I have always marveled at the genius of our election system, at least I find this part genius. The primary is spent whipping up each party's base, and thus most of the candidates use that opportunity to run to their party's extremes. Then, in the general election each candidate has to do the exact opposite and run to the middle. To win a candidate needs to navigate both waters, and do it running back to back for each.
The catch is that in many ways the exact opposite is necessary to win the general election as the primary. The more successful one is appealing to the base the less successful, logic would have, would one be appealing to the independents in the general election. If the rest of the primary goes according to plan for the Reps they will have no such problem. John McCain will likely win the primary appealing to the exact same core group of voters in the general election as he did in the primary.
In many ways, McCain is the perfect general election candidate. Most of the very positions that were supposed to keep him from winning the primaries will be a benefit to him in the general election. From McCain/Feingold to McCain/Kennedy, to the gang of 14, all of the positions that were supposed to keep him from getting here, will now benefit him now that he is. All that McCain would need is for the traditional portion of the Republican party to support him and he will be an almost unstoppable force in the general election.
Of course, nothing is quite so neat in politics and that easy path to victory is apparently not enough for certain people. Many so called true blue Conservatives are determined to not only oppose him in the primary but in the general election as well. Don't get me wrong everyone is well within their rights to support and vote for anyone they want. It would be nothing less than political hubris for me to tell anyone who to vote for. That said, choosing to oppose McCain because he doesn't fit some sort of box pre determined by the same Conservative establishment in the general election is, in my opinion, nothing short of arrogant.
After all, no one is asking for the establishment to be vocal in their support. No one is asking for their money or their time. They are just merely asking for their vote. That, I believe, is the problem. The Conservative establishment knows that if they did support McCain it would have to be done in a low key manner. In other words, they would become supporting players in this election, and that I believe is the real problem. I believe that Rush et al realize that if they supported McCain that it would be rather passively. It seems that being a passive player in the election maybe something that the establishment will not accpet. Now, don't get me wrong. Arrogance is not illegal or unconstitutional, and every person is well within their rights to act as arrogant as they want.
While it is perfectly legal, and everyone is within their right to be arrogant. It is true that arrogance is one of the deadly sins. That makes it a flaw of the human character. While I agree that there is much that John McCain and the Conservative establishment disagree with, there is no arguing that in the general election he is the best candidate for them. Whatever problems they have with McCain, it is nothing like the problems they have with either Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. A third party candidate would have the equivalent experience and accomplishment of the mayor of Scranton making them unacceptable in my mind.
The Conservative establishment sees it different. They find McCain unacceptable. He isn't comparatively unacceptable to any other nominee mind you, but he is simply unacceptable. To the Conservative establishment it appears that a Republican candidate for President meet some sort of threshhold or face their own wrath in the general election. Never mind that the primary gave the establishment plenty of time to put him through the guantlet. Time that most of the establishment used to assassinate his character over and over again. Even though they took their best shots and he won anyway, the Conservative establishment has decided to try and sabotage his run in the general election.
To me at least, winning is the most important thing. I learned a long time ago that there will almost never be a candidate that I like in every way. So what, we are all human and flawed. I always thought that in elections you choose the best among the candidates. No one asks to get excited, volunteer, give money, or lend your support in any way. I just figured that we all wanted to win, and would at least vote for our party's nominee if for no other reason than to help our party win. The same folks speaking in high concept about the future of the Republican party seem to also be determined to sabotage the same party in the general election for no other reason than to prove a point: their own power in it.
Now to me, this is nothing short of political arrogance or hubris. There is absolutely nothing accomplished with losing. The establishment is saying that they are just as happy with John McCain as President as Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Even though in reality, McCain agrees with the party almost always whereas the other two agree almost never. The establishment can't seem to bring themselves to coalesce around the nominee as their one time standard bearer Fred Thompson has decided to do just that. For a while, Thompson echoed much of the rest of the Conservative establishment claiming that no one deserved his nomination because no one is conservative enough. Now that McCain's victory is in hand, he has done what every good politician does, coalese around the candidate.
The establishment, for now, will do no such thing. Folks like Rush, Hannity, and Ann Coulter have decided that they will use every opportunity to tell the world that the current Republican nominee is not Conservative enough. What exactly do they hope to accomplish? Do they hope he loses? If he does how will that help them? They can tell the entire world that McCain is a liberal, more liberal than Hillary, Teddy Kennedy, and Cynthai McKinney even. They can spew venom all day long and many of them have just the bully pulpit to do it. Then what, I ask. If McCain loses someone much more liberal finds their way into the White House and everything they hold dear will be turned on its head. If they decide not to vote, that is a tacit support of the Democrat nominee. Is that who they are supporting?
Life is not perfect and life is not fair. Sometimes, the candidate that your party chooses isn't your first choice. Sometimes that nominee disagrees with you, and sometimes they even disagree a lot. Some people cry, whine and stomp their feet and let the world know that this is unacceptable, and that they won't go along with it. Some people see this and decide this is the sort of candidate that they are in their rights to sabotage, and of course they are. Unfortunately, they do it not for any noble purpose but rather out of pure arrogance, because there is no noble purpose accomplished in contributing to your own party losing.
To me at least, the arrogance shown is overwhelming. Whatever agenda they have, the agenda is clearly not winning. While some of us want to win, others talk of other things. All that talk may seem to them to be principled and noble, but to me it is simply arrogant. That's because there is nothing more arrogant to me than having any agenda other than winning during an election.
Please check out my new books, "Prosecutors Gone Wild: The Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni, and Louise Marshall" and also, "The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers"