The New Yorkers driven to the brink of riot last week by the shooting of Patrick Dorismond claim that Mayor Rudy Giuliani's zero-tolerance policy against crime has turned their city into a police state. Giuliani's defenders respond, in effect, that you have to take the bitter with the sweet. Yes, the shootings of Dorismond and Amadou Diallo are regrettable; but they are the inevitable side effect of the aggressive policing that has sent crime rates plummeting in New York and around the nation.
You can see why a third-party candidacy might look awfully good to John McCain right about now. In the last few months he has made himself into just about the most popular politician in the country. Yet he was denied his party's nomination in a process that--aside from its notable ugliness-- appeared to demonstrate that any candidate moderate enough to appeal to a cross-partisan majority is ideologically unacceptable to the GOP's establishment and base voters.
Marvin Olasky was right. John McCain's campaign is crawling with Zeus worshipers. George W. Bush's evangelical crony was a bit opaque in his now-infamous article in the February 16 Austin American-Statesman, but he was on to something: Jewish neoconservatives have fallen hard for John McCain. It's not just unabashed swooner William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard.
This magazine has never before endorsed a candidate in a Republican primary. We are breaking precedent because, for the first time in recent memory, a serious Republican presidential candidate is seeking to remake his party into something other than the political arm of the privileged few. There are many issues on which we think John McCain is wrong, and even more on which he has been so vague that we cannot fully know.
Phoenix, Arizona--The outcome of Arizona's February 22 Republican primary isn't in doubt. Although George W. Bush led here last summer, home-state Senator John McCain had surged ahead even before his victory in New Hampshire. Indeed, with the latest polls showing McCain up by almost 20 points, Bush has all but conceded defeat. He has a skeletal staff in the state, and he's run ads only sporadically. Bush's Arizona campaign manager, Mike Hull, doesn't claim that his man will win--just that he'll hold McCain to a smaller-than-usual margin for a favorite son.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina--You see a lot of roadkill in South Carolina. The climate is temperate, the possums plentiful. Two-lane highways snake through miles of densely wooded countryside. I myself nearly take down a large goat as I speed along Route 378 at two o'clock in the morning. And, with each fresh carcass my headlights illuminate, I'm reminded of George W. Bush's desperate hope that John McCain's presidential aspirations will wind up in a similar condition-- flattened and forgotten along some dark back road of the Palmetto State.These are trying times for W.