As the "Super Tuesday" votes are counted, the latest word from the media punditry is that John McCain will take the lion's share of delegates, and perhaps be well on his way to the Republican nomination. Much of his current momentum has resulted from the misbegotten perception that he would do the best of any Republican against Hillary Clinton.
Yet such a notion is not only irrelevant to the actualities of this November's election, it is frankly unsupportable. The facts, when all are considered, dictate otherwise.
Consider, for example, the fate of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. A year ago, he held, with seemingly commanding numbers, the title of presumptive nominee as well as the most likely candidate to beat Hillary. His campaign has since evaporated without ever really getting started. So much for "inevitability."
A present day poll of Giuliani versus Hillary would make it glaringly obvious that his former electoral invincibility was hardly the foregone conclusion that we once were told it was. And the media never even got around to pounding him on his many moral lapses and other vulnerabilities.
Some are saying that, with the demise of the Giuliani campaign, the entire subject of Islamist terrorism and post 9-11 homeland security has left the national "radar screen." In truth however, changes in the perception of Giuliani's did not result from nearly so tectonic a shift in public concerns and priorities, but rather as a result of the public realization that Giuliani's role in the terrorist scenario was far less than some had initially presumed.
The public eventually recognized that Rudy Giuliani had no basis on which to claim he was an expert on terrorism or preventing it. Instead he was merely a major target. If he was to be credited with any heroic action, it was picking up the pieces in the aftermath of the attack, not preventing it in the first place.
More significantly, had he not spent the entire decade prior to 9-11 cozying up to those self-absorbed and inept operatives in the Clinton camp who left the door open for the nation to be attacked, and instead warned of the dangers of their carelessness, he might claim more credibility as someone who could deal seriously with such threats and vulnerabilities before they came home to roost.
John McCain's assertions of proficiency in dealing with terrorists are, on close inspection, similarly vacant. The constant references to his early support for the troop "surge" do nothing to offset his dangerous affinity for terrorists whom he believes deserve "constitutional rights." Ditto for millions of illegal aliens to whom he wishes to grant amnesty (along with a significant number of terrorists who might arrive in their midst).
"Maverick" McCain is popular for not always sticking with the "status quo" inside the Beltway. And, at first glance, that seems like a good thing. But, on further examination, his penchant for bucking the system has only been exercised when taking on the conservatives, often providing the necessary impetus needed to "tip the scales" in favor of liberals.
Though he promises to change "business as usual," the record clearly shows that, among Washington elitists who consider themselves an aristocracy with no accountability to the lowly peasantry known as mainstream America, McCain has no equal.
Yet now John McCain is talking of the necessity of "unifying" the Republican Party. Having so often derailed conservative efforts to pull back the reins on an increasingly out-of-control federal government, in what sense should anyone believe that McCain actually intends to bring such "unity" to the Republican Party, or to the country as a whole?
Given that he has displayed such an affinity for the Democrat Party, its ideologies, and its modus operandi, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that "unity" on the McCain watch would consist of completely marginalizing the entire conservative wing of the GOP. This ploy, however it is presented, portends eventual disaster for McCain and any portion of the party that remains supportive of him.
Though he has clearly invoked his plight as a POW to great advantage in the past, McCain's incessant references to his "war record," already overplayed, will quickly lose their punch when the public realizes that he is no less shameless than John Kerry in his attempts to make the events of the Vietnam era pivotal to the 2008 election. And once the media begins to ever so subtly suggest that he is doing so, this house of cards will collapse.
Ultimately, the utter irrelevance of that episode to the present day, and the true character of the bitter, vindictive, petty man that McCain now is, will be a far more prescient and prominent topic on the nightly news right up until election day.
McCain's media friends, who so gleefully aided and abetted his efforts to betray conservatives in the past, will be the loudest of his critics, once his position as GOP nominee is secured. Perhaps the Republican Party insiders, who compromised and capitulated their way into this morass, will find they have nowhere else to go, but conservative voters will.
It seems ironic that, after having decimated conservatism within the GOP, John McCain now calls on conservatives to "unify" with their fellow Republicans. Once again, after shooting party unity in the foot, the "moderates" insist that it is the duty of conservatives to do all of the bleeding. Yet that hand has also been thoroughly overplayed.
It is, after all, a result of the diligent efforts of McCain and his kind that little if anything remains of the GOP which might inspire conservative loyalty. McCain is on the verge of finding out that being "Republican" no longer means anything more to real conservatives than it ever did to him and his kind.
Copyright ©2008 Christopher G. Adamo