February 07, 2008

True Conservatives

When uber right wing pundit Ann Coulter stated she'd campaign for Hillary Clinton over John McCain I was quick to write it off as a play for attention from one of the worst media whores in the business. Coulter loves to take extreme positions and run with them as far as possible. But the continued hate for John McCain spewing from the likes of Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson is fascinating.

Politically I've never gotten McCain's rep for being centrist. He's a right wing warmonger in my book and his vote record is deeply right wing. But when Coulter says Hillary is more conservative than McCain, she's not really talking policy and shockingly enough she's actually right. Policy wise of course Clinton is moderate but far to the left of McCain. But personality wise, Clinton couldn't be more conservative.

At it's core conservatism as a philosophy is about maintaining the status quo, keeping the power structure intact. Clinton has climbed her way to the top of US politics and she has no interest in sharing that power or letting it slip away. McCain on the other hand has spent years cultivating an image as a maverick, a man who will think for himself and won't take orders. For people like Rush Limbaugh and Coulter who value blind obedience to the power structure this is a threat of the highest order. There is no space for mavericks in their world view, free thinking undermines their values to the core.

It's exactly because of this that voters tend to flock to Obama in the days leading up to their primaries, yet a substantial number break to Clinton at the last second. As inspiring as Obama may be his message of change is scary to the conservative minded. Hillary is the safe path, the choice of the risk adverse, the people who regardless of how they stand on policy are scared of new.

No matter how much conservatives hate Clinton personally, there must be a huge comfort in the pattern, they did Bush then Clinton before, why not keep it going. They wanted Bush as king, but Hillary as queen is far more palatable then a maverick or change agent as president.

Posted by Abe at February 7, 2008 05:42 AM


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