Welch on McCain: "You'll Have Your Faith in the Country Restored…Or Else"


Our much-missed former associate editor Matt Welch, now with the Los Angeles Times, perspicaciously sizes up everyone's favorite politician–especially given that no one seems to actually care about his political beliefs–Sen. John McCain:

People are forever filling in the blanks [about McCain's politics] with their own political fantasies. Third party candidate! John Kerry running mate! Far-right warmonger! Republican In Name Only! But with the announcement that the popular Arizona senator has formed his presidential exploratory committee, it's time for our long national guessing game to end.

Sifting through McCain's four bestselling books and nearly three decades of work on Capitol Hill, a distinct approach toward governance begins to emerge. And it's one that the electorate ought to be particularly worried about right now. McCain, it turns out, wants to restore your faith in the U.S. government by any means necessary, even if that requires thousands of more military deaths, national service for civilians and federal micromanaging of innumerable private transactions. He'll kick down the doors of boardroom and bedroom, mixing Democrats' nanny-state regulations with the GOP's red-meat paternalism in a dangerous brew of government activism. And he's trying to accomplish this, in part, for reasons of self-realization.

That's the heart of it; read the whole thing, before this whole "McCain for President" thing goes too far.