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David Weman

Mark, you need to change your link to your tpmcafe.com posts.


Respecting John McCain...one thing, at least bothers me. Considering what the Bushies did to him in the Carolinas in 2000, how in the world can he suck up to them? Sure, he wants to be President but how can he ignore the the vile whispering campaign?

Thomas Nephew

For example, when Bush adds his legendary "never-mind" signing statement to the torture amendment, no reaction really matters other than McCain’s. If he complains but shrugs, it’s automatically okay.

Is that a hypothetical, or is this how knowledgeable people like you are interpreting McCain's stance on the torture amendment? I'd read McCain has promised close oversight to make sure the amendment is obeyed.


This seems of a piece with your thesis.


The other alternative is that McCain is trying to position himself for 2008. One theory that fits a lot of his behavior is that, in the end, he really wants to be president. When that appetite is raging, he'll go along with pretty much anything, ethics and morals be d*mned.


When I first heard about the dust-up, I immediately thought that McCain is trying to make the most charismatic, moderate member of the Senate look bad. I doubt Obama will run for president in 2008, but he's still a political threat. McCain may be nominally moderate, but he's definitely weak in the charm department.

Sam Wang

As is so often the case, I am in agreement with Schmitt's analysis. Re Barry's point about McCain's presidential ambitions: a common thread is the goal to gain and preserve power. As stated by Schmitt, the mantle of bipartisanship confers power on McCain by making him the go-to guy. The possibility that McCain he might be a major candidate (and get the nomination) attracts attention and press, and therefore power. Therefore I don't think the presidency is only one goal, the more general one being power at any level.

On a tangent, I think this is why Hillary Clinton does not dissuade speculation about her presidential prospects. Whether or not this is what she wants, staying mum on the topic generates more press.


A compelling analysis. Thanks.


I think McCain's just a prima donna who was upset that Obama didn’t endorse his particular vision of reform. Something along the lines of “I’m the only one who’s allowed to lead reform efforts around here, and if you don’t get on board, then you’re obviously a partisan unconcerned with what’s Best for America™, as defined by me, Senator John McCain, Scion of Independent Thinkers Everywhere®.”

He needs to stop taking himself so seriously.


I do not dispute your analysis of McCain, but I don't agree that he will be a major force in 2008. His fence riding (aka: bi-partisanship) suggests his lack of commitment to certain conservative principles that are essential to carry the republican vote. He is, in my estimation, more of a liberal than a conservative. He would have more traction running as a democrat. I have great admiration for McCain but I would never vote for him as president. The nation is being watered down enough by the socialist-democrat movement without conservatives helping.


"The Bush cult." If you aren't 100% in agreement with George Bush, you are a liberal.

That makes about 75% of the country liberal?

Glenn Greenwald blogs about this Bush cult a lot.

Is this a new phenomenon in American politics?


Of course, the Bush cultist I was referring to was Spamster, not Mark.

Glenn Greenwald really gets into it today, describing the Bush cultists' total disregard of facts, the glorifying of the faux macho/manly Bush, the hatred of Arabs, etc.

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