The Corner

O’Sullivan’s “Conservative Interest”

For John O’Sullivan, the case for abandoning the Republicans this year is thinkable only because of the issues of immigration, racial preferences, bilingual education, and related matters. He may disagree with Senator McCain on other issues, such as global warming and the treatment of pharmaceutical companies, but it is these “national question” issues that have led him, and like-minded conservatives, to contemplate sitting out this election (or voting for a third-party candidate or for the Democratic nominee).

On each of these issues, there is no daylight between McCain and President Bush. Most conservatives disagreed with Bush about those issues, but backed him over first Gore and then Kerry because they thought that he remained superior to the Democrats on taxes, judicial nominations, foreign policy, and most other important issues. If that judgment was correct then, it seems that it must also apply to McCain. At least, I can’t think of any reasons it wouldn’t.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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