The pile of smoking rubble the primaries have left conservatives

Okay. As John McCain would say, “My friends –” (everybody seems to be McCain’s friend to McCain)…we of the conservative ilk don’t have a viable candidate this time around.

It’s not the end of the world for the conservatives in the Republican party. We initially rallied around Rudy, I think, minus the hardcore Thompson fans or Huckabee’s siren song to evangelical conservatives. And really, we all know Mike Huckabee is not going to win the primary. And really, we all know, if he did, he’d get his ass round-house kicked (you brought the joke on yourself, Mike) with a force measuring 10.0 on the Norris Scale.

Right. So we had, as Peggy Noonan recently called in, a “bubbling stew” with candidates, those of us on the right.

Now there seem to be only a couple of chunks of meat left.

You’ve got Romney and McCain. All Huckabee will do is siphon delegates *off* of those two, especially in states where Independents can vote in any party’s primary.

A lot of conservatives are rallying around Romney. Okay, so I’ve mocked Romney my whole life — I have a Mormon problem, I guess. But given what the press calls McCain’s “maverick” status (which is code for “he’s liberal”) and his age and…well, people are worried about McCain being able to beat down a young and virile Barack Obama or a battle-tested woman with balls bigger than her ex-President husband.

I guess what I’m trying to say is — pass me the air sick bag, but I might have to vomit up a Romney ballot. I don’t like it, but it may well be the best shot the Republicans have got, I think.

This is not really the conventional wisdom, it seems; it seems McCain has “earned” the nomination, and it really feels like 1996. Sure, Rudy endorsed McCain when he dropped out, and he’s got other endorsements (although from some with shaky conservative streed cred like the Governator of California). And yeah, the press loves McCain, but the second he wins the primary — the press will jump all over him, just watch. Honeymoon over, gloves off.

Doesn’t he remind you of Bob Dole?

Not in manner, maybe. But remember, Dole ran as a “compromiser” — which he was — and that is exactly what McCain is running as (and he’s not hiding the bad connotation of the word, either, i.e. repeatedly settling for what’s not the best option). Both are old, as well, very old.

We chose Dole in this manner. Don’t my fellow VRWC folks remember this? We chose Dole, and it was a disaster. And we all felt about Dole the way we feel about McCain.

Which is why I think — ugh — I think — I might go Romney. It’s still up in the air, though, I need a little more time to think.

Ow. Ugly thing to have to type. “Go for Romney”. Ick. Did I actually say that? No…can’t be…

It’s too bad Jeb Bush can’t really run. 🙂 (I actually partially mean that, believe it or not)

Look, you don’t have to read McCain’s liberal history to understand why conservatives are wary of him; just listen to some recent comments regarding how he wouldn’t elect conservative judges like Alito to the courts. Guys, that’s a big issue. A BIG issue — who appoints those justices.

From John Fund:

More recently, Mr. McCain has told conservatives he would be happy to appoint the likes of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But he indicated he might draw the line on a Samuel Alito, because “he wore his conservatism on his sleeve.”

And that is something a conservative really doesn’t want to hear. Besides, give me a break about Alito wearing his conservatism “on his sleeve”. Okay, he’s a strict constructionist, but…the guy is a good justice and we should be glad to have him in there.

So let’s see how things break. All I know is that McCain ain’t gonna get much of a reception at CPAC, the annual conservative pow-wow (after all, I believe last year they were handing out “No Rudy McRomney” buttons) — this will be one of his few chances to reach out to the conservatives en masse and McCain better watch out and be ready to defend his liberal record on taxes, global warming, and campaign finance “reform” (or rather, the throttling of political free speech).

I know CPAC cats. I don’t see them buying McCain’s rhetoric. I see them seething because there is no conservative to vote for. I mean, another thing about Huckabee — he’s a Big Government fan, period.

Where does this leave us? I dunno. Right now McCain has The Big Mo, as they say, and we’ll have to see if Romney can derail it by throwing fistfuls of money at him.

Ah well. At the end of the day, members of the choir, remember that it’s still better to have McCain or Romney in there than it is to have Obama or Clinton…

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