Ross is disturbed by McCain's dearth of policy proposals:

One of the many fascinating things about Robert Draper's Times Magazine story on the McCain campaign is what isn't included in its account of the attempts to brand (and rebrand, and rebrand) John McCain's candidacy: Namely, any real discussion of policy. From Draper's account, the McCain campaign staff has gone around and around trying to figure out how to sell their candidate - as a fighter! as an experienced leader! as a maverick! etc. - but hardly ever seemed to have spent much time thinking about how these narratives would mesh with or be reinforced by the actual policy agenda the campaign was advancing.

But this is, sadly, the core of what has happened to Republicanism under Rove. We've been told over and over again that the Bush administration always put politics before policy - and then made Karl Rove its policy czar! This is how they approached something as grave as war.

We will see a serious conservatism again when Bill Kristol and Karl Rove are banished from the Republican party and from the conservative media. The Republican implosion is primarily their doing, their achievement, their legacy. It was when McCain ceded his campaign to Schmidt and Palin (creatures of Rove and Kristol respectively) that he threw it all away. As long as they are given any credence, Republicanism will not recover.

(Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty.)

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