First Read makes an interesting point here:

[W]hat’s perhaps most interesting to us are all the Republicans and ex-McCain aides who have been openly critical of the campaign. In presidential contests, Republicans are normally unaccustomed to this kind of intra-party dissent and criticism. But as we found with the Kerry campaign in ’04 and the Team Hillary in ’08, it doesn’t necessarily help when there are so many people who like to talk. No matter how disgruntled the McCain campaign says these folks are, these ex-McCainiacs have an impressive track record and know how to give a good quote…

Right. And I'd argue that it's partly an outgrowth of McCain's positive relationship with the press over the years. Most Republican campaigns fear and loathe the mainstream media, so it's easy to enforce discipline. As an operative, why would you talk to a bunch of people you assume want to do you in? But the people who toil in McCain-world have learned the opposite lesson over the years--that the media is their friend and frequent ally. That's allowed a certain rapport to develop, one that's now killing McCain as so many former aides feel comfortable blabbing to the scribes they've gotten to know.

(Obviously that doesn't apply to the Republicans who haven't worked for McCain. Except insofar as they know the McCain people don't consider the media the enemy  the Bushies did, which makes it less of a betrayal to talk...)

--Noam Scheiber