All throughout this campaign, Hugh Hewitt has been one of the leading voices in support of Mitt Romney. To that end, he has tirelessly pointed out the shortcomings of John McCain who now appears poised to capture and keep the GOP front-runner status.
Disturbing as McCain's victories are, there is an even more disturbing trend among the GOP faithful to believe that the party is somehow paramount to the principles for which it once stood. Here again, Hewitt serves as one of the significant voices in arguing for the sake of the party in November. Bad as McCain is, he argues, he deserves our full support lest the Democrats capture and hold the White House in this election.
But there is a moral problem with Hugh's arguments. Hewitt has done such a good job of documenting McCain's failings that those of us who now fully understand the man cannot in good conscience support him as President of the United States. Ever.
This is not a simple matter of taking our ball and quitting the game. I do not whine about what bad fortune we Romney supporters see in the race at this stage of the game, nor do I make this decision lightly. If the election truly boils down to a choice between McCain and either Obama or Clinton this fall, I will make good on my promise to write Mitt Romney's name in when I cast my vote.
There's a reason for this: Mitt Romney today represents the last (indeed, probably the only) chance for the Republican Party to stand up for what its base believes. To vote for McCain is to vote for a complete compromise of the principles that most concern me at this point in time. John McCain represents the worst in immigration reform. He has no (repeat, NO) economic credentials. His assault on political freedom of speech is inexcusable.
By the way, his status as "war hero" — which is unimpeachable — is not the reason why we should trust him to properly prosecute the war against terrorism. There are many war heroes in public office today, and many of them do not support the effort to win the war. McCain merely has the right ideas and has been unswerving in his support. This counts, however, as the only aspect of John McCain that I do support. When balanced against the other issues, McCain does not deserve, nor has he earned the right, to be the face of the Republican Party in this election.
Now Hugh is hedging his bets. Romney is officially struggling after a somewhat lackluster performance in the Super Tuesday contests (I did my part!), and Hugh is seeing the writing on the wall. McCain may not yet be "inevitable," but he is the front-runner and a force to be reckoned with leading up to the national convention. "Whoever the nominee is," opines the silver-haired wonder, "we need to unconditionally support him in November."
This from the man who has time and again pointed out the very reasons why a vote for McCain is a vote against my own conservative principles.
McCain, whatever he is saying today, has and will continue to betray the conservative base of the GOP. He cannot be allowed to sit in the President's chair while claiming to "unite the party." That phrase will prove to be the greatest political lie of a campaign rife with political lies in nearly every camp. I refuse to live that lie, as do many others who know and understand John McCain.
No, Mr. Hewitt, your argument is false and empty. If John McCain is the Republican nominee this fall, then perhaps the Republican Party deserves to lose — and lose big — in November. Perhaps we need another four years of watching the Democrats push an agenda of entitlement, socialism, and zero national security so we can awaken the Party to the harsher realities of a bi-polar nation.
Republicans have proven in the past that merely putting them in control is not enough. They refuse to learn their lessons, even when applied with a political 2x4. They fly in the face of the very conservatives who used to give the Party its distinctive flavor. Conservatism used to be the Party's defining characteristic. Now the Republicans are only distinguishable from the Democrats in their fights against abortion and terrorism. In nearly every other aspect of conservative thinking — including over-sized government — they have shown themselves far more likely to shake hands with their buddies across the aisle and ignore the voices of those who put them in office to begin with. These are not "Reagan conservatives."
When and if the GOP gets behind their conservative base and fronts a platform that defends, rather than compromises, our conservative principles, I will give them my support. Until then, they are still a long, long way from earning my vote.
Hewitt, of all people, should understand that.
P.S. Hugh, even your SCOTUS argument is flat: McCain has already shown contempt for at least one conservative voice on the bench today. Why on earth should we trust him to continue appointing conservatives? He wouldn't recognize one if they danced naked in front of him with "I AM CONSERVATIVE" tatooed on their chests.
Or maybe he would, and that truly is the problem.
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