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McCain Estrangement Syndrome; Update: Bauer endorses McCain

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 11, 2008 08:52 AM

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Reader Peter Raymond, a retired US Navy captain, e-mails: “Isn’t it time to help Team McCain with some suggested campaign posters? I’ve attached a few to get the ball rolling.”

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Are you a fellow McCain critic tired of being diagnosed with “McCain Derangement Syndrome” and “dyspepsia?” Andy McCarthy offers some welcome relief. He turns the tables on the anti-anti-McCainiacs with his own diagnosis: McCain Estrangement Syndrome.

Are John McCain’s supporters trying to drive conservatives away from their candidate?

Senator McCain is the inevitable Republican presidential nominee. He is headed, though, for a defeat of McGovernite dimensions if he can’t sway conservatives to get behind his candidacy. For their part, conservatives don’t want McCain, but even less do they want to spend the next four-to-eight years saying “President Obama,” let alone reliving history with another President Clinton.

In short, there are the makings here for a modus vivendi, however grudging. Yet, McCain’s admirers appear to think belittling the senator’s good-faith opponents is the way to go. Theirs is a case of the pot calling the kettle “deranged” — and it will prove duly futile.

Put yourselves in my shoes for a moment. I have not supported Sen. McCain. I admire his perseverance and love of country. Still, I don’t think he is a committed conservative, and his penchant for demonizing all opposition is, to me, extremely off-putting. Protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, there’s nothing delusional about that.

In fact, as between the two of us, it’s McCain’s supporters who are deluding themselves. I take them at their word, for example, that a hallmark of the senator’s politics is his tenacity on matters of principle. Consequently, I am skeptical of his assurances that he would appoint conservative judges who will apply rather than create law. Why? Because he has a recent, determined history of beseeching federal courts to disregard the First Amendment in furtherance of a dubious campaign-finance scheme in which he believes passionately. Conservative judges would (and have) rejected this scheme, just as they would (and have) rejected another signature McCain position: the extension of Geneva Convention protections for jihadists.

Yet, we continue to be belittled:

McCain’s supporters continue to mock thoughtful, good-faith critics as “deranged.” The principal objects of scorn are such conservative talk-radio icons as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity. A number of those folks are friends of mine, and, indeed, I appeared on a couple of their programs in the run-up to Super Tuesday. The discussion wasn’t “deranged.” I’m not deranged, and neither are they…There’s a battle on the horizon for the future of conservatism. On one side are those who revere unchanging principles, especially a healthy suspicion of government. On the other are those who would refine old principles under the guise of adapting them to new situations — those apt to see government more as a force for good than a necessary evil.

Sen. McCain runs in the latter circles.

Say it loud. Make some noise. Refuse to be marginalized.

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Related: Read this. And See Dubya’s got some straight-talking McCain campaign bumper stickers.

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Update 11:08am Eastern. Gary Bauer endorses McCain.

More endorsements are meaningless without persuasive action.

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Categories: John McCain, Politics