On Sunday, Sen. John McCain opened the conference (like a convention, only it happens every year) of Britain's resurgent Conservative Party. By all accounts, he bombed. But the speech was interesting for two knocks at George W. Bush unlike anything McCain has said on these shores.
Conservatives came to office to reduce the size of government and enlarge the sphere of free and private initiative. But lately we have increased government in order to stay in office.
And, soon, if we don't remember why we were elected we will have lost our office along with our principles, and leave a mountain of debt that our children's grandchildren will suffer from long after we have departed this earth. Because, my friends, hypocrisy is the most obvious of sins, and the people will punish it.
And he grumbled about the war in Iraq, too, warning Tories not to "attempt to placate public apprehension with false promises of swift victory and passing dangers."
They have seen enough of this war, in Iraq, Afghanistan and on our own streets to know better. We have an advantage over some countries. We serve a practical and stouthearted people. They can stand the truth better than they can stand deceit and hypocrisy.
So… why does McCain wait until he's escaped the 50 states to talk like this? He's bucked the White House on torture, in an almost cosmetic way, but when has he ever barred the door to more spending or more bluster about the Iraq War? The takeway story isn't that McCain is criticizing Bush in another country; it's the question of why he lacks the cojones to do it here.
In July, Macy Hanson approved this message about McCain's "campaign finance reform syndicate."