[Election 2008] If you were watching cable news networks yesterday in the wake of Mitt Romney's withdrawal from the Republican nomination race, you saw the oddest combination of hand-wringing and back-slapping. One after another, Republican party stalwarts and other members of the conservative punditocracy observed that now that John McCain has all but sewn up his party's nomination, they can avoid the money- and attention-draining battle that will occupy Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will into August, improving the chances of a November victory.
Yet you also had the lamentations of Glenn Beck and others that they were stuck with a finance-reforming, immigrant-loving impostor as their choice over a Democrat who (to paraphrase Romney's farewell address) will all but hand the keys to America to al Qaeda. Quoth Beck, as he considered whether or not he should support McCain, "When you're a parent, sometimes the best thing you can do for your kid instead of propping them up is to let them fall down." Will the right sabotage the Republicans' chances at a victory as it throws a collective "he's not Reagan enough for us" hissy fit? (Scott Renshaw)