Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In the Eye of Conservatives

Wordsmith, a bloggin' buddy o' mine whose homestead's over at "Sparks on the Anvil," 's been doing some of the best analysis available on the far-right's McCain controversy.

Here's a bit from his post up today, "
Poking My Thumb in the Eye of Conservatives for Their Own Good":

The commonly held belief amongst self-described Reagan footsoldiers, is that John McCain is a conservative apostate, who enjoys sticking his thumb in the eye of conservatives. Maybe he does enjoy his "maverick" reputation a little too much; maybe his 5 1/2 years as a POW knocked a few screws loose and instilled a certain "mean-spiritedness" in him. Maybe he was born this way.

But a conservative apostate?!

He may not be the conservative we like; nor the kind of conservative we can all trust, on all issues; yet, conservative he is, and the conservative we are all stuck with.

I do not get this need for conservatives to "disown" each other. Who is to say who a true conservative is? According to the Ron Paul Reverists, we are all conservative apostates and betrayers of the original intent of our Founding Fathers if we don't heed the whinings of their Constitutional Pied Piper. Then there are the self-proclaimed Reagan conservatives, who romanticize this notion that they are the caretakers of "true conservatism" and "Reaganism". Today, they criticize those conservatives who aren't sufficiently pure, be it Huckabee, Giuliani, McCain, and even Romney. By their impossible standards, Ronald Reagan would not be Reagan enough. Some of the bandwagon jumpers are the same conservatives who criticized Reagan before America's 40th president was deified. I'm also finding that rather than merely disagreeing with fellow conservatives that were rather well-respected prior to expressing support (Michael Medved) or sympathy (Victor Davis Hanson) for McCain, a lot of emotional, angry conservatives have renounced those conservatives as well.

One has to wonder-before Romney suspended his campaign and before McCain appears to have all but wrapped up the GOP nomination: How is it that at least 17 prominent, staunch conservative Senators have thrown their support to John McCain? How is it, that
over 100 Admirals and generals along with Norman Schwarzkopf have endorsed the Senator from the great state of Arizona? They couldn't all be RINOs, could they? How is it that 100 individuals who served in the Reagan Administration have endorsed John McCain?

Many leaders of the Reagan Revolution – Jack Kemp, Senator Phil Gramm, Senator Dan Coats, General Alexander Haig, George Shultz and many more – proudly back Senator McCain. The conservative Senators who know McCain best – John Kyl, Tom Coburn, Sam Brownback, Lindsey Graham, Trent Lott – support his presidential campaign after working with him in the Senate for years and seeing his commitment to Reaganism. During the six years he served in Congress under President Reagan, McCain supported the administration as one of its most effective “foot soldiers.” Unlike many of his critics, McCain echoes the Reagan approach – not the Buchanan approach – to free trade and immigration reform.
How does one reconcile with the fact that Nancy Reagan privately endorsed McCain, as well? One begins to ask oneself, "Who would Reagan endorse?" And the reality of the response should be, "No one knows." And it's dishonest for anyone to presume to speak for Reagan, and channel his vibes to validate their own personal political views.
If John McCain is not a "true" conservative then how does one explain the fact that his ACU lifetime ranking is 82.3% (for you Fredheads, Fred Thompson's lifetime average is 86%- with his support of campaign finance reform apparently knocking off anywhere from 4%-12% from his rating)? In 2006, yes it was 65%. Putting him in 47th place among Senators, for that year. But for his quarter century service in the Senate, how can people claim he has not been conservative? Maybe not the kind of conservative we wish him to be, but a conservative, nonetheless.
Wordsmith's also a "deputized blogger" at "Flopping Aces." He's got a dandy post up over there on McCain's alleged heresies, "John McCain: Republican Apostate?"

Well now, saddle on up and head over t' them thar' parts. I'm sure a friendly word or two'd be mighty welcomed!