McCain’s bloggy rescue?

posted at 9:02 am on March 31, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Did John McCain get rescued by bloggers? The campaign certainly sees it that way, as Stephen Dinan reports in today’s Washington Times. When few others gave McCain a hearing, conservative bloggers gave him a chance to talk at length in regularly-scheduled conference calls and in longer interviews. This allowed him to get past the national media, which had written him off as a political corpse:

Even as talk radio was brutalizing Sen. John McCain in the Republican presidential primaries, conservative bloggers reached a respectful truce with the Arizona senator over touchy issues and gave him what the campaign called a “tremendous positive psychological” boost.

The main reason: Mr. McCain’s blogger outreach, the most extensive of any presidential campaign in either party, helped keep him afloat in the dark days last summer when the major press was sizing up his campaign grave. During those times, Mr. McCain got attention and digital ink from the bloggers he invited to biweekly conference calls, and got a chance to talk policy.

“During the unpleasantness, whenever Senator McCain put himself in front of reporters, the question was always, ‘How much did you raise today, when are you dropping out,’ ” said Patrick Hynes, a conservative blogger who Mr. McCain hired in 2006. “And then we’d put him on the phone with bloggers, and they’d want to talk about Iraq, and pork and chasing down al Qaeda.”

For the campaign, it came down to deploying the campaign’s best asset — Mr. McCain himself — in a forum where he can excel.

Dinan quotes me in this article, and we had a nice conversation about this topic a few days ago. I told him then that the bloggers’ role in McCain’s resurrection could easily get overstated, and I think the campaign itself may give us more credit than we’re due. I hate to argue against blogger influence, but …

In truth, McCain was never in as much trouble as the media reported. He never dropped out of double-digit support in a crowded Republican field. McCain’s numbers always kept him in the top tier of candidates, even when Mike Huckabee came out of nowhere. McCain’s troubles centered on money and organization, not political support, and he took decisive action to fix the real problems in his campaign early enough to resolve them properly.

The blog outreach did two important things for McCain. It forced the media to start asking him questions on issues again after it became clear that the blogosphere had begun getting better quotes than they got. It also gave McCain some wind in his sails, allowing him to have fun again in his campaign. Anyone who regularly participated in these calls could hear how comfortable McCain became, and how he enjoyed bantering with the bloggers.

That all started with the candidate, though. McCain decided to survive the summer breakdown, and so he did. He decided to push hard in the fall despite the advent of Huckabee and Fred Thompson, both of whom were expected to knock him out of the race — and he prevailed there, too. He fought in every state and won more than he lost. McCain refused to quit, which set the table for his resurrection. That’s the real story of McCain’s political survival in 2007 — and the bloggers had a front-row seat for it.


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Is the point of this thread to place the blame for the McCain tragedy on the blogosphere?

David in ATL on March 31, 2008 at 9:13 AM

Okay, so he has at least a half dozen conservative votes. Maybe you all are going to send him some money, too — sounds like he needs it.

BigD on March 31, 2008 at 9:14 AM

Being a daily reader of several blogs, I know that they are what kept McC in my line of sight and forced (?) me to, at the very least, give a listen to what he had to say. Without them and the reporting I found in them I would have never given him any look at all, let alone a second look. Can’t say I have become necessarily pleased with the nomination, he was surely not my first or second choice, but he IS the nominee and I would have been unwilling to even consider giving him my vote come November if not for the frank exchange of information and views I had found within the blogs. Don’t underestimate the power of what you bloggers accomplished this past summer Ed!

dustoffmom on March 31, 2008 at 9:14 AM

I’m not sure what blogger’s he is referring to. They are few and far between as far as I’m concerned, and compared to the democrats, McCain still has money trouble.

Vanbasten on March 31, 2008 at 9:14 AM

It’s Allah’s fault.

peacenprosperity on March 31, 2008 at 9:18 AM

again, He’s older than dirt, but didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 31, 2008 at 9:24 AM

Very interesting, but allow me to point out that McCain’s blogger outreach didn’t reach out to many conservative blogs.

Cough, cough.

Michelle on March 31, 2008 at 9:26 AM

In other words, McShamnesty found a new way to spread the shinola.

Darksean on March 31, 2008 at 9:28 AM

McCain will never fail to disappoint Republicans and kiss the asses of his true political opponents.

That said, this election may be one that even he would have to work hard to lose..

If he puts up Romney for VP, there may be hope for him yet..

TexasJew on March 31, 2008 at 9:28 AM

“McCain still has money trouble.”

Ms. Inevitable is pretty much bankrupt. And Obama is going to have to spend a bucketload of cash just to keep her at bay.

And since they are Democrats, they have no earthly idea of how to manage money. It just slips through their fingers.

Count on continued Democrat incompetence. It’s who they are.

NoDonkey on March 31, 2008 at 9:29 AM

Michelle on March 31, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Exactly, so this should allow us to point the finger at a select few and monitor their brown-nosing in 2012 so a disaster like McCain won’t happen again. (Kind of how Allah followed Hewitt’s man-crush on Romney.)

Valiant on March 31, 2008 at 9:38 AM

LOL, the McCain candidacy is a drive by apparition. How’s the fund raising going John?

