Feb 14, 2008 9:31 pm


That is the question facing primary voters in both parties. For activists it is a difficult choice but it is the choice nonetheless. As much as they would like to ignore it, the country is at war with an implacable foe. It is a foe which would strap explosives on two down's syndrome women and blow them up by remote control. Red lines are unknown to them.

Only a naive, over indulged novice full of himself would believe as Neville Chamberlain did that his powers of persuasion would overcome the enemy's perfidies or, even more distressingly, that it is the US that needs to change, not Al Qaeda. Obama's Indonesian father tried to teach him how to deal with gangsters but the lesson has since been lost by the soft welcome mat presented to him by indulgent idealists. In other words, it would be"risky" to place"our country" in the hands of Obama.

Speaking with Tim Russert, E.J. Dionne, said as much, then added that it was that risk which prevented the Democratic establishment from supporting Obama in the beginning. But, now, they have changed their minds because they believe that supporting Hillary will be risky for the Democratic party because it will open Bill's post presidency baggage.

No one disagreed with the analysis. Indeed, Joe Klein seconded stating that Hillary has spent five years doing her national security homework and Generals consider her the Democratic senator who best understands their concerns. If so, Democrats have to choose between the good of the country and the good of the party. Partisans will hesitate but I suspect my fellow American Democrats will not.

The same choice is also facing Republicans. No one can frustrate the low lives and keep the country secure better than John McCain. Even the partisan who turned his talk show into a long Romney commercial acknowledged as much:

"The world's bad guys," Hewitt writes,"would never for a moment think he would blink in any showdown, or hesitate to strike back at any enemy with the audacity to try again to cripple the US through terror."

Having a president with such a reputation is worth 10 brigades. So why argue so vehemently against presenting the country with an opportunity to vote for such a man? The answer according to Rush, the premier talk show host, McCain will rend the Republican party and, party trumps country. Desperate partisans on both sides try to convince voters that Obama and Romney have a better chance to win the general elections.

But does it matter? Yes. In 1960 the country elected untested John Kennedy president. He so under performed at his summit with Khrushchev as to convince the Soviet dictator placing Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba was not particularly risky. The result? The crisis which brought the planet closest to nuclear war.

Conservative"rebels" handed the elections to Jimmmy who? The result? A Close and strategically important American ally called Iran became an American foe run by soon to be Terror Masters named the Islamic Republic of Iran.

So, yes, choices have consequences and so will those made by Americans in super Tuesday. How lucky we are that average folk, rather than partisan officials will make the decisions. Otherwise, we would have ended up as Israelis have,with shameless power hungry individuals a la Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni.

Just in case you need further convincng, Bill Kristol reminds us

Only a year ago, we were headed toward defeat in Iraq. Without McCain’s public advocacy and private lobbying, President Bush might not have reversed strategy and announced the surge of troops in January 2007. Without McCain’s vigorous leadership, support for the surge in Congress would not have been sustained in the first few months of 2007. So: No McCain, no surge. No surge, failure in Iraq, a terrible setback for America — . . .

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R.R. Hamilton - 2/14/2008

An excellent article with excellent comments.

The only caveat I have is with "McCain will RENT the Republican Party." "Rent" may be used as the past participle of "rend". It would be correct to say, for instance, "Bush's support for amnesty for illegal aliens RENT the Republican Party". However, when using present or future tense, the right choice is "rend": "McCain will REND the Republican Party".

Jason James Leverette - 2/9/2008

If McCain is nominated and elected POTUS I believe it will be for only one term mainly because of his age (72 in August). This job ages the person who has great and small responsibilities for the most powerful country in the world.

His selection for VP will be of utmost importance for the race to the Whitehouse. The Republicans want a staunch conservative in all principles of governance for "We The People...".

In the past selecting a VP from a particular region in our country to add delegates to the campaign for POTUS was essential for success. Today this is a choice of ideology in which McCain wants his VP on the same page as his.

He should select a VP who is against McCain/Feingold,the McCain/Kennedy Amnesty Bill and McCain/Lieberman Global Warming and Energy Bills and for drilling for oil in ANWR.

