McCAIN AND THE WAR….I meant to link to this yesterday but forgot. It’s Jay Carney at Swampland explaining why press coverage of John McCain has been so much more negative this year than in 2000:

The tone of McCain’s press did change — but not because he made peace with Jerry Falwell or voted in favor of extending tax cuts that he’d previously voted against or because of any of the other midsize transgressions cited in all the stories documenting McCain’s rough transition from insurgent candidate to establishment frontrunner. The coverage changed, I think, almost entirely because of Iraq.

….There is a serious national debate over whether Bush’s invasion of Iraq is the biggest foreign policy fiasco in more than a generation, if not since the dawn of the Republic. At the moment, Bush (and, by extension, McCain) are on the losing side of that debate. The expectation that the press would acclaim McCain’s steadfastness on Iraq and leave it at that was misguided. The issue is simply too monumental, especially for a candidate basing his campaign in large part on his national security credentials.

I don’t really have any comment on this. I just wanted to link to it because I think it’s basically correct and probably underappreciated. Karl Rove may claim that Iraq won’t be an issue in the 2008 election, but that’s just jive and he knows it: it will be the biggest issue by a huge margin. If you’re a dead-ender on the war, you’d better expect a bumpy road.