I am going to sit this one out and watch the re-run of Jimmy Carter I with Iranian nukes this time. The part about saving the planet ought to be fun, so stock extra popcorn for that chapter — subtitled, destroy the energy industry, ought to be the most fun. Those of you that missed Jimmy Carter I have no clue how bad it really was. I remain convinced that society needs re-runs to remember the past.

tarpon on March 31, 2008 at 9:42 AM

McCain refused to quit, which set the table for his resurrection.

That made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Gawd.

Is the point of this thread to place the blame for the McCain tragedy on the blogosphere?

David in ATL on March 31, 2008 at 9:13 AM

I’d feel so much better knowing who to blame for this. I thought it was the media promoting the third Democrat candidate to cover all their bases.

Redhead Infidel on March 31, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Very interesting, but allow me to point out that McCain’s blogger outreach didn’t reach out to many conservative blogs.

Cough, cough.

Michelle on March 31, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Maybe he was tired of being slimed for not toting the party line on every single issue.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 31, 2008 at 9:49 AM

I’m not sure what blogger’s he is referring to. They are few and far between as far as I’m concerned, and compared to the democrats, McCain still has money trouble.

Vanbasten on March 31, 2008 at 9:14 AM

Well…two of the major bloggers who gave McCain a hearing were Ed’s Captain’s Quarters, as well as the folks who busted Dan Rather, Power Line. In fact, Power Line, until the Republican field thinned itself out, had a “Candidates Forum” with a separate forum for each of the players, where their readers could submit questions to the candidates of their choice.

Del Dolemonte on March 31, 2008 at 9:49 AM

The man was without money and without a staff. He had no choice but to reach out to new outlets. I would suggest, however, that his adventures in blogging were limited to VERY FRIENDLY moderate liberal blogs and not truly conservative outlets.

In other words, he got a good propoganda campaign going among some of the bloggers here at HA but he would have been dead meat if he ventured into places where McCain’s views are really criticized.

highhopes on March 31, 2008 at 9:51 AM

So the same folks that gave us the youtube debate gave us the McCain candidacy? Is this also the ‘We don’t need talk radio anymore crowd’? The ones with Kos envy? We want power conference calls too! Wow. Nicely done guys. Kinda reminds me of that part in that stupid antichrist movie from the 70′s where the nurse jumps out the window: ‘It’s all for you Damian!’ Only the bloggers pushed the conservatives out the window and let us hang this time. It’s all for John.

austinnelly on March 31, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Maybe he was tired of being slimed for not toting the party line on every single issue.
THE CHOSEN ONE on March 31, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Please name one issue besides Iraq where he has sided with Republicans.

Valiant on March 31, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Repeating: Blogs a great equalizer on all fronts. The voices of everyday Americans of all views are encouraged, even courted. Sooner or later though, blogs MAY have to fight for their freedoms. They then will have the support of millions and millions of confirmed posters out here who have grown accustomed to a voice however limited.

jeanie on March 31, 2008 at 9:59 AM

How many blogs endorsed McCain during the primary season?

The NYT took the highly unusual stand of endorsing McCain in the primaries. Now I am to believe that blogs are responsible for the walking political corpse that is the McCain candidacy. Do you recall the media survey that said prior to the New Hampshire primary McCain got 97% positive network coverage?

Ed why do you so eagerly respond to legacy media outlets who want to show you in a bad light? Take a cue from Michelle and make those plant watering, Lean Cuisine eating, desk jockey losers jump through a few hoops before granting them an interview.

Angry Dumbo on March 31, 2008 at 9:59 AM

In other words, McShamnesty found a new way to spread the shinola.

Darksean on March 31, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Did he reach out as agressively to bloggers as he did to Ted Kennedy? I look forward to the “Bolivian trainwreck” coming in November. To bad we will all be loosers (who ever wins); except of course the illegal immigrants.

Obama will tank because his baggage will come out, Hillary will be hated too much. It looks like Capt’n amnesty will slither in at the top of the garbage heap.

saiga on March 31, 2008 at 10:05 AM

“Only the bloggers pushed the “conservatives” out the window and let us hang this time.”

So is that what’s splattered on the sidewalk?

RINO guts (Republican Insanely Negative Outliers)?

How about all you “conservatives” go have a meeting at McDonalds where you can all eat Egg McMuffins and complain about teenagers trampling your petunias?

NoDonkey on March 31, 2008 at 10:09 AM

It will be very interesting to see what McCain’s communications strategy is once this whole thing gets rolling. Barack’s pastor issue really helped him in terms of the white male/Reagan Democrat voters. But I think Peggy Noonan made a good point a few weeks ago when she questioned whether McCain wanted the Republican nomination more than he actually wants the presidency.

He is going to have to substantively contrast himself with the Democrats. If he doesn’t do that, and/or if he openly disses Republicans who disagree with him on key issues, he will be in trouble.

In other words, he has to give people a reason to vote FOR him, personally and politically, and not just against the Democrats. And his war service is not going to be enough.

