A lot has happened during my week-plus hiatus from America’s Right for law school exams, from which I have emerged tired and ill, but unscathed as a whole. The fight for the Democratic party nomination has seemingly come to a close, with superdelegates flocking toward Barack Obama and with Hillary Clinton tallying up her campaign debt in preparation for a buyout.
The back-and-forth between Clinton and Obama over the past few weeks, dominated by Obama’s perceived guilt-by-associations with Rev. Wright, Rev. Moss, Fr. Pfleger and unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, has hurt the Illinois senator, and many prominent conservatives (as well as nobody conservatives like myself) seem to think that Obama is not as strong of a candidate–in terms of the general election–as he seemed to be six or eight weeks ago.
Honestly, I don’t fear Obama as much as I did, pre-Wright. It is rapidly becoming common knowledge that he doesn’t care about adding substance to his rhetoric, and even he has deemed his association with Rev. Wright a “legitimate political issue.” However, I still do fear the superficiality of the American voting public, that even the most rational among us will not care if he says nothing of substance, will not care if his closest mentors, advisors and friends include racists and outright terrorists, so long as he maintains his ambiguous promises of “hope” and “change.”
What I DO fear, however, is John McCain.
Between the damage done to the Democratic party and candidates, the whispers of success in Iraq and the possible brightening of the light at the end of the tunnel with regard to the economy, McCain is being handed the White House on a silver platter. Instead of smiling, doing the dance of American hero-turned White Knight politician, he is doing everything he can to sabotage his own chances.
Will somebody PLEASE sit down with the Arizona senator and tell him that it might not be a good idea to meet with–and thus legitimize–La Raza, the Hispanic militant, anti-immigration law enforcement lobbying force in Washington? Will somebody else PLEASE break open the smelling salts and inform John that his planned “Climate Change Tour” might not be the best way to solidify the Republican base?
He knows that conservatives have a few major problems with his candidacy, including but not limited to (1) his refusal to hold border enforcement as a high priority, (2) failure to recognize the advantages and effects of the Bush tax cuts, (3) his consistent support of global warming activists and his refusal to entertain the notion that drilling ANWR would actually help the nation, and (4) his unapologetic advocacy of campaign finance reform.
Add to that his reluctance to take the gloves off against Barack Obama with regard to issues that even Obama deems “legitimate,” his preference to admonish his own supporters while simultaneously glossing over the wrongheadedness of his adversaries, and I’m wondering whether the right thing for the GOP and for the nation as a whole is to actually respond in accordance with conservative principles and teach the new Republican party a lesson in November.
For the GOP to stand a chance of gaining back some seats in the House and Senate, for the conservative movement to have a hope of seeing some of their core principles represented in the Oval Office, McCain needs to have a strong showing in November. If he cannot draw together the conservative base, if he continues to alienate those at the core of the Republican party, he will have no energetic response, and the American political right will take a loss which will make 2006 look like 1994.
John McCain needs to wake up. The health and welfare of an entire nation depends on it.