With the brazen assistance of establishment Republicans, the McCain juggernaut advances, with his lock on the party's nomination now all but certain. However, navigating the general election will be an entirely different matter. Ironically, aside from the candidate himself and his past record (whenever the media gets around to talking about it), the greatest threat to a McCain victory is none other than McCain's staunchest and loudest supporters.
It is worth noting that the upcoming Olympic games in China are in the news on account of Chinese demands that visiting athletes pledge not to say anything critical of the "host" nation. Fundamentally flawed regimes, no matter how small or large, are acutely sensitive to the fact that the greatest danger they face is the freely spoken word. Their fragile facades of strength and cohesion can only be maintained in an environment where real scrutiny is prohibited.
Likewise, neither McCain's current "conservatism" nor his consistent track record of betraying it, can withstand close examination. Thus, the "code of silence" currently being pressed on all of conservative media by those who anticipate the prospect of a McCain win in November.
To be sure, only a single credible reason exists among the intellectually honest to justify supporting McCain. It essentially amounts to "Anybody but Hillary." Yet even this notion is currently threatened, as the likelihood of an Obama victory over her looms ever greater with each ensuing primary contest. And while Obama is every bit the fringe liberal that Hillary has proven to be, his radicalism is not nearly as overt and thus he does not appear as threatening.
So, in comparison, a campaign based on the fear of Obama simply would not resonate to the same degree as motivation to support the "Republican" candidate.
Some have attempted to bolster support for McCain by pointing to upcoming vacancies on the Supreme Court. But this argument holds no water. McCain was, after all, the leader of the infamous "Gang of Fourteen." This cabal was comprised of seven Republican and seven Democrat Senators who endorsed the unconstitutional filibustering of President Bush's judicial nominees whom the Democrats claimed were too "extreme" to be allowed an up or down vote.
It is altogether inconceivable that, after bolstering the Democrats' case against the President's judicial nominees, McCain would then risk coming out on the opposite side of the Democrats by nominating any individual to whom they might object. The consummate pragmatist in McCain dictates that his nominees will pass muster with the Democrats, no doubt "uniting" this divided country.
In an effort to not feel completely dirty on leaving the voting booth after reluctantly pulling the lever for McCain, some conservatives seek symbolic concessions from him which might be sufficiently representative of latent conservatism to temporarily assuage their consciences for having so cheapened themselves. But unless they are pathologically gullible, they have to know such professions are ultimately worthless.
At best, statements of this nature would only legitimize the political "merit" of a convincing lie. On occasion, completely contrary assurances have been offered from McCain to the liberal opposition, which in the end is the only group that can expect to get what it was promised.
Against such a backdrop, establishment Republicans are pulling out all of the stops in an effort to recast McCain while bludgeoning his critics into silence. Several prominent Republicans have attempted to make the case that McCain is indeed a "conservative," lately including President Bush. Yet those who attempt to tout McCain's "conservatism" end up saying much more about themselves and their own lack of principle than they do about the Arizona Senator or his critics.
Moreover, another element of McCain minions is lately exerting its influence inside the now thoroughly corrupted Republican "big tent." This group is comprised of the only true supporters of John McCain, and its transparent actions are the most telling of what a McCain candidacy truly entails, and what the nation can expect if he prevails in November.
In the minds of such people, McCain's success represents the downfall of conservatism, which they have loathed for the entire time that they were compelled to tolerate its presence within the GOP. As they perceive the McCain momentum to be gaining, they simply cannot resist what they believe is a golden opportunity to drive a stake through the heart of conservatism.
Their words and ideas need to be heard and understood for what they truly represent. It is they, more than any other constituency, that portend the future of conservatism and America under a McCain administration.
Among such people, no latitude for debate exists. Either drink the McCain Kool-aid or be labeled a heretic and face political exile from the new Republican order. One must not merely recognize McCain as the presumptive nominee, one must accede to the inherently flawed nature of conservatism and henceforth renounce it while swearing total allegiance to the Vichy Republicans.
At this point, even conditional support for McCain becomes virtually impossible for all but his lackeys and those skulking "moderates" in sheep's clothing who now feel emboldened to reveal their true sympathies.
So, the best advice to moderates is that unless they want to be the reason for McCain's downfall, they should stump for him using the "lesser of two evils" scenario (however subtle the contrast between McCain and his Democrat opponent might be), hope for the best, and leave it at that.
Anything more strident only serves to remind real conservatives why they have good reason to shake the miserable dust of the McCain candidacy from their feet.
Copyright ©2008 Christopher G. Adamo