The handwriting would seem to be on the wall, and though I plan, on Super Tuesday, to cast my vote for Mike Huckabee, let’s be honest: this race is going to come down to John McCain and Mitt Romney. I take a lot of satisfaction in the fact that Huck went from being an unknown, 9-10 months ago when I began blogging for him, to outlasting both Rudy Giuliani (the presumptive nominee not that long ago), and Fred Thompson, who for a couple of months was the darling of the party. I’ll always wonder if Fred’s presence in the South Carolina primary cost Huck the win (I really, really believe that it did), and if winning SC would have given him more momentum heading into Florida. Still, he was beaten pretty soundly yesterday, and despite my generally optimistic bent, and the fact that a lot of Southern states are in the Super Tuesday primary, it seems clear that Huck’s accomplishments this time around will be limited to either becoming the VEEP nominee and/or positioning himself for 2012.
That leaves us Flip Flopney or John McCain. I could support either one in the general election. If I believed Flopney were everything he says he is (conservative), then he’d be a better choice, but I just don’t trust him, and more importantly, I think McCain is more electable than Flip. The remaining question is, is John McCain conservative enough to get my vote, and the answer is “yes”. I just looked up his lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, which details his voting record in the U.S. Senate. It’s 82+%. That’s not nearly perfect, but it’s not “liberal” either; it’s more conservative than a decent number of Republican senators, at least 12-14 as I recall. On many social issues, McCain is conservative, with a strong pro-life record. I trust his defense instincts (while not being thrilled with his record on the borders).
But here’s the deal: we cannot afford to have Mrs. Bill Clinton or Barack Obama in the White House. There are a variety of reasons why this is true, but for the pro-lifers among us, remember that we are one Supreme Court Justice away, likely, from the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Barring the unexpected, the next opening on the Court will almost certainly be one of the liberal members, either Justice Stevens or Justice Ginsburg or even that little clown Souter. Granted, getting a constructionist past a Democrat-controlled Senate won’t be easy, but they can’t hold out forever; you just keep nominating constructionists until the public tires of the Democrat game-playing and subterfuge, and we get, for the first time in memory, a majority of justices who actually believe the Constitution is the law of the land.
The polls (which do shift, I recognize) suggest that McCain is better positioned to beat the Dems. I’m willing to concede the (somewhat marginal, IMHO) difference between McCain and Romney for the gain of a greater likelihood of winning the general election. It’ll do no good to have a conservative nominee if that person can only manage 48% of the vote.
And that is why I can vote, albeit somewhat reluctantly, for John McCain.