A lot of people want to know what John McCain did to conservatives to make them look at him with such contempt. Why is Ann Coulter vowing to campaign for Hillary Clinton if McCain is the GOP candidate? Why is Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and other conservative pundits piling on the presumptive Republican nominee? The answer is easy: John McCain is not a conservative.
McCain has long aligned himself with liberals in the spirit of "compromise." Case in point is the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act, which is an assault upon political speech. McCain's recent proposals for amnesty for illegal aliens has also struck at the very core of the conservative movement and has further alienated him from the conservative base of the GOP. McCain has also shown a penchant for kowtowing for the media to receive positive press, which is a cardinal sin in the eyes of many conservatives who value true beliefs above popularity.
The bitter battle between McCain and Bush from the 2000 election remains on the minds of many Republicans and some of McCain's comments at that time have continued to haunt him. And the rumors of his flirtation to switch parties have persistented despite his denials. Regardless of fact, the mere rumors are enough to enrage most conservatives.
McCain will be the Republican nominee but his ability to rally the troops remains to be seen. It is acceptable for conservatives to question McCain's true colors and it is healthy to truly evaluate a candidate before throwing support behind him. The question is whether, after much searching, true conservatives will ever be able to throw their 100% support behind McCain. I think they may eventually get in line...but the lack of enthusiasm in doing so may doom the GOP's chances in 2008...handing the presidency to Hillary.