BigD on March 31, 2008 at 10:18 AM

I read many conservative blogs and I don’t remember more than maybe 10% support for McCain. So, which blogs are they talking about? I must be left wing blogs, because I know of none on the right side of the isle that were supporting him. To the contrary, he would have got out before Brownback if he depended on conservative blogs to save him.

orlandocajun on March 31, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Valiant on March 31, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Even though he voted against the Bush Tax Cuts, as noted on this site by Allah, and the Conservative Union, the man has a great record on taxes, free trade, a tyrant when it comes to spending, pro life, etc. Maybe you should spend less time behind the Iron Curtain and read more about the guys record instead of listening to hysterics who boo hoo him for being a Maverick who doesn’t get intimitidated by the Bob Doles and Mitch McConnells of the world.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 31, 2008 at 10:32 AM

In other words, he has to give people a reason to vote FOR him, personally and politically, and not just against the Democrats. And his war service is not going to be enough.

Right on, BigD. There is NO reason for conservatives to vote for McCain other than status as a “war hero.”

In reading McCain’s views on torture, ROE, SwiftBoat Vets, and his sheparding of normalized trade relations with Vietnam in the early 1990s(shafting countless POW/MIA families), I am not convinced at all, that McCain really has the support of Vets.

Angry Dumbo on March 31, 2008 at 10:38 AM

Please name one issue besides Iraq where he has sided with Republicans.

Valiant on March 31, 2008 at 9:58 AM

He certainly doesn’t agree with them on the pork issue, does he?

a capella on March 31, 2008 at 10:41 AM

All y’all with McDS,

You were gonna end up hating pretty much anybody in the running for 2008, and were going to throw the same little fits and make the same little threats to stay home. None of the candidates were Reagan. Guess what? Reagan is dead, and if he weren’t, he’d be telling you to go make the best decision you can, and support the decision the voters have made.

The awful truth is that the Dems did a good job knocking out our back bench of viable candidates who were movement conservatives. They primarily did this because Hillary Clinton has been aiming for this seat since 2000, and didn’t want to be matched up against someone like Tom DeLay, George Allen, Newt Gingrich, et cetera with her own negatives in play.

Understandably, the GOP in 2008 was not going to go dig up some un-vetted Red State nobody to throw at the person who has spent the last eight years preparing for this run. This left movement conservatives with no good choices. Sometimes there aren’t any good choices. So you make the least bad choice, and get behind the decision it seems circumstances have made for you.

Sekhmet on March 31, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Sometimes there aren’t any good choices. So you make the least bad choice, and get behind the decision it seems circumstances have made for you.

Sekhmet on March 31, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Ah! The “SHUT THE F**K UP AND SUPPORT MCCAIN IN THE NAME OF PARTY UNITY” riff. An oldie at this point.

Well, Sekhmet, there still is a little matter of selecting the VP nominee. The louder and clearer the real conservatives make it that they are disgustted that the GOP is nominating a political traitor….. the more likely that the VP will be somebody tolerable to the base constituency.

highhopes on March 31, 2008 at 11:05 AM

I read many conservative blogs and I don’t remember more than maybe 10% support for McCain. So, which blogs are they talking about?

orlandocajun on March 31, 2008 at 10:25 AM

I only heard of conservative blogs joining “Blogs Against McCain” and “Blogs For McCain’s Opponent“. I think there were a few right-of-center bloggers that were enthusiastically aboard McCain’s Bullshit Express from the beginning, but I don’t read them so wouldn’t know if they consider themselves conservative or moderate.

Redhead Infidel on March 31, 2008 at 11:08 AM

The country had an opportunity to put Fred! in as a GOP nominee. It didn’t. It also didn’t put a rock ribbed conservative in place with dubya. One might conclude that perhaps the country doesn’t want a president who is totally conservative in all areas. That’s the way it is. Deal with it.

a capella on March 31, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Very interesting, but allow me to point out that McCain’s blogger outreach didn’t reach out to many conservative blogs.

Cough, cough.

Michelle on March 31, 2008 at 9:26 AM

I’d still like to see a “Hot Air Vent” 1-on-1 interview between John McCain and Michelle Malkin. Why hasn’t this happened yet?

Red Pill on March 31, 2008 at 11:14 AM

McCain’s bloggy rescue?

posted at 9:02 am on March 31, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

I wouldn’t say this is something to be proud of.

Redhead Infidel on March 31, 2008 at 11:16 AM

Very interesting, but allow me to point out that McCain’s blogger outreach didn’t reach out to many conservative blogs.

Cough, cough.

Michelle on March 31, 2008 at 9:26 AM

On the bright side, they haven’t told us to F-off recently either.

Zorro on March 31, 2008 at 11:26 AM

“The country had an opportunity to put Fred! in as a GOP nominee. It didn’t.”

Well, perhaps if he would have feigned slight interest in the position, we would have voted him in. You have to actually invest SOME effort if you want to run for the President.

Not to mention he doesn’t have a whole lot more experience than the nitwits the Democrats are running. Which would neutralize that argument in the general election.

NoDonkey on March 31, 2008 at 11:29 AM

Sekhmet is misreading the point. The primary is over. What was meant was that McCain, to win the presidency, is going to have to pick a side so that voters have a choice. He can’t pick the other side with regard to policy and rhetoric and then expect the side he represents to vote for him.

