John McCain (like Bob Dole) was a major Republican misfire -- a candidate of personal honor and heroic sacrifice who was woefully inadequate for the times. McCain's lurching grandstanding during the Wall Street crisis made him look like a ham actor on a bender. In debate, McCain was always pugnacious but too often bland or rambling, and he often missed glaring opportunities to score off Obama's vagueness or contradictions.Ooof! Knee to the groin. Point: Paglia, who also makes a keen observation about Obama's connection with Bill Ayers and how it was used (and not used) by conservatives during the campaign.
If McCain lost because he ran as a conservative, then how come I knew McCain was going to lose before Brooks did? About the same time Brooks was touting McCain's uncanny ability to attract independents, I was writing, accurately: "John McCain is Bob Dole minus the charm, conservatism and youth."Smack! She finishes him off with an iron right hook. Now let's just hope we can keep the party from lurching any more toward Democrat-lite as 2010 approaches.
Using the latest euphemism for "liberal," Brooks complains that "reformist" Republicans like John McCain are forced to run for president as smelly old conservatives: "National candidates who begin with reformist records -- Giuliani, Romney or McCain -- immediately tack right to be acceptable to the power base." (Some "tack" so far to the right they almost adopt the positions in the GOP platform!) [...]
Ironically, McCain was a liberal on virtually every issue except abortion and gay marriage, but he bashed social conservatives to his friends in the press, so they excused his pro-life voting record as a cynical ploy to get votes in Arizona.
So "reformist" evidently means a Republican who is liberal on social issues. My term for that is "Joe Lieberman." Whatever the merit of being liberal on social issues, both Joe Lieberman and the Republican Party's history suggest that the winning formula is the exact opposite combination.