I don't normally respect anything that the Washington Post's Dana Milbank has to say. Like many of the village idiots he has, for far too long, taken himself way too seriously and acted as if he was somehow entitled to a respect he has neither earned nor was capable of taking on responsibly.
That said, he has just written a sort but powerful piece about Senator John McCain, a piece that is long overdue from any village idiot (h/t/@J_Harb).
The only thing that could make it better would be if it were David Broder, the village idiot, writing the piece.
In it, Milbank confesses to being "an original McCainiac," before admitting that the "maverick" is anything but, and that it is long past time to stop making excuses for him.
Here are a couple of excerpts, but you should really read the full piece (damn I hate linking over to him):
I was an original McCainiac, riding with him in his SUV through the back roads of New Hampshire in '99. Even as other McCaniacs drifted away, I tried to find excuses for him. When he endorsed his former rival George W. Bush in 2004 and when he spoke at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in 2006, I chalked it up to the exigencies of Republican politics. I convinced myself that his lurch to the right and his fear mongering in the 2008 presidential campaign was really the work of his Bush-trained handlers. When he continued on his hard-right course after the election, I figured he was bitter about the loss.
Now, the most generous explanation is that McCain needs to protect his right flank because he's facing a primary challenge in Arizona from a "birther" Republican, the radio broadcaster and former congressman J.D. Hayworth. But each time it gets harder to hold on to the hope that there's still an iconoclast in there somewhere.
On a full range of issues, McCain has switched to reflexive opposition. His presidential campaign expressed "full confidence" in Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke; McCain voted against confirming Bernanke to another term. During the Bush years, former POW McCain fought against abusive interrogations; last week he scolded the Obama administration for inadequate interrogation of the underwear bomber. On immigration reform, another signature McCain issue, the senator has lost his tongue.