Friday, February 8, 2008

A Conservative’s Conservative?

They couldn’t be talking about Mitt Romney. But to my dismay, they were. I got a good laugh when talk show host Laura Ingraham introduced Romney in this way at CPAC on Thursday. The Right’s new found love affair with the former Massachusetts Governor seems a bit fake to me. Maybe that’s because Romney was running for President for a long time and he never had the support of these very same Conservatives. At least he didn’t until the last few weeks.

The Right has been waiting for the illusive “perfect” candidate. It shouldn’t be a surprise that such a candidate does not exist. I think most people realize this, but the extremes on both sides of the political spectrum have a hard time accepting this fact. Fred Thompson was the “perfect” candidate. Until everyone realized he was really just a bad candidate.

Once the Right realized that John McCain was well on his way to the nomination, Romney was quickly crowned as “the only true Conserative in the race”. Limbaugh, Hannity and others became his biggest cheerleaders and began their assault on McCain. It was too little too late. I think many Republicans were left wondering why they hadn’t supported Romney before. Most knew it was because Romney was as big a flip flopper as John Kerry and they weren’t buying his newly minted Conservative crown.

John McCain is more Republican than Conservative. Sure, he has some Conservative positions. He’s committed to the War on Terror. He hates wasteful government spending. He’s pro-life. But he’s also taken some mainstream, and dare I say it, “moderate” positions. He believes in the American dream and hasn’t bought into the “immigrant hate” that has stained the Right—meaning he can win the Hispanic vote. His pro-environment positions and stance against deficit spending contribute to his appeal among independent voters. In short, McCain can win a General election. That’s why, to the utter dismay of the Conservative Right, he will be the Republican nominee.

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