In a nutshell: Republican primary voters are too dumb or ignorant or irrationally loyal to notice they are forcing Republican Presidential candidates to support an unpopular and doomed cause.
Mr. McCain declared in a speech at the Virginia Military Institute that defeat or surrender in Iraq was not acceptable, but he acknowledged that the hour was late and the result remained very much in doubt. He might well have been referring to his own political aspirations, the near-term future of the Republican Party and the historical verdict on George W. Bush’s presidency.
If polling is correct, Mr. McCain and the other Republican presidential candidates may have little choice. Republican primary voters, unlike the rest of the nation, appear to remain supportive of the president and the war, and the generals on the ground are asking for public patience in pursuing the new policy of pouring more troops into Iraq. Backing away from the White House and the war now could prove problematic for any candidate seeking the Republican nomination even if it could prove helpful in the general election.
All those Republican candidates are going to run in the primary supporting a huge mistake that the majority correctly perceives as a mistake. Then when the winner of the Republican nomination faces the Democratic contender in the general election that Republican will be saddled with that record of war support.
The Republican nominee for 2000 will benefit if an original war supporter wins the Democratic Party's nomination in 2008. Someone like Hillary Clinton has baggage of earlier war support. Barack Obama has the advantage of earlier war skepticism. But Obama doesn't seem as weighty and experienced about the world and in the general election people favor greater age and more experience when choosing a US President.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 April 14 04:32 PM Politics American Presidency|