Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Temper, temper

Ramesh Ponnuru sought confirmation of Crazy Cousin John's reputation for having a bad temper behind closed doors:
McCain stood in the middle of the GOP cloakroom and yelled at several of his Senate colleagues because they deigned to have a vote — to have a vote — on Inhofe's "English As the National Language" amendment to the 2006 immigration bill. He accused conservatives of being "divisive" and "insulting" Latinos for suggesting that immigrants ought to learn this language. He was nasty and unhinged. About 10 staffers witnessed this. He delighted in telling the conservative senators there that they were destroying the party with these efforts.
Via Dan Riehl, who says:
There are three things to be troubled with about McCain here, his disdain for conservatives, his temperament, and his problem with wanting Latinos in America to speak English.
Can you smell that pipin' hot Straight Talk crackling on the skillet?
Ace links to K-Lo:
I talked to Rick Santorum briefly tonight. He told me that he “can’t in good conscience give details about what happened in senator-only meetings.” ...
Senator Santorum stands by what he’s said about his former colleague. He went on Hewitt, Levin, and Ingraham, among others to warn conservatives about his experience working as a member of the Republican leadership with Senator McCain — an experience that he largely found frustrating, especially (but not only) on social-conservative issues.
It's the temperament thing. Never mind Crazy Cousin John's deviation on this or that issue, it's his stiff-necked, hot-tempered, go-it-alone attitude that has made him unpopular with Santorum and many others. If he's denied the GOP nomination, I'd almost expect him to do a third-party Ross Perot move, perhaps in cooperation with Bloomberg.
UPDATE: Almost forgot it's primary day in Florida, as Michelle Malkin reminds us, while exploring a supposed "enthusiasm gap" between Democrats and Republicans. I don't doubt the existence of the gap.
Republicans are in the final year of a two-term GOP presidency that has, in one way or another, managed to disappoint almost everyone. Think back to the Florida election lockdown of 2000, how hard Republicans fought to ensure that Bush wasn't cheated of his victory. Whatever the accomplishments of the Bush administration, they haven't exactly lived up to the desperate effort it took to get him elected. The way Bush dissed the party's base on amnesty was particularly galling: Hey, if we'd wanted open borders, we could have just let Gore win it.
Hard to get excited about the Florida primary. The big "news" is that Rudy Giuliani, having staked everything on this one state, is going to suffer a humiliating third-place finish. Or maybe fourth, if Huckabee can get a strong turnout of evangelicals.
As to whether Romney or Crazy Cousin John finishes first in this winner-take-all primary, I don't think ultimately it will be decisive in who gets the nomination. If Crazy Cousin John wins, that only means that he'll come under more critical scrutiny, generating a backlash heading into Super Duper Tuesday.
Just imagine what Rush Limbaugh will be saying on Wednesday, if Crazy Cousin John wins in Florida ...

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