Reihan responds to Gordon and Kvaal:

I support John McCain, and I recognize that he's facing a very tough political environment. Thatâ™s why he is often forced to embrace positions that are very much in tension with each other. My suspicion is that if McCain were running far ahead of the competition, if he faced a less polarized political environment, youâ™d see him embrace a different, more coherent set of policies.

Which means to say: he's a politician, not a maverick crusader. But I'd say the climate is actually less polarized now than, say, four years ago. And Reihan's point raises the obvious question: will McCain's actual policies be incoherent in office - with a Democratic Congress and a restive, disloyal base?

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.