With Friends Like This...

President Bush has said of John McCain that he is a “true conservative”. Ringing praise, that, from a man who seems not to be able to tell a Southern Baptist conservative business owner from an atheist Washington policy wonk.

Over the weekend the first returns from real conservative voters have begun to trickle in since Mitt Romney's decision to leave the campaign trail. Now that their choices are down to one conservatives have only one way to protest the seeming coronation of the media's (and the Democratic Party's) favorite maverick Republican. In none of the weekend's races did McCain get even half of the votes and in Washington State he has been, at least by an eager state party chairman, declared a "winner" with only 26% of the vote. In Kansas, by contrast, Mike Huckabee garnered a clear victory with six of every ten votes while McCain got barely twice the votes (24%) collected by the lowly Ron Paul campaign (11%).

Conservatives in the large states of Texas and Ohio must champ at the bit for nearly a month yet, hoping they will still have a rare say in the choice of a candidate on March 4th. The strategy among such conservatives is not necessarily to gain a pre-convention victory for Huckabee so much as it is to deny McCain the delegates he must have to win. Despite the pleadings of Republican power brokers that the contest is over and conservatives should "get over it", it is still possible to have a conservative candidate as long as voters can prevent him from going to the convention with enough delegates to win.

George W's endorsement simply caps the irony. As a president who has riven the party with his unending violations of conservative sensibilities he simply makes the point that he would have us pass the torch of poster boy for what the heart of the Republican Party does not want to become from Bush to McCain.

Really, with friends like that, who does need enemies?

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at February 10, 2008 4:58 PM
Comment #245032

McCain might be a Maverick Republican but he’s still more conservative than Bush ever thought of being. Not that I really like McCain but I think he’d do a whole heap better job than Bush has done.
What I think the Republicans are going to end up with is a McCain, Huckabee ticket. McCain can get the more moderate and liberal states and Huckabee can in bring the more conservative states. Specially here in the South. Even though a Huckabee, McCain ticket would be more a appealing to the voters down here I think they’d except the McCain, Huckabee ticket. But I don’t believe that McCain without Huckabee would appeal to most folks down this way.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 10, 2008 8:52 PM
Comment #245034

Personally I think it is worth a fight to show the powers-that-be in the party that we’re mad as hell about the engineered centrism we were sold with Bush.

How were we to know in 2000 that we were choosing between two of the same critters? The fact he could “work with Democrats” here in Texas didn’t make him a centrist in our eyes because Texas Democrats in the ’90s were from a whole different planet from Democrats in the rest of the country. So they sold us a bill of goods and didn’t reveal what he really was ‘til he was a lame duck. Borders? What borders? Harriet Miers! Signing McCain Feingold?!? It’s like he thinks he’s the president of France.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 10, 2008 10:17 PM
Comment #245035

Lee that certaingly is the kiss of death for McCain. I wonder who put Bush up to sabotaging McCains campaign? Any way it does make things much easier for those of us that thought well of McCain. I hope the conservatives get what they are wishing for, Huckabee and the 30% national sales tax should win the election for whoever he runs against.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 10, 2008 11:05 PM
Comment #245045

I don’t think anyone in this country want’s to be president more than John McCain. This has driven him to compromise many of the principles that many in this country respected him for, especially among many who although they didn’t agree with his political philosophy, still admired him for his integrity.

A couple or three years ago, when the Bush Administrations torture policy first became an issue, McCain led the opposition to that policy until he had a one on one with Bush at the Whitehouse. Afterwards, McCain was foremost in accepting Bush’s statements that his Administration did not torture, and McCain became mute on the subject. I said at the time that McCain had compromised his integrity and made a deal to get Bush’s support for McCain’s next presidential support.

Bush still has around a 30% approval rating which would suggest that he still has a lot of support amoung Republicans.

