Rick Santourm discovers what I learned a couple of years ago…

…if Stacy McCain is your friend, he is your friend all the way.

Santorum didn’t have big money. He didn’t have praise from big-name pundits. He didn’t have the GOP Establishment on his side, and the major media gave him quite nearly zero coverage. But he kept plugging away — “Steady Eddie,” as he said — until he finally broke through.

So he did all that, campaigning for nearly a year, and now that he’s the leading rival to Mr. Inevitable, what kind of coverage does he get? “Gotcha”!

And too many conservatives, who should be defending Santorum against these attacks, are instead playing along with the media “gotcha” game, ready to throw Santorum under the Romney bus.

and if you don’t betray him it doesn’t matter who is against you or how much money or pull they have:

Let me tell you something: I remember when Charles Johnson tried to throw Pamela Geller under the wheels of his Little Green Bus, and I stood up and said not just no, but hell, no.

Maybe Rick Santorum’s not your favorite candidate. Maybe Pamela Geller’s not your favorite blogger. Maybe Rush Limbaugh’s not your favorite talk-radio host, but conservatives can’t let liberals tell us who our friends are.

Don’t let liberals tell you what to think. Don’t play along with the “gotcha” game. Don’t help them defame people’s reputations.


I’m reminded of this story from Tip O’Neill’s autobiography when he was supporting his friend Mike Neville for congress when a young man named John F. Kennedy entered the race for congress and started to run away with things:

Jack must have been everywhere during that campaign, and he must have approached me seven or eight different times to ask me to be with him. Again and again I explained that Mike Neville was my pal, that Mike had served in the legislature with me, and that he deserved my support.

“But I’m going to win,” Jack said.

“Maybe you will” I told him, “but I’m with Mike Neville if I’m with him alone. And I’m going to make damn sure we carry North Cambridge.”

In times of crisis you find out who your friends are and who your acquaintances are. I have absolutely no doubt that if and when the day of crisis comes for me, Stacy McCain will still be on the friends side of the ledger.