As signs of his impending defeat rise, criticism of Senator McCain and his campaign has mounted. Having assailed the Senator and his staff for failing to learn from history and to fundamentally understand the priorities and mood of the electorate myself several times over the course of the campaign, I speak from experience. Rest assured, despite many pointing to September 15th and the devastating landfall of the financial hurricane on the American economy as the tipping point of the campaign, this defeat has been eight months in the making. Even so, a growing cacophony of condemnation rises from across the political spectrum. Increasingly Conservatives - who grumbled at his nomination and rallied to him only after his selection of their newfound icon, Sarah Palin as his running mate are reverting to their default contemptuous view of the Senator. They deride him for failing to live up to his image as a battle-scarred warrior and worthy champion of the party of Reagan. Meanwhile, Liberals condemn him for courting the dark side of the American political psyche, playing on fear and seeking to win through a classical divide and conquer strategy. Yet, despite the self righteous bluster of his critics on the Left, while the Arizonan may not walk away from this campaign with a victory, he will at least walk away with his honor in tact. How can that be, you exclaim? Let me share with you but a few reasons why. - Despite the drag on the Republican ticket that President Bushs popularity ratings had, McCain was the dutifully party loyalist and resisted calls to not only abandon his President, but to eviscerate him openly and repeatedly. McCain went so far as to thank Bush in the third paragraph of his acceptance speech at the Republican national convention for .leading us in those dark days following the worst attack on American soil in our history, and keeping us safe from another attack many thought was inevitable . Not till the final presidential debate did McCain forcefully and unequivocally separate himself from the beleaguered president when he admonished Senator Obama that he was in fact not President Bush, despite his repeated efforts to morph him into McBush. Despite his self-styled image as a rebel and maverick, in the end, McCain honored his party and its leader with his loyalty and respect. - Though Liberals condemned him for fanning the flames of fear and prejudice, when the emotions of the campaign ominously threatened to swirl out of control, McCain stepped in to tamp them down. Reassuring his supporters they had nothing to fear from a potential Obama presidency, McCain went further. Not only did he correct their Internet rumor mill-fed misperceptions about Obamas faith, but he also vouched for his opponents character in the process. Not exactly something one would expect from someone eagerly fanning the flames of fear in a blind quest for power and glory. - Honoring his word - and in effect allowing Obama to set the parameters of what was acceptable and unacceptable over the course of the campaign McCain kept his pledge not to bring up the controversial and incendiary Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Not only did McCain resist using Wright as a foil against Obama, until just this past weekend Republican and Conservative groups followed his lead; this despite the fevered calls for McCain to use what many believed to be a potentially devastating weapon against his neophyte nemesis. This reinforces the point that contrary to the self righteous bloviating of Liberal demagogues like Keith Olbermann, McCain has not wantonly engaged in the politics of personal destruction and character assassination, though many have passionately encouraged him to do so. - Finally - in what may well have been the ultimate self inflicted wound of the campaign McCain chose to honor his commitment to take public campaign financing even in the face of what many predicted would be a four-to-one advantage for Obama after he opted out of the public system. With Obama breaking his promise to take public financing, McCain was free to take the private route himself. With a clear conscious, he could have looked Independents in the eye and said in order to maintain a level playing field I am going to have to take private donations. He then could have challenged Republicans to give him commiserate resources of those many anticipated Obama would eventually enjoy. McCain could have put the burden on the party faithful to provide him with the funds necessary to meet his opponent mono-a-mono; in essence saying put up or shut up. Here at this late date, being outspent at every turn, such a move has great appeal and has become a favorite of political Monday morning quarterbacks. Nonetheless, ever the honor bound officer, McCain chose to keep his word, regardless of the price he might ultimately pay. While these choices may well play an integral part in his defeat, they should come as no real surprise to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the Senator. They are, after all, the choices of the same young officer that chose to honor his commitment to his country and the code that bound him and his fellow prisoners of war together in their dark, torturous corner of Hell decades ago. Yes, Senator McCain faced this campaign as he faced his imprisonment in Vietnam; with a steadfast commitment to honor and courage in the face of temptation to abandon both and take the easy way out. With honor he has fought, faithful readers. By honor he is undone. Stay tuned for further updates as events warrant and a battle-scarred warrior exits the field wounded and battered, but with head held high.