McCain flip-flops credibility

His on-again, off-again affair with mainstream Republicans might harm his presidential bid.

As talk of the 2008 presidential elections is heating up, Sen. John McCain is at the center of the debate for the Republican Party. In an effort to mend fences with the very conservatives he has heavily criticized these past couple years, McCain has moved closer to Bush in recent months. His reputation as a political maverick, however, has been tarnished considerably by his support for war escalation in Iraq and recent overtures to the religious right.

When McCain’s name was first thrown around in relation to a presidential bid, many were skeptical, claiming he was not conservative enough for the Republicans and not liberal enough for the Democrats. However, he provided great appeal to the American people as someone with the ability to repair growing U.S. divisions.

Now, the very man who claimed American lives have been wasted in Iraq has become a big supporter of Bush’s Iraq plans. In the past few months, McCain has repaired his relationship with Bush, signed on key Bush campaign staffers and is raising money from Bush supporters.

Even more surprisingly, McCain has made up with the leaders of the religious right he once called ‘agents of intolerance.’ McCain has started to pander to the religious right to gain votes, stating in a February meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters his long-standing favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.

At the same time, however, McCain was the only major Republican candidate to reject an invitation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference this week in Washington. This move has angered many conservative activists, which is why there was anti-McCain literature at the conference. It is very unlikely that this on-again, off-again affair between McCain and the conservatives is going to turn out favorably for the Senator. He’s changed his mind too many times to be trusted and has become a bit of a fence-rider.

Once a maverick, McCain is becoming just another politician that will sell his soul to whomever to gain the necessary votes to converge with the new Republican platform. In the end, selling his credibility for popularity might be McCain’s very downfall.