The one-two punch aimed at GOP conservatives

John McCain has had a hate-hate relationship with GOP conservatives for years, and has locked himself into that position with the McCain-Feingold assault on the First Amendment. The establishment media loved McCain-Feingold, because it made  them the biggest power in the land in the weeks before Federal elections when candidate commercials are supposed to stop.

Mike Huckabee is a Southern populist, which means a socialist with a strong social conservative message, like Jimmy Carter. The media have been on the side of both Huckabee and McCain. Just think of what that means. Think

The one-two  punch of McCain and Huckabee is aimed at the conservative base of the GOP. It is designed to wrest party leadership away from the conservative coalition that has more-or-less controlled it since Ronald Reagan: vigilant on defense, strong on social issues, free market-oriented in economics. The Huckabee-McCain gambit is calculated to drive the party leadership to the Left. It will divide the head of the party from the body.

Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses, and McCain may win New Hampshire. Those are significant wins, but they are peanuts in delegate votes for the GOP nomination. The big states are coming up fast, with the five-week rush to the nomination. So the liberal media are going to parlay largely symbolic victories in Iowa and New Hampshire to a major push for McCain and/or Huckabee in the big states.

Conservatives who resist the Huckabee-McCain-Leftist assault are left with only two realistic choices: Romney and Giuliani. Fred Thompson is a fine man, but he is not fighting hard enough.

Romney has strong conservative values in his personal life, understands the economy, and understands this dangerous world.   His strong executive experience may give him better control over the huge obstacle of a liberal and at times anti-American Washington bureaucracy. Just look at yesterday's New York Times headline about a Pentagon plan to penetrate Pakistan. It is designed to sabotage and even kill Americans who participate in it. Remember that leak to see how far the Left will go to sabotage the war effort. Simultaneously the NYT published an article celebrating its new relationship with the Pentagon. Chances are that leak came from SecDef Robert Gates or others. That is why the bureaucracy needs to be tamed.

Rudy Giuliani is much like Romney in his strengths and weaknesses, without the all-American family. I like Rudy, but GOP conservatives may have to choose between Rudy and Mitt, to fend off the Huckabee-McCain assault. Romney is playing a long, steady game. Giuliani made a rational bet that he could make up for early losses with later gains. Now he may be losing that bet.

That may be why the editors of National Review chose to endorse Romney early. None of this is in the bag; politics springs constant surprises. But backing Romney early in the game makes sense for conservatives.

There are no solid all-round conservatives in this line-up. But even Ronald Reagan endorsed a liberal abortion policy at one time in his career. His change of heart appeared to be sincere. The anguished abortion issue can only be dealt with incrementally, step by gradual step. An all-or-none reversal of Roe v Wade is not likely. We can discourage abortions, make aborting viable babies illegal, and stop celebrating abortion as just another "choice." That's what Giuliani has been saying in legalese. He's not a pro-abortion candidate

This is going to be a tough campaign, with assaults on conservatives both inside the GOP primaries and during the general election campaign. Republicans have been holding their money until a clear candidate emerges. The crucial time to support candidates is in the next five weeks.

After that we could have a choice between a liberal and a liberal for president, if Huckabee or McCain are nominated. A lot of conservatives may stay home on election day if that's the choice, putting Obama or Hillary in the driver's seat.

Bottom line: For GOP conservatives, it's Romney or Giuliani, with an edge to Romney, because he's fighting every primary.

This will be a crucial, crucial election season.

James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/
John McCain has had a hate-hate relationship with GOP conservatives for years, and has locked himself into that position with the McCain-Feingold assault on the First Amendment. The establishment media loved McCain-Feingold, because it made  them the biggest power in the land in the weeks before Federal elections when candidate commercials are supposed to stop.

Mike Huckabee is a Southern populist, which means a socialist with a strong social conservative message, like Jimmy Carter. The media have been on the side of both Huckabee and McCain. Just think of what that means. Think

The one-two  punch of McCain and Huckabee is aimed at the conservative base of the GOP. It is designed to wrest party leadership away from the conservative coalition that has more-or-less controlled it since Ronald Reagan: vigilant on defense, strong on social issues, free market-oriented in economics. The Huckabee-McCain gambit is calculated to drive the party leadership to the Left. It will divide the head of the party from the body.

Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses, and McCain may win New Hampshire. Those are significant wins, but they are peanuts in delegate votes for the GOP nomination. The big states are coming up fast, with the five-week rush to the nomination. So the liberal media are going to parlay largely symbolic victories in Iowa and New Hampshire to a major push for McCain and/or Huckabee in the big states.

Conservatives who resist the Huckabee-McCain-Leftist assault are left with only two realistic choices: Romney and Giuliani. Fred Thompson is a fine man, but he is not fighting hard enough.

Romney has strong conservative values in his personal life, understands the economy, and understands this dangerous world.   His strong executive experience may give him better control over the huge obstacle of a liberal and at times anti-American Washington bureaucracy. Just look at yesterday's New York Times headline about a Pentagon plan to penetrate Pakistan. It is designed to sabotage and even kill Americans who participate in it. Remember that leak to see how far the Left will go to sabotage the war effort. Simultaneously the NYT published an article celebrating its new relationship with the Pentagon. Chances are that leak came from SecDef Robert Gates or others. That is why the bureaucracy needs to be tamed.

Rudy Giuliani is much like Romney in his strengths and weaknesses, without the all-American family. I like Rudy, but GOP conservatives may have to choose between Rudy and Mitt, to fend off the Huckabee-McCain assault. Romney is playing a long, steady game. Giuliani made a rational bet that he could make up for early losses with later gains. Now he may be losing that bet.

That may be why the editors of National Review chose to endorse Romney early. None of this is in the bag; politics springs constant surprises. But backing Romney early in the game makes sense for conservatives.

There are no solid all-round conservatives in this line-up. But even Ronald Reagan endorsed a liberal abortion policy at one time in his career. His change of heart appeared to be sincere. The anguished abortion issue can only be dealt with incrementally, step by gradual step. An all-or-none reversal of Roe v Wade is not likely. We can discourage abortions, make aborting viable babies illegal, and stop celebrating abortion as just another "choice." That's what Giuliani has been saying in legalese. He's not a pro-abortion candidate

This is going to be a tough campaign, with assaults on conservatives both inside the GOP primaries and during the general election campaign. Republicans have been holding their money until a clear candidate emerges. The crucial time to support candidates is in the next five weeks.

After that we could have a choice between a liberal and a liberal for president, if Huckabee or McCain are nominated. A lot of conservatives may stay home on election day if that's the choice, putting Obama or Hillary in the driver's seat.

Bottom line: For GOP conservatives, it's Romney or Giuliani, with an edge to Romney, because he's fighting every primary.

This will be a crucial, crucial election season.

James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/