I want to be first, Wlady! Can I be first? In McCain's case, patriotism is very, very real. Nobody can deny that. But also in his case, it is the last refuge of a scoundrel, because he has such a long history of extending the middle finger toward conservative groups and ideas, just for the perverse pleasure of extending the finger. I would not put it past him to receive an invitation from a conservative group that he doesn't like and to say, "Ahh, give me an excuse to shaft these folks: I know, let me go to Iraq again!"
I believe that he supports the mission in Iraq with every fiber of his being. His political courage on that issue has been second to none. I applaud him for it. But really, the man carries grudges like some people carry religious icons, never letting them out of his grasp and nursing them with strange intensity. His recent behavior in snubbing CPAC was abominable, and his treatment of the Club for Growth now remains suspicious as heck.
So there, I'll say it again: Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel -- even of a scoundrel whom I supported for president in 2000.
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