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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Solid Advice for McCain

Perhaps I'm off my game today, but I found this article, Why I Will Vote for McCain by Daniel Oliver, to make as convincing a case for McCain as any I've read since his nomination became inevitable.

The author makes some comparisons to past elections, such as Ike vs. Stevenson in 1952 (when Mr. Conservative Robert Taft lost the nomination) and Nixon versus McGovern in 1972, as instances where conservatives wisely chose to support the non-conservative, an effort to show us that we've been this way before. I don't generally find these examples to ever be persuasive, as circumstances are never the same. The Ike example is particularly inapt, in my opinion, as conservatives had no real claim on the Republican party at that time; their time was still to come.

On the other hand, here's a point made by Oliver that makes a ton of good sense:
Senator McCain might help his cause with conservatives if he stopped calling himself a conservative. He is damaging their brand name.
Right. Conservatives have watched as elected Republicans damaged the "conservative" brand for the last decade with their excessive spending and government expansion.

Conservatives want to start restoring their brand; having a moderate/liberal like John McCain call himself conservative makes the job difficult; having a President McCain elected as a "conservative" would make the job nearly impossible.

McCain should stop trying to drag conservatives into his orbit. They have no desire to revolve around him for the next four to eight years. His efforts to do so only arouse suspicion and drive them away. McCain should go his own way, pointing out to conservatives where they agree and where their agenda can be advanced, but keeping his hands off the conservative movement. Assurances to conservatives that he won't stand in the way of their restoration would benefit McCain greatly.


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