The John McCain of 2009-10 was a McCain we had not seen since the mid-1990s.
The senator owes his victory to the pressure he received from conservatives and tea partyers.
To receive that support, he had to give up his maverick positions that have sometimes given aid and comfort to the liberals. I’m sure Sen. McCain knows very well that he would not have won if he had continued his reputation as the Democrats’ favorite Republican.
McCain ran an aggressive, hard-hitting campaign against former Congressman J. D. Hayworth. If he had taken this same kind of principled conservative and ‘take no prisoners’ campaign against Barack Obama in 2008, he’d now be in the second year of his presidency.
The strength of the tea party cause is being felt in various ways: sometimes by pressuring incumbents into retirement; other times by beating an establishment Republican in a convention or primary; or, in McCain’s case, by applying so much heat they see the virtue of small government, constitutional conservatism.
Conservatives and tea party activists look forward to welcoming Sen. McCain and other lost conservatives back from their flirtations with big government.
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