Carol Platt Liebau: The McCain Paradox

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The McCain Paradox

John McCain can attempt to woo conservative Christians all he wants with trips to Liberty University and the rest.

But if he succeeds in pushing through his version of immigration reform (less enforcement, more legalization) and either Brett Kavanaugh or Terrence Boyle are deprived of up-or-down votes, he can actually start quoting Scripture and take up residence at Libery and it won't matter. He can kiss a large portion of the Republican base goodbye.

Interestingly, inside the Beltway, it seems that many smart Republicans have actually resigned themselves to the fact that McCain has the nomination -- and the election -- sewed up. No less than two of them sighed, "Well, he's the best known, and he can beat Hillary." The calculation seems to be that all will be forgiven among the religious right and other conservatives once the opponent is known to be the dreaded Senator Clinton.

There seems to me that this analysis has two flaws: First, the Beltway insiders underestimate the intensity of the opposition that Senator McCain elicits away from D.C. Second, the electoral dynamic the insiders are counting on would be significantly changed, if the nomination of McCain disgruntles enough Republicans to generate a third candidate -- possibly a more dependable conservative, possibly someone with firmer views on border control.

Paradoxically, a McCain nomination could end up less likely to protect America from a Hillary presidency than actually to deliver one.

2 Comments:

Blogger Tim Turner said...

McCain mocked the First Amendment on nationally syndicated radio and proclaimed a greater love for "clean" government than for free speech.

He'll NEVER live that down or explain it away.

The Republicans would be insane to put him on the ticket, because the Democrats will eat him alive for that statement.

As well they should.

If the Reps run McCain, forget Hillary -- the Dems could get McKinney elected from jail by using no other campaign tool that an endless loop of that despicable quote.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

I just hope McCain stays home next time around.

10:06 PM  

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