But like the Democrats, McCain thinks if he simply says something over and over again, he can make people believe it's true. Thus again at the South Carolina debate on Jan. 10, McCain was proclaiming that he was "the only one on this stage" who supported the surge.
Since he would deny it about two minutes later, here is exactly what Mr. Straight Talk said about the surge: "I supported that; I argued for it. I'm the only one on this stage that did. And I condemn the Rumsfeld strategy before that."
The next question went to Giuliani and -- amid great flattery -- Giuliani noted that he also supported Bush's surge "the night of the president's speech."
Mr. Straight Talk contradicted Giuliani, saying: "Not at the time."
Again, Giuliani said: "The night of the president's speech, I was on television. I supported the surge. I've supported it throughout."
To which McCain finally said he didn't mean that he was "the only one on this stage" who supported the surge. So by "the only one on this stage," McCain really meant, "one of several people on this stage." OK, great. Now tell us your definition of the word "is," Senator.
I know Republicans have been trained not to go prostrate at Ivy League degrees, but do we have to admire stupidity?
Mr. Straight Talk also announced at that same debate: "One of the reasons why I won in New Hampshire is because I went there and told them the truth." That and the fact that Democrats were allowed to vote in the Republican primary.
Even in the Florida primary, allegedly limited to Republicans, McCain lost among Republicans. (Seventeen percent of the Republican primary voters in Florida called themselves "Independents.")
That helps, but why would any Republican vote for McCain?
At least under President Hillary, Republicans in Congress would know that they're supposed to fight back. When President McCain proposes the same ideas -- tax hikes, liberal judges and Social Security for illegals -- Republicans in Congress will support "our" president -- just as they supported, if only briefly, Bush's great ideas on amnesty and Harriet Miers.
You need little flags like that for Republicans since, as we know from the recent unpleasantness in Florida, Republicans are unalterably stupid.
Republicans who vote for McCain are trying to be cute, like the Democrats were four years ago by voting for the "pragmatic" candidate, Vietnam vet John Kerry. This will turn out to be precisely as clever a gambit as nominating Kerry was, the brilliance of which was revealed on Election Day 2004.