The problem with McCain's debate performances -- and this became very clear to me last night -- is that he fundamentally accepts the parameters of debate that the liberals have set.
In his heart, McCain accepts the notion that liberal consensus is the mainstream establishment consensus (the fact that liberals always moderate the debates only helps to reinforce this notion).
As such, McCain consistently fails to challenge liberal ideas during debates -- for fear it will cost him votes and make him appear foolish. In this regard, I wish McCain would take a page from Rudy Giuliani, who during the early debates, at least, often challenged the premise of questions.
Last night -- especially when he offered his ridiculous mortgage proposal -- McCain reminded me of Republicans like Bob Michel -- men who were happy to be in the minority. Or worse yet, he was reminiscent of too many post-New Deal Republican presidential candidates like Thomas E. Dewey --candidates who offered no real alternative to the Democrats -- because they generally accepted the liberal paradigm.
That worked well, didn't it?
Update: I'm told that some commenters are saying I supported John McCain in the primary. I did not endorse or support John McCain -- or any other candidate -- for that matter. What I did do is accurately predict that John McCain would win New Hampshire -- and that he could win the nomination (an accurate political analysis should not be confused with an endorsement). During the primary, I wrote positive and negative things about each candidate -- including John McCain.