EVEN RICHARD COHEN HAS HAD ENOUGH…. The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen has been one of John McCain’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders. At times, it’s been downright embarrassing.

In June, Cohen argued that McCain may be a flip-flopper, but we shouldn’t question him because he’s also a former prisoner of war. In April, Cohen described McCain as an “honorable man who has fudged and ducked and swallowed the truth on occasion,” which Cohen described as “understandable.” (He didn’t say why McCain’s mendacity is “understandable,” but simply granted absolution.) In July, Cohen said McCain is the superior presidential candidate because he knows McCain better than Obama.

But as of this morning, Cohen’s done. Finished. Fed up. Disgusted. Cohen was in the tank for McCain — we know this because Cohen admits in his column that he was “in the tank for McCain” — but the scales have been lifted from his eyes.

[T]he John McCain of old is unrecognizable. He has become the sort of politician he once despised. […]

His opportunistic and irresponsible choice of Sarah Palin as his political heir — the person in whose hands he would leave the country — is a form of personal treason, a betrayal of all he once stood for. Palin, no matter what her other attributes, is shockingly unprepared to become president. McCain knows that. He means to win, which is all right; he means to win at all costs, which is not. […]

…McCain lied about his lying and maybe thinks that if he wins the election, he can — as he did in South Carolina — renounce who he was and what he did and resume his old persona. It won’t work. Karl Marx got one thing right — what he said about history repeating itself. Once is tragedy, a second time is farce. John McCain is both.


The ‘Enough’ Club,” made up of high-profile media observers who loved McCain but have become despondent with his transition into a Republican hack, keeps getting bigger. I have to admit, though, that I didn’t expect Richard Cohen to sign up for membership. He adored McCain a little too much. Not anymore.

At a certain point, columns like these are bound to help shape a new conventional wisdom, right?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.