It's also worth noting that these claims that McCain will destroy the conservative movement are unlikely to be true or alternately, if they are, then the conservative movement is probably too fragile to last any way. After all, if the liberal movement could survive Bill Clinton, a lying adulterer whose three greatest "accomplishments," welfare reform, NAFTA, and balancing the budget, were all near and dear to the hearts of conservatives, then we should be able to withstand McCain.
More to the point, although we cannot know exactly how things will play out, it's very easy to imagine a scenario where a McCain presidency would be very good for the country and for conservatism.
Don't think it sounds possible? Well, imagine this: John McCain selects Fred Thompson as his Vice-President and defeats Hillary Clinton in November. Although he has many negatives, McCain is a fiscal conservative and it's easy to see him balancing the budget, which would burnish the fiscal credentials of the Republican Party.
McCain would also hang in there in Iraq and insure that country is stable before we leave, which would help the American public regain confidence in the GOP on foreign policy again.
Next up is judges. John Paul Stevens is 87 years old. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 74 and has had cancer. Does either of those two liberals make it through the next four years without retiring? That's no small issue, because the court is currently split with 4 conservatives, 4 liberals and a moderate. That means a number of important cases, including Roe v. Wade, will probably be decided once and for all by the Supreme Court appointments of the next President of the United States. May God forgive us if we condemn a million plus children a year to death by abortion because we're angry at John McCain.
Then there's immigration, where we know McCain is just dying to put the illegal immigrants in this country on a path to citizenship. However, he has pledged to secure the border before he does that. In all honesty, with the glacier-like speed that the federal government moves, there is zero chance that is going to be completed in the next four years. Yet, as security improves, more and more illegal aliens will leave the country on their own. So even though McCain's motives wouldn't be pure, enforcement by attrition would still occur during his first term and if conservatives hold McCain to his promise, it's very possible that he wouldn't be able to implement amnesty by 2012.
Of course, there are a lot of other non-conservative things that McCain would like to do but happily, as we all know, the Founding Fathers created a political system that moves slowly and is very prone to gridlock. That means it's possible that much of the rest of McCain's agenda would remain undone in his first term and it's entirely possible that McCain won't run again. He is, after all, almost 72 years old and as Chuck Norris so bluntly reminded us, the presidency does have a tendency to age a man well beyond his years.
So, think about where we could be: a balanced budget, the war in Iraq won, a conservative Supreme Court, border security increased, the Republican Party's reputation much improved, and McCain leaving office in 2012. Can you really tell me that sounds so bad?
Granted, that is a very rosy scenario, but it's also relatively plausible -- and what's our alternative? President Hillary Rodham Clinton or President Barack Obama, socialized medicine, losing the war in Iraq, allowing Al-Qaeda to run wild for 4 years, exploding deficits, huge tax increases, and a liberal leaning Supreme Court for the next decade.
Of course, some people think there might be a conservative resurgence in opposition to a Democratic President, but don't kid yourself; it's just as likely that a GOP defeat could turn us into a squabbling minority party that is out of power for years while the Left remakes this country in the image of Belgium.
Does that mean you should, "vote for John McCain in November and like it?" No, but it does mean, that if John McCain is the nominee, you should think very hard about holding your nose and voting for the viable candidate who would do the most good for our country.