What Happens When The Media Divorce McCain?

Informed Conservatives know that trusting John McCain with the Presidency would be a gamble, at best. Much has been written and said in recent days about McCain’s history of comments and legislative initiatives that offend Conservative values. But, we’re told, John McCain is best positioned against Obama or the Clintons because he has the support of “independents and moderates,” as demonstrated by exit polls.

But we can’t really assess how those independents and moderates would vote next November because so far, Senator McCain has been helped in his nomination campaign by sympathetic commentary from the Washington/National media. McCain’s coverage has been mostly positive and even the ultra-liberal New York times endorsed him, albeit in a peevish editorial that was mostly an attack on Giuliani.

The media have had a long love affair with McMaverick. They admire him for succeeding where they try but often fail, at marginalizing Conservatives. Therefore, the media have supported his campaign – so far.

But as soon as a McCain nomination is definite, the media will turn on him. They’ll never support McCain over Obama or the Clintons.

Consider McCain’s big gun, the experience and positions Conservatives admire and support: national security, defeating terrorism, and winning in Iraq. Except for the President himself, nobody in Washington has been more resolute in supporting the troop surge and the new strategies those troops implemented. No Washington official has been more passionate in arguing that we must do whatever it may take to prevail in Iraq.

But what do the National media think of “the surge?” In the same editorial that endorsed McCain the Times blasted all Republicans for “having no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq.” In fact, The Times staked out its position back in July, just as the surge strategies were beginning to show promise, with an Editorial that began, “It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.”

The Times even acknowledged the probable consequences of abandoning the Iraq operation: chaos, ethnic cleansing, genocide, “destabilizing refugee flows” and “a new stronghold from which terrorist activity could proliferate.” But continued presence of US troops in Iraq, insisted the Times, was somehow worse than those results. The rest of the national media cheered the Times defeatist demand.

The Left-leaning media establishment is determined to “get the troops out” no matter what the consequences. As soon as McCain’s nomination is assured they’ll go after him with all the same vitriol they’ve thrown at President Bush for five years.

But haven’t the strategies that were implemented in 2007 been effective? Isn’t there reason to believe a successful outcome is possible? Absolutely. But the media are loath to acknowledge any improvement, because to do so would, in their minds, help President Bush and the Republicans.

In commenting on the State of the Union message the Times snorted, “Mr. Bush’s troop escalation has succeeded in stabilizing parts of Baghdad and lowering casualties. But 2007 was still the most violent year in Iraq since the 2003 invasion and — more important — Mr. Bush has little to show in the way of political reconciliation, the only guarantor of a lasting peace.”

McCain has always enjoyed a “honeymoon” relationship with the national media so we don’t know how he will react when they turn against him, as they inevitably will if he wins the nomination. It’s doubtful that those fickle “independents and moderates,” who by definition are do not loyal to any ideology or principles, will have the backbone to stand by their man through ten months of relentless media condemnation of his only firm principles.

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