Sure, to borrow a phrase from Josh Marshall, he’s off the tire swing, but I’m going to resist the urge to pat him on the head for today’s column. Coming around to a dim awareness of reality is good, but when you package it in the same silly platitudes that we’ve come to know and love from you, then it makes us wonder how much you’ve actually learned.
McCain has turned ugly. His dishonesty would be unacceptable in any politician, but McCain has always set his own bar higher than most. He has contempt for most of his colleagues for that very reason: They lie. He tells the truth. He internalizes the code of the McCains — his grandfather, his father: both admirals of the shining sea. He serves his country differently, that’s all — but just as honorably. No more, though.
What I want out of this election isn’t for the pundits to acknowledge McCain’s lies – that’s a side effect of what I really want, which is columnists and commentators who actually have a sense of perspective and are capable of rational thought. I mean, that should be a prerequisite for the job, right? So far, the response we’ve been hearing from the press about McCain’s myriad falsehoods has seemed more about the way McCain has personally affronted them through his open contempt than a newfound love for actual journalism. Unless that congeals until anything more substantive, I’m going to hold off on the champagne.