The Maverick is back!

Expect McCain to lead the charge on cutting the bill’s Christmas tree appropriations from $150 million for the Smithsonian to $400 million for STD prevention to $6 billion for broadband Internet access. The larger argument will be that while these and other appropriations might be worthwhile on their own, they have little to do with actual job-creation – while less than 5% (or $40 billion) is devoted to infrastructure spending on items like roads and bridges…

One year ago, McCain was on the verge of winning a nomination that had been denied to him by a lesser man with a low-road campaign eight years before. His centrist rhetoric and record had been ahead of their time. But now economic storm clouds were gathering, with Republicans’ credibility in tatters. The old veteran could see what was coming—he only underestimated the scale: “You’re going to hear from the Democrats, let’s pump $70 billion, let’s pump $80 billion, let’s do this, let’s do that. My friends, remember who’s going to pay that. It doesn’t come off a printing press, okay? It comes out of your pockets.”