Does John McCain have the right of free association, like other Americans?

Some of my email seems to indicate the answer is no if the person he's associating with is Tom Daschle.

I'm not so bothered that McCain would want to talk to Tom Daschle. It's what he may want to talk about that is troubling.

Does McCain want to find out about Daschle's home state of South Dakota?

Probably not.

Does he want to talk about Daschle's party — the Democrats?

Maybe ... but why? Nobody really thinks McCain is going to become a Democrat, do they?

Oh ... so he might become an Independent. Hope he doesn't get stuck with Jeffords for the second spot on the ticket.

What good would becoming an Indepedent do?

The Democrats would give McCain some cool committee chars?

For a guy who wanted to be president, and had a shot ... that seems like a step down —  no offense to senators who are committee chairs.

Is it possible the new hot topic in all the news talk programs and editorial meetings at the big newspaper is: Republicans becoming Independents, giving Democrats the power?

What we have here is a couple of guys who like to get into the news. And it's nothing more than that? Maybe.

Could it be that McCain is still smarting from the attacks on his patriotism that started in the South Carolina primary, and has continued even today in conservative journals? That might be a better guess ... but it's no reason to burn his bridges.

McCain is now a Republican progressive, meaning he agrees with Democrats from time to time.

That may not be the heart and soul of the Republican Party, but there's more action there than in this bogus Independent Party movement. What Independent Party?

Is this designed to make Bush mad?

Probably. The story goes that McCain doesn't like him much anyway.

But so what? You can't stop the presses with McCain Disses Bush as the headline.

As my old cameraman used to say about stories like this ... the plot thins.

McCain can thicken the plot, but it will take more than the summit in Sedona.

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