Actually, all I got was this lousy headache. Well, that, and the unwanted sense of the increasingly looming inevitability of a McCain nomination.

Now hold on just a minute. I’ll have everyone know I’m not suffering from McCain Derangement Syndrome. Not like the desperate caller I heard just moments ago on C-Span who wondered if maybe McCain could be disqualified as a presidential candidate because he wasn’t born in the United States. (He was actually born in the Panama Canal Zone.)

Nice try, buddy. But don’t you think that might have come up a while ago if it was a legitimate disqualifier? I’d say it was all tongue-in-cheek on the part of the caller, but he sounded as serious as a heart attack.

Granted, it is a bizarre thing that the candidate who disagrees with the Republican base on more major issues than any other is, barring some disaster (or miracle, depending on how you look at it), apparently going to be the Republican nominee. How does such a thing happen?

By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, I was a Giuliani guy from the very beginning. Admittedly, he had his own problems with the base, but for months he was the national frontrunner. And then a funny thing happened on the way to his master plan for victory. He basically sat out all the early primaries and by the time Florida rolled around, voters from the retiree state put him into retirement himself.

I’ll bet no serious candidate ever does that again.

In the meantime, McCain, who had been written off for dead back in the summer when his approval ratings languished around six percent, went to the early primaries, pulled off a victory in quirky New Hampshire, and came roaring back to become the party’s frontrunner.

How did he do that? Was it Bhutto’s assassination, which put foreign policy back in the spotlight, a subject on which McCain generally shines? Was it the media’s well-known love affair with him? Was it an inexplicable surge of independent voters who have also been known to have a peculiar penchant for the maverick senator? Was it the Huckabee factor, which had the no-chance-for-nomination governor robbing votes from Romney? Was it Romney’s own problems with flip-flopping, pandering and negative campaigning?

I don’t know, but conservative talk radio has hammered the guy for weeks on end, all to no avail. Rush Limbaugh has said he might not vote in the general election if McCain is nominated. Ann Coulter has said she would vote for Hillary instead of McCain because she’s not as liberal as him. A writer in the New York Post has actually coined a phrase for people who would do what Coulter is suggesting: “suicide voters.”

Come off it, people! Stop the insanity. Ann, I love you and your bombastic humor, but if you’re serious, it’s time for a psychiatric exam. McCain’s not the best we could have done, but he’s not a bug-eyed socialist who wants to make every last American a dependent of the state. And he’s not willing to lose the war in Iraq. He understands that would be a disaster, which apparently is beyond the comprehension of either Hillary or Obama.

If you are a Republican, hold your nose while voting if you must, but for the sake of the country, don’t be a suicide voter. It would be a decidedly nihilistic and unpatriotic thing to do.

Greg Strange provides conservative commentary with plenty of acerbic wit on the people, politics, events and absurdities of our time. See more at his website: http://www.greg-strange.com/.

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