Dave: You’re very right about the fine Stephen Moore piece on McCain. I only wish it were longer, so that we could have also heard about such McCain problem areas as the McCain-Feingold incumbency racket and the Gang of 14 cooptation of judicial nominations. A week earlier, according to Kausfiles, David Brooks told Chris Matthews that conservatives have warmed up to McCain. My first reaction to that was that Brooks was speaking merely for himself and other “national greatness conservatives,” who’ve been McCainiacs since at least 2000. Moore, however, hardly one of them, confirms the thrust of Brooks’s claim, noting that McCain is not only “the front-runner among GOP presidential contenders in all the early horserace polls,” but that “many conservatives, after his impetuous presidential run five years ago, are turning to him as the party’s savior and the only antidote to Hillary Clinton.”
Meanwhile, it required a David Broder column to remind the political world that McCain is a staunch defender of the Iraq war (if not of the Bush-Rumsfeld prosecution of that war). Evidently progressive opinion can give him a pass on that front, so long as he leads the way in opposing Bush administration insistence on “torture” in its dealings with captured enemy combatants.