(ABC News) - "For all intents and purposes, McCain is the Republican nominee," a defeated Limbaugh said on his radio show today. Limbaugh suggested McCain will march Republicans to defeat in November unless he picks former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, who did well among Christian evangelicals last night, as his running mate.
"Here's the thing about McCain: he can't win conservatives in the South by virtue of this primary yesterday," Limbaugh said. "These blue states that McCain won last night are places where he has no chance in November."
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THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Rush Limbaugh, arguably one of the smarter conservative radio talk-show hosts, has conceded defeat of the traditional conservative cause for the 2008 election. Though he has not conceded defeat of traditional conservatism in general.
This unfortunate event is the result of the right self-destructing over the last week. In what can only be described as a right-wing meltdown, conservative radio talk-show hosts took to the airwaves last week, endorsing Mitt Romney for president, while simultaneously assailing McCain and Huckabee. Their attack of McCain was understandable, as the Senator from Arizona has worked against conservative causes many times in the past. However, their attack on Huckabee was strategic in nature. While Huckabee, the former governor from Arkansas, may not meet the ideals of traditional conservatism on every issue, he is however favored in the South and Midwest, mainly for his strong Pro-Life and Pro-Family record. This is a feature not shared by his rival Mitt Romney, the former governor of the liberal state of Massachusetts, who's "Pro-Life" views really amount to a passive "Pro-Choice" stand, and whom some accuse of working with the courts to establish gay-marriage in the state. Romney was the favorite of radio talk-show hosts because of his conservative record on fiscal matters. Pro-Life advocates, (including 'The Catholic Knight' blog), warned that compromise on the Pro-Life issue would result in disaster for the GOP, and that Romney could not gain enough support in traditional Southern states to win the Republican nomination. Huckabee was sighted as the only Republican candidate favored to win in the South. In the end, Pro-Life advocates (including yours truly) were vindicated, but at the cost of the 2008 election. Mike Huckabee handily won the Bible Belt as predicted, performing extremely well in the only states he did not win - South Carolina and Missouri - loosing by a very narrow margin to John McCain. The McCain victory in Missouri and South Carolina was extremely uncharacteristic of these traditionally conservative states, and they serve as a microcosm of what has happened in the Republican primaries. The conservative vote in the GOP has been split. While conservatives normally control the direction of the Republican party, in this election, fiscal conservatives have favored Mitt Romney, who has also been endorsed by conservative talk-radio show hosts nationwide. Social conservatives on the other hand, have favored Mike Huckabee, who's Pro-Life and Pro-Family record have made him a guaranteed win in the Midwestern and Southern states. For the last couple weeks, conservative talk-radio hosts have echoed the claims of the Romney campaign that Huckabee is "stealing votes that rightfully belong to Mitt Romney." Super Tuesday however, told a different story. As Romney placed third in all the Southern and Midwestern states, it became apparent that it was Romney who was "stealing votes" from Huckabee and not the other way around.
Now that Super Tuesday is past, the 2008 election has been spoiled for the conservative cause. With the conservative vote split, the centrist wing of the Republican Party has handily placed John McCain in the lead for a GOP nomination. Rush Limbaugh, the most prominent host on conservative talk-radio, has recognized the inevitability of a McCain nomination, and the demise of the conservative cause for this election. Regardless of which party wins the Whitehouse in November, one thing is sure. We will have a Liberal president.
The election has now been reduced to a vote between the lesser of two evils. The best conservatives can now hope for is to stop Hillary or Obama from gaining the presidency. The compromise of Pro-Life principles by the fiscal conservatives, and conservative talk-radio, by the endorsement of Mitt Romney, has resulted in all conservatives losing their cause in this November's election. Traditional conservatism will not be represented by either mainstream party on the ballot. We could say that the endorsement of Mitt Romney has created a self-fulfilling prophecy for fiscal-conservatives and conservative talk radio.
Now all we have left is the hope for a McCain-Huckabee ticket, and the prayer that Huckabee will somehow be able to moderate the McCain tendencies to move toward the Left. Only by uniting behind this less than desirable ticket, can the right hope to stop Hillary (or Obama) in November. Will they be able to do it? Only God knows the answer to that now.
It isn't over until it's over, and don't count Huckabee out just yet. He doesn't need to win the majority of delegates to get the nomination. All he needs to do is prevent McCain from winning the magic number needed (1191) to secure an automatic nomination at the GOP convention. If no candidate reaches that number, the GOP goes into a brokered convention, and in that kind of scenario, Mike Huckabee stands a good chance of actually winning the nomination regardless of the delegate count. Since Romney's withdraw from the race, Dr. James Dobson's endorsement of Huckabee, and today's wins for Huckabee in Kansas and Louisiana, it looks like all bets are off for McCain. It looks like in Mike Huckabee's candidacy, conservatives will make their last stand before the GOP convention. Prepare for a revolt on the right!