Writer David Frum believes that John McCain is possibly the perfect GOP candidate in an ever-changing country. Frum, a daily contributor to National Review Online and best-selling author, thinks it’s a huge mistake for us to pine for the days of Ronald Reagan-era conservatism. He argues that a successful Republican presidential candidate will be the sort of person who demonstrates unshakable integrity, a willingness to shake off some of the previous conservative orthodoxies, and can challenge and even disagree with some of the cultural philosophies that helped define the Reagan Revolution. Frum makes the case that a successful GOP candidate will be the one who returns to fiscal conservatism, reigning in out-of-control spending, even if he or she wanders off the reservation over an issue like illegal immigration.
That view, of course, is heresy to a rock-ribbed conservative like Ann Coulter. In fact, when I asked her about Frum’s arguments, she chortled and admonished me to stop asking her about people like David Frum “who aren’t real conservatives.”
I greatly admire the torchbearers of conservatism like Ann and Rush Limbaugh and others who believe that the real peril is in Republicans even considering moving one inch to the center.
But David Frum is a smart guy, too. He makes a compelling case that if the GOP has any chance of retaining power in D.C., the party should realize that this isn’t our father’s Republican Party anymore. Instead of hearing all the supposed stories of Republican voters willing to support Barack Obama (a bizarre concept that I still can’t understand), why not produce a GOP candidate that Independents and even Democrats can support?
He seems to think McCain might be that guy.
Whichever point of view you endorse, it seems pretty evident that as Sen. McCain prepares to gear up for a full scale battle during the next six months, the Republican Party is at a crossroads.
Let’s hope Sen. McCain doesn’t choose to cross the road hand-in-hand with Sen. Clinton.