In his 4000-word speech at the Republican convention, John McCain managed to work in only a dozen or so words bearing directly on the Supreme Court: “We believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and don’t legislate from the bench.”
To be sure, that’s a dozen or so more than the combined output of Barack Obama and Joe Biden at the Democratic convention. But Obama and Biden can count on the mainstream media to present their misguided liberal narrative of the Supreme Court. McCain has the much more difficult burden of establishing a counter-narrative that makes the case for a Court that respects the broad realm of representative government. Before an audience of tens of millions of American citizens, in a context completely under his control, he could have, and should have, laid more groundwork, even if only in a coherent paragraph or two.