BigD on March 31, 2008 at 11:29 AM

He certainly doesn’t agree with them on the pork issue, does he?
a capella on March 31, 2008 at 10:41 AM

Good one. Though he will be powerless to affect change in this area unless he plays serious hardball. As you know, he only goes rabid against conservatives.

Valiant on March 31, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Bloody sad we got him as a GOP nominee. I think it is more due to the media destroying the conservatives i.e. Thompson and Romney (including Fox and the establishment). Noticed they propped up Huckabee as well, cause they know he can’t win and it will benefit McCain.

mariloubaker on March 31, 2008 at 11:45 AM

All y’all with McDS,

You were gonna end up hating pretty much anybody in the running for 2008, and were going to throw the same little fits and make the same little threats to stay home.

Sekhmet on March 31, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Ah, no.

Darksean on March 31, 2008 at 11:54 AM

On the bright side, they haven’t told us to F-off recently either.

Zorro on March 31, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Oh really, what do you call this?

That was a totally planned setup and smackdown.
What do you want to bet that McCain was laughing about later aboard the Straight Talk Express?

Red Pill on March 31, 2008 at 11:58 AM

I only heard of conservative blogs joining “Blogs Against McCain” and “Blogs For McCain’s Opponent“.

Oh, I’m so glad someone mentioned that. In fact, I was one of the first on that Blogs for McCain’s Opponent blogroll, but I dropped it some time ago. You might notice that Daisy Cutter himself noted in that post:

Just so we are clear: I will not be a part of an effort that helps the Demos (unless they look like Zell Miller) in ’08. Don’t worry … I’ve got the keys to the blogroll, and the effort won’t undermine conservative advancement. And if that isn’t clear enough, let me add the following. I approach elections in a very practical fashion: Who can win? Of those who can win, who will better help the advancement of conservative ideals? I have little patience for theoreticians who make meaningless “statements” on election day. Wishing we had a parliamentary system like the Euros doesn’t make it so, any more than wishing will enable you to ride your bike to the moon. If you want to make a statement, go stand on the corner and make a speech. But voting has a specific purpose … electing some one. That is, ballots are not meant to be thrown in the trash. So, you will not see me participating in such an effort. The idea is to cast more for the best candidate who can win.

I actually dropped the concept before campaigning began, because I share that sentiment. I supported Fred!, but while I was a Fredhead I called in for the McCain blogger calls. Why? Because I’m sick and tired of the cannibals on our side. When Patrick Hynes first got his job on staff and sent out email to bloggers, some idiots hit “reply to all” when firing back rude responses demanding to be taken off his list. Patrick was never anything but polite and respectful to his fellow bloggers, and the obnoxiousness of others motivated me to stay on the email list. Eventually I called in to the blogger calls, and I lost my reservations about McCain’s candidacy. I stuck with Fred! until the end of his campaign, but once he was out, the choice was easy.

I laugh at those making the fallacious statements that it was “only liberal and moderate” bloggers. I’m no liberal, and neither are the others who called in. (Is Ed a liberal or moderate? Are the people from Red State?) I guess if by “moderate” you mean “moderate” or “fair” in behavior and rhetoric, then okay. I’d rather be accused of that any day than be called hysterical…which is what I see a lot of around these parts. But if it makes y’all feel better believing that No True Conservative™ would support John McCain, knock yourselves out. Please.

bamapachyderm on March 31, 2008 at 12:04 PM

Here’s a tip: the “Straight Talk Express” means that McCain is lying. People who regularly tell you the truth don’t have to proclaim that they are talking straight, they just do it.

It’s all about character. And I find all three current candidates’ character sorely lacking. I don’t trust any of them, and I am convinced that all three want a socialist agenda, including amnesty, that would, in Barack’s own words, “bring an Empire to its knees

Red Pill on March 31, 2008 at 12:07 PM

The hatred in the comments is depressing as all hell – first of all because it’s self-defeating, second of all because it’s rather myopic to some degree.

Let’s start with count one, self-defeating. I can’t begin to understand how anyone would consider sitting on the sidelines, or even being less than active, for McCain in the face of either a Clinton presidency or an Obama presidency. Also, contrary to what appears common belief here, it ain’t gonna be a cake walk for McCain so I’d appreciate it if some readers here lent their party a hand.

Count two: myopic. Hate McCain all you want for his stance on immigration. I partially agree, though I think he’s learned his lesson and that’s good enough for me (by that I mean he’ll favor a secured border first and leave the status fight for another day). But let’s look at the silver lining here: he’s popular among Latinos. Hate if you want to, but that’s going to help us hold parts of the Mountain West, and potentially take parts as well (New Mexico, though it’s only got 4 EVs).

I also think McCain’s more of a Republican than he’s often given credit for. Not just on the surge, where he was a leader instead of a follower. Not just on pork-busting. Not just on most economic issues (he was pro-death tax repeal, anti-min. wage hike, pro-CAFTA) or energy issues (pro-ANWR drilling, though that project is symbolic more than really useful). He’s also with the party on judicial nominations – hate the Gang of 14 all you want, but if Obama or Clinton wins, be grateful that we can still fillibuster their nominees – in his votes for Alito and Roberts, and he’s with the party on abortion. Amnesty and campaign finance reform are the two major areas of disagreement, but since when is toeing the party line a prerequisite?

