Who’s on Board the Allen Train?

We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.

– Benjamin Franklin, 1776

Most conservatives agree.  Four more years of this president, and America will be irreversibly transformed from a constitutional republic to a European-style social democracy.

Most national observers agree.  Virginia is ground zero for this election.  Whoever wins the Commonwealth will take the White House, and the outcome of our Senate race may well determine which party controls the upper chamber.  And we know that control of both chambers of Congress AND the White House will be necessary to truly extract ourselves from the wreckage of the last four years.

Most Virginia observers agree.  As Obama goes, so goes Tim Kaine.  Or perhaps it is the other way around.  Either way, it is beyond unlikely that any significant number of Obama voters will vote for George Allen.  Or Romney voters for Kaine.

The stakes are as high as they have ever been in Virginia.  So in this environment, there has to be an awfully good rationale for any Republican not to rally in support of George Allen.

After all, there is an important difference between a rival and an opponent.  For myself and the others who ran for the Republican nomination, George Allen was a rival.  But Tim Kaine is the opponent.

And following a primary in which Allen barely broke a sweat in capturing almost two thirds of the vote, Ken Cuccinelli immediately jumped on board with an endorsement, as did Bishop EW Jackson.  Bob Marshall has yet to commit, though it is expected that he will.

The name of Ronald Reagan was invoked by every candidate in this senate race.  And one of the most famous Reagan axioms is the so-called “80% rule.”  Reagan said that if a candidate agrees with us 80% of the time, he is our ally.  (This is on top of Reagan’s so-called 11th commandment that thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican.)

Even if you believe he is either too conservative or not conservative enough, the question for those who voted for any of the other Republicans should be: Is George Allen at least an 80% candidate?  It would be ridiculous to argue that he is not.  Furthermore, is the choice between Allen and one of Barack Obama’s earliest and closest soulmates even remotely difficult?

Lest we forget, it is not like even Ben Franklin and the other founding fathers agreed on every issue.  Hardly.  But they worked together to create the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Like it or not, the fact is that we have a two party system in this country, with few exceptions.  Jim Webb and Nancy Pelosi have little in common, but they are both Democrats.  Olympia Snowe and Jim DeMint are very different, but both are Republicans,  There are only two trains rolling down the tracks.

The question is not whether a candidate has the right to attack a fellow Republican.  But rather, once the voters have spoken, and in this case spoken unambiguously, do you accept the verdict with dignity and demonstrate that you are more interested in the larger goals of the movement, or your own personal agenda?

In a year where so much is at stake in a state where polls have consistently revealed a virtual dead heat between Allen and Kaine, in a race that could, like 2006, be decided by a few thousand votes one way or the other, conservatives will long remember the behavior of vanquished candidates and their supporters.

Did they step up and join the team, or did they take their toys and go home?

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