Chris Loves John

What is to be done about grown men and John McCain? If this question is not at the top of your list of puzzles, it's only because you were busy doing something worthwhile at five o'clock yesterday. I on the other hand, was watching Hardball.

And there was Senator John McCain.

And more to the point, there was Chris Matthews.

He was panting like a collie. He was grinning like a fool. He had a case of the Russerts that was practically terminal. He was talking to McCain about McCain's letter to Senator Obama, and they were having the most wonderful time, the two of them, just smirking and laughing and joking and chortling, and then Matthews told McCain what a "brilliantly angry" letter it was and McCain smirked and laughed and joked and chortled some more.

Then they went on to discuss Hillary, the NSA and the Coretta Scott King funeral, and at the end of their ten-minute interview, Chris Matthews was practically hyperventilating.

I should probably confess at this point that I am somewhat obsessed with Chris Matthews and am always amazed at the fact that he says more words in a minute than anyone on the planet. But my point is not really about Matthews, even though I could write about him forever. My point is that Matthews is a perfect example -- although obviously exaggerated -- of what happens to men in the presence of Senator McCain. They lose their minds. They suck up. They turn absolutely giddy. They ask questions they don't care about the answers to. It's Valentine's Day.

Is it the torture that causes them to go all weak-kneed? That's obviously part of it. Is it that he resonates with the balls most men know they don't have? Maybe. Is it that he seems to have so much testosterone that it's catching? I don't know. But when I see John McCain on television being interviewed by Chris Matthew, I know in my heart that there is not a man in America who would not vote for the guy.

Which is profoundly depressing.

I mean, I don't expect all men to believe (as I do) that you can't under any circumstances support a presidential candidate who is against choice. I don't expect all men to believe (as I do) that for McCain to have given that revolting speech for George Bush at the last convention was unforgivable. I don't expect all men to understand (as I do) that in the end, Republicans are Republicans.

But what is to be done?