A brilliant article at National Review Online, that has managed to capture so much of what I feel and at the same time lift me up in the spectacular way that only Bill Whittle can do.

Read the whole thing by all means (not remotely hard to do once Bill’s writing gets you hooked). There’s some honest, tough-love assessment of the Republican party’s recent self-inflicted failings therein, coupled with an honest-to-gosh celebration of the possibility of a turnaround that now, seemingly against all odds, looms large. I can’t resist quoting a few gems of expression from this great piece:

I’ve seen post after post on Hillary forums about how much they love Sarah, how they are energized and lifted out of depression by her (and the sight of an actual Roll Call made some of them weep). They gush about how she reminds them of their hero, how tough and savvy and unafraid she is. And I have seen these women, hard-core, feminist Democrats for 30 years and more, sit in slack-jawed amazement at Palin and at how fiercely Republicans — Republicans! — are defending her, backing her, and cheering her to the rafters. These Clinton supporters say they don’t know what to think any more: The Republicans are behaving like Democrats and the Democrats are behaving like Republicans!

If you think that’s an insult, you’ve got it exactly backwards. That is not only a huge compliment from these abandoned, centrist Democrats who bemoan the loss of their party to the radicals, it is an early rumbling of a tectonic shift in American politics which we are only dimly beginning to grasp. Who are the real feminists? A significant portion of our former hard-core opposition is now rethinking in a fundamental way who it is that actually does what their former allies only talk about.

When John McCain told me what I and untold millions of Americans have always believed, what others tell me to be ashamed of and mock me for — that I live in the greatest country in the world, a force of goodness and justice in dark places, a land of heroism and sacrifice and opportunity and joy — to me that went right to the mystic chords of memory that ultimately binds this country together. Some people don’t know what it is, but there is such a thing as patriotism — pure, unrefined, unapologetic, unconditional, non-nuanced, non-cosmopolitan, white-hot-burning patriotism. John McCain loves this country. I love it too. Not what it might be made into someday — not its promise, always and only its promise — but what it was and what it is, a nation and an idea worth fighting and dying for.

I was lukewarm on McCain Thursday night, but after that close I will follow that man to the ends of the earth with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

And I don’t know whether or not we will win in November, but for the first time I feel like we deserve to win more than they deserve to lose. And I find myself at peace for the first time in … well, it seems like forever. Because now I know that we will win or lose based on what we love and what we believe in, and that we have managed to find two politicians who have lived those values through good times and bad.

Bill comments on his new gig at NRO over at his usual site, Eject! Eject! Eject!