When you’re at a Democratic convention, you’re reminded that this is a party in which everyone is a genius. This is a party, in victory or in defeat, which is never lacking for intellectual self-regard. You’re also reminded that this is a party that excels at smothering affection. The Republicans admire their leaders by putting them up on a pedestal for all to see. The Democrats make the psychodrama of their own rapture the central story.
The real wisdom of Brooks’s piece is that there’s a way to passive-aggressvely marginalize McCain without whipping the old-age horse. “He’s a great American, and he’s been a great public servant. But he’s more than a little out of step with the times, and we can’t afford not to look forward.”