In his universally panned speech last night, St. McCain took the David Brooks approach and tried to insist, laughably, that he wasn’t Bush III — despite the fact that he agrees with Bush on pretty much everything. And in doing so, he once again totally washed his hands of the mess in Iraq.

I disagreed strongly with the Bush administration’s mismanagement of the war in Iraq. I called for the change in strategy that is now, at last, succeeding where the previous strategy had failed miserably.

Here’s a little sample of that strong disagreement:

In a prime-time speech on the opening night of his party’s convention, McCain heartily endorsed the Iraq and anti-terrorism policies of his 2000 rival for the White House. Bush is particularly vulnerable over his invasion of Iraq, and the Arizona Republican’s support gave Bush the stamp of approval of a Vietnam War hero who enjoys broad backing from independents and some moderate Democrats.

McCain said Bush has earned re-election because of his resolute actions since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"He has been tested and has risen to the most important challenge of our time, and I salute him," McCain said.

In a particularly pointed shot at Bush, McCain added:

I believe as strongly today as ever, the mission was necessary, achievable and noble. For his determination to undertake it, and for his unflagging resolve to see it through to a just end, President Bush deserves not only our support, but our admiration.

What a brave, stern rebuke of Bush’s miserable failure in Iraq. It’s amazing he wasn’t booed off the podium.