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Matthew Yglesias Says David Brooks Judges McCain To Be an Unprincipled Sellout


Matthew Yglesias » Brooks: McCain is an Unprincipled Sellout: Recall that Brooks has historically been a big McCain fan. Back during the 2000 campaign, he was one of the relatively small number of decidedly conservative journalists to fall for McMania. And while lots of writers have gushed with praise for McCain over the years, Brooks was something more like an important ideologist of McCainism, someone who both praised McCain and also helped shape the higher rationale for his political ambitions. McCain, Brooks thought, was an ideal political vessel for ideas that Brooks thought were important... substantially different from and better than your average politician.

Brooks’ column from yesterday... is about how Brooks no longer thinks that’s true.... McCain... turns out to be happy to put his personal ambition ahead of his ideals and principles.... McCain doesn’t have any special qualities whereby his ambition is best served through honorable methods. He’s a typical pol pulling the typical stuff....

[T]he main theme of McCain campaign is that he isn’t like that: that he “puts country first”... that he’s a much, much, much better and more elevated kind of political leader than your average politician. And Brooks is saying that’s not true....

[I]t’s all the more valuable for coming from a conservative McCain fan and for being written with the “more in sadness than in anger” tone you would expect from a conservative McCain fan.