Most discouraging is McCain's courting of Jerry Falwell, whom he lambasted in 2000 (one of the reasons I so fervishly supported the Arizona senator):
"Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right."
That comment got McCain into serious trouble with party regulars in South Carolina during the '00 Republican primary, and the Christian right quickly turned on him, securing the nomination for Dubya. Now, McCain is trying to make amends with the devil.
"I was in Washington with him about three months ago," Falwell said. "We dealt with every difference we have. There are no deal breakers now. But I told him, 'You have a lot of fence mending to do.'"
And how is McCain mending those fences? Apparently, he's switched positions on a constitutional Federal Marriage amendment. Regardless of what you think about gay unions, McCain was right when he opposed the bill because it was "un-Republican" to federally legislate issues that should be decided by states.
Now, Falwell says McCain has expressed a willingness to support the bill, which would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
In defense of McCain, he's doing what every politician does as they near a primary battle: run to the right (or left) to secure the nomination, then scurry back to the center in time for the general election. Bill Clinton did it. Hillary will do it. I thought McCain was different, but I'm concerned his zeal for the presidency might eclipse the independence that made him so attractive in the first place.