The Spectacle Blog

Briar Patching McCain

By on 3.13.06 | 6:08PM

What's wrong with this picture? A Republican presidential contender being revealed as a - shudder -- conservative by one of the New York Times's worst hyperlibs?

Senator John McCain -- the only Republican capable of losing to Hillary in '08 -- was called all sorts of names today in Paul Krugman's column. According to Krugman, McCain is a "man of the hard right," "no moderate" and -- perhaps worst of all -- actually ranks as the third most conservative member in the Senate by one vote ranking outfit.

The problem with Krugman's analysis is that McCain is no conservative. His track record of legislation -- McCain-Feingold, the "anti-torture" amendment with his apostle, Lindsey Graham, and too many positions on too many issues make it clear that McCain is careless with the Constitution. His ill-considered wavering on social issues makes him no conservative.

What could have brought on Krugman's fit of pique? Only one thing. McCain was horrifically embarrassed by the lack of support he received in last weekend's Republican beauty contest. He desperately needs support from real conservatives to get the presidential nomination. Did McCain's campaign managers talk to Krugman and beg for a bashing? Unlikely. But McCain and his people apparently don't understand that conservative support doesn't flow from liberal condemnation. If Mr. McCain wants conservative support in '08, he'll only be able to do that by achieving a shutout of all the rest of the conservative field. McCain a conservative? Who're you going to believe? Paul Krugman or your own brain?

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