Saturday, January 12, 2008

Morris on McCain's Strong & Weak Points

From the NY Post.

His record taps into a latent populism that attracts Republicans, Democrats and Independents. His battle against big tobacco, efforts to address global warming, opposition to torture during interrogations and fight to reform corporate governance and to protect investors and pensioners appeal to voters of all stripes.

There's that word again, populism. But I think there is more than one type of populism. My biggest problem with the populism of Huckabee and other mainstream conservatives is the pitchfork style, "send all them immygrants back" anti-elitism. Lou Dobbs comes to mind, a double-chinned multi-millionaire working for a global news corporation who rails against global capitalists and media elites. Whoever they are.

Ultimately, though, he can likely transcend the nativist vote and appeal to the broad spectrum of Republicans. Polls indicate that nobody really believes it is feasible to deport 11 million people back to their home nations. If we can't do that, they'll linger on our streets and in our fields forever, as illegal tomorrow as they are today, unless we move to meet them halfway.


The Pat Buchanans of the world will split their votes between Mitt Romney and Huckabee, so this negative is not likely to prove any more lethal in Michigan, New York or California than it was in New Hampshire.

This is the interesting thing about a primary fight with lots of players. Like we had been discussing in the comments here, you might not be able to beat a strong opponent, but you could beat a whole field of them. You let them tire each other out then come up and deliver the KO. (You have to be awake in order to do that, though, which is why I gave up on Fred Thompson.)

So we might not get the best candidate on all issues when all is said and done, but we'll probably get the one who is the most clever and experienced. And cleverness might come in handy in the "the struggle against radical Islamic extremists", as well as experience.

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