Hit & Run

The Republican Crack-Up

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The anti-McCain fury on the right is spreading—and it isn't, by and large, the brand of skepticism on display in Matt Welch's Myth of a Maverick. On Hannity & Colmes, syndicated columnist and sputtering lunatic Ann Coulter goes after McCain's deviationist tendencies (immigration) and promises to "campaign for [Hillary] if McCain" is nominated, which, for the Clinton campaign, is like throwing a cement life-preserver to a drowning woman. (If you weren't already convinced that Coulter is utterly insane, make sure to read her series of hysterical attacks on historian Ron Radosh, guilty of the ideological crime of condemning Joe McCarthy.) McCain's apparent skepticism of the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, his opposition to torture, and his position on immigration has many on National Review's The Corner, most notably Mark Levin, in high dudgeon. Jonah Goldberg breaks ranks:

But I think I should just be on the record that I disagree with the tone, tenor and substance of much - though certainly not all - of the anti-McCain commentary around here. It's not that I object to a single post or comment - though there've been a few. It's that I disagree with the overwhelming impression that supporting McCain is some kind of lunacy.

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But this disaster talk leaves me cold. McCain wouldn't be my first pick. Then again, none of the candidates were really my first pick. But I think the notion that, variously, conservatism, the country or the party are doomed if he's the nominee or the president is pretty absurd.

A bit of movement for the righties on the Obama front too. Over at The Atlantic, everyone's favorite Oakeshott-lovin' bear, Andrew Sullivan, who has long stood four-square behind the The Right Honorable Gentleman from Illinois, points out that uber-conservative Jeffery Hart is throwing his lot in with Barack. Peggy Noonan too is a fan. Joe Scarborough is "inspired" by Obama. And in the British magazine Prospect, my old pal and colleague Johan Wennström makes the conservative case for Obama.

More reason on McCain.