Christopher at http://youngrepublican.townhall.com, a superb blog, wrote the followingt piece on Monday -- prior to Super Tuesday. He titled the column "McCain Wins Nomination." Like all of Christopher's work, the column is a model of sanity and logic. I urge you to visit Christopher's great site.
Get used to the title because on Wednesday it will become a reality. I am being completely and totally presumptuous and yes I know the danger of this. Just last night, when the Giants won the Superbowl with a touchdown in the last thirty seconds of the game. I looked at my brother and said "All across this nation everyone is saying "Wow...I just lost a lot of money". And of course anything is possible. But the results from tomorrow are clear with McCain with double Romney's numbers nationally and Romney's doubling Huckabee's. In the Republican race, McCain will win and Huckabee and Romney will drop out on Wednesday morning. [Note: Got that wrong, Christopher, but nobody's perfect.]
If I have egg on my face so be it (if it doesn’t happen Tuesday night the end result will be the same), but we need to get over the primary discussion and move on to the general election.
The first emotion I feel with McCain winning isn't happiness or relief, it's nervousness. I love John McCain and as long time readers know, I have supported him consistently through this entire race. Now many good Americans who supported a national hero Rudy Giuliani have given their support to the Senator making him unbeatable to get the nomination. The good news is that we as a party will have time to heal from the division that a primary (and to be fair it does so by design) invokes. Friends who supported Bush and local Republicans in 2002, 2004, and 2006 became competitors and some enemies. A sad effect, which is why I hate primaries. Democrats no matter how big a happy face they put on it are very much in the same boat.
Their race will go on past Super Tuesday, the division will continue. And the general election question posed to the GOP is now this. Do we let the division continue past the primary or do we rally to the most conservative legitimate candidate in the general election? Yes McCain is no Reagan and as a moderate Republican I like that.
But I also liked Reagan and to that note Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Bush Sr., and Bush. Each one changed the party and the country with a mixture of liberal and conservative thought that formed their presidency, their legacy. The reason for this is that a Republican is not in the White House to represent only conservatives in this country. He is there to represent every American and while the solutions he proposes and enacts are more likely to coincided with the beliefs of a certain people, they affect everyone. Not to mention the fact that the solutions he enacts are not only his to make but also a shared responsibility with the members of Congress and the Supreme Court.
And so that is my whole problem with the false conservative litmus test being used by a few in the party and many more in the conservative media. The belief that only a conservative, their conservative, should lead this country. If it were up to me only moderate to liberal Republicans should lead this country. But "should" is the wrong word, because it exists only in the abstract. The word that is correct is will. Someone will lead this country. “Should” is our choice and it is over. Our next president will either be one of three people John McCain, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. And if you are one of those very conservative people who say that McCain is not a conservative. That is not the argument.
For the very conservative, though they may have a list five feet tall of disagreement with McCain, it is undeniable that the list doubles in size with either Clinton or Obama. So the question to the most conservative of voters with McCain getting the nomination is this: Will you pick the leadership that best fits your beliefs or let your pride (and be honest that is what it is) engulf you and betray your duty to pick the best legitimate candidate for the presidency of the United States of America.