Because George W Bush, despite his initial appearance as a mediocrity on about the same level as Al Gore, is undeniably the worst President in American History.
The last 7 years have been the steepest cumulative decline in American power, prestige and prospects for the future in its history.
And John McCain, who has spent most of his life being the maverick he claims to be, has clearly decided in recent weeks to be the standard bearer of the Bush era’s most crucial and harmful errors.
You can give GWB Year 1 the benefit of the doubt. An ineffectual first 9 months, followed by a surprising and inspiring month after Sept 11 as the world united around the horror and outrage presented a mixed bag under increasingly difficult circumstances.
But the key moments in late 2001/early 2002 where the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld incompetence let Al Qaeda principals escape from Afghanistan into the Pakistani tribal areas, and the later revelations that they had dusted off the gratuitous and dangerously distracting Iraq agenda as early as the afternoon of that tragic day, marked the clear beginning of a ruinous folly.
The failure to prosecute the War in Afghanistan.
The unprovoked war of aggression on Iraq, certainly an appalling regime, but one of maybe 40 such monsters around the world. And not a clear threat, let alone an aggressor.
The lies about the foundation for that war. Weapons of Mass Destruction, visions of democracy flowering, the shameless lies linking Iraq and Al Qaeda and the terrifying gullibility of those who facilitated.
The complete lack of any preparation for Iraq after the month of war.
The suppression of American’s rights through the Patriot Act(s) and the shameful abdication of moral leadership through a formal protocol of torture.
Turning the horror of most of the world at an atrocity committed against Americans into a broad contempt and increased hatred for America.
Funding the Iraq folly through deficits financed by China, and feeding off the blood of America’s courageous volunteers and – most shamefully – the feeding of the Reserves into the maw of combat.
The abdication of responsibility for repairing America’s infrastructure or taking care of the basic needs of all of its citizens in efforts deemed “too expensive” that would have cost less than this unnecessary war.
Now the very economic foundation appears to crumble, the military is worn out, America’s enemies abroad are emboldened and her friends besmirched.
Osama bin Laden in his wildest dreams could not have inflicted the damage on the United States that George Bush has.
Which is why we fight.