This rightwing rejection of McCain, while real to a lot of the movements devout followers, is part of a larger practice by the movement’s leaders of always ducking responsibility and avoiding blame.
If McCain had a prayer of a chance of winning the next election, I don’t think we would see this intense of a negative reaction to him from the rightwing base. But because it’s nearly a foregone conclusion that Repubilcans are going to get their asses kicked in November, it is imperative for the conservative movement’s leaders to make sure that it does not appear that the country is rejecting their candidate or their ideas. Thus, this rejection of McCain for being “too liberal” is an effort to insulate themselves from the electoral drubbing that will undoubtedly take place as a consequence of Bush’s absymal failure these past seven years.
Likewise, the movement’s leaders are hard at work trying to extract themselves from the disaster of the Bush years by claiming in retrospect that Bush was not a “true conservative” and putting the blame for everything on his supposed liberal tendencies and, of course, the Democratic Congress which has had only tenuous control of the legislative branch for the past year in the face of veto threats and Republican filibusters.
They have to do this to maintain the myth of superiority and invulnerability that props up their base of supporters. They cannot admit or acknowledge that their ideas have been tried repeatedly during the past several decades and have failed miserably each and every time. So the charade continues....