Again, I don’t think he’s perfect, clearly no one else thinks he’s perfect, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all support him.

gstevens97 on March 31, 2008 at 12:16 PM

I saw next to no support for McCain in the conservative blogosphere and still see only limited, begrudging support. McCain was 3rd-to-last on my list, with Huckabee and Paul below him.

Connie on March 31, 2008 at 12:18 PM

I also think McCain’s more of a Republican than he’s often given credit for.

gstevens97 on March 31, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Shhhh! I’m trying to get my diehard Dem mother-in-law to vote for him.

Connie on March 31, 2008 at 12:20 PM

The reason we don’t have control of the House or Senate is because of the failed “true conservative” agenda. Spending got out of control, corruption took root, and the party got away from looking out for Joe and Betty Sixpack. The Iraq War going south also was a big factor, however war is NEVER a real popular issue. Then here comes this War Hero guy dragging the Bushies kicking and screaming to change strategy. Demanding the replacement of Rumsfeld and the implimentation of the Patreus strategy were also thumbprints of the Mav. If “true conservatives” would realize that the country is right of center but not right of right, they would get that Mav is the best guy for the job at a very difficult time.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 31, 2008 at 12:31 PM

The reason we don’t have control of the House or Senate is because of the failed “true conservative” agenda. Spending got out of control, corruption took root, and the party got away from looking out for Joe and Betty Sixpack.

That’s exactly right. The reason we got out-of-control spending, corruption, and elitism is BECAUSE the party discarded conservatism and moved Left. Thanks for making that point.

Redhead Infidel on March 31, 2008 at 12:37 PM

Hmmmpf, McCain is no conservative. His recent pronouncements of his belief in global warming(natural occurences, I mean), belief in a world order of democracies and his continuing mollycoddling of illegals makes me sick. What a conundrum I face in November.

MNDavenotPC on March 31, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Dinan quotes me in this article…

posted at 9:02 am on March 31, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

He quotes Allah, too.

Ex-tex on March 31, 2008 at 12:56 PM

The reason we got out-of-control spending, corruption, and elitism is BECAUSE the party discarded conservatism and moved Left. Thanks for making that point.
Redhead Infidel on March 31, 2008 at 12:37 PM

The reason the party was able to discard conservatism and stay in power is because idiots with a plantation mentality kept putting them back in power for the last 8 years. Now we have a nominee who actually relishes shafting the base. It won’t work this time.

Valiant on March 31, 2008 at 1:03 PM

“Conservatives” against McCain are mired in the tactics and the expressions of the far left.

“Poor-me” victim hood. Unbelievable negativity. Excessive whining. No responsibility.

The “conservative” movement hasn’t produced anything of late. Nothing. At some point, the Republican Party had to run a candidate. This is our candidate.

Any “conservative” who doesn’t see that John McCain isn’t a far, far better alternative to the Obama-nation or to Ms. Inevitable, cannot be taken seriously as a voting adult.

NoDonkey on March 31, 2008 at 1:03 PM

NoDonkey on March 31, 2008 at 1:03 PM

Well said. And as a conservative, it’s repulsive to me seeing other alleged conservatives acting like victims.

bamapachyderm on March 31, 2008 at 1:19 PM

It’s not that McCain is a worse candidate than Obama and Clinton. I suspect he is superior. But he is NOT a conservative. If he is the epitome of what Republicans want the standard bearer to be, you have chosen. Conservatives such as I have to hold our nose and make sure the worse doesn’t happen , i.e. an Obama or Clinton presidency. Talking about being mired in the expressions of the far left, I submit your comment about conservatives who don’t see McCain, etc……. as not being taken seriously as a voting adult as proof of your doing same. I would suggest that people such as I are taking this election extremely serious.

MNDavenotPC on March 31, 2008 at 1:21 PM

I’d still like to see a “Hot Air Vent” 1-on-1 interview between John McCain and Michelle Malkin. Why hasn’t this happened yet?

It’s not for lack of trying.

Michelle on March 31, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Michelle, I would PAY to see that, but I am sure he’s dodging you BIG TIME!

MNDavenotPC on March 31, 2008 at 1:32 PM

The “conservative” movement hasn’t produced anything of late

Every time something conservative is birthed, an enlightened Republican (e.g. Bush, McCain) swoops in for the abortion.

Your point is well taken, but redefining Republicanism has to come at a cost of losing people who believe in the Constitution. BTW, I don’t see any victims here except American freedom.

Valiant on March 31, 2008 at 1:36 PM

If conservative blogs supported McCain, he’ll have them outlawed in his first year.

For all the times he’s told Republicans to F off – he’s never said it to a Democrat. Hell will freeze over before he’ll give a 1 on 1 to Michelle.

Ripper on March 31, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Okay, so outline for me what will be McCain’s winning campaign strategy against Obama.

Experience versus Change?

War experience does not necessarily translate into national security credentials — ask John Kerry. An McCain’s open borders/amnesty policy doesn’t really do much for his national security creds, either.

