If you compare Sen. McCain with candidate McCain, as John Kerry suggests, you might suspect that the Republican nominee has nightmares of being tortured by a monster with George W. Bush's mug. Anybody who remembers the hard feelings between the two Republican hopefuls in 2000 (and the grudge-bearing McCain has gotta be one of them), can appreciate the irony that the go-to criticism of McCain is that he's just Bush Jr. From tonight's speeches:
Jay Rockefeller: "I have seen the failures of Bush/Cheney up close. We cannot afford even one more day of ideological decision-making…"
Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "My children have lived their whole lives under the failed policies of George Bush. And if John McCain is elected, they'll live their whole childhood under more of the same."
Chuck Schumer: "…reverse the cours that George Bush, John McCain and their friends in Washington have set for the country."
Tom Udall: "It's bad enough that John McCain and my opponent Steve Pearce have supported every one of George Bush's special interest economic policies…"
Jeff Merkley: "George Bush, John McCain, and Gordon Smith have given us a government that puts oil company profits ahead of drivers' pain at the pump…"
Tammy Duckworth: "The administration of George Bush—supported by John McCain every step of the way—has let our warriors down."
Xiomara Rodriguez: "John McCain is more of the same."
Tom Daschle: "…replace the poor judgment of George W. Bush…"
Jack Reed: "For eight years, John McCain has fallen in love with every one of George Bush's national security decisions…"
Evan Bayh: "In less than five months the Bush Administration will be gone, finished outta here. Forever. Unless, of course, John McCain is elected…"
Love McCain or hate him, real maverick or fake, he fought hard against George W. Bush and had learned to loathe him long before most Americans came to feel the same way. This evening's rhetoric has just really gotta sting. Adding to the irony is that Bill Clinton, who actually posed for nude photos with his North Vietnamese torturers, has had the only kind words for McCain all night.