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And they say WE are bitter.

According to Noemie Emery, in a brief but muddled piece over at The Weekly Standard, it seems that “the ideological right is filled with a vast, free-floating fury that can't find a target upon which to dump all this ire,” because . . . well, basically because some of us are still suspicious of McCain.

It is a bizarre polemic which, in order to appeal for unity behind a shaky candidate, calls upon hackneyed Leftist smears to disparage whole chunks of that candidate’s party. Thanks for that. Thanks, also, for the rehearsal of exactly the same tissue of mendacities and ill will that greeted Reagan and the 1994 Revolution from our beloved Liberals. Angry irrational bigots, those Reagan and Gingrich voters: cretins and fire-eaters and coddlers of fascists — how many times have we heard this innuendo from the Left?

Well it rings even more hollow and false from someone on the Right.

As my friend Leon Wolf noted, Ms. Emery once announced that she would sooner vote for Joe Lieberman than Sam Brownback; now she presumes to lecture Conservatives on what Republican unity should look like — and even hauls poor Sam Brownback into the train of her shoddy argument!

The answer to this is really quite simple: This is the primary season; McCain has a commanding lead, but he is not yet the assured nominee; there is no inherent dishonor or disloyalty in still opposing him, voting against him, even working for his defeat. I repeat: we are talking about the GOP primary race. This is precisely the time to hash this stuff out.

Most of this pack of bigots possessed by “vast, free-floating fury,” looking for a sensitive soul like Johnny Mac upon which to “dump all [its] ire” — a group which those of us less agitated and embittered call “Conservatives” — will certainly come around and support McCain in November. You know that. I know that. Even Ms. Emery probably knows that.

There is no question but that the air is filled with hyperbole. Tension, excitement and genuine uncertainty tend to invite that. But few things are more dispiriting, and more suggestive of a fundamental pettiness, than the spectacle of right-wingers opportunistically embracing some of the worst rhetorical conceits of the Left.

Comments (18)

The reason some Republicans are embracing the rhetoric of the Left against conservatives is that they have more in common with many on the left than they do with true conservatives. If the shoe fits, I guess.

Many Republicans are committed to unrestrained individualism as our dominant political theme. In the last 20 years, Republicans have generally expressed this idea in economic terms. Democrats have expressed it in sexual terms.

As the political scene shifts the fissures that seperate these libertarian Republicans from traditionalists are sure to grow wider. Brace yourself for more of this kind of rhetoric. It's coming.

Spot-on, except for one thing: I'm not at all convinced that conservatives either will or ought to support McCain in November. I think John O'Sullivan at NRO was exactly right when he suggested that the fundamental question here is whether we're going to have *two* open-borders/multiculturalist parties, or just one. If McCain wins not only the nomination but the election, then we will have two.

I think that might be even worse than a few years of HRC or Obama doing their best to screw things up.

...come around and support McCain in November.

If the choice is between him and Clinton that seems indisputable. If Obama wins the nomination, I think many conservatives will refuse to vote for either candidate. Obama's red state strategy has had an effect, although he should go more local (i.e. mayors) for gaining endorsements.

The only way to stop McCain is if Romney pulls out of the race and gives all his support to the Huckabee campaign. Between the two of them, Huckabee has proved to be the one that the base of the party trusts more.

I'm with Steve. I was going to be a smart aleck earlier and post a small phrase from the main post ("will certainly come around and support McCain in November") and then say, "Aw, but do we have to?"

As a sheer prediction, the statement may be true. I just don't know. Sadly enough, some of my most socially conservative friends were girding themselves up to gag their way through a general election vote for Rudy Giuliani, and if they could do that, I'm sure they can manage it for John McCain. They weren't happy about it, but they were going to do it. That much was pretty clear. I wouldn't have. Nor will I vote for McCain. (And here, by the way, I applaud James Dobson and take issue with Rod Dreher's silly ridicule of him headed something like "Dobson takes his ball and goes home." It simply isn't true that you have to promote an alternative candidate in order to refuse to vote for this person or that. Dreher is wrong.)

