Larison has a sharp post on McCain's political style:
Contrary to the conventional pundit interpretation that McCain has “sold his soul” and abandoned his once-honorable former self, the thing to understand about McCain’s lies in this campaign is that he invests these misrepresentations with his utter contempt for his opponents. From McCain’s perspective, this infusion of contempt seems to transform shoddy, baseless attacks that disgrace him into indictments of the other politicians (e.g., Romney wants to surrender in Iraq, Obama would rather lose a war than lose an election).
If McCain thinks he is always honorable, resistance to him and his ideas must ultimately be villainous and vicious, and we have seen him deploy his perverse, solipsistic ends-justify-the-means concept of honor against Romney and now against Obama. McCain’s admirers have largely missed this either because they happened to agree with McCain on policy or because they have mistaken his language of honor and principle to refer to the meanings that they attach to these terms.
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