The key lesson of the Giuliani campaign is that the Republican coalition as it is (and not as some might wish it to be) must be attended to. The public — social conservatives very much included — is far less doctrinaire than the usual stereotypes hold. The base is willing to compromise with our leaders for the sake of unity and victory, but our leaders have to be willing to compromise with the coalition as well. Rudy’s mistake was to take early poll support from social conservatives as a free pass. Those poll numbers were actually an invitation to a discerning leader to show some ability to compromise. Rudy missed the boat. Will John McCain get it, or will arrogance push him to repeat Rudy’s mistakes? Mitt Romney clearly does get it, and it’s time we gave him more credit than we have up to now for respecting the coalition he aspires to lead.