Sunday, February 24, 2008

Right's Rally to McCain Not Just Temporary

The New York Times's Public Editor (or as he would be called at mere mortal newspapers, "Ombudsman") suggests that the rally of conservatives to John McCain, in reaction to the Times's story on McCain last Thursday, may only be "for the moment."

That appeared as a passing comment in his article in this morning's Times criticizing the newspaper for the original story.

We don't think it's just temporary.   Especially after the Democratic nomination was resolved, conservatives would have coalesced behind McCain, if only because there's nowhere else for them to go.

The consensus among conservatives seems to be that they like Barack Obama as a person and find many things about his candidacy appealing.   But on major policy matters their differences with Obama are too great to permit them to vote for him.   Interestingly, the very fact that Obama is a stand-up guy about his positions on those policy questions is one of the things conservatives admire about him.   They recognize him as an honest man.

As for the other alternative, Ms. Rodham-Clinton provokes in conservatives a revulsion so visceral they recoil at the sight of her.   "When Hillary comes on, my TV goes off," notes one friend, whose reaction is typical.   If Hillary promised to repeal the income tax and appoint Robert Bork to the Supreme Court (which she'd glibly promise, if she saw it as a path to the most votes), she wouldn't get a single conservative vote.   They recognize her as dishonest.

For those reasons we disagree that the rallying of the Republican right to McCain is only temporary.   It was starting to happen already.   The Times article merely accelerated the process.   That's why we think it helped McCain.

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