But he cannot do that if, at the same time, he defends a war fought for nonexistent reasons, preceded by fibs, lies and exaggerations, draining America of blood and treasure and leaving us worse off now than before those bombs were dropped where — as it symbolically turned out — Saddam Hussein was not. Times have changed. The Straight Talk Express is in a ditch. ~Richard Cohen, The Washington Post


In addition to making a fairly uninteresting speech, in spite of it having the occasional bizarre reference to the “rights of Man” (something that once upon a time a Christian university’s students would not look upon quite so kindly), McCain’s journey to Liberty University has been inaptly likened to the Walk to Canossa by some (how can it be like Canossa, when McCain didn’t even have to stand out in the snow?) and now defined as the abandonment of his previously decent candour. (Actually, it was his token nod to conservative Christians, which I suspect he will gladly forget about as and when it is needed.)

But as amusing as it is to watch liberal columnists fall out of love with John McCain, the “John McCain is really conservative” dog won’t hunt. His signal achievement attacking the First Amendment wins him the reputation of conservative only among those who think that conservatives lie awake at night worrying about controlling other people’s ability to speak. In fact, this is what left-liberals seem to be more interested in controlling, whether in the form of “speech codes” or in the guise of electoral “reform.”