February 12, 2008
The vitriol against presumptive GOP nominee John McCain continues unabated in the right-wing blogosphere: "RINO" this, "RINO" that... Who is the "truest" conservative of all? (Who cares?) Leslie Carbone made a good point about McCain's flip-flop on financing his campaign (turning down Federal bucks so as to circumvent the spending limits), but she stretched it a little too far. In USA Today, Jonah Goldberg suggests that those on the Right who are angry at McCain might redirect their ire toward President Bush. Regarding campaign finance reform, for example, he notes, "The president signed the McCain-Feingold bill though he admitted that he thought it was unconstitutional." The same thing goes for illegal immigration: McCain was wrong on amnesty, without a doubt, but Bush was positively derelict in his duty to enforce the laws. What about judicial appointments? Harriet Miers! (Cue scream.)
It may be that many on the Right harbor deep inner conflicts, realizing that Bush has let them down badly on a variety of key issues, but for whatever reason (partisan loyalty?), they just can't bring themselves to openly admit this awful truth. Hence, they redirect their hostility toward a more convenient target: McCain.
It's no surprise that Barack Obama is trouncing Hillary Clinton in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C., but Mike Huckabee's strong showing in the Old Dominion may be enough to keep him in the race for the time being. On WHSV TV-3, political analyst Bob Roberts of JMU said that Huckabee (or "Hucklebee," as he kept pronouncing it) needed 40% to score a moral victory, and with 93% of the votes counted, "the Huckster" has just slipped below that threshhold. Well, he certainly deserves credit for campaigning here, and for keeping alive the dialogue on policy issues within the Republican Party. John McCain needs an outright majority to claim a real victory in Virginia, and after a slow start, he has climbed above the 50% mark, just barely. Of course, he won in a landslide on the other side of the Potomac.