McCain for America

Since Fred Thompson obviously isn't going to survive primary season, I've aligned behind John McCain 110% (McCain/Thompson '08?/!). Being young and from the New England, my conservative sensibilities are somewhat moderate. Even so, I disagree with Sen. McCain on certain pressing economic issues, and also on immigration. I worry a little about his scalding temper, and his tireless support for the occupation of Iraq makes me, well, skittish.

Why, then, am I banging the senator's war drum? It's quite simple, really, and I think it's the same reason many "lay conservatives" have flocked to the Mac, despite serious policy disagreements.

The thing is, I desire a red-blooded patriot in the White House. A true patriot, you know, someone who has actually bled for this country, someone who has endured "it all." John McCain began serving America in 1955 (that's 53 years now -- heck, nearly as long as, oh, Mitt Romney has been alive!).

He hasn't quit since then, not once, never. The senator isn't some MBA biznizman worth half a billion dollars. He isn't a hot-shot lawyer or famous entertainer or golden-tongued orator or corporate shill or professional talking-head or backwater preacher. His has been a life of national duty and dogged public service. That level of commitment and self-sacrifice resonates with main street conservatives, who value active patriotism. The presidency would be a fine, appropriate, and well deserved coda to such a legacy.

Why the conservative establishment, as represented by National Review and Rush Limbaugh and the rest, has failed to embrace McCain is more than confusing. It's ridiculous. It proves that the institutional right remains incapable of ending its Reagan fetishization, even if it means supporting a man who's carefully tailored each and every aspect of himself to fit that antique ideal.

Yes, I'm talking, of course, about Mitt Romney, an ex-RINO (so said Human Events) whose born-again conservatism was conveniently timed with his presidential campaign; a man who abandoned his state party to the wolves for the sake of personal ambition; a man with one term of governing experience; a man whose pandering is painfully obvious (life-long hunter, Soviet-style Michigan package, etc.)l a man with zero military know-how (!). It's beyond baffling, isn't it?

Thankfully, there's evidence of rank-breaking over at Nat'l Review following last night's results. Romney has won two uncontested primaries (Wyoming, Nevada), and one semi-contested one (Michigan), whereas McCain has triumphed in two key states (New Hampshire, South Carolina), both of which were difficult wins.

As Mark Steyn -- who's no McCain loyalist -- writes:

In that sense, McCain's is a genuine national candidacy. Rudy's campaign
announced itself as one, but, as I said a while back, it quickly turned into a
1-800 candidacy, rooted in no real area code, with no real physical presence, as
if he'd outsourced the thing to a call center in Bombay. That's why his
team have spent most of the last month artfully explaining why it doesn't
matter that ten per cent of American states have consigned "America's
Mayor" to a statistical asterisk. I'd love to hear from Lisa, David Frum or our
old pal JPod if this is truly where they expected the "frontrunner" to
be at this stage in the game: Two per cent in South Carolina, and a grand total
of one delegate.

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