If conservatives think they can rally around a challenger in 2012 and oust an incumbent Democrat, they should think again. Conceding the White House in 2008 could easily mean an eight-year term for either Hillary or Obama -- and such an eight-year term would wreak havoc on a country already overburdened by taxes and under assault from Islamic terrorism.
The proposed conservative boycott of the GOP in 2008 also demonstrates a massive misunderstanding of the GOP's role. The GOP isn't constructed to nominate conservative candidates. It is constructed to win. It's the conservative base's responsibility to nominate conservative candidates. In 2008, the conservative base failed. That isn't the GOP's fault. Punishing the GOP fruitlessly punishes an organization that isn't to blame.
Conservatives must recognize that the choice in 2008 is between John McCain and Clinton or Obama. It isn't about McCain vs. Romney or McCain vs. Huckabee anymore. And if McCain wins, that doesn't preclude conservatives from rallying around a more conservative candidate next time. Dooming the country to at least four years of Democratic incompetence and appeasement won't solve conservatives' problem.