August 25, 2008
Bill Kristol has stepped up his lobbying efforts on behalf of Joe Lieberman, weaving a rather unconvincing argument for why Republican really need him on the ticket. He even advises Pro-Lifers to get behind the supporter of Roe vs. Wade, as a ?balanced ticket??dubious pro-lifer + unambiguous pro-choicer?will be sure to keep the anit-abortion movement in suspended animation for yet another election cycle.
The fact that Kristol, who?s very well connected with McCain, is taking the time to write this op-ed now probably means that a Liberman pick isn?t a sure thing, but is being hotly discussed within McCain?s circle.
Instead of going into why Kristol?s political logic doesn?t work, I?ll say this: A part of me really wants a Lieberman nomination to take place so as to reveal the true colors of Beltway conservatives?to act as a decoder ring of sorts that tells us exactly where people stand.
Obviously, the neocons?Frum, the Commentary crowd, et al.?will embrace the pick, that?s to be expected. But there?s another group who might actually agonize a bit over McCain-Lieberman ?08. These are the Beltway intellectuals and ?movement conservatives??well represented by Richard Lowry, Mark Levin, and John Miller who wrote an NR cover story on why McCain should not select Lieberman or someone of his ilk. None of these writers have typical neocon backgrounds, nor really seem to grasp the neocon worldview, but they all nonetheless have been in colalition with the neocons for a long time now and often adopt much of their language. These guys ?rallied to Romney? this winter, and then showed signs of full-scale revolt when McCain was nominated, before dropping the matter. Since then, they?ve been fervently anti-Obama without having embraced McCain, exactly.
How many of them would be willing to argue, much like John O?Sullivan, that it would be better for a GOP led by McCain and the Democrats? VP nominee from two elections ago to go down in defeat, as this would give conservatives a chance to regain control of the party?
My prediction?NONE. Though perhaps some one like Rush might surprise us?
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