Paul Krugman's columns in the NYTimes have always been exemplary for two reasons: he minces no words when he takes on the mendacity of individuals in the Bush administration, but he also takes a long view, insisting on analysis of the consequences of the deficit, health care, and social security situations. But in a column called "John and Jerry" in today's Times (4/3/06) he dramatically combines the personal with the long view (I can't find a damn link, sorry) -- and this column should serve as a heads-up to every serious progressive.
It seems that McCain is about to give the commencement address at Jerry Falwell's "Liberty University." Now Falwell is the venemous fundamentalist hater who, right after 9/11, said that God allowed the USA 'to get probably what we deserve" because of our tolerance of "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians..."
Back in 2000, straight talker John McCain called Falwell (and Pat Robertson) "agents of intolerance." But he lost in the Carolina primary after that. Now he's changing his tune.
Ok, that's the personal part. Here's the long view part. John McCain is almost certainly going to be the Republican nominee in 2008. The country is full of centrists and independents and even democrats who like him because -- well, he is just so admirable and likeable as a person. But, as Paul Krugman is pointing out, McCain is very conservative in his views -- and now he has decided to play the bull shit game. Sort of like good old Ronnie. If progressives don't figure out how to oppose McCain, it'll be over before it begins...