Saturday, October 04, 2008

Why John McCain Should Not Be President

(Disclosure: I have voted for John S. McCain in two separate primary elections.)

As we wade through the vapidity of silly season, voters must keep attuned to the real issues: the economy, the war, the elections.  Discipline is necessary in order to fulfill our citizens' duty to keep informed.

I can see many reasons why Barack Obama would be a far better president than John S. McCain, but one single item stands out as the deal-breaker for me ever voting for Mr. McCain again.

In a recent interview with Katie Couric, Mr. McCain took issue with Mr. Obama's characterization of the Sunni Awakening and it's impact on the stabilization of Iraq during the current US military surge.  

Katie Couric: Senator McCain, Senator Obama says, while the increased number of US troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What’s your response to that?

McCain: I don’t know how you respond to something that is as—such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel MacFarland was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that’s just a matter of history.

Except—Gaffe!—no, that’s not a matter of history. In fact, the Anbar Awakening predated the U.S. troop surge. The surge began in February 2007; the Awakening began in the summer…of 2006. That’s just a matter of history.  (Read the reference for the evidence as to why McCain is mistaken.)

OK, OK, apologists will allow that Mr. McCain, like all of us, will misspeak or get some details confused at times.  But think about this for a minute.  John McCain is selling himself not on his intellect nor his economic expertise, but on his security credentials.  He will keep us all safe in a horrifically dangerous world.

Yet on the seminal issue of his candidacy: the US military surge in Iraq and the central front on terror, McCain gets the very kernal of issue completely wrong-- not a little bit mixed up, but 180 degrees off.  And to add insult to injury, he then castigates his opponent who in fact got the issue correct!

I am as respectful as anyone else toward Mr. McCain and what he has sacrificed for his nation. His loyalty and bravery as shown 30 years ago are above reproach.  However, it has become apparent that he lacks either the insight or the mental discipline to get the facts straight about the very issue that he has defined as primary to his campaign.

McCain deserves respect, but not the presidency.   At 72 years old, it is indeed time for his retirement.


antipundit said...

Perhaps there is legitimate dispute regarding his loyalty and bravery; for an alternative narrative, see:

delilah said...

Oh that's not the only thing Old Man Mac is wrong about... He still thinks Czechoslovakia exists, he calls for the League of Nations, he confuses Shi'a and Sunni, he links al-Qaida with Iran... all items showing that his geopolitical acumen is not what it should be. Is there any wonder that Obama was viewed as winning the so-called foreign policy debate?

McCain has been revealed to be a vindictive, mean-spirited man without a sharp mind. I am thankful that I have never viewed him as some sort of great maverick.

He was a sell-out from 2000 when he ran around claiming Bush was his "friend" after that loathesome attack campaign launched against McCain's wife and child. He was revealed then to be more in love with ambition than his own family. Nothing since then has surprised me about his utter lack of integrity.

As such, I was not surprised to find that he was for torture after he was against it ( a reversal that should exempt him from all these laudatory claims of character), against immigrants after he was for them, and for tax cuts for the rich before he was against them.

His current call for new regulatory mechanisms fall on deaf ears because we all know he is simply doing something politically expedient and there is no core to his conviction. We all know he was pro-deregulation for the vast majority of his career. This recent conversion is the latest iteration of the McCain Sell Out Machine.

He's a soul-less creature who lies about putting country first. If that were the case, he'd pick someone qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency in the nuclear age. Instead, it is all about politics first.