Despite what the pundits, talking heads, and self-annoited experts say about the Republican race, it is more muddled and more up in the air than at any time since Iowa.
Because 60 percent of the Republican Party is against John McCain.
And the more a dour Tim Russert or an arrogant Chris Mathews says that, “the Republican race is, for all intents and purposes, over,” or this one, “it is very hard to see how John McCain can be stopped,” the more agitated conservatives get.
That translates to “we lefty pundits who dominate the TV airwaves want McCain so we will just proclaim him the inevitable nominee.”
But conservative GOP voters are rebelling against McCain; yes, he gets moderate Republicans and independents who come into the GOP primaries. But the base — conservatives — are voting against McCain.
So I ask you this question: How can the Republican Party, with a huge base of conservatives, nominate a candidate who hates them and who they despise?
This is the crux of the dilemma that is ripping the GOP apart now. Ann Coulter’s "Hannity & Colmes" diatribe was more than amusing. It raised this question: Who do conservatives hate more, John McCain or Hillary Clinton?
The question, more than any answer, is instructive: The fact that we are even talking about this shows how divided we Republicans are and how unaccepting of John McCain we will be.
We feel like he is being jammed down our throat by the left, and by the same inside-the-beltway GOP establishment that has been, frankly, wrong on just about everything from amnesty to Dubai Ports World.
The two candidates opposing McCain are both having difficulty cobbling together enough support on their own to defeat McCain; they are splitting the conservative vote and enabling a moderate-to-liberal win.
And Huckabee is clearly in the tank for McCain. Yesterday’s rigged convention in West Virginia was designed to deny Mitt Romney a “Romney Wins West Virginia” headline running all day long on cable TV. While within the rules, it was a petty, ugly example of the "real McCain" at work.
As the so-called GOP front-runner he should be above that kind of thing. But it tells us he is still more afraid of Romney than he is of Huckabee. Therefore, conservatives are increasingly going to rally to Romney from here on out.
And what Romney now needs to do is simple: pick an upcoming state — a crucial one — and make it a mano-a-mano race, Romney vs. McCain, and win it!
It is time Romney beats Mccain one-on-one because if he cannot, then McCain will win the nomination by default.
But if Romney draws the line in the sand and beats McCain, then we have a new race on our hands. The conservatives will rally to Romney and McCain could still be stopped.
So, Mitt, get going and fast.
Your task is a difficult one: take on not just McCain but the entire D.C. establishment.
Let it all out . . . get angry; show some passion. Embrace the talk-radio hosts, as they represent the GOP base.
Take on McCain and squash him, and soon, maybe in Ohio.
Make the economy the issue.
Do us all a favor.
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