The Stone City

Words Made to Last

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pull to Par

I explained last week why John McCain is going to be crushed in the general election. However, conservative dissatisfaction with Mr. McCain has led some people -- not just the execrable Ann Coulter -- to seriously suggest "sitting this one out". Daniel Henninger has a reasoned explanation of why this is a stupid idea, but he is insufficiently blunt.

What do political parties do when they find themselves in the minority? They move to the center.

What lesson will anyone outside the conservative cocoon draw if Mr. McCain runs far to the right -- as he will be forced to -- and is crushed by a huge margin? This will prove the non-viability of conservative ideas, and force the party leftward. True believers will try to attribute Mr. McCain's loss to his lack of conservatism, but they will convince no one.

Barack Obama's supporters have the privilege of sitting this one out, or of casting protest votes for the Green party to show a constituency on the far left. Conservatives are like contestants in a tug-of-war who find themselves pulling uphill, and are now debating dropping the rope and walking up the hill alone to lead by example.

[Cross-posted to Chequer-Board.]