One theme that rings out is just how much war is at the core of John McCain's being. I don't mean that as a slight--it just seems true. Jeff would probably disagree with this, but to my mind his reporting shows how much the literal fight has blinded McCain to the greater war...There is no sense here that one may have other reasons, short of cowardice, for wanting out of Iraq. But this is like being back on the block. Your man tells you that he got jumped by some cats from across the tracks, so you and him go to war. The beef lasts for months, and then you find out he never got jumped to begin with. But when you pull out, he calls you a chump.
I think Ta-Nehisi is on to something -- namely, the privileged place war has in McCain's toolbox -- though I think McCain does a poor job of explaining why "jungle law," as Ta-Nehisi calls it, actually applies here. There's no mercy for the weak in the Middle East; if America ducks out of Iraq in a way that makes it look like it is actually ducking out of Iraq, well, you won't want to be an American in the Middle East, believe me. Of course, if America stays in Iraq, you might also not want to be an American in the Middle East. More thoughts later; right now I'm busy picking up my 401(K) off the floor.