Partisanship this election quickly went from silly to insane. Not only had talk radio suffered collective amnesia when it came to McCain’s sponsorship of last year’s amnesty bill (an unpardonable political sin at the time), but just a week after a Republican president and McCain joined forces with Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to pass the greatest wealth redistribution package in American history, we were told to fear Obama because he was for wealth redistribution. Obama was the “redistributionist,” said McCain.


The attacks on Obama became nonsensical because voting for McCain was nonsensical. Like battered wives, conservatives were ready to believe that McCain really didn’t mean to abuse them all those years and that he really had changed his ways, if they would only give him the chance.

Meanwhile, most of the legitimate charges leveled at Obama — socialism, elitism, corruption — were just as applicable to McCain. And even the most significant difference, Obama’s inexperience, was muted by McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. With nothing substantive to run on, McCain and his advocates were willing to say or do anything to turn the tide their way. Talk host Mark Levin ranted one October evening about how much Obama smiled. “Mussolini smiled. Stalin smiled,” Levin reminded his listeners.

Eight years of rationalizing George W. Bush’s reckless liberalism — open borders, endless spending, and expanding government — has all but destroyed the Republican Party. If conservatives were paid zero dividends in supporting Bush, imagine the inevitable bankruptcy that would have occurred in having to rationalize McCain’s liberalism for another four years, who would undoubtedly have pushed the GOP even farther left? President Bush put conservatism in critical condition. A President McCain might have put it out to pasture.

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