As John McCain likes to say, he has at various points in time disagreed with George W. Bush’s tactical approach to Iraq. But in the ways that matter, he’s generally agreed with Bush’s strategic vision. It’s a little hard to capture that point in a series of video clips, but I think this thing makes the point that the extent of McCain/Bush disagreement was pretty limited:
In some ways, I think McCain himself doesn’t quite realize how Bush-esque he is. He clearly doesn’t like Bush, and has been disliking him for a long time. But that kind of personalized, overblown disdain for Bush-the-man can wind up leading you to overestimate Bush-the-grand-strategist. To McCain, Bush’s policies have failed because of Bush. Replace Bush with McCain and shift tactics around the margins, and the same basic ideas should work out fine. It’s a nice theory, but I don’t think it’s a true theory.