I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

So Tom Tancredo Thinks John McCain is a "Traitor to this Country"

Watching last night's Republican debates was a somewhat painful experience, not just because of the repetitive nature of these dog an pony shows, but more for the increasingly desperate attacks being launched at John McCain by opponents and pundits alike. I was reminded of one of the more ugly examples of this which I witnessed first hand. Earlier this week I was on the air with Andrea Shea King, basically riffing on the headlines of the day while we waited for Rudy Giuliani to call in, when suddenly Tom Tancredo (R - Colorado 6) was on the phone. What followed was an off the cuff assault on McCain between Andrea and Representative Tancredo that left me stunned. I'll be playing the audio clip of this during our show on Mid Stream Radio at 1:00 pm Eastern today if you would care to hear it, but here's a transcript of one of the more upsetting sections.

TOM TANCREDO: He [McCain] is also, I believe, a threat in a way, to this nation.

ANDREA SHEA KING: Well, you're being, you're being diplomatic. Because I will tell you, I posted on my blogsite today, RadioPatriot.blogspot.com, that I think that he is a traitor to this country.

TT: Yeah.

AS: Now, I know that's strong, but, when you look at his domestic record, and you look at what he is doing with amnesty…

TT: Yeah.

AS: And the illegal alien situation..

TT: Yeah.

AS: And now we find out that he is, uh, dealing with this unsavory character, who has served in the Vicente Fox White House on his cabinet…

TT: That's right.

AS: Ah, you know, you have to wonder. Whose interests does John McCain …

TT: Yeah, at heart…

AS: Have at heart here.

TT: Exactly.

Now, you're free to disagree with McCain on any or all of his positions if you wish, but at what point does it simply become too much? This disdain of Senator McCain and all he represents seems to be spreading like wildfire and has, I believe, begun to color the opinions of many among the more "traditional conservative" Republican base. I got a taste of that last night while I was live blogging the debate over at Heading Right. When I dared to opine that it seemed like McCain was actually doing pretty well against Romney, I was the subject of some good natured ribbing ("we do get to laugh at you") which, while very friendly and cordial in nature, made it clear that I was the only one in the room who thought McCain was delivering a good performance and that Romney was clearing running the show. In fact, some of the conclusions drawn by conservative observers included statements such as:
By the time I was done reading all of that my head was spinning. Maybe I really was the only one! Was my judgement being clouded by my less than favorable personal opinion of Mitt Romney and my respect for John McCain's service to his country? Well, this morning a dose of reality came through as one analyst after another chimed in seeing the picture more like I did.
The bias against McCain on the "anti-conservative" theme is still something of a mystery to me. The "pure" conservatives love to toss around that "RINO" accusation freely, and the media has certainly done a bang up job trying to suddenly paint John McCain as a "moderate Republican" in this race. (Read: RINO) This surely must have many less biased observers scratching their heads. Having been a part of the Northeast RINO herd myself for a quarter of a century, I can tell you that McCain has never been a member of the club. (And I go to all the meetings, so I can tell you he never shows up or even sends finger sandwiches.) As Big Mac is fond of pointing out, he has consistently scored very strong ratings for his conservative credentials and nobody seemed to question them until he had the temerity to run for the White House. (again)

No, it seems that many of the Romulans are mistaking bipartisanship for moderate behavior. McCain's real shortcomings in the eyes of the base are to stake out some positions that strayed from the herd. That, combined with the sin of actually thinking that both parties might have some ideas worth investigating, and being willing to act on that belief, are what is currently making him the target of such rancor. McCain doesn't lack conservative bona fides - he simply doesn't spew a sufficient level of bile at All Things Democrat for the party faithful. And yes... he did pretty well in last night's debate. I will be interested to see what the Romulans' response will be if he actually gets the nomination. But at least for now, can we tone down on the "traitor" talk please?