As always, John McCain — a man I find utterly repulsive as only those without core principles can be repulsive — is held up as the shining example of what we Republicans could be if we only aspired to be Democrats. Or something like that.
I thought I'd link this morning's Wall Street Journal Online column from my friend Brendan Miniter on McCain (or, as I prefer to call him, "Hillary in drag"). A caveat...Brendan is neither ignorant nor in denial...
What's changed since 2000 is that it's become clear that the conservatives have become the Republican establishment by being able to claim credit for almost every ballot-box victory since 1980--including that of Vice President Bush, who in 1988 had the support of the conservative wing, which hoped--futilely, it turned out--that he would continue the Reagan revolution. After Mr. Bush's 1992 defeat, conservatives took over Congress in 1994, and a moderate Republican lost the presidential race in 1996. No one represents the changing of the guard better than George W. Bush himself, who is now pushing revolutionary conservative ideas in every arena from defense to Social Security to tax reform.
Having come this far, what Mr. McCain and the other Republican Senate "moderates" in last week's compromise would have the party do is give up on the very principles that is winning elections. All in the name of appealing to the "middle" of the electorate that is already voting for the party.