Friday, July 10, 2009

Something Someone Else Said

"John McCain is unqualified to be Commander-in-Chief. McCain is a guy of rather mediocre intellect, little curiosity, and very poor and impulsive decision-making skills. He’s vain and headstrong, and he easily turns opposition over matters of policy or politics into personal vendettas. He became a political commodity in 1973 because he embodied the right-wing working-class value of patriotism under duress at a moment when patriotism and the white working class felt under attack for their complicity in a disastrous foreign war. And he was seized upon by a desperate Republican Party in political free-fall; in the thick of Watergate, the Nixon administration launched him as a political celebrity. He then parlayed that notoriety into a political career a few years down the road. He certainly has a substantial amount of charm and an instinct for playing the press, and he’s hardly the dumbest guy in the Senate. But he is not a responsible or serious person. And to a great degree, when he met Sarah Palin, he probably felt he was looking at a younger version of himself. Which is to say that the “rot” in the GOP, the eagerness to substitute celebrity and resentful pseudo-patriotic gibberish for real political discussion, goes back a lot longer than 8 years." -Matt Steinglass, Accumulating Peripherals

Ever since his disastrous decision to choose Palin as his vice-presidential nominee I've definitely had to rethink my former assessments of the man.


Leslie Parsley said...

"McCain is a guy of rather mediocre intellect, little curiosity, and very poor and impulsive decision-making skills."

So true. I've been saying this since way back when. People forget he was cited by his colleagues for using "poor judgement" in the Keating 5 savings and loan debacle.

As for his selection of Palin, his judgement really comes into question. Besides, her youth did nothing to detract from his age.

Dave the Longwinded said...

I'm not completely willing to buy that McCain is as dumb and shallow as this comment makes him out to be. I don't think the guy is a rocket scientist, but I've never seen a politician who was.

But, like you JBW, after watching Palin for about 2 days, I had to seriously re-think my assessment of his integrity. I gave him some real thought with respect to the Presidency. I never believed he would tilt as far to the right as his campaign sounded -- just like I never thought Obama would tilt as far to the left as he might seem.

She completely killed his legitimacy as a candidate for me. And if Obama had picked a character like her for his VP, I wouldn't have voted for him, either.

I was on another blog yesterday reading some comments from conservatives who loved her because she supported "individual freedom." I just can't assume there is any intellectual honesty in asserting such a thing for a person who wants some quasi-legal department that will summarily dismiss complaints against her as "frivolous".

It's important to understand that not all Republicans (or conservatives) are like her. But she definitely speaks for a very hardcore base. And the Reps have made driven themselves on that base for about the last 20 years. Now they're finding themselves locked against a Dem party that knows a little about how to hoist them on their own petards, so to speak.

JBW said...

I don't think that McCain's an idiot either but choosing someone like Palin said a lot about his lack of integrity and personal ambitions. It was a high-risk, Hail Mary play that blew up in his face when America finally got to know her and McCain deserves all the blame for it.

Leslie Parsley said...

If McCain had been serious and smart in his selection of a woman for his running mate he should have selected a savvy woman like Olympia Snowe - the very sharp senator from Maine. But, playing psychologist here, I think McCaine is the type of man who is threatened by smart women. And I think he's a member of the Good Ole Boys club who like their women well dressed, good looking and not very bright.

To me, his selection was strictly politically motivated and showed a cavalier attitude toward the seriousness and the responsibilities of the office. Fortunately, most women weren't taken in and in fact were insulted.

Kevin Robbins said...

McCain was already seen as not crazy enough for the GOP base. Someone like Snowe would have re-inforced that, because she's seen as a RINO by the loons. He might have got more independent votes, but a lot of the base would have stayed home. IMO.

Dave the Longwinded said...

DLB, that's the way I took McCain's choice -- appeal to women and the base at the same time. McCain knew that he wasn't the quite rightwing enough for the base. Watching his acceptance speech at the RNC last Fall, I was a bit flabbergasted. When he called out his own party, you could almost hear the whispers: "He really is willing to tell Republicans they're wrong!?!"

But, to echo Parsley and JBW, that kind of choice does belie his lack seriousness about the subject.

It also explains why, in spite of all the logic in the world telling them otherwise, the GOP is going to try to push further and further toward the right before it tries to broaden its appeal. In their minds, they lost because because McCain wasn't rightwing enough.

Nevermind the fact that they got trounced by a Democrat that they painted as everything but an American...

Leslie Parsley said...

A lot of the GOP either stayed home or voted for Obama. Snowe was just a suggestion. Susan Collins might have been a better choice or any number of Republican women.

JBW said...

I agree with ex DLB. Conservatives were already talking shit about McCain being too moderate. Selecting Palin was clearly a ploy to appeal to the religious conservative base. That's why they've continued to embrace her while McCain has become an afterthought at best.

Kevin Robbins said...

He should have just gone full Bachmann.