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It Isn’t Alienation. It Is The Accumulation Of Accurate Assessments.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Check out the WaPo headline: “McCain’s Stand On Detainees May Pose Risk For 2008 Bid Opposition to Bush Could Alienate Republican Base”

The “base,” meaning the party primary voters, separated from Senator McCain long ago. On crucial issue after crucial issue he has disappointed them:  McCain-Feingold, The Gang of 14, McCain-Kennedy, and now the tribunals bill and the elections of 2006.

There was almost no support for Senator McCain –though great admiration– in the GOP primary/activist electorate even before this latest bid for “maverick” status.  He and Senator Graham have made their choice, and they have misjudged.  The attempt to cobble together a “compromise” ala the Gang of 14 compromise which was a fig leaf on a lasting defeat for the party and the Constitution will be as effective as that fake “deal” in persuading actual GOP primary voters of the bona fides of Senator McCain as was the Gang of 14.  Beloved by the Beltway MSM, the “stand” against the Bush Adminstration bill by Senators McCain and Graham will long be a rallying cry against a McCain candidacy among Republican influencers.

The decision by the Bush Administration to “negotiate” with Senator McCain is an attempt to save the senator unnecessary embarrassment.  But if Senator McCain continues to elevate himself above his party, don’t expect the party to applaud. 

And this statement from Senator Graham –quoted by the WaPo– is absurd. In fact, it is a howler:

In a telephone interview from South Carolina yesterday, Graham said: “What I hear is, people respect the commitment of the president to the [CIA interrogation] program, and they respect my commitment and Senator McCain’s commitment to the troops.”

I have not had one such call or e-mail.  Not one.  I have had scores condemning Senator Graham for playing low politics with a national security program.  Those have been broadcast.  The audience has heard them.  Senators McCain and Graham cannot talk themselves out of the hole they dug. 

But be sure to drop them a line or make a call:

Senator Graham: Phone: (202) 224-5972. E-mail here.

Senator McCain: Phone: (202) 224-2235.  E-mail here.

What is truly astonishing is that this pair has imperiled the re-election of Ohio’s Mike DeWine with the ill-planned Gang of 14 maneuver, and having cost DeWine the eager support of conservatives by doing so, they move to block his momentum at exactly the worst moment for the Buckeye State senator. 

Mike DeWine is a pretty good senator –he voted for the confirmations of both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito– and should not suffer for the sins of McCain/Graham.  Please help him out and keep in mind that a GOP majority is a terrible thing to waste, even when you are ticked (again) with the McCain/Graham ticket.  DeWine’s opponent is Sherrod Brown, a hard left Leahy clone.  Don’t let McCain antipathy cloud your judgment.



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