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Saturday, November 15, 2008
Blinded By the Right?

Jim DeMint decides to pile on John McCain:

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint on Friday became one of the first high-profile Republicans to publicly criticize John McCain following his electoral defeat, blaming the Arizona senator for betraying conservative principles in his quest for the White House.

There's this bizarre notion that somehow the Republicans would have won if only they'd nominated a "real" conservative--Mitt Romney, I suppose, whom DeMint endorsed for the nomination. This is simply denial of the realities of 2008. The Republicans were going to lose this election no matter whom they nominated; McCain at least kept it close.

"McCain, who is proponent of campaign finance reform that weakened party organizations and basically put George Soros in the driver's seat," DeMint said. "His proposal for amnesty for illegals. His support of global warming, cap-and-trade programs that will put another burden on our economy. And of course, his embrace of the bailout right before the election was probably the nail in our coffin this last election. And he has been an opponent of drilling in ANWR, at a time when energy is so important. It really didn't fit the label, but he was our package."

And which of those issues hurt the GOP in the fall? Answer: None of the above. Obama voted in favor of the bailout. So essentially what McCain did was take all those issues off the table. And, oh, did anybody mention immigration during the fall campaign? I can't remember it even coming up.

Jeff Goldstein endorses DeMint's comments and adds a note in the comments that he thinks Fred Thompson would have crushed Obama. This is denial. Thompson performed in the primaries like he'd taken a couple of Sominex; why on earth would anybody think he'd suddenly come to life in the general? The simple fact is that Thompson didn't have the fire in the belly that you need to win an election. Do you really think he would have been out there campaigning day after day like McCain did? Heck, his team had a tough time getting him to do more than one campaign event a day back during the primaries.

Maybe this debate doesn't matter. Maybe Obama will be a Jimmy Carter and the conservative base will be able to nominate whomever they want in 2012. We shall see.

Note as well that unlike some others, I am not blaming Sarah Palin for the loss. I do that for two reasons: first, because I like Sarah Palin and felt she got jobbed by the media; and second, because it's the same argument that the conservatives are raising about McCain, that we coulda won if it hadn't been for X. Unless X is the financial crisis, I don't buy it.
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