Posted by: jlw at February 11, 2008 11:01 AM
Comment #245057

It becomes more possible each day that the democrat convention may be wide open with no clear winner on the first voting round. The same possibility is true with the republican convention if McCain and Huckabee keep dividing the primary and caucus votes. I am hoping this becomes reality and the delegates can choose Romney or Thompson as the leader of the party. I believe we need the experience and proven leadership of either man to bring our country back from the abyss.

Posted by: Jim M at February 11, 2008 1:38 PM
Comment #245060

Jim M but it was the repub leadership that brought us to the abyss, certainly your not thinking more “hair of the dog that bit ya” will solve the problem?
“We cant solve problems when we use the same type of thinking that created them”. A Einstein

Posted by: j2t2 at February 11, 2008 1:55 PM
Comment #245098

What this weekend’s primaries prove is that Republicans who were not voting for McCain were NOT VOTING FOR McCain. I am hoping and praying for a brokered convention. The party needs to know they can’t shove an unacceptable candidate down our throats.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 11, 2008 10:31 PM
Comment #245101

jwl said: Bush still has around a 30% approval rating which would suggest that he still has a lot of support among Republicans.

That’s most likely his only support base. But with only a 22% approval rate it appear that Congress has almost no support base.
Reckon maybe we just might see both parties loose control? One can only hope.

Jim M said: I am hoping this becomes reality and the delegates can choose Romney or Thompson as the leader of the party.

And get ready for a Democrat President. Only the dyed in the wool Republicans will put up with having losers shoved down their throats. The rest will jump ship. Romney and Thompson are losers or they’d still be in the mix.

Lee said: What this weekend’s primaries prove is that Republicans who were not voting for McCain were NOT VOTING FOR McCain.

It sure would appear that way. McCain seems to be one of those guys that ya either like or hate. And it seems a lot of folks hate him.

Lee said: I am hoping and praying for a brokered convention.

We’re gonna see some sort of brokering at the Convention. Huckabee is getting enough delegates that he just might be able to throw a monkey wrench into McCain’s nomination.
This is why I’m predicting a McCain, Huckabee ticket.

Lee said: The party needs to know they can’t shove an unacceptable candidate down our throats.

Why can’t they? They’ve been doing it for the last 40 years or so.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 12, 2008 12:25 AM
Comment #245170


I said the NEED TO KNOW. Unfortunately what they ought to know and what they know are two different things. That is because the rank and file buy the argument that we need to leave governing to the “experts”. It’s not wolves in sheeps clothing we should be worried about. It is wolves in shepherd’s clothing.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 13, 2008 10:00 AM
Comment #245702

Sadly, the Republicans have no one to blame for John McCain except themselves.

Since 2001, when this administration came into office, conservatism has taken a back seat to the neo-con agenda. No longer the disciples of limited government, the Republicans (executive and congress alike) have seen fit to insert themselves in just about every facet of American life. Couple the intrusion into people’s lives with ridiculous efforts like an amendment on marriage with the page after page of Republican scandals (Ney, Cunningham, Foley, Craig, etc.) and you can see why people might have had enough. McCain, for all his faults and their are many, is at least reasonably credible on some key issues. He’s been a strong fiscal conservative and generally libertarian in everything else. Much like Goldwater, McCain has been pretty much the same guy since he’s been in the Senate. But, even his attraction to independents might not be enough to rescue the Republicans this time around. They have screwed the works up so bad that even Democrats should be able to beat them. An that’s saying something.

There’s a reason Ron Paul did so well in terms of fund-raising. People are sick to death of the current type of Republicanism that has taken root in Washington.

Posted by: Dennis at February 19, 2008 9:48 AM
Comment #245707

I can’t quibble with what you have said, except to note that no one is angrier with Republican OFFICE HOLDERS than the Republican (especially conservative) rank and file.

I would note that Republican scandals are very much in vogue, but they are certainly not without parallel in the other party. In 8 out of 10 cases office holders are office holders- ego-driven, power hungry, amoral, and value-free. That is regardless of party.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 19, 2008 10:35 AM
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