Friday, February 1. 2008
From the Wichita Eagle today:
It's just that there aren't a lot of potential donors for a candidate who's already withdrawn from the race. On the one hand, I'm struck by how little Brownback sold out for. On the other hand, it's not like his endorsement was really worth much.
In the long run, Brownback's endorsement was probably worth less than Pat Robertson's, or Joe Lieberman's. Someone should take a look at who's bankrolling McCain, and where else their money is going. Arnold Schwarzenegger just signed up for some of that.
Still, some right-wingers haven't gotten their checks yet. Ann Coulter recently said that if McCain is nominated she's campaign for Hillary Clinton. Coulter's a poison pill anyway, but such a backhanded endorsement provides a curious perspective on Clinton's lesser-evil appeal. (Coulter's supporting Romney, so you might want to factor that in.)
Tom DeLay's opposition to McCain is more straightforward, and in his own way more principled. McCain's campaign slogan can be reduced to simple terms: more war, but less graft. DeLay is the Pied Piper of Republican graft, so of course he'd be opposed to McCain. DeLay, like Bush (or at least Cheney and Rove), understand that war and graft are symbiotic, that each furthers the other in a self-perpetuating frenzy. McCain's recent political gains seem to spring from the vain hope many Republicans have that their wars would fare better if only they were managed by a more scrupulous commander in chief.
On the other hand, the serendipitous bailout of ex-candidate Brownback reminds us that McCain's hands aren't so squeaky clean. He's gotten away with the perception that he's different because the press hasn't held him to account yet. But that's likely to change, especially if he gets the nomination and we finally have to come to grips with the question of whether we really want a worse warmonger than Bush to get his finger on the trigger.