The Real McCain

Sam Stein chronicles Democratic anger at Senator McCain:

Democrats are growing increasingly frustrated with the brash political attacks Sen. John McCain has launched against Barack Obama in the weeks since the new president took office. No one expected the Arizona Republican to be a legislative ally for this administration. But it was widely assumed that Obama’s overtures to McCain in the weeks after the election would dull some of the hard feelings between the two. Now, they are realizing, it has not.

“He is bitter and really angry,” Bob Shrum said of McCain in an interview on Friday. “He is angry at the press, which he thinks is unfair. He is angry at Obama and angry at the voters. He has gone from being an angry old candidate to being an angry old defeated candidate.”

I’m not really sure why anyone is surprised by this. Back during the campaign I noted that McCain is a delusional egomaniac prone to fits of pique, and that the mythical “2000 McCain” was, well, a myth. John McCain is a testy old man. He sees the world in black and white terms where literally everything is a matter of good vs. evil. More than that, he identifies himself through this prism, such that he’s always a great and noble crusader for the forces of good, and then by extension to oppose him you must necessarily be on the side of “evil.” That was the overarching theme to his apostasy from 2001 to 2003, when his personal pique led him to reflexively oppose George W. Bush, and that will be the overarching theme now. Barack Obama beat McCain, and he beat him badly. John McCain does not suffer defeat gracefully, so expect quite a few attacks leveled at Obama from McCain’s office.

The only question is why anyone cares?