I haven't done much political blogging this Silly Season, since the primaries played out the way they did; for many reasons, but most importantly because this year the choices we conservatives have are demoralizing, to say the least.
Granted, among all the primary candidates John McCain was arguably the most stereotypical choice, but good grief, is it difficult to trust the man. Pretty much the only way he made headlines before becoming the nominee was by shafting the Republican base.
Seventeen months ago, I said of "Johnny Mac":
"Maverick." The Straight Talk Express. Campaign Finance "Reform." Sops to illegal immigrants in his home state. Gang of 14. "Torture" legislation that governed nothing of the sort and insulted our soldiers.
All the distinguished service, all the years in the Hanoi Hilton, and all the foreign-policy hawkery in the world won't wash the taste of betrayal out of GOPers' mouths that Maverick McCain has left over the years. Still better than Hillary, but he's been talking out of both sides of his mouth for too long. Very unlikely to win the nomination. Nose-holder extraordinaire.
Well, he got the party's nod, but Lord, not mine. And now there are rumblings that he may be searching for a pro-choice running mate, so as to make himself more palatable to Democrats. I wonder how much dumping-on the base will take before simply deciding to stay home en masse. Won't take much more for me. Hey, it took a Carter to win us a Reagan.
Oddly, Barack Obama hasn't exactly been covering himself in glory, either. McCain is riding high after having done a very confident and good job in last night's--whatever it was--at Saddleback Church with Rick Warren. Even pundits like Rush Limbaugh are forced to admit McCain did better than they expected him to, though expectations for Obama (recent Hawaii vacation notwithstanding) weren't but so high, the format being something other than "read inspiringly from a TelePrompTer."
While it may be fun to rejoice in McCain getting something less than complete opprobrium from the press (talk about "Battered Ideology Syndrome"), bear in mind, the party-loyalty equation still stands thusly:
Perception: Obama got slam-dunked like a Nerf ball last night. Jeez, McCain might be a principled guy!
Reality: Gang of 14, McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, "Maverick," etc., ad nauseam. His record stands.
Maybe performances like these will be enough for McCain (though I highly doubt another will be allowed to take place). McCain's veep choice will be interesting, if not conclusive.
Funny thing is, I just don't care much: either way, Conservatives are looking at a trying four-to-eight years.