The GOP is not dead. It’s not a damaged brand. It’s taken a hit, but it’s not down for the count, despite the liberal media’s attempts to convince us it is. And when I see passionate, articulate young men like Marco Rubio of Florida on our team, I am content to ignore all the hand-wringing by David Frum and company, all the mockery by Stephen Colbert and company, all the GOP, RIP pronouncements by Markos Moulitsas and company, and smile.
John McCain has endorsed Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio in the Florida senate race. This comes as no surprise. McCain is a moderate and Crist is a moderate. McCain is part of the old-guard party elite and Crist is a sitting governor. You don’t endorse some kid from nowhere over a guy who’s paid his dues, don’t you know. It’s just not sportsmanlike. And we see where being sportsmanlike got McCain. Got him right back in the minority seats of the Senate house, that’s where.
My guarded optimism remains guarded for two reasons. First, the fact that guys like Crist and McCain who do not get it are in charge of the party. Second, if Marco Rubio or another young, attractive, charismatic conservative bursts onto the scene, the left will do all they can to destroy him the way they tried to destroy Sarah Palin. The intellectuals, the media, Hollywood, everyone will jump on the bandwagon and mount a campaign of vicious mockery and vilification against any Republican who seems poised to revitalize the party.
Then again, they mocked Ronald Reagan. I was in my late teens and early twenties, and recall it all vividly — He’s old. He’s a warmonger. He’s dumb. He takes too many naps. His wife is an astrology nut. He’s senile. He thinks ketchup is a vegetable. He bullies other countries. He’s a jingoistic uberpatriot. He’s Ronny Ray-gun, going to start a nuclear holocaust and kill us all.
And you know what? Not only did their mockery not bring Reagan down, but somehow he didn’t manage to destroy all life on the planet. All he destroyed was the Soviet Communism that kept millions in bondage, and did it without dropping a single nuclear bomb.
And so I take heart. Marco Rubio may not be the next Ronald Reagan. He may not be the new American Cicero of the Right. He may not, but someone will. Someone will.