So, what is the campaign platform for the general election?

BigD on March 31, 2008 at 1:38 PM

You anti-McCain people just drive me nuts. I can see you favoring socialized medicine, but isn’t losing the war a bit much?

And why you place so much emphasis on candidates is beyond me. What about the voters?

It seems to me that until we get voters turned in our direction we will get the candidates we deserve.

MSimon on March 31, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Again, I don’t think he’s perfect, clearly no one else thinks he’s perfect, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all support him.

gstevens97 on March 31, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Short-sighted and myopic is how the party ended up with McCain in the first place. I WILL NOT blindly support a man who called me a racist for not signing on to his amnesty scheme. I WILL NOT blindly support a candidate that thwarted GWB’s legitimate judicial picks (particularly at the circuit court level). You McCain zombies are taking my vote for granted and want me to scrap all my values in order to get behind a political traitor. It isn’t going to happen.

highhopes on March 31, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Why do candidates get the blame for the stupidity of the voters?

It seems if we had the voters on our side we would get the candidates we want.

We can have a manageable war now or a real World War with Obama policies. Carter II. And we are still paying for that bit of voter wisdom.

OBAMA! for President. Because surrender will bring peace.

MSimon on March 31, 2008 at 1:48 PM

It seems to me that until we get voters turned in our direction we will get the candidates we deserve.

MSimon on March 31, 2008 at 1:41 PM

And McCain has repeatedly told social conservatives and evangelicals to f**k off. Yet you McCain zombies expect my vote in November and my financial support for the general election. It isn’t going to happen with a political traitor leading the ticket. He’s pretty much written off the right wing of the GOP and I wish you all well in wooing lifelong Democrats to actually vote for McCain in the fall. I suspect you will find that your advocacy for McCain will have handed the keys to the kingdom over to Obama.

highhopes on March 31, 2008 at 1:50 PM

Wow, Mav not down with the press? I guess there is a first time for everything.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 31, 2008 at 2:00 PM

Why don’t all you McCain scourgers blame yourselves for not making Republican values more popular?

I blame myself for not doing a better job for Fred.

What I heard from many was Mr. Too Old. Thanks. Now we have Mr. Too Old and Too Liberal. Way to go guys.

I’m reminded of what Mayor Daley Sr. responded when asked why his candidate lost responded, “He didn’t get enough votes.”

Get over yourselves blaming McCain for your inability to properly educate voters is stupid and puts the blame in the wrong place. Which is convenient. It means no self examination is required. How Democratic.

MSimon on March 31, 2008 at 2:05 PM

high hopes,

So McCain told conservatives to f* off. If conservatives had the votes McCain would have been buried with a remark like that.

Maybe there is something wrong with the conservative message. Maybe the way it is presented. To blame McCain for our failings is idiotic. It will fix nothing.

There are always people willing to open the gates of the city because of some slight by the governing powers. The Bible (you have read it I presume) is full of examples.

I will never join those ranks. Even if it means voting for McCain.

MSimon on March 31, 2008 at 2:12 PM

OK I know. McCain will defend some parts of the city and not others. The Ds will give it all up.

I’m for preserving what we can. It will make recovery easier.

MSimon on March 31, 2008 at 2:14 PM

belief in a world order of democracies

What, exactly, is wrong with believing in a world order of democracies? It’s a hell of a lot better than many of the alternatives that come to mind.

gstevens97 on March 31, 2008 at 2:14 PM

NoDonkey on March 31, 2008 at 1:03 PM

bamapachyderm on March 31, 2008 at 1:19 PM

Thank you NoDonkey and Bamapachyderm – you both said what I think better than I can or have. Maybe I need more sleep and less caffeine.

MSimon on March 31, 2008 at 2:12 PM

MSimon, you too are dead on – the Biblical reference especially. Or to quote Reagan, my eighty percent friend isn’t my twenty percent enemy.

highhopes on March 31, 2008 at 1:47 PM

McCain will, I’m sure, nominate judicial nominees worth supporting. Do you think Obama and Clinton will? This whining about the past while turning a blind eye to the potential for a dark future is absurd…

Down with the grievance culture.

gstevens97 on March 31, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Some of you confuse military experience with strong national security policy. McCain wanted to close Gitmo, wants to restrict interrogation techniques, and wants to have an open border with Mexico, even if it means that it’s not only Mexican day laborers who are coming across. He has supported the effort in Iraq, but supporting isn’t leading. Has he layed out a specific strategy for dealing with Islamic terrorism?

And what is wrong with a “world order of democracies?” Have you looked at the European Union lately?

BigD on March 31, 2008 at 2:25 PM

After Mav’s first year in office the hatred will subside. Just because he thinks pouring a quart of oil into a glass of water is bad, or that cutting taxes just before a major military committment of five years isn’t “conservative” enough, doesn’t mean that he supports the majority of the parties principles. Remember, conservatives are part of the republican party not the other way around. Respect Moderation.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 31, 2008 at 2:31 PM

BigD on March 31, 2008 at 2:25 PM

We executed Japs after WWII for waterboarding, dude. Maybe since he was tortured he has a little thing called a frame of reference. I don’t want our soldiers tortured somewhere because we decided it was kosher.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 31, 2008 at 2:33 PM

To blame McCain for our failings is idiotic.

