From last night's debate against Obama, McCain said:
Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.
Now I know some people won't like this, but I thought "fair point to McCain". The problem is the following: if Obama wanted to run against McCain, hope of that ended eight years ago.
I have to confess that I feel sorry for McCain. Though I disagreed with him, I, like many people who would never have dreamed of voting for Bush, may have cast my vote for McCain instead of Gore back in 2000. Gore seemed boring, dull. He seemed like someone mired in Beltway politics and McCain was, well, what can I say? He was something of a maverick. Today, neither of those men is what they were. Gore, freed from the need to bow to his party, has become someone I truly admire. McCain, unfortunately, has been beaten into submission for the past eight years.
Barring something incredible, McCain is likely going to go down to one of the worst Presidential defeats the Republicans have seen in decades. Given the fact that he is a far superior choice to Bush, this is a bit sad. McCain, though having lots of issues, was one of the Republican politicians who honestly seemed to want to clean up bits and pieces of Washington. He wasn't great, but he seemed a damned sight better than most.
To really get a sense of what happened, though, think about Lieberman. If he ever has Presidential aspirations again, he either has to join the Republicans or stop being such a hawk on foreign policy. If he joins the Republicans, they'll stop liking him because he doesn't vote their way on social issues. If he rejoins the Democrats, he won't be trusted. At all. He'll have to repeatedly and cravenly abandon many things that he claims to stand for and he would be viewed with suspicion by Democrats. In short, he'd be the Democratic John McCain. Many Democrats don't understand why so many Republicans seem to hate McCain, but it's for the same reason many Democrats hate Lieberman.
McCain, to further his ambitions, has tried to "play nice" with the Republicans and has given up much of what he was and it's a sad, ignoble end to a career. I do feel sorry for this man. I have, however, already cast my absentee ballot for Obama.
We still have hope.