Matt Yglesias experiences a moment of satori, and suddenly understands why conservatives are not very happy about having John McCain as GOP standard-bearer.
Having heard this, I think it seems somewhat obvious in retrospect, but I met a smart conservative thinker last night who explained to me the conservative base’s fear about John McCain in understandable terms for the first time. Basically, McCain or no McCain this still looks like a bad year for the GOP. If he wins, it’s likely to be a personal win based on his persona and tarnishing Obama’s persona, in which the Democrats still pick up some House and Senate seats. Next up, it’s governing time. McCain’s not someone who enjoys a strong personal or professional relationship with John Boehner or Mitch McConnell, and he doesn’t owe any great debt to the GOP activist base. Under the circumstances, it’s plausible to imagine him striking a bunch of compromises with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi on domestic issue in order to get a freer hand with which to conduct foreign policy.
That does seem plausible to me.