Some neocons and pundits appear intent on having John McCain make a 2008 third-party run for the presidency, not because they like him, but because they hate McCain. It's hard to figure why they hate the Arizona senator so much.
Not only is McCain honorable, he's also more frugal about federal spending than the President, making him one of the more conservative potential 2008 contenders.
He has enthusiastically supported the President on Iraq and campaigned tirelessly for Mr. Bush in 2004.
He has supported a strong military.
He also has campaigned with dedication for fellow Republicans.
Apparently, this group doesn't like McCain for several reasons:
(1) His role in the compromise on filibuster of judicial nominations. That only resulted in the confirmation of three conservative judges that Senator Frist's threatened use of the so-called nuclear option was doing nothing to advance;
(2) A PR-boost the senator helped give to a Congress that was suffering nearly record-low approval ratings. McCain, Warner, DeWine, and others caused the Congress to actually function. The neocons who despise McCain so much seem to prefer spectacular losses to substantive victories for their cause.
(3) Some neocons and others disdain McCain for his role in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation. Our campaign finance laws have been questionable for thirty years now and reforming them seems to have only made a botched system worse. It's legitimate to criticize the senator's approach to campaign funding reform from that angle.
However, opponents of McCain-Feingold advance the dubious proposition that limits on campaign spending infringe on freedom of speech. But all these people are saying is that their fat cat friends ought to have more freedom to speak and influence the political process because they've got more money. They believe if you've got the money to pay for it, the more "free" speech you can afford. McCain has rejected such faulty logic and for that he deserves applause, not condemnation.
I can't imagine John McCain running on a third party ticket in 2008. I can imagine him being the Republican nominee for President that year, though...and winning with a very Reagan-like majority.