But how many conservatives, yes, even conservatives (not just Republicans) think as I do on this? I simply don't know.

Well, I'm certainly thinking along those lines, Lydia; and I hope to put up a piece on that very issue sometime tonight or tomorrow, time and health permitting.

Thanks, Lydia - I think you're exactly right. As a prediction, Paul's statement may well be true. I mean, anybody who could get behind Giuliani oughtta be able to get behind McCain - especially since McCain really has been better on abortion than Giuliani ever was.

But on the *national* question, they're two peas in a pod. And, for me, that's decisive.

Which one doesn't fit:

a) George H. W. Bush
b) Bob Dole
c) George W. Bush
d) John McCain

I think Paul has a good point historically, though, about the rush to meld the general election and the primary. I've been gradually noticing this over the past couple election cycles. It used to be that we were all _supposed_ to duke it out amongst ourselves in the primary, send messages to the party and such, and then, often though not inevitably, take a different approach in the general. Now so many primary backing decisions are being pushed on general election grounds.

Gintas - trick question! They all fit.

Am I right?

Gintas, that is a good question. I suppose, for my part, that Bush the Younger's irrepressible fetish for mass immigration was the straw that broke my back. No more.

In 1958, John F. Kennedy objected, "Sometimes party loyalty asks too much."

In asking us too support John McCain in November, the Republican party may ask too much. Were the general election held today, my wife and I would do better than merely to abstain; we would vote Democratic for the express purpose of actively canceling McCain votes.

Besides being temperamentally too unbalanced to be trusted to put his finger on the nuclear trigger, Mr. McCain fundamentally, fervently opposes us on the national question. If I have a choice between a Democratic candidate that will harm the nation and a Republican candidate that will harm the nation and attach the Republican brand to the harm, the choice is easy. That Mr. McCain might put better judges on the Supreme Court, if and when current judges ever get around to retiring, does not suffice---and won't matter if Mr. McCain has provoked a war with Russia and gotten us all nuked in the meantime.

Mr. McCain's supporters are simply going to have to get used to the fact that some of us conservative traditionalists would actually prefer a sane, stable liberal Democratic administration to a McCain administration. Under such circumstances, protestations of party loyalty are of little effect. I will vote for Republican congressmen that are right on the national question at the same time I vote against Mr. McCain in November.

Given the prevailing Democratic wind of 2008, I don't suppose that it will take very many Democratic-voting conservatives like me and my wife to doom the McCain candidacy. We think that we can stop him. We mean to try.


(The unfortunate thing about these blogs is that typos in them make you look really stupid, as in my "too support John McCain.")

I find it mildly entertaining how so-called conservatives can whine and quarrel about how bad their choices are while totally ignoring the one candidate that could legitimately be called conservative. I won't mention that candidate's name for fear that I might get the RedState treatment, but his initials are RP.

Jon Luker - I would just love to have the opportunity to vote for Ron Paul in a general election. But it's simply not gonna happen. So I guess it's back to whining and quarrelling, for me.

Mr. Burton,
Consider the fact that such opportunity in the general election has been systematically denied of you by the statist, welfarist, warfare-mongering, demorepublican elites. We are witnessing the bold-faced mockery of democracy and Ron Paul's candidacy has been the revealing of the emperor's not so new clothes.

Consider the fact that such opportunity in the general election has been systematically denied of you by the statist, welfarist, warfare-mongering, demorepublican elites.

Ok. Done. Now what?

Have you voted in the primary yet? RP is still in it, and I will be voting for him once Texas gets around to having its primary. If nothing else, a strong showing would tell the party Machiavellis that something may be rotten in Denmark.

Having voted for the Republican candidate since Reagan, this may be the first time I don't.

Ok. Done. Now what?

Keep supporting him. Seven down, two to go.

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