Debra J. Saunders

When you listen to the McCain haters, you realize that they aren't angry at McCain's record or his votes, so much as they're incensed that the Arizona senator works with Democrats. Comment boards sneer at the very notion of compromise. Romney often faulted McCain for working on bills with Democrats. To the purists, elected officials are supposed to go to Washington to not work with those on the other side of the aisle. It is as if they think U.S. senators should spend the day pointing peashooters at each other. They don't want results. They want a food fight.

This is not the conservative base; it is the kiddie wing of the Republican Party. At the end of the day, it is all about the McCain haters' precious feelings. They feel betrayed by McCain because he gets along with their real enemy (Democrats) -- and that matters more to them than the welfare of U.S. troops risking their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

McCain adviser Steve Schmidt argued Wednesday that McCain does appeal to the conservative base and he will "unite the Republican Party" because of his strong stand against radical Islam, and support for curbing federal spending, keeping taxes low and his commitment to appoint conservative judges.

On the smart side, talk-show host Hugh Hewitt, a Romney supporter, wrote on his Townhall blog, "There are seven reasons for anyone to support the eventual (GOP) nominee no matter who it is: The war and six Supreme Court justices over the age of 68."

On the not-smart side are Republicans who threaten to become "suicide voters" -- they might vote for a Democrat or not vote at all. They are furious that their purity will not prevail -- and they don't care who gets hurt.

Debra J. Saunders

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