August 29, 2018
On John McCain
McCain tied his political fate to the Iraq war: its success would be his success, its failure his failure. It is tempting to see a tragic grandeur there, as if McCain was fated to replay the drama of his own father, calling in vain for more troops and more surges, all the while insisting that “Iraq is not Vietnam.” But even to say it that way is to fall into the trap of McCain’s self-mythologizing. There was tragedy in it, yes, but no grandeur—only error and opportunism.