MSimon on March 31, 2008 at 2:12 PM

That’s true. McCain is only the symptom of a much greater problem within the Republican Party and our nation as a whole.

“The strength of government does not consist in anything within itself, but in the attachment of a nation, and the interest which the people feel in supporting it. When this is lost, government is but a child in power..and facilitates its own fall.” – Thomas Paine

Redhead Infidel on March 31, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Dear Chosen:

War is hell. But you either win it or lose it. The Japanese attacked us first. So did the 911 terrorists.

BigD on March 31, 2008 at 2:44 PM

BigD on March 31, 2008 at 2:44 PM

If you beat the hell out of a captive and he tells you he’s mickey mouse, it doesn’t make if f’n true.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 31, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Dear Chosen: Now I have no idea what you’re talking about.

BigD on March 31, 2008 at 2:51 PM

He decided to push hard in the fall despite the advent of Huckabee and Fred Thompson, both of whom were expected to knock him out of the race — and he prevailed there, too.

No he didn’t. Both the Huckster and Fred! refused to attack McVain on his weakness- immigration. Fred was the worst in that he took out the Huckster in the SC debate leaving it wide open for McVain. As a recovering Fredhead I am deeply disappointed in the Republican primary process and hope that it is reformed so that a conservative has a chance of winning the nomination. How:

1) Closed primaries,

2) Proportional representation,

3) Primaries grouped by region and a rotation of who goes first based on a lottery,

4) States which vote Republican given a greater weight (more delegates).

Bill C on March 31, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Bill Buckley, I sure miss you! Like I said earlier, I’ll hold my nose and vote for McCain. But you cannot, and I will not let you, tell me that Conservatism is wrong. I am convinced that straddling the fence gets you nothing but splinters, and a Republican moderate( compromiser) is no better than a middle of the roader…… ultimately you become road kill.

MNDavenotPC on March 31, 2008 at 3:10 PM

McCain still has money trouble.

Vanbasten on March 31, 2008 at 9:14 AM

I got a phone call 2 weeks ago. She wanted to know if I’d vote for McCain and could she send me an envelope. I took the time to tell her that my husband and I had given $ to Fred Thompson and that it was the first time we’d ever given to any political campaign. I made it clear that we were not happy with McCain, but that yes, we will vote for him, and that she could go ahead and send the envelope and we would make a decision then whether or not to donate. So far, we have not rec’d the envelope.

Connie on March 31, 2008 at 3:47 PM

Bill C on March 31, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Closed primaries may have some value, especially after the way Democrats tried to boost Mitt in Michigan. But, seriously, proportional representation? If there’s one lesson from the Democratic campaign, it’s that proportional representation only screws with things. I won’t be surprised if they go back to winner-take-all.

gstevens97 on March 31, 2008 at 3:59 PM

I’d still like to see a “Hot Air Vent” 1-on-1 interview between John McCain and Michelle Malkin. Why hasn’t this happened yet?

Red Pill on March 31, 2008 at 11:14 AM

It’s not for lack of trying.

Michelle on March 31, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Michelle, I would PAY to see that, but I am sure he’s dodging you BIG TIME!

MNDavenotPC on March 31, 2008 at 1:32 PM

For all the times he’s told Republicans to F off – he’s never said it to a Democrat. Hell will freeze over before he’ll give a 1 on 1 to Michelle.

Ripper on March 31, 2008 at 1:37 PM

This should be a cause of serious concern for Conservatives.

The only strategy capable of defeating the ultra-right is the widest possible unity of all the class and social forces whose interests run counter to those of the most reactionary section of the transnationals. Such an all-inclusive coalition would need to be led by labor and the working class in close alliance with the nationally and racially oppressed, women, and youth. It should include seniors, family farmers, the LGBT community, professionals and the self-employed, small business owners, and the disabled—everyone except the most reactionary section of transnational capital. This unity will include an ever-growing Left-Center political coalition that includes the Democratic Party, left and progressive independents who recognize the danger the ultra-right poses, and all social movements on the major issues of our day. This all-people’s front should strive to, and be able to, attract many who voted Republican in the past.

The struggle to defeat the ultra-right is a democratic struggle that advances the class struggle and that has the potential to shift the balance of forces in a direction more favorable for winning working class victories and for mounting offensive struggles.

The quote above is from the “Defeating the Ultra-Right” section of “The Road to Socialism USA”, published by the Communist Party USA.

Red Pill on March 31, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Michelle, thank you for trying to get the 1-on-1 with McCain. It’s clear that he is afraid of an interview with you, because you would expose him for who he is. He also doesn’t think he needs the support of the “Ultra-right” to win. He was mocking the “Ultra-right” with his smackdown of Cunningham. McCain’s people told Cunningham they wanted “red meat”. Cunningham gave it to them, and then McCain threw him under the “Straight Talk Express” bus!

Did you ever try to get a 1-on-1 interview with Huckabee?

Red Pill on March 31, 2008 at 4:42 PM

The only strategy capable of defeating the communists is the widest possible unity of all the class and social forces whose interests run counter to those of the most socialist section of the transnationals.

