And the worst part for the Right is that McCain will have won the nomination while ignoring, insulting and, as of this weekend, shamelessly lying about conservatives and conservatism.
You think he supported amnesty six months ago? You think he was squishy on tax cuts and judicial nominees before? Wait until he has the power to anger every conservative in America, and feel good about it.
Every day, he dreams of a world filled with happy Democrats and insulted Republicans. And he is, thanks to Florida, the presidential nominee of the Republican party.
There is weeping in National Reviewdom today.
Ramesh Ponnuru says it's 1996 all over again:
McCain is Dole: the old war hero who has run before, who does not enthuse either economic or social conservatives but has a pretty conservative record. Giuliani is Forbes: the socially liberal, economically conservative New York candidate. Huckabee is Buchanan: the social conservative with rhetoric that scares economic conservatives. Romney is Gramm, the movement-oriented candidate with boatloads of money but difficulty connecting with grassroots conservative voters.... The social-Right candidate takes out the movement candidate, the economic conservative ends up not playing a huge role, and the nomination goes to the old guy whom much of the Right distrusts.ADDED: I should note that Ponnuru is happy with the development. He endorsed McCain a year ago. I assumed otherwise because: 1. The editors of National Review have endorsed Romney, and 2. Dole lost!