The Corner

The ‘Change’ Claim

I’d like to address this “McCain has changed” bit for a second — McCain himself has had to address it. It’s pure baloney, as he says. He’s the same old coot he always was: global warming, campaign finance, anti-Gitmo, blah, blah, blah. He’s still the cranky cannon he has always been.

It’s just that, of yore, he was standing in the way of George W. Bush, Jerry Falwell, and the Neanderthals (in the McCainiac view). And that made him very cool. Now, he is standing in the way of The One — and that makes him very uncool, indeed.

So the line has to be, “McCain has changed” — when only his opponents have changed.

They say, “Austin is Texas for people who don’t like Texas.” In the same way, McCain was a Republican for people who don’t like Republicans. Remember when he was talked about as Kerry’s running mate? There was a reason. But now that he’s the GOP nominee: He has to wear a black hat.

The same would have happened in 2000, by the way, if McCain had beaten GWB. In the primaries, McCain was very, very cool — a thorn in the side of the stupid Texas Jesus freak (as many saw it). But if he had been chosen to square off against Al Gore — well, Black Hat City (as Bush 41 might say).

McCain’s problem is, he wants to win. If he could merely be content to lose graciously to Obama — that would be praiseworthy. But he is actually trying to win the election, whatever mistakes he is making. And that is alarming and disappointing to some people.

No, McCain hasn’t changed — but circumstances have. “What a difference a day made,” went the old song. (In some versions, “makes.”) What a difference a political year can make, too.

Most Popular

Elections

A Reckoning Is in Store for Democrats

The crisis of the Democrats is becoming more evident each week. Those of us who have been loudly predicting for years that the Russian-collusion argument would be exposed as a defamatory farce, and that the authors of it would eventually pay for it, are bemused at the fallback position of the Trump-haters: that ... Read More
White House

MoveOn.GOP?

Some of you will be familiar with a lefty, partisan Democratic organization called MoveOn, formerly MoveOn.Org. It was founded during an investigation into President Bill Clinton’s shenanigans (which were not, Democratic mythology notwithstanding, strictly sexual in nature) and argued that it was time for the ... Read More
Elections

Why ‘Stop Sanders’?

'Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?” T. S. Eliot asked. “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” And where is the intelligence we have lost in cleverness? Cleverness is the plague of our political classes, an influenza of the intellect. The consultants are always trying to ... Read More