Periods of memory loss:
In 1999, the “moderate” version of John McCain said that overturning Roe v. Wade would be dangerous for women and he would not support it, even in “the long term.” Here’s McCain in the San Francisco Chronicle:I’d love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.
This morning on ABC, McCain — now aggressively courting the likes of Jerry Falwell — expressed his unequivocal support for overturning Roe v. Wade.MCCAIN: I don’t think a constitutional amendment is probably going to take place, but I do believe that it’s very likely or possible that the Supreme Court should — could overturn Roe v. Wade, which would then return these decisions to the states, which I support.
Noticeable personality changes:
His caving to Bush on the detainee bill: McCain made his opposition to torture a centerpiece of his image, but by signing on to Bush’s bill, he signed away his credibility. The Democratic candidate must trumpet the fact that McCain allowed habeas corpus to be suspended at presidential will. Rather than allowing McCain to shield himself with his own former POW status, make that part of the question, as in “How could you support such a bill, having endured what you have endured?”
His unabashed embracing of George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, after Bush inexcusably tore him apart in the 2000 primaries. Point out how he let Bush push him around, all to gain favor with the extreme base of the GOP. (Depending on the political climate, point out how he also betrayed his friend John Kerry, failing to come to his defense in the aftermath of the infamous botched joke, and instead pretending to believe an interpretation he clearly knew was false. All that after Kerry had offered him a place on the presidential ticket!) On both of these last two points, McCain says there's no point in "holding grudges," but it's not about grudges. The issue should be McCain's kowtowing to those who denigrate everything he purports to stand for.
Carelessness regarding those for whom he is responsible:
MCCAIN: I notice that several retired generals, Gen. Zinni recently, Gen. Batiste, many others have said the same thing I said. Many other observers are in agreement with me. Would it put a terrible strain on the Army and Marine Corps? Absolutely, it would be terrible. We’re going to be asking people to go back again and again, maybe even extend their tours. But there’s only one thing worse, and that is defeat. I saw a broken Army in 1973, and I don’t want to see this Army and military — [Stephanopoulos interrupts.]
Turning to inferior companions:
In 2000, John McCain called Jerry Falwell an “agent of intolerance.” Now, he has hired the debate coach from Falwell’s Liberty University, Brett O’Donnell, to advise him on his communications strategy. O’Donnell has been executing Falwell’s strategy to train scores of debaters to confront “the culture on moral default.”
Now, I'm not saying that John McCain is an alcoholic. These could all be caused by any number of things - drug abuse, for instance. Or bipolar disorder. Or possibly, as he comes up on his 70th birthday, senile dementia. But what's important here is one thing: If Senator John McCain is campaigning that hard for the in-denial dry-drunk loony fringe vote, he's got to know something we don't. Democratic candidates are going to have to start hitting the pipe hard if they're going to make a showing in 2008.