DREW JOINS THE ENOUGH CLUB…. It seemed unlikely that Elizabeth Drew, an accomplished journalist and author, would join the ever-growing “Enough” Club. She did, after all, write a glowing book about John McCain as recently as 2002, praising him as a principled, honorable man of conscience.

But now, Drew’s done. After noting McCain’s shift to the hard right, away from the 2000 persona that made him a hero to many, Drew explains that McCain “morph[ed] into just another panderer — to Bush and the Republican Party’s conservative base.”

[S]ome very smart political analysts believed from the outset that McCain could win the nomination by sticking with his old self. And they still believe that McCain won the nomination not because he gave himself over to the base but as a result of a process of elimination of inferior candidates who divided up the conservative vote, as these observers had predicted. (These people insisted on anonymity because McCain is known in Republican circles to have a long memory and a vindictive streak.)

By then I had already concluded that that there was a disturbingly erratic side of McCain’s nature. There’s a certain lack of seriousness in him. And he does not appear to be a reflective man, or very interested in domestic issues. […]

McCain’s recent conduct of his campaign — his willingness to lie repeatedly (including in his acceptance speech) and to play Russian roulette with the vice-presidency, in order to fulfill his long-held ambition — has reinforced my earlier, and growing, sense that John McCain is not a principled man.

In fact, it’s not clear who he is.

McCain is certainly losing friends fast, isn’t he? Drew’s condemnation comes just a couple of days after Richard Cohen’s. Which came a couple of days after Stephen Chapman’s. Which followed Michael Kinsley, Thomas Friedman, Sebastian Mallaby, Joe Klein, E.J. Dionne, Jr., Ruth Marcus, Mark Halperin, and Bob Herbert. Even David Brooks is getting there.

All admired John McCain, all held him in the highest regard, and all of have been disgusted as McCain has descended into a Republican hack. McCain probably doesn’t care — hacks can’t be bothered to earn and keep respect — but their collective revolt tells us quite a bit about McCain’s transition.

Steve Benen

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.