Much as the left enjoys acting as if conservatives are persecuting them at every turn, it’s interesting that the conservative movement — with five and a half decades of work by Buckley and his associates, not to mention all that preceded them — can’t even get one of their men nominated by the Republican Party. If the twin pillars of Buckely-era conservatism were a passion for markets and a dedication to tradition, conservatives must look with despair upon two defining quotes from their ostensible standard-bearer, John McCain:
•“I don’t understand economics.”
•[When asked about cultural conservatism:] “It’s not the social issues I care about.”
And he’s been unreliable on tax cuts, less than hardcore on some of the Bush national security issues (for good or ill), in favor of global warming regulations, and in favor of restrictions on certain forms of campaign ads. I’m not sure he’s even that much more hawkish, if you’re into that, than countless other politicians.
Nonetheless: Hillary Clinton is a chronically-lying, devious socialist, and both she and Barack Obama are so contemptuous of markets that they’ve talked about pulling out of NAFTA and both see more spending and regulation as solutions to our economic woes rather than, as they plainly would be, added burdens — nor is it even clear whether they care about having consistent positions on NAFTA, a pretty clear-cut disqualification for the office of the President, to my mind.
One almost has to feel sorry for Hillary, though, seeing laughable Obama-adoring news headlines like this one from last month: “Obama’s Crowds Are Awesome for So Early.” Did one of his numerous college-age supporters write that headline? (And Obama has ties to Brown University, always a warning sign — meanwhile, MoveOn has been encouraging people to create video ads for Obama, sort of ironic considering the group’s very name is derived from its origins as a “move on past impeachment so the Clintons can continue their great work” group.) And whether he ends up with Hillary, Bloomberg (?!?), or even Al Gore as a running mate, it’ll still just be an interesting blend of bad things, which we should never be dazzled into forgetting.
Back to hoping for McCain, out of the likely possibilities, it is, then, and as long as he stays above the fray while Clinton and Obama destroy each other, he might just win in a landslide. You have to imagine that even now numerous just-in-case book proposals with titles like Death Embrace: How the Clinton and Obama Campaigns Destroyed Each Other — and Democratic Hopes for the White House are crossing the desks of publishers all over this town.