It beats the hell out of me why McCain doesn't do more of this. It's precisely what the knuckledraggers in his party want, even if The New York Times doesn't understand that:
Banter, of course, is not without its risks. When Mr. McCain replaced the words of the Beach Boys tune "Barbara Ann" with "Bomb Iran" this month, he became a curious sensation on YouTube and angered many who are against the war. But the move seemed to appeal to hawkish voters -- as evidenced by the warm reception Mr. McCain's campaign got when it played the original song at several rallies this week.
They liked it? Well, of course they liked it.
So where are the risks? Isn't he running for the Republican nomination? He'd probably gain in the polls if he put up a damn rock video of this, with guys in McCain shirts on surfboards. Double-digit gains if he got Worst Person from Keith Olbermann. That's what would win it for him, not this mixed-praised-and-criticism thing he keeps doing with regard to the war.
His problem, given the nature of his party, isn't that he's occasionally "politically incorrect" -- it's that he isn't that way often enough.
And if that wins him the nomination, the mainstream press will love him again, and portray him however he wants to be portrayed for the general election.