I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been a big fan of Senator John McCain. In general, I'm not an admirer of mavericks and gadflies, two types of persons that the Senate and television politics in general seem to breed, and that the television press laps-up. I tend to think mavericks get in the way of adults with serious business to transact. McCain, these past few years, particularly on the issue of judges and the Republican Party's domestic program, has been more a part of the problem than a part of the solution.
In any case, I've criticised him pretty vociferously in the past, both here, and elsewhere. But he's sure right on Iraq, and has a lot of good things to say of late. If he's had the right enemies in the past, it looks that he's acquiring some of the right enemies for the future, too.
I know that I'll probably part company with some of my conservative compadres here, but I think he's worth another look. I'm willing to entertain the possibility that I have . . . entertained views somewhat subnominal in their correctness. . .about him. But McCain's solid on Iraq, solid on national defense, and is sound on the war generally and on foreign policy.
Further, on a pragmatic level, the Republicans need a Westerner. Senator McCain fills that bill: the conservative movement has to maintain its appeal in the western States, which are less traditionalist, and more libertarian than El Jefe's native southern States.
I still don't think I like him, much. But you don't hire a plumber, a lawyer or a national leader, because you like him, but to do a job of work. The chips are really down right now, and maybe McCain's the man. Besides, there aren't a hell of a lot of alternatives.