Now, never mind the claims regarding his "courtliness," his "dignity," or his "civility" --- I know many Conservatives who would take issue which attribution of these qualities to Senator Foghorn Leghorn --- most entertaining were the naked contradictions of the editorial itself.
Perhaps the funniest thing was at the end:
An interesting juxtaposition. "[M]ore committed to principle than party," but "lack[ing] any fixed worldview or guiding political philosophy." One might forgive a writer of a long article for putting those diametrically opposing statements in widely divergent portions of the article. Only in the cloudcuckooland of the WaPo could those statements coexist side by side. And one can only speculate as to what "principle," if any, John Warner thought himself committed to (other than, of course, the principle of "Senator John Warner").
Mr. Warner is a conservative but hardly an ideologue, and he has repeatedly infuriated his party's strident right-wingers -- by standing against the nomination of Robert H. Bork to the Supreme Court in 1987, by opposing the leadership of Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) in the Senate, and, in 1994, by repudiating Oliver L. North's Senate candidacy in Virginia. Many Virginia Republicans saw him as a heretic -- a RINO (Republican In Name Only). Mr. Warner saw himself as more committed to principle than party.
He lacked any fixed worldview or guiding political philosophy. His commitment, he often said, was to the traditions and institution of the Senate and to the people of Virginia, whose support he repaid handsomely. He guided billions of dollars in defense contracts to Virginia, making it the country's largest recipient of military spending per capita, and he safeguarded the state's huge naval and air bases. Through it all, his steady civility, dignity and courtesy seemed almost quaint, a throwback to more courtly times. But the absence of such qualities nowadays is much noted and mourned. So, too, will Mr. Warner's absence be.
I'm sure that the Post meant it as a compliment. More's to pity.