What’s most impressive is how long, yet still incomplete, the list of grievances is and how effortlessly he calls it up from memory. A testament, surely, to how deeply McCain’s betrayals have seeped into the conservative consciousness. VDH is doing his best to rehabilitate Maverick for the sake of the war, but he’d be better off waiting until we’ve reconciled ourselves to our fate before trying this. At this stage he’s probably alienating more readers than he’s converting.

This is a pithy piece of mythbusting, though:

Even stranger, the various Republican candidates began invoking Ronald Reagan’s three-decade-old tenure as the new litmus test of the times — apparently to show how moderates like the wayward McCain fell far short of the Gipper’s true-blue conservatism.

Were conservatives supposed to forget that a maverick Reagan raised some taxes, signed an illegal-alien amnesty bill, expanded government, appointed centrist Supreme Court justices, advocated nuclear disarmament, sold arms to Iran, and pulled out of Lebanon — but to remember only that John McCain was not for the original Bush tax cuts or once supported the administration’s offer of a quasi-amnesty?

True, but not only does that gloss over key differences, some of it’s attributable to the reality of being pulled to the center while in office by having to compromise with a Democratic Congress. Where’s Maverick going to end up when he’s already starting from the center? Click the image to watch.

scar-mccain.jpg