Our correspondent Washington Watcher very neatly covers J.D. Hayworth’s 2010 primary challenge to John McCain, and the support National Review gave to McCain.
Andrew McCarthy wasn’t the only dissenter, though. I was being published by National Review at that point, and Radio Derb, now on Taki's Magazine, was that that time being hosted by NRO.
From my archives for 2010:
Feb. 5th, Radio Derb: Remember J.D. Hayworth? He was the conservative Republican from Arizona who lost his seat in the 2006 midterms, to much crowing from the open borders fanatics — Hayworth is an immigration restrictionist. Since losing his House seat, Hayworth's been running a radio talk show — a pretty good one. It doesn't compare in wit and insight with Radio Derb, of course, but he was learning.
Well, now this other J.D. has shut down his radio program. Why should you care? Because, gentle listener, Hayworth is staging a primary challenge to John McCain, who is up for re-election in November.
McCain, in that gentlemanly way he has, has been siccing the FCC on Hayworth, saying that running a radio show while running for office violates some picayune regulation or other. That's why Hayworth's gone off the air.
Says the Wall Street Journal, quote: "Hayworth … who is best known in Arizona for his opposition to illegal immigration, has seized the Tea Party mantle of low taxes and small government," end quote.
Let's hope Hayworth survives the McCain goon squads and wins this one. At the very least, it would reduce by one the pool of seventy-something no-hopers the Republican Party can put forward as presidential candidates in 2012.
Plainly one wasn’t enough. Ah well.
The following week:
Feb. 12th, Radio Derb: Remember I reported in last week's Radio Derb that McCain [boos] is being challenged by J.D. Hayworth [cheers]? If Sarah wants to keep the interest of conservatives, she should be supporting the conservative there, and it ain't John McCain.
Well, I suspend judgment. I wish the Tea Partiers well, and I wish Sarah well. If she's top of the ticket in 2012, she'll have my vote. I just have a dull sad feeling that she's not Maggie Thatcher.
I was doing a monthly diary for NRO, too.
March Diary, NRO: In an egregious, disgusting act of political opportunism, John McCain has demanded that the federal government put National Guard troops on the border.
Oh, I so want J.D. Hayworth to take McAmnesty's seat away from him this November. Yes, I know the Hayworth negatives. I don't care. I don't care if he pays his wife a salary from campaign funds. Here's a hundred bucks, J.D. — buy her a brooch. I don't care if he was thick with Jack Abramoff. I wouldn't care if I heard he'd been taking showers with Kim Jong Il. Just help John-John off to retirement, J.D., please. Arizona voters, please.
The next extract isn’t from NR/NRO, but they took no exception to it.
April, The American Conservative: Meghan McCain, a self-described "progressive Republican," has publicly deplored the "innate racism" of the Tea Party movement. Meghan's Dad, who thought the much more explicit racism of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright a topic not proper to be mentioned when contesting for the presidency with Rev. Wright's parishioner, and who favors continuing mass Third World immigration, has been endorsed for his Senate race this year by Sarah Palin, the darling of the Tea Party convention. McCain's primary challenger, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, whose opinions coincide very precisely with those of the Tea Partiers, will have to find endorsements elsewhere.
Radio Derb opined again following the August 24th primary, which McCain of course won..
Aug. 27th, Radio Derb: McCain's opponent, J.D. Hayworth, had some issues at the grumble level, but he is a bright shining star of conservative rectitude compared to the appalling and duplicitous McCain.
Unfortunately Hayworth stood no chance against the forces McCain had on his side: the liberal media, of course, who love McCain almost as much as they loved his legislative collaborator Ted Kennedy, but most of all the Republican establishment — those wonderful folk who brought us eight years of uncontrolled spending, open borders, ethnic pandering, and pointless missionary wars.
True to their brainless form, the GOP seatwarmers, with I think the sole but honorable exception of Dana Rohrabacher, lined up behind McCain like sheep, all going BAA-AA-AA! in unison. If there ever was any difference between an establishment Republican and a plain liberal, I've given up trying to find it.
In any case, what the conservative movement needs, if it is not to go into irreversible coma at this point, is not more establishment RINOs like McCain, but more … what's the word I want here? … perhaps "mavericks."
Hayworth, with all his faults, would have fit the bill. He was polling within five points of McCain at one point, so excuses about "he never stood a chance" won't wash. Sarah Palin endorsed McCain, but I won't hold that against her. She owes him big, and gratitude is a noble virtue. The Tea Partiers, contrary to what the liberal press is telling you, were behind J.D. Hayworth, so at least not everyone was fooled by John-John's little conservative act.
The Tea Partiers are still a fringe movement, though, and the GOP establishment can crush them like a bug when they want to. In Arizona this Tuesday, they very much wanted to.