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Still don't find either Presidential campaign particularly interesting to talk about, mostly for the reasons discussed in the “Narcissism” post and also because I live in a state which has gone Democratic for the Presidency ever since Reagan's massive 1984 landslide over Mondale, done so by a very wide margin in all of those years except for when it voted for Dukakis over Bush, and will clearly do so (538 gives a 2% chance of McCain winning New York, as of this writing) this year. Which is another reason to support the National Popular Vote bill in your state legislature, it's truly odd that once a candidate has a solid plurality in your state persuading other voters loses almost all value. But despite not wanting to talk about campaign stuff in general, I did think that Henry Farrell's reaction to the following bit of David Brooks's column was smart enough, and not just in a point-scoring fashion, that it's worth passing on.

Brooks says,
“McCain and his advisers have been compelled to adjust to the hostile environment around them. They have been compelled, at least in their telling, to abandon the campaign they had hoped to run. Now they are running a much more conventional race, the kind McCain himself used to ridicule.”
And Farrell responds,
“[L]et’s pretend, just for the sake of argument, that they are right to say that the only way to win, this year, is by taking the low road. Would that mean that they have to take it? Of course not. That means you have a choice between honor and ambition; between running a decent campaign and a sordid one; between being a candidate the country can be proud of and being a candidate who contributes to the degradation and trivialization of political discourse.

You would have no choice only if you assumed that your own ambitions were more important than your honor.”
Let me make a fearless prediction: if McCain loses the Presidency in November, as I think he will, he will apologize for his behavior in this campaign, in much the same way he apologized for his equivocation on the Confederate Battle Flag after losing the 2000 Republican Presidential nomination to George W. Bush. The apology will be worth less than the paper it's written on.