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Monday, January 21, 2008
McCain Derangement Syndrome Writ Large

I happen to be a fan of Doug (correction: Dan, as pointed out by a commenter) Riehl's writing; he won one of our contests at Kerry Haters back in 2004. But this post just shows how schizophrenic the opposition to John McCain has become:

Alright, I'm always reluctant to even use the word neo-conservative because I think it's inappropriately and maliciously used as an anti-semitic smear by the Left.

Yep, it is. Basically to the left, "neocon" (no hyphen needed) is a code word for "Jewish people who only support Republicans because the GOP supports Israel".

But Doug quickly gets in trouble with this part:

It's worth noting that John McCain has recently started to highlight his support for Israel in his campaign rhetoric just as Commentary and The Weekly Standard have taken up his cause.

I suppose that's the flip side of the neocon smear; McCain only supports Israel, because it will get the Jews at Commentary and the Weekly Standard to support him. But what are we to make of this mishmash:

I think that it's terrific McCain claims to be such a good friend of Israel. I'm with him 100% on that, as are most mainstream conservatives. And if the neo-conservative movement sees John McCain as their guy - fine. But, on whole, that is a far different thing from making him right for conservatism as a movement. We are not one issue voters and this lecturing, some might say preaching, the McCain Gospel from neo-conservatives to the mainstream of the movement is beginning to become insulting.

One issue voters? Um, what issue might that be? Starts with "I", ends with "l" and has "srae" in the middle? Yep, but even here he twists himself into knots:

We are not rubes, Mr. Kristol. How about you start injecting a little straight talk into your punditry, admit that you are supporting McCain because a veer to the Left for the Republican Party is fine with you, so long as Israel is first and foremost in American Middle-East foreign policy. Frankly, I pretty much agree on that. But all of the top contenders are solid friends of Israel and so am I.

So why in the world do you think that McCain is only getting Kristol's support because of his own support for Israel? Isn't it far more likely that with the issue of Israel off the table (since there is virtual unanimity in the party), that other aspects of McCain's candidacy are what draws Kristol to support him?

Indeed, in the last McCain blogger conference call, McCain took some heat from a pro-Israel blogger over his support for James Baker, who is widely perceived as insufficiently supportive of Israel.


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