Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This Spin Has Me Spinning

Hugh Hewitt asserts that the main loser from yesterday's GOP debacle was John McCain. That's putting the spin cycle into overdrive. It wasn't John McCain's brand of conservative Republicanism that was repudiated yesterday. It was President Bush's policies that were rejected, a fact that must be acknowledged whether you like the President and his policies or not.

I know that you favor Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination in '08, friend Hugh. But you can't credibly pin the blame on McCain for what happened yesterday.

And speaking of Romney, effective governors are usually able to see their party's nominee succeed them in office. (It happened in Florida, where Jeb Bush campaigned for his Republican successor, for example.) Romney worked hard for the Republican nominee in his state. Yet, for the first time since 1990, a Democrat will hold that office in Massachusetts. Is it fair to blame Romney for that loss? Probably not. But it's even less fair--and frankly, silly--to blame McCain for George Bush's loss yesterday.

Mike DeWine lost yesterday by and large, not, as Hugh suggests, because he was a member of the Gang of Fourteen, the seven Democrats and seven Republicans whose accord allowed two Bush nominees to be seated on the Supreme Court without filibuster or bruising hearings, but because Ohio voters associated DeWine with President Bush. Granted, DeWine did not have the support of some of the Religious Right who supported GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell. The result of that is that DeWine lost by a much smaller margin than did Blackwell. No doubt partly because Blackwell was so in the pocket of the Religious Right, a majority of Protestants and Catholics backed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland here in Ohio.

Who should be the Republican nominee in 2008? I don't know and I would never express a preference for who the nominee of either party should be anyway. But today isn't the day for's a day instead, for learning.

[This was cross-posted at]

[UPDATE: A commenter over at RedBlue wondered how I could accuse Hugh of dishonesty without proof. I haven't accused Hugh of being dishonest. I think that he's got a slant on things based on his dislike of John McCain and his support of Mitt Romney. His spin on this appears to be the result of wishful thinking.]

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