Republican Nerds (Goldwater Republicans) for Obama?
Why are prominent Republicans turning their backs on McCain? For the individual reasons given by each, look at the links below. If I can generalize, and I will, why, en masse, have they abandoned McCain? It may be because McCain has had and still has a very weird, strained relationship with his party. In the past he has butted heads with both big wings of the Republican party. He's been crosswise with both the economic-conservative Republican "Intelligentsia," that I'll call Barry Goldwater Republicans (BGR's) and the newer religious-conservative Republicans that I'll call Pat Robertson Republicans (PRR's). (I think Alex P. Keaton would be considered BGR). There are a few self-proclaimed hybrids, proclaiming that they are equally BGR's and PRR's. But, usually they are really one or the other, just espousing the views of the other wing of the party in order to appeal to the Republican party as a whole. And when push comes to shove and the BGR's and PRR's policy goals conflict or need to be prioritized, the hybrid will act and react according to the policies of wing that the hybrid puts first.
2000 McCain seemed to be more aligned with the BGR's when he ran against W. W. was and is a good example of a hybrid, but arguably won the 2000 nomination because of his relative strength with the PRR's as compared to McCain. McCain talks fondly at times of being a Goldwater Republican and part of the Reagan revolution. Also, it is interesting to note that H.W. coined the phrase "voodoo economics" describing Reagan's trickle down tax policy when he ran against him the 1980 Republican primaries. "Voodoo economics" is the hallmark and cornerstone of the BGR's. So what happened to the BGR's support for McCain?
McCain bridged the gap with the PRR's by picking Palin. But that pick coupled with his handling or mishandling of the economic crisis and McCain's terribly run, negative campaign disillusioned and alienated the BGR's. Plus, McCain doesn't hold, "Georgetown cocktail party," Republicans (BGR's?) in very high regard, at least partially because they were not enamoured with the Palin pick.
McCain courted and won the support of the PRR's by picking Palin. At least some of the BGR's saw and see the Palin pick as pandering to the PRR's. Also, the BGR's apparently see the Palin pick as irresponsible given her relative obscurity and inexperience in politics and on the national stage. Strangely though, 2008 McCain still supports the tax cuts and general economic policies the BGR's hold dear yet, some of BGR's have abandoned him.
McCain is trying to be a hybrid and appeal to both BGR's and PRR's. Perhaps, the BGR's see the Palin pick as McCain, when push came to shove, putting his lot with the PRR's instead of sticking with them and their Goldwater/Reagan roots. Some of the BGR's may see McCain as switching allegiances within the Republican party. McCain was once alligned with the BGR's but, now has committed to the PRR wing of the party. And now the BGR's see McCain as putting them second to the PRR's, and they don't like it. And neither would Alex P. Keaton.