I don't believe the pundits, talk show hosts, radio talkers, TV talking heads, or evalgelicals will decide the outcome. It will be the professional, political parasites on the Democrat side who will decide in the proverbial "Smoke Filled Rooms" by their 800 "Super Delegates" who can legally choose either candidate.

Either way this goes, unless there is a clear winner,
whether the "Super Delegates" choose Senator Clinton or
Senator Obama as the Democrat nominee, I believe the outcome will become chaotic no matter which one is chosen and make Florida 2000 look like a rally for "can't we all get along".

I am saddened Mitt Romney had to suspend his candidacy for POTUS. It was an admirable and graceful exit. I feel conservatives will be rejuvenated and will continue our support for Mitt Romney for POTUS in 2012.

He, his family and over 4 million supporters spent a bunch trying to get there, but it was not meant to be in 2008. I believe this a blessing for Mitt Romney. During the next four years the whole world will know who he is, especially the prognosticaters mentioned above. McCain should name him Chair of the Republican National Committee. This would please a bunch of conservatives.

JFK was the only other candidate I have supported 100% for POTUS. I was shocked and stunned when he was asassinated. Yes, I remember the time, the day, the place, where I was and what I was doing.
It is a no brainer now for the Republican side of this fiasco of primaries and caucuses. McCain is the nominee. He will win or lose. Simple as that.

It appears there are four Democrats and one Libertarian still in the race. America is in for a long siege until 2012 regardless of the winner.

Moreover, I believe the conservatives are willing to let Senator Clinton or Senator Obama win this one to let them know how it feels when governance is blocked by the other party. The only reason conservatives will want McCain to win is the possibility of appointing two Supreme Court Associate Justice's to the Court. There is a strong possibility of this occuring within the next 4 years.

Jeff Shear - 2/9/2008

Why do we think the surge is working? Fewer booms in the night? What good is the surge without a fit government in Iraq? The challenge is to be able to say the words "govern" and "Iraq" in the same sentence without pronouncing the word "failure." Please, the next time the discussion turn to "the success of the surge" please add an explanation about how the surge effects the "elected" government of Iraq. Wasn't the precious surge supposed to provide time for that failed government to wring out a policy on oil, for example? At stake, after all, are the world's second (or so) largest proven reserves of oil on Earth; only the Saudis have more oil than the "former" Iraqis.

Greg A D - 2/4/2008

You wrote:

"No one can frustrate the low lives and keep the country secure better than John McCain."

You must be talking about a different john McCain than the one running for President. The one running for President wants to shut down Gitmo, imprison the terrorists in the US (giving the terrorists rights they've never before had, and that NO US enemies have ever before had), and stop the kind of "rigorous interrogation" techniques that have saved US lives in the past (as when they were used against KSM).

You don't "frustrate the low lives" by treating them like they're honorable warriors who are entitled to BETTER treatment than we would give to read soldiers who fought us while following the rules of the Geneva Conventions. That is, however, what John McCain wants to do.

It's one of the many reason why he's not qualified to be President, not during a war with terrorists.

Mike Spence - 2/4/2008

With respect to 1960, Khrushchev also correctly surmised that Kennedy would not resist the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. That failure of political will led to much larger Berlin crises in the years that followed.

Paul Burich - 2/4/2008

You've gotten it a bit wrong here. I actually listen to Limbaugh pretty frequently and he does, indeed, believe that McCain will destroy the Republican party. But that is NOT his primary objection to a McCain candidacy. He objects--as do I--to McCain on numerous grounds, including respect for constitutional rights, economic policy, sovereignty. Limbaugh will have trouble voting for McCain--as will I--because we believe that he will make common cause with many of the worst instincts of the Left. His active antipathy for conservative principles and those who hold them is plain. His destructive temperment and ascription of bad motives to his ideological foes reveals a small, arrogant man.

One gets the sense that it is all about McCain. McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Leiberman, McCain-this, McCain-that. I happen to believe that a McCain presidency would do even greater damage to the country than he has been able to wreck as a mere senator. I believe his bad instincts are sourced from his lack of conservative principles. A side effect of his further abandonment of those principles could well be the destruction of the Republican party.

You have missed Limbaugh's point. No doubt you're getting your information from third parties, out of context quotes.