You know we might like to start with economics.

If the party was focused on

1. Economics
2. Defense
3. Individual liberty

and left the social issues to ministers, priests, and rabbis, we might broaden the base.

As I understand it Reagan gave minor lip service to social Conservatives and focused on the above issues. That is the Republican core. Huckabee was a huge distraction and more socialist than McCain.

Given that I can see why social conservatives have no problem sitting this one out. They like Socialism. Just a different brand than the Democrats. It is funny that Social Conservatives do not see themselves as Socialists.

The Federal Governments job is to protect our liberty, defend our country, and protect our property. Any thing else exceeds its mandate.

The less we want government to do the broader our coalition will be.

MSimon on March 31, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Social conservatives believe in natural law and established institutions. It’s my belief that they define conservatism through their faith. They are suspicious of power and believe in the exceptionalism and individualism in people, hence the right to be rich and grow in wealth. Yes, they hold virtue and morality to a high degree( as a group) , but to call it socialism is inaccurate. Socialism is a system based on shared or government ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods. Social conservatism is a philosophy. Socialism is an economic status and the use of the word is pejorative at worst and wrong at best.

MNDavenotPC on March 31, 2008 at 5:58 PM

Michael Shuyler responds here.

rightwingprof on March 31, 2008 at 6:17 PM

This unity will include an ever-growing Left-Center political coalition that includes the Democratic Party, left and progressive independents who recognize the danger the ultra-right poses, and all social movements on the major issues of our day. This all-people’s front should strive to, and be able to, attract many who voted Republican in the past.

The struggle to defeat the ultra-right is a democratic struggle that advances the class struggle and that has the potential to shift the balance of forces in a direction more favorable for winning working class victories and for mounting offensive struggles.”

Red Pill on March 31, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Well, this sounds far too familiar. It’s happening right now.

As the GOP moves steadily toward the left, those of us who used to be core constituents are now considered “fringe”, our principles mocked as stupid and irrational. I’ve seen Republicans scornfully label conservatives who don’t support McCain as “far-right” and “ultra-right”, as if it’s a dirty epithet. I didn’t expect the vitriol from our own “side”, but this makes it look like we’re not on the same side anymore at all.

You’ve really given me something to think about…

Redhead Infidel on March 31, 2008 at 7:41 PM

Libertarianism (without the surrender component) can bring us all together again. You know that Goldwater thingy. BTW he really hated cultural socialists as much as he hated economic socialists. He was always firing away at socons. The Reagan revolution was a culmination of all that. It is how he brought “Reagan Democrats” into the fold. Stick with a core we can all agree on.

Social conservatism at the point of a gun is just as much socialism as is economic liberalism at the point of a gun.

The deal is: let us save government guns for thieves and robbers and external enemies and let society take care of itself.

The government should not be making black markets. It only empowers criminals.

You got vitriol from me because I hate cultural socialism as much as I hate economic socialism. I try to be consistent. I’m a Goldwater/Reagan conservative. Not too popular (except for lip service) in some circles. Every one liked the results. Hardly any one wants to stick to the philosophy.

MSimon on April 1, 2008 at 12:20 AM

You know why we can’t find another Reagan?

Because Republicans no longer understand Goldwater.

Pity.

MSimon on April 1, 2008 at 12:50 AM

MSimon, personally, I’m not what you would call a socon and I’ll admit I’m not sure what you mean by cultural socialism, though by inference I can guess. New labels are devised every day to duly segment the former Reagan Coalition, and it’s hard to keep up with them. I don’t care, because none of those lesser issues matter to me (everyone has their priorities).

I care about two things without which the rest is all background noise: national security and sovereignty. That means: Defense, Borders, Constitution. I am a border hawk. That puts me on the wrong side of McCain and is what has drawn the ire of the McCainiacs down on my pretty red head. So be it.

Redhead Infidel on April 1, 2008 at 1:37 AM

Redhead,

I’m kind of ambivalent about the border thing. On the one hand it is costing us a fortune. On the other it makes housing and vegetables cheaper.

In any case I look at it as a way to civilize Mexico and ultimately bring it into the Union. Something contemplated off and on since the Halls of Montezuma.

We have one big problem and it is the same as the illegal drug import problem. It is economically attractive. By setting up a black market in illegal immigration services we now have a trained cadre of criminals skilled at crossing the border and providing false documents etc.

We are in effect subsidizing the subversion of the system (note the parallel with illegal drugs?). I do not think amnesty is the answer (the fast track to citizenship). But making criminals out of people who want to work is not doing us much good either.

My answer? Stop making the border a one way gate. Make it easier to come so it is easier to go.

It is a logical solution. I seem to be the only one who likes it. It seems to trigger an emotional response (like illegal drugs do) rather than a logical response.

I find it quite interesting that Republicans are as wedded to emotional thinking about their issues as Democrats are about theirs.

Ah well. Human nature. Fascinating.

MSimon on April 1, 2008 at 2:54 AM

BTW futures traders have a saying:

“You can’t beat the market”

Too bad more Republicans don’t take it to heart.

MSimon on April 1, 2008 at 3:02 AM