STRAIGHT TALKIN’….Today Steve Benen updates his running list of John McCain flip-flops — or, um, his “evolutions,” as Mr. Straight Talk likes to put it. It’s getting pretty long.

As near as I can tell, Republicans are allowed to present themselves as the reincarnation of Winston Churchill if they manage to demonstrate steadfastness on just a couple of high-profile issues. For George Bush it’s been taxes and the war in Iraq. He’s flipped and pandered on plenty of other things, but those two are enough to keep his reputation for tenacity intact. McCain, though, has raised the ante: he’s flipped and pandered on practically everything except one issue: his support for endless war in Iraq. That single thing is pretty much all that his straight talking reputation rides on today. It’s quite a brand he’s created for himself.