"An agent of intolerance"
Paul Krugman explains why John McCain lost my vote--and probably the votes of a lot of other independently minded voters who might have supported him in spite of disagreeing with him on many issues:
...if you choose to make common cause with religious extremists, you are accepting some responsibility for their extremism. By welcoming Mr. Falwell and people like him as members of their party, Republicans are saying that it's O.K. - not necessarily correct, but O.K. - to declare that 9/11 was America's punishment for its tolerance of abortion and homosexuality, that Islam is a terrorist religion, and that Jews can't go to heaven. And voters should judge the Republican Party accordingly.