Debra J. Saunders

From the perch of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library stirs a fond memory: Reagan Democrats. McCain's problem is that his rhetoric has served to inflame some conservatives, who see the Arizona senator as imperious and dismissive of their concerns. They don't like the way he confronted Bush on tax cuts and Iraq troop numbers -- and they especially don't like the way McCain denigrated those who disagreed with his pro-amnesty immigration bill.

That doesn't mean the McCainiacs are pushing him to make nice. Asked if McCain has to make it up to the base, his California campaign Chairman, Bill Jones, answered that McCain has to have a "consistent message."

And: "If you don't have their respect, you don't get their vote." As it is, among a resentful segment of the GOP base, McCain has neither.

In part, the McCain haters resent mostly that McCain can work with Democrats. They would rather lose the election than see him win.

Florida, however, shows that many Republicans have come to understand that when you aren't willing to bend, when you view compromise as disgraceful -- not a necessary part of democracy -- when you insist on all or nothing, then you get nothing.

Debra J. Saunders

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