The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Sunday, September 07, 2008

Bill Whittle on the GOP's Big Week

NRO has discovered Bill Whittle! And Whittle has discovered the McCain-Palin ticket. You will, of course, want to read it all.
Sarah Palin has done more than unify and electrify the base. She’s done something I would not have thought possible, were it not happening in front of my nose: Sarah Palin has stolen Barack Obama’s glamour. She’s stolen his excitement, robbed his electricity, burgled his charisma, purloined his star power, and taken his Hope and Change mantra, woven it into a cold-weather fashion accessory, and wrapped it around her neck.

A candidate who is young, funny, well-spoken, intelligent, charming, drop-dead gorgeous — and one of ours? Is this actually happening?

I have personally seen hundreds of crusty, old-school paleocons who despised McCain now saying “He finally listened to us.” By picking Palin — instead of Lieberman, who we all know he wanted — he has told conservatives that he gets it. They’re not holding their noses and voting any more. They want yard signs and bumper stickers — they can’t wait to vote GOP. And the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, folks: they are writing checks.
Further down, he weighs in on McCain himself:
John McCain got me to believe tonight what I never really believed about him before: he is serious about changing Washington. He is serious about getting the GOP back to basics. John McCain wants to repair the brand. Claiming to want to do something is talk. What I think will cause many to believe him is something more than talk: McCain decided to man up. It’s our fault. We lost the confidence of the American people. We said we’d be true to our principles, and we weren’t. The Democrats didn’t make us do it. We did it to ourselves.

That has the ring of truth to it. It is a grownup accepting responsibility for a mistake not of his making and asking for the chance to rectify it. I don’t know how much of the country will believe him. But I did.

If McCain can get close — just close — to convincing the American people that real reform is possible with Republicans and not just the Democrats, then they are left with a decision of who they feel safest with, and who actually walks the walk. The GOP owns that ground. That’s victory in November, and it’s the only way to victory in November. We are an optimistic, hopeful country. We will not prevail by convincing people why they should not vote for the other guy. People need to vote for something . I think John McCain gave us that on Thursday night.

And a final thing: I had heard before that John McCain had been beaten in prison, and I admired him for it. But when he said he had been broken . . . I gasped. When this sometimes cocky, arrogant old man told me he had once been a cocky, arrogant young man until he was “blessed by hardship,” until he had been broken and remade — and in that remaking discovered a love of country so fierce and pure that even as a patriot myself I will never approach it — well, in that moment John McCain won my heart, to add to the respect and admiration he had already had.

When John McCain told me what I and untold millions of Americans have always believed, what others tell me to be ashamed of and mock me for — that I live in the greatest country in the world, a force of goodness and justice in dark places, a land of heroism and sacrifice and opportunity and joy — to me that went right to the mystic chords of memory that ultimately binds this country together. Some people don’t know what it is, but there is such a thing as patriotism — pure, unrefined, unapologetic, unconditional, non-nuanced, non-cosmopolitan, white-hot-burning patriotism. John McCain loves this country. I love it too. Not what it might be made into someday — not its promise, always and only its promise — but what it was and what it is, a nation and an idea worth fighting and dying for.

I was lukewarm on McCain Thursday night, but after that close I will follow that man to the ends of the earth with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.
The essay from Whittle could not have been better timed; let us hope it is not his last of the election season.

UPDATE: It looks as if my wish may be granted.
DiscerningTexan, 9/07/2008 03:55:00 PM |