Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch once described Washington, D.C., aptly as an "island surrounded by reality."
Inside the Washington Beltway it's easy for members of Congress and the news media to get a skewed view of how things are in the world west of the Potomac.
Sen. John McCain seems to be looking through some out-of-focus lenses, or he's taking a major calculated risk. McCain has joined forces with 2000 Democractic Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman to sponsor a bill to close the nonexistent but so-called "gun show loophole."
The devil lurking in the details creates a web of regulation that would end gun shows if it ever becomes law.
McCain also has begun appearing in commercials on behalf of an anti-gun group masking as an advocate of gun safety.
It's not a smart thing to do for anyone who wants to win re-election in Arizona. And this past weekend, he played host to Senate Majority Leader-in-waiting Tom Daschle.
Speculation on weekend political-babble programs had McCain leaving the Republicans for either the Democrats or to be an independent, looking at a run for president in 2004.
If he were to run for the Senate again, that election, too, will be in 2004. Perhaps his national office ambitions have overcome him.
Perhaps he doesn't care about embracing issues that are anathema to most Arizonans, because those positions are necessary to win favor in urban areas to sustain a run for president (as an Independent, Democrat or Republican) in 2004.