Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Moose Droppings

Jacob Weisberg, editor of Slate, and compiler of the neither funny nor illuminating "Bushisms" column therein, has a peculiar article on John McCain up. I say peculiar, because it seems to have been written by Marshall Wittman, formerly of the Christian Coalition and now of the Democratic Leadership Council (no, me neither).

Wittman believes that Senator John McCain is the reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt, mostly because both of them are/were hawkish, have a habit of saying tough things in public, and have a reputation for being unconventional and crabby. But his "musings for independent-minded progressives", related as a series of love-letters to a conservative senator from Arizona, seem to be a way of providing McCain with some kind of bipartisan coating to keep him safe until he can emerge from a primary season spent pretending he's Pat Buchanan crossed with Pat Robertson to the Republican crowd.

Should Weisberg pass these cribbed musings off as a genuine piece of contrary wisdom - that McCain is much more liberal than you think? Probably not, although it's very much his schtick. More accurate is probably this from his colleague john Dickerson, who suggests that McCain is pandering to anyone within reach, but that he is neither very good at it, nor comfortable doing so. Fine, but then he should have run as Kerry's candidate for vice-president, and observed the process close up.


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