But while national defense necessarily occupies the front burner, McCain would make a fatal mistake to assume that social issues, especially abortion, are ever off an equally blazing front burner for an inestimable number of social conservatives, the Republicans' most reliable voting bloc over the past three decades.Ironically enough, many of the same establishment threatened the same sort of revolt when John McCain was nominated. Of course, folks like James Dobson et al have since toned it down. It seems most of the same folks that snicker at Democrats for having an abortion litmus test want the exact same test only the other way around. It is of course unclear how a pro life VP would affect the issue of abortion in any tangible way, though frankly, I don't think that is the issue at all. This is more a power play for control of the party.
Last Wednesday, McCain "floated the prospect" of picking a pro-choice running mate and said that former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge would be an acceptable -- and possible -- selection. He told The Weekly Standard: "I think that the pro-life position is one of the important aspects or fundamentals of the Republican Party. And I also feel that -- and I'm not trying to equivocate here -- that Americans want us to work together."
McCain must quit echoing the Democratic talking point that places form over substance and the illusion of bipartisanship above principle. Who says Americans "want us to work together" if that means abandoning legal protection for the innocent unborn or other inviolable principles?
Let's face it. The Conservative establishment never really fielded a viable candidate that was acceptable to them. George Allen, the candidate I was initially drawn to, didn't win re election in Virginia. Then, Fred Thomspon turned out to be a weak candidate, and finally, they settled on the Johnny come lately conservative, Mitt Romney. None of them really had much of a chance. Instead of allowing McCain to be what he is, they are demanding that he pander to their whims. McCain is not a down the line conservative, period. The establishment finally accepted that and focused on defeating Obama.
Yet, now that McCain is daring to pick a VP that holds a different position on abortion than the establishment they are again threatening revolt. It appears they want the exact same litmus test they condemn some Democrats of having.
The reality is that the VP pick should be McCain's to make. He shouldn't be extorted into leaving someone out. Furthermore, on all practical levels a pro choice VP would put him in the best position to defeat Obama, which to me is the most important thing. Finally, McCain has long established that on the issue of judges, the place where abortion would be decided, he would pick strict constructionists. Rudy Giuliani has made the same pledge.
Yet, that isn't good enough for the Conservative establishment. Rudy Giuliani, for instance, is a fiscal conservative, foreign policy hawk, with a history of successful management and tough law and order credentials, but he is, in their view, not acceptable because he dares to stray on the issue of abortion.
So, what exactly is the conservative establishment planning on doing? Will they not vote? Will they vote for Bob Barr? Will they vote for Barack Obama? It appears that the conservative establishment is hell bent on performing voting hubris. Elections are not about some candidate meeting some sort of minimum threshhold. Rather, they are about looking at the potential candidates and choosing the best one. To demand that one candidate choose a certain VP even though they are the best either way, is nothing short of voting hubris. Is Bob Barr or Barack Obama really a better choice if McCain happens to pick a pro choice VP? I think not, and thus, these threats are made by folks full of arrogance. Here is the bottom line...
If Conservatives stay home, vote for Bob Barr, or vote for Barack Obama, then either of those choices means that Barack Obama is the next President. What that means is that at least two new judges will be just to the left of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. It means our medicine will be socialized. It means will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq. It means we will cut our defense, and negotiate with our enemies. It means a plethora of new government spending and taxes, and it means a quasi socialist form of economics. It appears the conservative establishment is willing to risk all of that in the name of principle. Ironically enough, every single principle will be trampled on if they in fact do hold to their so called principles.