Is there a more inspiring movie than Rocky? Everyone knows and loves the story of the underdog boxer seizing his once-in-a-lifetime chance to fight for the world heavyweight championship. This year’s Democrat presidential primary is turning out just like the first bout between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed. It’s a grueling match in which neither fighter gives an inch, nor can he can knock the other out. Remember, Rocky lost that match, yet went on to become a great champion in sequels, while Apollo kept his belt but never won another fight.
The question conservatives should be asking is this: will the Democrats’ grueling, 15-round presidential primary produce a washed up champion or a colossus? Many conservatives are giddy about the bloodletting now between Senators Obama and Clinton, excited about poll numbers giving John McCain a fighting chance to beat them in November. The conventional wisdom is that this long, drawn-out fight will weaken the eventual nominee. I’m not so sure. It seems to me that as much fun as we’re all having watching Clinton and Obama gut-shoot each other across the country all spring, there are more important things to do. Two, to be specific.
First of all, conservatives need to remember everything Clinton and Obama have said since their grudge match turned ugly about three months ago. When the dust settles and one of them emerges as the Democrat nominee, we cannot allow them a honeymoon period to sweep all the ugliness of primary season under the rug. Barack Obama’s minister is an anti-American bigot, and Obama refused to condemn the man’s ministry of hate or apologize for generously funding it. Hillary Clinton is an unrepentant liar – the Bosnian sniper scandal only the latest example – whose inability to manage her campaign, her staff, and her sociopath husband should give pause to anyone who thinks there’s no difference between the choices this November.
Opinion sites like this one, as well as other conservative blogs, the Republican National Committee, and even Democrat researchers are going to be valuable resources for cataloguing all the misinformation and media spin that will follow the Democrats’ nominating convention. When the general election campaign begins in earnest and Clinton or Obama try to reframe their image for the American people, conservatives need to be armed with – and motivated by – the ugly truth.
Second, conservatives need to rally around the most conservative candidate remaining in the presidential contest, John McCain. My differences with Senator McCain are many and well known, but the fact of the matter is that he cannot defeat Clinton or Obama with conservatives grumbling on the sidelines. We cannot sit back and hope or expect Democrats to lose this election – we have to go out and win it.
We cannot know whether the Democrats’ slug-fest will leave their nominee bloodied and bruised, or if he’ll have a knock-out punch with John McCain’s name on it, but we do know this – whoever the nominee is, he’s going to have one helluva tough jaw.