19 Feb 2008

The Dirtiest Trick

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Liberal Michael Kinsley, in Time Magazine, makes fun of the Republican Party’s current situation.

Republicans have pulled some dirty tricks before: Swift Boats, Watergate, you name it. But this time they have gone too far. In its desperate hunger for victory at any cost, the Republican Party is on the verge of choosing a presidential candidate, John McCain, who is widely regarded (everywhere except inside the Republican Party itself) as honest, courageous, likable and intelligent.

Have they no shame?

More important: Have they no principles? In a properly functioning two-party democracy, each party is supposed to nominate a person whom members of the other party will detest. Ordinarily this is not a problem. In recent years, the basic principles of each party have been anathema to the other. If a candidate in addition has a personality that gives the opposition fits, or a few character flaws it deplores, that is gravy. Indeed, since Ronald Reagan (who last ran for office a quarter-century ago), the parties haven’t even liked their own candidates all that much. The dilemma of liking the opposition candidate just hasn’t arisen.

There is a word for it when a political party chooses a presidential candidate with more appeal in the opposition party than in his own. That word is cheating. For heaven’s sake, if the Republicans want to keep the White House that badly, why don’t they just nominate Hillary Clinton and be done with it?

Read the whole thing.

Kinsley, of course, is wrong to blame Republicans.

The ascendancy of John McCain came about as the result of an open primary system which allowed democrats to play too prominent a role in selecting the GOP nominee, and McCain’s unbeatable momentum was largely the product of partisan flackery on the part of the MSM. Kinsley can blame us for allowing our own primary process to be hijacked this year, but he can’t blame us for John McCain.

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