At Taki’s Magazine, Richard puts the conservative dilemma this way:

If we went for Baldwin, our vote would be perceived as, “Wow, those guys are to the right of John McCain!” This is not helpful. 

Helpful to whom?  I think it’s very helpful to keep framing all the things that are wrong with McCain as evidence of the leftward drift of the Republican Party; I also think it’s true.  I suppose it isn’t helpful if we want to pretend that we are not, in fact, to the right of McCain and that there is a new right/left divide defined in such a way that we are the moderates.  But we are to the right of McCain, and that’s a good thing.  Does that win votes?  Well, no.  But if you’re inclined to vote for Chuck Baldwin in the first place, winning votes is not exactly your priority.  A more interesting result might be a different reaction: “Wow, those guys far to the right of John McCain are much more sane and prudent than he is!”  That simultaneously works to discredit him and help us.  Meanwhile, voting for Obama could inspire the reaction, “Wow, those guys are to the left of Hillary Clinton!”

P.S. Richard, there is a cure.  It’s called pessimism.