The tone of John McCain's recent floor speech on the debt ceiling debate was apparently meant to communicate an underlying theme: McCain is a realist amidst a sea of inexperienced ideologues and zealous demagogues.
While much commotion has been ensuing owing to McCain's mention of "Tea Party hobbits," (and whatever that is supposed to mean exactly) this obscures the more crucial point.
For one, the allusions to Tolkien's lore stem from this article, published by the Wall Street Journal, which McCain was merely quoting. Second and more important, is what the subject of McCain's speech was actually about: political gamesmanship.
While McCain was ostensibly making the case that principle should not be sacrificed in the face of political power plays, his suggestion is to...sacrifice principle in the face of poltical power play? What? It would appear that way according to this clip.
As McCain sees it, sticking to principle and advocating for a Balanced Budget Amendment, or even simply refusing to support Boehner's 'compromise' on the debt-deal, is not only "bizarro," but "worse than foolish, it is deceiving," to the American people.