Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

No One To Blame But Ourselves

Posted by Mike on February 7, 2008

Although I don’t condone McCain Derangement Syndrome, there is no doubt that conservatives are rightfully in a funk. Who wouldn’t be after the party they know and love nominates someone who has repeatedly thumbed his nose at it? Before conservatives start lashing out at McCain however, it might be a good idea to take a deep breath and look in the mirror. We conservatives did this to ourselves.

This year our party had one conservative option and only one conservative option. When presented with that option however, many conservatives sacrificed principle for a certain je ne sais quoi. Some call it performance, I’ll call it style. What it can’t be called is principle. Despite having just about every conservative principle embodied in one candidate, conservatives scattered to non-conservative alternatives. Some went to the pro-amnesty Maverick. Others went to the tax-hiking pro-lifer. Others still went to the candidate who routinely switched his positions based solely on whatever his ambition happened to be at the time (three flip-flops on the abortion issue alone).

So why are we here? It’s simple if we look in the mirror. Fredhead-turned-Mitten Mary Matalin said it best:

“You reap what you sow. We like to applaud ourselves as the party of ideas and principle, but we turn out to be the party of performance art. All we did was gripe about Fred’s performance skills as opposed to his principles and policies — and . . . here we are,” Matalin said. “We let the perfect — as defined by performance — be the enemy of the great.” Fred Thompson would have been “a great candidate, a great standard bearer for conservatism, and a great president,” Matalin said, and his candidacy’s failure could mean that “we’re going to have to burn down the village.”

Conservatives who chose the fiscal liberal or the gumby-like faux conservative over Fred (most conservatives) because they didn’t like his “lack of energy,” poll numbers, late entry or any other superficial reason are really the last people who should be faulting others for choosing John McCain based on electability instead of principle. The Rubicon of abandoned principle runs through South Carolina, not Super Tuesday. Hopefully next time conservatives will heed their principles before complaining about the party abandoning its principles.

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