The “Reassure Us” Chorus

The chorus, sung to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, continues to swell across the land, though it is not, as with the Hallelujah Chorus, the music of angels singing praises to God, but of mainstream conservatives importuning their new lord and master:

“Reee-assure us!
Reee-assure us!
Reassure us! Reassure us!
Re-a-a-ssure us!”

First, there’s the former number one Romney supporter Hugh Hewitt, who wants Romney and Huckabee to keep running—not to try to win the nomination, mind you, but to give McCain the opportunity to … reassure conservatives:

As I wrote below, the GOP needs to keep the MSM focused on the issues that unite the GOP, and the best way to do that is by a series of contests throughout the spring, from Virginia to Pennsylvania and beyond. Each state that has a primary scheduled deserves the attention of the big three candidates, and the results will help even the frontrunner Senator McCain calibrate his message and provide opportunities for him to assure the base in each state he travels to of his determination to run as a conservative even as independents see him on the nightly news. [Emphasis added.]

Yep, he’s got to calibrate that message, all right, to make it sound really convincing, so that, even though we KNOW that this guy (1) is a repeat liar, and (2) despises us and gets great pleasure from stomping on us, we can tell ourselves that he is telling us the truth this time and is going to give up things that he is passionately devoted to, for our sake.

“Reassure us! Reassure us!”

Then there’s John O’Sullivan, one-time editor of National Review, who says:

[T]here has to be a deal. Both sides have to swallow their pride. McCain has to forswear “comprehensive immigration reform,” and conservatives their anger at the past. But the deal has to be genuine and not a hocus-pocus of clever verbal formulae.

See? We can’t be fooled, no clever verbal formulae for us, no sir-ee Bob.

But O’Sullivan then admits:

[T]here is no way that I, the mass of conservatives, or anyone else can hold a presidential candidate to his promise if he decides to renege on it once safely in the White House. We have to rely on the honor of the candidate…. [italics added]

Hmm, yes, we actually have no way to enforce this promise, do we, so we’ll just have to trust in McCain’s honor. And then we’ll give him our support, which is what we all really, really want to do anyway. He just has to make us feel ok about it.

“Reassure us! Reassure us!
Reassure us! Reassure us!”

Then there’s Fred Barnes, discussed by me earlier, who says that McCain can gain conservatives’ support by reassuring them over and over of his commitment to “social conservatism.” And there’s Mona Charen, who received McCain’s robo-call at her home and was impressed.

Then there’s Paul of Powerline, who got the same robo-call from McCain that Mona Charen got, and, like her, he believes it:

With Maryland next up on the primary slate, we received a robo-call from Senator McCain today. He pledges to lower our taxes, veto wasteful spending programs, fight for small government principles, nominate judges like John Roberts and Samuel Alito, protect life, and defeat radical Islamic extremists.

If one takes McCain largely at his word, as I do, the case that McCain is as bad as Hillary Clinton is untenable, and the case for “staying home” this November is almost as weak. [Italics added.]

“Reassure us! Reassure us!
Re-a-a-ssure us!”

- end of initial entry -

Larry G. writes:

One way in which McCain and his reluctant new supporters seek to reassure us is to say that he “will secure the border first.” But the unspoken second half of that sentence is that “Then we’ll have amnesty for the 20+ million illegal aliens.” But even the first half is a lie, because McCain says the border will be considered “secure” when the border state governors “certify” it as secure. That is, its effectiveness as a barrier will not be determined by facts, such as an absense of illegal crossings, but by the declaration of politicians who hold office in states whose electorates are full of legal and illegal Mexican immigrants. So our border will be certified as “secure” by Hispandering politicians under pressure from an arm-twisting, open-borders Executive. Clearly this will not reassure some people, so expect McCain to establish an international blue-ribbon commission chaired by former President George W. Bush and former Mexican President Vincente Fox to oversee and certify border security.

LA replies:

Good point. Further, serious amnesty opponents have always opposed “enforcement now, amnesty later,” either because they knew that any arrangement of enforcement to be followed by amnesty would be finessed into amnesty without enforcement, or because they were against all amnesty, period. Thus the reassurance they want from McCain would amount to his giving up amnesty during at least the first term of his presidency, which could be the only term. And that is like, oh, expecting Muslims to give up Islam. However, since many of these mainstream conservatives expect Muslims in the West to assimilate into the West and Muslim in the Mideast to adopt democracy, both of which would require Muslims to give up Islam, it’s not so surprising that they expect McCain to give up amnesty.

Laura W. writes:

This is hilarious.

Joseph C. writes:

I read your post on the Reassure Us Chorus, and am dismayed (though not surprised) by the hypocrisy of many allegedly conservative commentators. This chorus is repeated every four years, like a sad song with a depressing ending.

Like a dog that gets sprayed every day by the same skunk, Hugh Hewitt, Laura Ingraham and other like-minded minions go through the same stages every election cycle: (1) Look for a candidate true to their principles, (2) Bemoan the fact that Candidate X, leading in the polls, is not conservative enough, (3) Insist that Candidate x must appeal to the base to get their vote, (4) Accept that Candidate X will be the nominee, (5) Point to some statement—no matter how insincere—that proves Candidate X will not ignore them once in power, and (6) Vow to support Candidate X in the general election because Candidate X is better than Democrat Y, and how “we” must “trust” that “Candidate X” will seize on the once in a generation (really once every four years) opportunity to make the Supreme Court safe for constitutionalism.

Well, let us look at the track record of judges, appointed by past Candidate Xs, who may retire (Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito are not ready to retire, so I leave them out):

John Paul Stevens—Appointed to soothe the pain of Watergate. An intellectual mediocrity and an embarrassment to the Constitution.

Anthony Kennedy—A compromise candidate. Gets worse with each ruling. The New York Times loves him—enough said. David Souter—One good year, a disgrace ever since.

Now, honestly, tell me how a Democratic appointment (e.g., Ginsburg or Breyer) is worse. We are supposed to believe that it was worth it to re-elect Bush because of the court, but we won’t really know for years if even his appointments are any good. And now, these intellectual midgets want us to trust John McCain, because of the Supreme Court? The same John McCain who is best friends with Warren Rudman, the man that snookered George H.W. Bush into the Souter fiasco, and bragged about it afterwards. Their evidence: John McCain voted for Roberts and Alito. That is the crux of it.

Well, being one of 100 votes is quite different from actually picking a nominating fight, championing the choice, and letting the opponent that you stand ready to back it up with the nomination (or recess appointment) of Robert Bork, Ann Coulter, or Phyllis Schlafly. To quote Madeline Albright, I think we all know that John “Gang of 14” McCain has no such cojones, and that the only fight he will pick is with the conservative base. Like George H.W. Bush, McCain will have one overriding concern when choosing a nominee—i.e., avoiding a bitter confirmation fight.

I am frankly tired of hearing apologists like Hewitt telling me what I should to come November. They are not disillusioned conservatives repeatedly blindsided by betrayals everyone with a brain can foresee, nor are they battered wives. They are propagandists, like Squealer in Animal Farm, justifying the rule of Napoleon because “We don’t want Farmer Jones back, do we?” Well, I have had it. I will vote third party in November before I vote for John “Gang of 14” McCain, and if that throws the election to the Democrats, so be it. The apologists made their bed. I see no reason why I should sleep in it.

JS writes:

Paul at Powerline writes “If one takes McCain largely at his word, as I do, the case that McCain is as bad as Hillary Clinton is untenable …”

So then if one judges McCain by his actions, the case that McCain is as bad as Hillary is tenable?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 07, 2008 12:12 AM | Send

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