Jim Antle and National Review are both far too hard on J.D. Hayworth. The man is a real conservative. He may not be a strong enough conservative, because he didn’t resist the temptations of the Bush crowd when Bush was president. Part of that, though, is NOT being a moderate, but being a loyal soldier in a case where loyalty shouldn’t be called for. It was a mistake, but not an indication of underlying hostility to his otherwise natural conservatism. I was there on the Hill when Hayworth got there. He was a solid conservative then. He stayed a solid conservative throughout most of he 1990s. Solid, and enthusiastic, and team-spirited in a way that added to a positive atttitude. There’s a difference between a former jock being team-spirited, which is his training, and thus wrongly going along with the crowd, and, on the other hand, somebody like McCain who actively and often very MEANLY (in both senses of the word) led, quite deliberately and quite angrily, in the wrong direction — and enjoyed doing it in some cases out of spite.
Many of McCain’s gut instincts aren’t even conservative. Almost all of Hayworth’s are. And Hayworth’s overall record will back that up.
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