum) but it does not phase me. You obviously live in one of those northeast squishy liberal states and are "sure" McVain will beat out either of the other two clowns. Unfortunately, you don't quite understand the power of the fifth columnists in the MSM. They will bury McVain. I will take no satisfaction in his election-day drubbing. I just hope to be able to support real conservatives on the down ticket so we can limit the damage the donks will do to the country.

Sir, I live in San Antonio. I see FIRST-HAND the problems of the illegal alien invasion. So much so, I am planning on moving further into the heartland of America as soon as I possibly can. When a jerk like McVain calls me a racist, a nativist; when he has big agriculture and the construction industry backing him with millions of dollars so they can continue to keep illegal alien invaders employed on the cheap...well, sorry, your name-calling will not overcome my principled opposition to this hypocrite.

Best of luck with your electioneering for McVain. You will need EVERY vote you can get.

Posted by: Cold Fire at February 8, 2008 01:33 PM

Let's see:
And you are high on something

Doesn't matter which stinky turd runs on the donk side.

defend this flaming arsehole

Actually, I don't recall calling you any names but now that I think of it "juvenile" sounds about right.

Do what you want, dude. Vote. Don't vote. Protest at the polls. Stay home and play "World of Warcraft". Whatever will help pull you out of this bitter funk of yours.

Posted by: Gary at February 8, 2008 02:07 PM

At risk of getting shot by all sides, I'd like to propose that both parties are full of Gary's nouns. Conservatives and Liberals, wiht capital letter. Both have established organizations that exist because of full-throated shouting. That's how they raise money (think NARAL on the left) and keep themselves in business. Every minor issue becomes the Fight of the Century, and all negotiated settlements a grievous sin.

Just think back to how petrified the olde-tyme GOP establishment was when Teddy Roosevelt became President. Today we've got loudmouths on both sides who'd rather lose an election and still have something to shout about than win and have to (horror) bear partial responsibility for coming up with a negotiated solution to problems. Of course, continuing to ignore problems like immigration or our vast crumbling Medicare program remain an option. Just a really bad option.

Posted by: tdp at February 8, 2008 05:14 PM

Just for the record, I have no expectations of "electioneering for McVain". As I said, my enthusiasm (or lack thereof) for his candidacy depends entirely on one man - the good Sen. from AZ. I'm just not planning on going to Kos-kid training school to aspire to be an unhinged pain in the ass.

All in all, I'd rather be in our position than theirs - a divided party whose nominee could be decided by "superdelegates". Can you say "selected not elected" anyone?

And I do understand the power of the MSM, but if John McCain can survive that onslaught it'll make him a better President. Yes, I am concerned about this obstacle but I also understand that the average voter is not as stoooopid as some of us think they are. The MSM doesn't have a monopoly on information anymore.

All I'm suggesting is that we - as GOP voters - chill a bit and consider that nine months is a long time in politics. This is the hand we've been dealt (and the will of the voters). You don't have to slap a "McCain 2008" sticker on your bumper but you can hold back on the personal attacks. He's won it. Nothing is going to change that.

Time to mount that horse and yell "charge". Let's recognize who the real enemy is, shall we?

Posted by: Gary at February 8, 2008 10:42 PM