Country First, Stupid

This is for all of those “conservative” pundits who are still writing off McCain’s chances, even after Sarah Palin made them eat crow last Thursday.

It’s clear what some of you are trying to accomplish. You want to be first in line to re-make the GOP after the election. You believe that there are going to be leadership challenges, politically and intellectually. And you’re already making your move.

But if you think your own prospects are more important than getting John McCain into the White House–and keeping Barack Obama out of it–then you don’t deserve to lead, or to be listened to.

If you think that things have to get worse in order to get better–that we need a new Carter to get a new Reagan–just remember how much damage will be done in the meantime. And remember how hard it will be to unseat an incumbent president without the help of a third party that has yet to emerge.

Think about what is likely to happen if people actually listen to your premature declarations of defeat. America will have a president with ties to terrorists and sympathy for radicalism; who believes we should capitulate to tyranny and use the state to control the economy; who has built a cult of personality and laid foundations for unrestrained power.

We will have a Congress that is utterly dominated by Democrats, who hope to control more than 60 seats in the Senate, removing the minority protections that the filibuster provides. It will be the closest America will have ever come to the one-party state. Parties with such unfettered power tend to find ways, legal and otherwise, to increase it.

That ought to worry us all. And even if the prospects for rescuing Congress are slim, that’s all the more reason to make sure that the Democrats don’t control the executive as well. You may think that Democrat misrule will motive Republicans to get out house in order. But the divisions within the GOP may be too deep, and leaders too few.

So I’m asking you to put your political ambitions, your book sales, your blog hits and TV appearances aside. For the sake of the country and the world, do your part to put the McCain-Palin ticket over the top. Put your pen and your wit to good use. Donate money to the RNC. Knock on doors. Phone bank online. Do what the rest of us are doing.

I don’t care what the polls say. The only poll that counts is the one at the bottom of the ballot box when voting closes. You may be smart. But right now it’s country first, stupid. And if you don’t get that, then you ought to have no part in setting the new direction on November 5th, win or lose.