Will on McCain

Will on McCain October 5, 2008

This is 2 weeks old, but I just got around to actually reading the piece. Check out George Will's extremely withering assessment of McCain's many, to put it mildly, unpresidential–and increasingly conspicuous, even to diehards on the Right–personality traits.

George F. Will – McCain Loses His Head – washingtonpost.com

Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial
selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal
reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he
would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having
neither patience nor aptitude for either.

It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready
for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling
moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the
presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great
cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?

If these concerns are so evident that a GOP stalwart like Will feels obligated to speak out about them, why the heck can't the MSM be more candid about McCain's temper problem (the worst example of which involved him publicly ripping into his wife in the crudest, most abusive language; in a politician, this can only be said to be evidence of a breathtaking lack of self-control and discipline), jingoism, well known erratic behavior, mental health concerns, history of terrible judgement in foreign affairs, periodic manifestations of senility, and ruthlessly slimy campaign? (When's the last time you saw a candidate literally compare his opponent to the Anti-Christ?) And then there's the myth, willingly foisted by an adoring media, of him being a maverick.

That "liberal" media is at it again…giving the GOP's champion a free pass on all manner of glaring faults and inconsistencies.

Incidentally, how the heck could a debate where one participant rarely responded to questions with anything more than vague canned slogans and folksy posturing be said to have been a draw?  Given the vacuousness of most of her responses, there's good reason to believe that the only reason Palin didn't self-destruct once again was that she was given kid-glove treatment by a host afraid of being accused of bias. She may well be ready to be a vice-president, but nothing she said or did at the VP debate should have allayed existing doubts on that score.

Sarah Palin is the very Hollywood-style triumph of style over substance.  The party of Russel Kirk and Barry Goldwater now finds itself being represented by a doddering Genghis Khan and cliche-spouting, awe-shucks-posturin' Private Benjamin.   It's something out of Jerry Springer.

I'm quite disappointed in Obama in many ways and think he'd have lost this race already in normal circumstances, but whatever his missteps and inconsistencies he at least appears to be competent and mentally balanced. And he's run an honorable campaign, in utter contrast to McCain.

Were I a conservative, I'd be crying myself to sleep these days.

But don't count McCain out yet. Dirty Tricks and scare-mongering could yet turn the tide, especially given Obama's race, now muddled brand, and for many people's tastes overly exotic background. Brace yourself for an onslaught of new "Willie Horton"-style attacks, and perhaps a new, Middle Eastern "Grenada" to make McCain somehow seem relevant again.

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