Bloggers on the presumed decline of the GOP maverick's campaign.

Bloggers on the presumed decline of the GOP maverick's campaign.

Bloggers on the presumed decline of the GOP maverick's campaign.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
July 11 2007 6:28 PM

Eulogies for McCain

Bloggers are already penning postmortems on John McCain's presidential bid and demanding Alberto Gonzales' termination after disclosures about his knowledge of FBI abuses. Also, Sen. David Vitter's been a naughty boy.

McCaving: After the departures of longtime advisers Tim Weaver and Terry Nelson from John McCain's campaign staff, political analysts are saying that the senator's decade-long dash for the White House is all but over. And with a fund-raising effort eclipsed by that of long-shot Republican hopeful Ron Paul, the moneymen have already tagged and bagged the "maverick" who would be commander in chief.

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The Matrix at Neocon Express uses the latest bad news from the McCain camp to state his disillusionment with the candidate: "Bottom line? McCain has alienated me, and I suspect many like me, one time too many. I can hold my nose and look past McCain-Feingold; I can hold my nose and (barley) look past McCain-Kennedy on immigration. But I simply cannot, and will not, overlook his inexcusable votes against the Bush tax cuts. The man has gone to the well of good-will, one time too many for me."

Conservative Bill Bradley at New West Notes writes: "There was a time, in 2000, when it seemed [McCain] was the figure who could unify what subsequently proved to be a badly divided nation. … Had he been president of the United States on 9/11 … [he] might have led the nation in a much more successful fashion. He knew, for example, unlike the misbegotten architects of the operation, that the invasion of Iraq was undertaken with far too few forces to successfully provide security and restore infrastructure."

Righty Philip Klein at the American Spectator's AmSpecBlog quotes Henry IV, Part I— "By so much shall I falsify men's hopes;/ And like bright metal on a sullen ground,/ My reformation, glittering o'er my fault,/ Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes/ Than that which hath no foil to set it off" —to underscore his point: "The media love stories of a fall from grace, but they also love a great comeback. Ironically, the perception that he is on the verge of dropping out may serve him better than the persistent myth that he was the frontrunner. … From now on, when he reports his fundraising numbers, expectations will be so low that he'll have a much more realistic chance of exceeding them."

History professor Dave Nalle at BlogCritics suggests that "[t]he amicable character of the departure of these two top campaign advisers suggests that McCain is making a final effort to change the downward direction of his campaign to avoid having to confront the reality of an early withdrawal as some are speculating may be likely this fall. There has also been speculation Weaver and Nelson might join the Thompson campaign."

Read more about McCain's faltering campaign.

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Seedy Gonzales: The Washington Post ran a story yesterday claiming new evidence has emerged that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales knew of FBI abuses on civil liberties despite testifying before Congress that he didn't.

Administration critic "Bushmeistero" at Non Sum Dignus concludes:"Gonzales is simply a political commissar for the administration, he's not interested in upholding the values of the institution. He was a not so skilled yes-man in Texas, just cleaver enough to get W. out of jury duty, but he's in way over his head in Washington."

When The Crone Speaks, it sounds like this: "We all know that Gonzales is lying.  He's lied to Congress before. And, honestly, this was never about Gonzales' inattention. Inattention assumes Gonzales was at least trying to do the job of AG, and that never was, if you look at the scandals. … I would say that Gonzales was put into this position to do exactly what he's doing—changing the landscape of administration's powers."

Brent Budowsky at the Hill's Pundits Blog thinks the attorney general should be prosecuted: "Alberto Gonzales is innocent until proven guilty, but these matters should now be decided under the rule of law, based on commonly accepted standards of law, through the normal criminal investigative process. … If convicted any sentence should be meted out within the sentencing guidelines, including prison time if he is convicted of crimes that warrant incarceration under the law."

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Read more about Gonzales's knowledge of FBI abuses.

Sinnin' ain't easy: Louisiana Sen. David Vitter is not just a condemner of moral turpitude, he's also a client. Phone records show that he was a frequenter of Pamela Martin and Associates, the high-priced Washington prostitution ring managed by federal racketeering indictee Deborah Jeane Palfrey. "I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling," said Vitter. What, no crank addiction, too?

Lefty Texan Nathan Empsall at The Wayward Episcopalian calls Vitter a "hypocrite" but doesn't "think this will have much of a ripple effect on either Louisiana or national politics. Vitter isn't up for re-election until 2010, when this will long be forgotten. Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) is set to become Governor in a landslide later this year, and this doesn't really taint him—so another member of his part dallied around. Whoopdeedoo."

At DavidCorn.com, the liberal Nation columnist reminds readers that Vitter hasn't been silent on marital indiscretions before: "In the fall of 1998, David Vitter felt compelled to weigh in on the national debate over the possible impeachment of President Bill Clinton for lying about sex. Vitter was not yet a member of Congress; he was a Republican state representative. And in an October 29, 1998, opinion piece for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Vitter took issue with a previous article, written by two law professors who had argued that impeachment 'is a process of removing a president from office who can no longer effectively govern; it is not about punishment.' "

Read more about Vitter's bordello follies.

Michael Weiss is the director of communications at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank that promotes democratic geopolitics. He is also the spokesman for Just Journalism, which examines how Israel and the Middle East are portrayed in the U.K. media.