Well, it's all but official. After winning the primaries that were held yesterday, McCain is a virtual shoo in for the Republican nomination and a lot of conservatives are pissed about it. Most of them who voted in yesterday's elections went for Huckabee, apparently believing he is the "real" conservative. Yet Huckabee's conservative credentials aren't 100%, just like McCain's.
On the issue of illegal immigration, for instance, Huckabee is problematic. Yes, he signed Numbers USA's "No Amnesty" pledge, but as Arkansas governor he gave in state college tuition to the children of illegals, saying famously that we shouldn't punish children for the crimes of their parents. And in a speech before Hispanic leaders Huckabee "joked" about Whites soon becoming a minority. And he believes in what I call atonement politics, saying that leniency toward illegals is America's atonement for slavery. Exactly how being indulgent to illegal Hispanics atones for the enslavement of Blacks he hasn't explained. Maybe Huckabee thinks one group of non-Whites is interchangeable with another.
With conservatives' anger at McCain's liberal position on illegal immigration you'd think they'd be just as outraged at Huckabee, but they're not. Could Huckabee's status as a former preacher be the reason? Most of the conservatives who've voted for him are Evangelicals. They propelled Huckabee to victory in Iowa and their low numbers in more secular states helped to ensure his defeat there. Perhaps, for these people, Huckabee's distasteful record on illegal immigration policy is palatable because it's wrapped in Christian garb. You know, the language of atonement.
Yes, Huckabee has some good ideas. I love his plan to abolish the IRS! But McCain has some good ideas, too. More importantly, he has a much better chance of winning against both Hillary and Obama than Huck does. Conservatives have no excuse for forgiving Huckabee's deviations from pure conservatism while crucifying McCain for his. I understand commitment to principle but, sadly, principle is compromised in virtually every election. Whatever side you're on you're never going to get everything you want in a candidate. Therefore, the question all voters face is, what will we get for our compromise? If conservatives vote for McCain the answer is a damn good chance for Republicans to keep the White House and for America to win in Iraq. If conservatives vote for Huckabee or, God forbid, Hillary or Obama, what they'll get for their compromise is socialism at home and surrender on all fronts abroad.
The right choice is clear to me.