I’m a bit behind the curve, but it seems that John McCain offered up a perfectly reasonable speech on nuclear proliferation issues yesterday. It wasn’t earth-shatteringly good and didn’t break any new ground, but it did involve him embracing several ideas that liberals and non-proliferation experts have been pushing for a while now and that Barack Obama has already embraced.
I guess that’s good news, but as Ilan Goldenberg writes it’s pretty annoying to see people hailing McCain’s ideas when they’re so contrary to his record over the past ten years including things he was saying just months ago when we were going to be booting Russia out of international organizations and forming a League of Democracies to battle to the death with the forces of autocracy. Certainly I’m not one to say a politician should never be allowed to change his mind, but when you see someone abandoning a decade of extremism in favor of moderation in the middle of a presidential general election campaign it’s reasonable to suspect that you’re seeing some “tacking toward the center” rather than genuine rethinking of things. Would it be too much to ask to get some kind of explanation from McCain of how he wants to square these new ideas with his old ones?