I gotta hand it to you, George. You certainly do have a talent for trivializin’ the momentous and complicatin’ the obvious. You ever considered runnin’ for Congress?- General James Kemper to General George Pickett in Gettysburg
In this article running in McClatchy Newspapers under the stunningly understated headline “McCain’s Senate record not always conservative,” authors David Lightman and Matt Stearns demonstrate a similar talent to the one George Pickett is accused of having in the opening quote.
What makes this headline, and really the entire article, so laughable is that anyone EVER thought that John McCain was a “conservative.” This is another indicator that the word “conservative” has been so stretched and distorted to create a “big tent” covering that the word is, for all intents and purposes, meaningless. It is also an indicator of the perspective of the authors of the article and the McClatchy editors. When one is sitting to the left of Franklin Roosevelt, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, et al EVERYBODY to the right looks like a “conservative.”
The authors unwittingly engage in “damnation by faint praise” in tooting McCain’s supposed “conservative” Senate record. They do so by adding qualifiers like “usually,” “most of the time,” “often enough,” “reasonably conservative” and the sycophantic media label of grudging respect “maverick.”
What the authors fail to exploit is the obvious dichotomy of opinion on McCain from groups like the American Conservative Union (ACU) and The National Rifle Assoc. (NRA). The article makes it clear that no one really trusts McCain but some (NRA) are willing to drink the Kool-Aid because of the looming boogy man of a Clinton or Obama presidency. This is nothing new. The NRA is always the first one at the compromise bar, ordering a triple, when the 2nd amendment is at stake. At least some of the “conservatives” grasp that a philosophically rudderless McCain cut loose from the fetters of his relatively “conservative” Arizona constituency is a dangerously unstable entity.