McCain. Is he the magician that can save the Republican Party? It is so absurd, you have to assume it is possible.
______________Republicans forced to turn to their nemesis: John McCain
By Albert R. Hunt Bloomberg News
Published: May 11, 2008
The Republican political establishment is looking to the devil to deliver them, the man many have depicted as the incarnation of evil: John McCain.
Republicans in the U.S. Congress are petrified about a November debacle, a fear stoked on May 3, when they lost their second straight special election in a district held by Republicans.
The party's fundamental situation is terrible: Republicans are saddled with an enormously unpopular president, a war, a troubled economy and a Democratic opposition that's being energized by important constituent groups.
"The generics are as bad as anytime since I have been here," said Representative Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican and one of the most politically astute members of Congress in either party. Davis, a 14-year veteran, is retiring this year, frustrated with his party's long-term prospects.
In a delicious irony, the one bright spot is McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. A few months ago, McCain spoke to the party's caucus in the House of Representatives and said that he would campaign in any district where he was wanted and stay out of any where he would be a liability.
"I don't know of anyone that doesn't want him in," said Representative Ray LaHood, an Illinois Republican who is also retiring.
This is turning history on its head. Not long ago, the independent-minded McCain was vilified by his party's leaders.
Tom DeLay - the former Republican majority leader who was once the most powerful official the House had had in years - complained that McCain "has done more to hurt the Republican Party than any elected official I know of." Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert once suggested that McCain, a decorated prisoner of war in Vietnam, didn't understand sacrifice.
This year, Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi said the thought of a McCain presidency "sends a cold chill down my spine." His former Mississippi colleague, Trent Lott, has endorsed McCain; eight years earlier, Lott's comments about the Arizona lawmaker were unprintable.
The czar of conservative talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, said earlier this year that a McCain nomination would "destroy" Republicans: "He has stabbed his own party in the back I can't tell you how many times."
There is a situational element to these attitudes; McCain is fine when he's useful to them.
Too good to miss. ht Doug ht meaningless hot air