Says Fred Barnes, in a Weekly Standard article today:
Reporters and commentators gushed about McCain the political maverick and straight talker who was willing to take on his own party and president. McCain, in truth, has continued to do this, saying in the 60 Minutes interview that Bush should talk to Syria and Iran and shut down the Guantanamo prison. He’s persisted as well in criticizing Bush’s management of the war.
But all of that is no longer enough to satisfy the press. Why? Because McCain hasn’t bought
into the verdict, rampant in the media, that the war in Iraq is lost and victory cannot be salvaged. Instead, he backs the president’s new strategy of counterinsurgency in Baghdad, bolstered by 21,500 additional troops, and insists that progress is already being made.
It would be hypocritical if McCain didn’t take this position. He’s always backed the war, just not the way it’s been carried out. Now, however, Bush has adopted what McCain has been urging for years, counterinsurgency and more troops. How could McCain not support Bush at this point? McCain has taken a position unpopular with the public, but the press gives McCain no credit for that profile in courage. Going against the flow of the Bush administration is one thing. It brings media praise. Going against the flow of media (and liberal) opinion is quite another. It generates contempt and scorn.
Read the whole essay, called “Hell Hath No Fury,” here.