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While the events of the Conservative Political Action Conference indicate that the ineluctable destiny of the Republican Party is to nominate a candidate who will, unquestionably, split and sunder the GOP (see my letter of January 28), there is solid evidence that also points to groups of existing dissidents within the Party who are adamant in their opposition to John McCain. Theodora Blanchfield witnessed not only the anguish and frustration of Romney supporters, but also their open and visible anger toward the heir-apparent, despite his attempt to “reach out” to GOP conservatives, hitherto considered an alien and wearisome gaggle by the Senator from Arizona.
When Signorina Blanchfield returned from her midday repast, she writes, she noticed signs in the Shoreham Hotel lobby that read, “Republicans Against McCain.” Obviously, she was not paying too much attention, for there was also a professionally created sign that read, “Stop McCain’s Amnesty” alongside, which, obviously, escaped her attention. Pity, that, for at different times during the afternoon and evening, I, personally and proudly, held both banners high. As to the “makeshift” sign, that was the inspiration of one of our group, who carries the eponymous name of Ray Pickles, and who, like many, believes the GOP should be made aware that many conservatives are not willing to accept the McCain steamroller, and will oppose him up to next November, as will I.
From the moment the signs were held aloft, we were surrounded by Romney supporters and those faithful observers who attend the CPAC each year. It was as if five Pied Pipers had shown up simultaneously, and the throng that gathered was intent on knowing how they could help spread the word about McCain’s faux conservative credentials. One Arizona resident could barely contain her rage to me and my colleagues. Some of this took place while Sen. McCain was attempting — once again — to reassure the GOP base that, deep down, he’s really a conservative, but afterwards McCain supporters assiduously avoided debating their candidate’s conservatism. If they showed up at all, it was to ask, “…if we wanted Senators Clinton or Obama to win?”
I need not repeat the reporter’s noticing that, during his speech, when the immigration issue was raised by McCain, the booing of McCain began in earnest. Senator McCain’s smile does not mask that he is aware of the pulse of the Party and the nation on this issue; yet, like the incumbent in the White House, he will brush off this rancor as the actions of extremists within the Party. Of the GOP candidates currently standing, McCain is the only one who has steadfastly refused to sign a statement that he will not offer amnesty to the hordes of illegal aliens in this country. Oh! I forgot: John McCain came to CPAC to tell us how conservative he is!
This presidential election will test if conservatives are “pragmatic” or “principled.” After 12 years of Bush presidencies, the conservative movement in the GOP is dying, and, as a result, the party is moving leftward. That is why John McCain must not be supported, even if the election is lost, because we must begin again to rebuild the party similar to the one that Reagan left. When one of McCain supporters ventured over to ask me, if “McCain was not better than Clinton or Obama,” my response was: What’s the difference?p>Pax tecum. br> — Vincent Chiarello br> Reston, Virginia /p>
If McCain wants my vote he’ll have to prove he deserves it.
He spoke about American liberty at CPAC. Well, McCain-Feingold isn’t what I would call free speech. Or liberty.
When I hear him publicly repudiate McCain-Feingold and promise to get rid of it I’ll consider voting for him.