A Paleocon vs McCain
Justin Raimondo, in The American Conservative, attacks McCain on foreign policy:
It is impossible to know what is in McCain’s heart. There may be a purely ideological explanation for his changing viewpoint. But what seems to account for his evolution from realism to hopped-up interventionism is nothing more than sheer ambition. This was the case in 1983, when he defied the Reagan administration over sending U.S. soldiers to die at the hands of a Beirut suicide bomber, and in 1999, when the cry went up to take on Slobodan Milosevic. He was positioning himself against his own party, while staking out a distinctive stance independent of the Democrats. It was, in short, an instance of a presidential candidate maneuvering himself to increase his appeal to the electorateand, most importantly, the media. [...]
Other politicians were transformed by 9/11. McCain was unleashed. His strategy of “rogue state rollback” was exactly what the neoconservatives in the Bush administration had in mind, and yet, ever mindful to somehow stand out from the pack while still going along with the program, the senator took umbrage at Rumsfeld’s apparent unwillingness to chew up the U.S. military in an endless occupation. He publicly dissented from the “light footprint” strategy championed by the Department of Defense. More troops, more force, more of everythingthat is McCain’s solution to every problem in our newly conquered province.
McCain's emergence will either forge a new Republican foreign policy consensus, or blow the whole apparatus apart. A post-Bush Iraq occupation will be a fascinating thing for the GOP to grapple with.