The Monday night agreement to avert a showdown vote over judicial filibusters not only spared the Senate from a potentially ruinous clash, but also certified John McCain as the real leader of that body.That last paragraph is amazing. Here's a man who spent 5+ years in a box as a war prisoner and yet he was able to build a friendship with an antiwar protester and then give a heartfelt eulogy at his funeral. How truly noble -- in fact, Christ-like!
He did that knowing he would incur the wrath of the conservative activists who want no barriers placed before their favorites for possible vacancies on the Supreme Court. But contrary to myth, the heroes of the far right rarely win presidential nominations -- as witness the fate of Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer, Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson, among others.
Twenty years ago McCain accepted apologies from an activist named David Ifshin when they met at a Washington forum. They formed a friendship. Ifshin, who had gone to Hanoi in 1970 and made an antiwar radio broadcast that was piped into McCain's prison, later became a close friend of and campaign counsel to President Bill Clinton.
When Ifshin died of cancer in 1996, McCain delivered a eulogy at the funeral, saying of Ifshin, "He always felt passionate about his country. He always tried to do justice to others. . . . I learned about courage from David, learned to look for virtue and I learned the futility of looking back in anger."
Yet, as Broder alludes to, McCain has never been a diligent water-carrier for the religious right (which is a main reason he's not president; they helped to savage him). How ironic. These characters who like to believe they're Christ-like (hah!) indeed look back in anger all the time. Just look at the quotes of bitter resentment and payback that came out after the Schiavo showcase and this recent filibuster compromise.