One thing I don't understand is why McCain would have said what Fund writes to a group of conservatives. But I do buy the argument that McCain moved the ball forward for conservative judges by standing with the Gang of Fourteen, which, aside from taking the fun out of partisan politics, was one of the most obnoxious PR stunts in political history. At least the Gang of Fourteen should have had superhero-style uniforms and matching baseball cards.
But what is especially strange is that no one remembers the McCain quip as announced during CPAC. McCain decided not to attend CPAC because it was "not representative of true conservatism." I'll leave room for error here, but I recall David Keene reading this statement aloud in the main room. That year, presidential candidates from outside the beltway had come to show themselves at the convention. McCain, who was in town, skipped it.
Now, you can say that the conference-goers range in flavors of conservatism, but really, you can't get much more grassroots than the hardcore supporters who showed up to hang out with the opinion-makers and activists they like. If McCain knows what's good for him, he won't demure this year.
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