alien & sedition.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
  Hang in There, Guys

While linking to a Paul Weyrich article at Human Events for a previous post, I came across another fun little Weyrich piece - this one from a month ago, but still perfectly relevant.

It's an insider's lament about the winter of conservative discontent, the increasingly desperate feeling among conservative activists that they have no horse of their own in the race, so they'll have to back somebody crappy if Hillary is to be stopped. Weyrich tells us of his meeting with "around 20 well-educated and informed conservatives," and what happened when they started talking presidential politics:
Some of our group is in every camp. The name of Rudolph Giuliani came up. This man takes no position favorable to social conservatives but maybe he would defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton. The same for Senator John S. McCain, III (R.-Ariz.). Different folks in the group knew that McCain would just as soon get rid of the religious right. However, polls suggest he might defeat Hillary. Fear of Hillary is the distinguishing feature of the average and even well educated conservative. Some suggested that Governor Mitt Romney, who has recanted some of his liberal social positions, might be worth a try. That led others to gush forth with a diatribe against Romney. He cannot be trusted, we are told. Senator Sam Brownback (R.-Kan.) was mentioned. He can’t win was the cant. Some mentioned Governor Michael Huckabee (R.-Ariz.). He is a spellbinder as an orator. Yes, but we are told by the anti-tax people that he was a terrible Governor. And so it goes. We are in every camp and thus in no camp.
Amusingly, Weyrich can only plead that conservatives might at least hope that a winning Republican could deign to throw them a bone: "perhaps the Vice Presidency, perhaps federal judgeships." Spiro Agnew is mentioned. I'm telling you, it's hilarious.

Weyrich dismisses those holding out for a Newt run, arguing that they're just waiting for "the next Reagan." We've noted many times before how conservatives seem to pine for the Second Coming of the Gipper. Weyrich's a skeptic: "There is not another Governor Reagan."

The essential dilemma, Weyrich observes, is that the conservatives have the best machine they've ever had - yet for the first time in decades they don't have a single candidate to back:
We have real troops that we did not have in 1988 when Pat Robertson shocked the establishment by his showings in Iowa and Michigan. We are even stronger than we were in 2000, at least if measured by social-issue groups. But here we are, this early, all over the lot. [...]

Conservatives without a favorite candidate is a situation which is new for the GOP. For forty years either a Nixon or Bush was on the national ticket. When one of them was a Vice Presidential candidate it was to prepare him to become Number One.

This time we do not have a candidate “whose time has come.” So, why can’t conservatives unite and agree on a candidate and give that candidacy all we’ve got? Is the defeat of Hillary worth throwing aside everything in which we believe?
Funny - I was under the impression that the defeat of Hillary is everything in which conservatives believe.

So Weyrich is reduced to blind hope in the possibility that somebody will turn up, suggesting that nobody predicted the rise of Goldwater or Reagan, either. "I hope and pray that we will have enough brass to hang in there for a genuine conservative candidate," he says. And so it's a waiting game.


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