The McCain Magic

Josh Marshall wonders how John McCain can be described as "ambivalent" about running on his war record when his war record is such a major theme of his campaign that "At many of his events, his campaign sets up a screen and plays for the crowd a three-minute film called "Service with Honor," telling the story of McCain's more than five years of captivity in a North Vietnamese prison after his Navy plan was shot down in 1967."

But this is easy. As many pundits have pointed out, John McCain has awesome powers of oppositology. Suppose, for example, you were to catch McCain in a lie -- as seems to happen frequently these days. Well, Richard Cohen has explained that the very ease with which one catches McCain lying is evidence of his honesty:

McCain's true virtue is that he is a lousy politician. He is not a convincing liar, and when he adopts positions that are not his own, they infect him, sapping him of what might be called integrity energy.

Straight talk!