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John McCain, Antinomian | The Nation

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Christopher Hayes

Christopher Hayes

Nation editor-at-large and host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes.

John McCain, Antinomian

Antiwhatian? you ask.

Antinomian.

Posting about McCain reminded me that I somehow neglected to link to our lead editorial from last week about McCain. It's behind a sub wall so here's the last few grafs:

Despite his branding as a crusading reformer, McCain was and continues to be a business-as-usual conservative. Indeed, he doesn't just cozy up to lobbyists on planes or take their money--half a million in this campaign cycle alone. They are running his campaign. As the Washington Post reported the day after the Times story broke, McCain's inner circle is dominated by lobbyists, one of whom, Charles Black, recently copped to handling his lobbying business by phone from the back of the Straight Talk Express!

And while the monied interests do their work from the back of his campaign bus, the straight talker is busy running as far as possible from the signature legislative achievement that bears his name: the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. This started in 2001, when McCain, while pushing to end the massive unregulated donations known as soft money, set up a nonprofit called the Reform Institute, which existed chiefly to--you guessed it--soak up large, unregulated donations from corporate interests, including $200,000 from Cablevision. (Not surprisingly, McCain devoted great energy to its pet cause before the Commerce Committee.) And now McCain, who secured a bank loan on the collateral of his future federal campaign funds, is attempting to back out of his commitment to use public financing, contradicting the spirit of the program.

This, then, is John McCain: not a maverick but what Reformation-era Christians called an antinomian, one who believes that for those who are holy, all is permitted. McCain seems to think he is released from the obligations that bind lesser politicians.

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