It's excellent for relief from a cold-related sore throat, of course. What's more, unless Ed Kilgore's summary of Ramesh Ponnuru's case for John McCain is wildly inaccurate, it seems like a good description of what's got to be one of the most half-hearted endorsements I've ever read. It doesn't seem to endorse any of McCain's flirtations with breaking with conservative orthodoxy. Rather, taking the view that Abortion Conquers All and Multiple Choice Mitt's a joke, Ponnuru argues that McCain's flirtations with heterodoxy weren't so bad, he's promising to be a good rightwinger in the future, and Rudy Giuliani wants to kill your unborn children.

Fair enough, I guess. But still, the primaries are a long way away. You'd think it might be the role of a magazine like National Review to try and promote the fortunes of a proper plain-vanilla conservative Republican. A Jim Gilmore or a Mike Huckabee or whomever. It's not exactly a rare breed in the country, it's just that nobody who fits the bill (except for Jeb Bush) has the requisite level of ex ante fame to get buzz. But why be a journalist if not to try and generate buzz about people you think are being unjustly ignored?

Do conservatives understand that given the gross unpopularity of Bush's military adventures at this point, nominating someone whose main profile as a conservative is grounded in his strong rhetorical support of Bush's military adventures isn't going to work out well?