by user Pmichael
Has McCain Sold Out? Of course he has.
At one time, Senator John McCain was the quintessential maverick. He has been a constant thorn in the Bush administration's side. While a staunch Conservative, he hasn't silently line up behind the Bush administration and followed. In a highly publicized campaign, he waged a laudable battle with the administration to outlaw the torture of detainees captured during the global war on terror. McCain's proclivity for independence has given him significant support from those who are not registered Democrats or Republicans. This also explains why Republican Party activists don't completely trust him. McCain's wide appeal stems from the widely held view he means what he says, and he is principled. Recently, McCain has transmogrified into a more reliable Republican. He is no longer jousting with Bush. This transformation has probably made his road to the nomination more smooth, but one wonders if he has hurt his chance in the general election.
As a serious candidate for the Republican nomination, :McCain has been forced to seek money to fund his campaign for the Presidency from big donors. While he may acknowledge the corrupting influence of big money in federal politics, McCain is now engaged in the same unseemly game as the rest of the Presidential hopefuls. This seemingly contrasts with McCain's concerted past efforts to restrict the influence of big money on elections. What this suggests about McCain is he is merely just another politician with his hand out looking to fund his Presidential run. It also underscores how ineffective new rules governing the financing of political campaigns are. The big chase for money is on, and all the candidates including McCain are lining up to gobble up as much as possible.
On no issue is McCain more vulnerable than the Iraq conflict. He has insistently called for an influx of more American troops to quell the violence. While this might be attractive to the few who still see any point in continuing the brutal occupation, this is not an easy sell when most Americans now see the invasion as a mistake. The unrepentant war enthusiasts may still see a scenario where victory in Iraq is possible, but most Americans are tired of the daily reports of appalling violence laced with American casualties. If McCain has helped himself with the typical Republican activist by being a committed war enthusiast, he has hurt himself with Independents.
Senator John McCain has been waiting in the wings after losing a spirited battle with Bush for the Republican nomination in 2000. Initially, his streaks of independence drew ire from Republican stalwarts. But, where is that maverick which at one time gave the Bush administration fits? And has the once outspoken critic of a political system hopelessly compromised by big money now decided silence on that subject is golden? McCain's Presidential bid rests on enough Republican activists forgiving him for his streaks of past independence, while having enough Independents remember his suddenly misplaced candor. By ingratiating himself recently with the Republican faithful like Jerry Falwell, McCain has strengthened his chance for the nomination. The question is will he still be revered by Independents now that he has reinvented himself as a reliable Republican. Has McCain sold out for a chance to win the Republican nomination in 2008? From here, it certainly appears so.