It wasn't long ago that the Republican Party (Senator McCain included) endorsed every bill put before it by the Bush administration. Those days are long gone.
American taxpayers woke up one day and felt their wallets lighter, slimmer. The cost of filling up the gas tank had doubled. They got angry. The Republican congress ran for cover, disassociating themselves from the Bush administration. John McCain suffered an identity crisis. He became a Dem hag.
Last week Republicans demonstrated how difficult it is to be a Republican legislator in Washington these days. When presented with the Bush plan, at first they knew they had no choice but to endorse it (with a few modifications). But they couldn't be seen as the old Bush rubber stamps, so they reached out to John McCain for leadership. And for a minute there, I thought Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank were Republicans, trying to bring consensus, trying to be inclusive, trying to save the country from an economic meltdown.
John McCain suspended his campaign, cancelled the debate and rushed to Washington looking like a Democrat chicken without a head. He ran around town with Joe Lieberman (former Democrat), his best friend, trying to get his bearings. He talked about replacing SEC Chairman Chris Cox with Democrat Andrew Cuomo, but that's about it. Though he did buy his colleagues some time to check the voting winds one more time. The voting winds told them to get down to the business of the nation, stop the nonsense.
McCain then decided to fly to Mississippi and debate Barack Obama. And even there, the first words out of McCain's mouth were well wishes directed at Ted Kennedy, his dear Democrat friend, who'd been hospitalized. At that moment we knew, this man was not a Bush Republican, or even a Republican, but a Dem hag.