Saturday, January 26, 2008


An often insightful blogger, Judith Apter Klinghoffer, has taken it upon herself to berate those of us conservatives who do NOT want John McCain as president. According to Prof. Klinghoffer, the reason we don't share her enthusiasm is because we are more concerned to demonstrate our "pundit power" to destroy:

"For the opponents of John McCain the question is no longer who will best fight Islamism or what election outcome will convey best US resolve but what outcome will best demonstate the power of the new media as a ralleying force?

I wrote that Republicans are tired of governing. I wish to add now that members of the new media are not tired of bloviating. Unlike John McCain they do not put the country first, they put themselves or their narrow ideology first...You think the Clinton attacks on Obama are nasty, try listening to Rush, Ingram or their minion followers."

Sorry, folks, but I had to respond to this.

Professor Klinghoffer--

I do not know how long you've been active in Republican politics. I have for 25+ years. I first met John McCain in 1984, when I was a grunt campaign worker, and he came to provide some "celebrity" support for our man against [believe it]...John F'ing Kerry. (That was before McCain started playing kissy-chin with Kerry in the 1990's.)

To me and my buds, McCain was a beyond-reproach Repub until about 1997. Then he changed.

**He savaged the SwiftBoat heroes as "dishonest and dishonorable."
**He joined the anti-tobacco lynch mob.
**He took repeated swipes at "the religious right."
**He joined the anti-pharmaceutical lynch mob.
**He started caving in on gun control.
**He savaged the SwiftBoat heroes as "dishonest and dishonorable."
**He became the liberal news media's favorite Republican, and has stayed that way for 10 years.
**He started blasting conservatives and their supporters far more than he blasted, ohhhhhh, THE KLINTONS.
**He became the leading Republican senator to sabotage any effective response to illegal immigration.
**He served as a strategic asset for the Dhimms in the Senate, as when he created "the gang of 14" to hurt Bush's judicial nominees.
**Finally, he teamed up with a far-Left Dhimmicrat TO HACK AWAY AT MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH.

Prof. Klinghoffer, you apparently support Sen. McCain. I'm sure you have your reasons. As for me, I'm sure his presidency would be a disaster for the Republican party, and more importantly, for our country. I've given you quite a long list of reasons, observed over a period of more than 10 years, why I do not support him. When all is said and done, Sen. McCain is an egomaniac (gaawwd, is he an egomaniac), short-tempered, and unreliable--not traits I like to see in a national leader.

Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham have been insightful commentators and conservative activists for ~20 years, long before the blogosphere was a twinkle in AlGore's brain. You do them, and all of us, a disservice to write off John McCain's critics as self-interested and deluded fantasists. We want what is best for our country, just as much as you do.


Jeremayakovka said...

Whether or not she supports McCain as a candidate (I haven't read anything by her regarding candidate, or even party, preferences), Judith's points against influential "career conservatives" (my phrase) are timely and relevant. They are relevant as media criticism and as Republican Party criticism.

At this moment there is no clear nominee. Nor is there a clear consensus on what are the non-negotiable priorities of American conservatism. Nor how the Republican Party is going to be a "home" for that conservatism. (See, e.g., Michael Gerson's cover article in the current Newsweek.)

A pitched debate about these distinct but overlapping issues is inevitable. The smart money is on who is going to probe the deepest and reason with the most suppleness. Judith's points, while not constituting a sound argument, are still solid points - points of departure.

Consider also other "conservative" commentators who have already begun to think constructively in terms of a McCain nomination. Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes has an article, and Victor Hanson chimed in at NRO with a short to-do list for the GOP front-runner.

Post in boldface all you want, but the best boldness will come from thinking harder and smarter all the way through from now to November. For starters: ideas are not the party, and the party is not ideas....

Jewish Odysseus said...

Jeremayakovka, I don't see how any reasonable reading of JAK's piece can see it as anything other than a McCain endorsement, via a personal attack on his critics. This is an inaccurate if not dishonest portrayal. When you castigate the integrity of those who disagree with you without evidence to support it, you have adopted the tactics of the slimy MSM, and pols like the Klintons. I believe such tactics must be condemned unreservedly.

"The smart money is on who is going to probe the deepest and reason with the most suppleness. Judith's points, while not constituting a sound argument, are still solid points - points of departure."

I do not know what the hell you mean by this. It sounds very Klintonian. Are you familiar with "The Conversation"?

At this point, absent a plane crash or other physical calamity, one of 4 men will be the Repub nominee. We are at most 2 months from deciding it. Supple philosophical points cannot survive in the [by definition] PARTISAN crucible. To everything there is a season.

It is perfectly appropriate for anyone to criticize or support any of them on their own merits. That is what Limbaugh, Ingraham, etc. have done. Bill Kristol is a media bigshot who loves McCain, and is probably angling for a job in his administration. So what? Do you see anyone demanding he be taken off the air?

When the candidates definitively emerge, you will see a closing of ranks. Remember that even G. Bush I was elected by a united Repub party. I fear that Bush 41 will the pathetic model for McCain 44.

Jewish Odysseus said...

Oh, BTW, thanks to my pal Rich for reminding me about McCain's recent endorsement of the Global Warming Fraud. Just another reason not to support him.

Jeremayakovka said...

To repeat, JO, several issues are at stake. For starters - the directions of American conservatism and the Republican Party, and the purposes of the conservative media.

As for "closing ranks," it's a given that I will vote GOP in Nov. But beyond that, every subject is fair game to me - including holding anyone's feet to the intellectual fire.

Judith's point in an even earlier post that "Republicans are tired of governing" I also found interesting.

Your tone is excessive. Who do you like most in the GOP field? What good do you have to say about him?

Nancy Coppock said...

What has happened to the conservative base of the Republican Party? John McCain has always eschewed that characterization which has garnered him MSM support. Religious conservatives and the MSM believe any conservative candidate must be without sin. While an admirable ideal, even though impossible in this fallen world, we must be wary when this self-limiting qualification is trumpeted by the MSM, our political enemy. The MSM will never vote Republican.

We must not let the MSM herd us into making a flawed choice according to our conservative values. According to the MSM (NY Times) the most loathed Republican candidate is Rudy Guiliani. Sounds like a ringing endorsement to me.

Fight the power!

Jewish Odysseus said...

Jeremayakovka, I am for Romney, for the reasons listed here:

I feel we may be speaking at cross-purposes, and I can assure you that at the right time there is no-one more interested in a philosophical/ideological discussion than me. But Prof. K's attack was a pro-McCain diatribe (she is 100% entitled to do so) cloaked as a cri de coeur against conservoblogger nihilism (balderdash).

To repeat, conservatives have many legitimate reasons to disfavor McCain, and it is intellectually crooked to pretend such criticisms are illegtimate.