Burt Prelutsky

If it weren’t for the fact that some upstanding conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter had been so outspoken about their antipathy to John McCain, I would have suspected that the campaign being waged against the man had been entirely manufactured by James Carville and underwritten by George Soros.

As I’ve written elsewhere, Sen. McCain was not my first choice or even my second or third. I would have preferred Newt Gingrich. Of those who actually got into the race, I initially backed Giuliani, but once he dropped out, I wound up voting for Mitt Romney in the California primary. I’m sorry my guys struck out, but I’ll be far more miserable if the Democrat wins in November, and, frankly, I don’t know why every Republican doesn’t feel the same way.

It strikes me that a lot of my conservative brethren have taken their eye off the big picture. By threatening to stay home in November rather than risk sullying their conscience by voting for an imperfect Republican, they’re saying they’d prefer to see a perfect Socialist waltz into the Oval Office.

Even though McCain isn’t the candidate of my dreams, I find it unbelievable that there are Republicans who honestly believe he’d be as awful as the anti-military, tax-raising, left-winger he’ll be facing off with in the fall. The mere fact that, as president, he wouldn’t be appointing ACLU-approved justices to the Supreme Court and that, unlike the opposition, he takes Islamic terrorism seriously strikes me as reason enough to support the guy.

Like Ann Coulter, however, I would prefer to see Hillary Clinton win the election. But unlike Ms. Coulter, the race I want to see her win is the one against Barack Obama, not the one against Sen. McCain. The reason I’d rather see Mrs. Clinton at the top of the ticket isn’t just that I think Mr. Obama would be a stronger candidate. It’s because if McCain loses the election, I think the gutless Republicans in the Senate and the House would find it easier to oppose her liberal agenda than to confront President Obama and risk being labeled racists by the left-wing media.

Having gotten that off my chest, I’d like to suggest it’s high time we picked up where Lady Bird Johnson left off with her program to beautify the cities of America. For openers, how about if we tent Berkeley, California, and at long last fumigate the place? It wouldn’t even cost that much, as I’m pretty sure a bunch of ex-Marines would happily volunteer to get the job done.