Cheap Date Conservatives

Mickey Kaus doesn’t buy John McCain’s new position on immigration:

I’m continually amazed by the Cheap Date Conservatives I run into who think McCain has somehow convincingly changed on immigration.

How does this not apply to the entire field? This seems to reflect something about the base. What McCain is doing is pretty clear. He is cutting a deal. People need the fence for psychological rather than practical reasons. I cite the McCain quote from the Vanity Fair story:

"By the way, I think the fence is least effective. But I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it."

McCain’s assessment of the efficacy of the fence was confirmed by a commentator and seeming conservative hero:

that’s a technical problem. In this day and age, I would not think you would have to use bricks and mortar to get that job done. But we ought to do everything that we can to get it done to the extent that we can

That was Fred Thompson, just months before entering the race. Never mind Mike Huckabee’s and Mitt Romney’s outrageous flip-floppery on this issue. Or Romney’s general flip-floppery.

I have trouble understanding Mickey Kaus’s amazement. You have Romney supporters running around saying that their candidate, whose position isn’t even recognizably pro-life, is the candidate for pro-lifers. You have Thompson doing a complete 180 (540?) in a matter of months on immigration. People are giving the candidates free passes on this stuff. Why is Kaus so surprised this time? At least McCain is honest about it.