What is America’s fixation with John McCain? I guess that standing next to his Republican competition in the nomination race illumines him in a rosier light, but honestly, do Americans really want a seventy-two year old has-been as their next president?
Also hard to comprehend is the hero worship. So the guy spent five and a half years banged up in a Vietcong prison; so what? Anywhere but America that would be taken as a sign of failure. If he’d escaped, hacked down twenty of the enemy, stolen a uniform and a Vietcong jeep, then fought his way to the nearest landing strip before hijacking an enemy aircraft and hightailing it back to Arizona, THEN he might be considered a hero.
Okay, I’ll admit there’s an element of facetiousness in that last paragraph. By all accounts McCain is no coward. He even gave up the chance of an early release from prison camp to support other POW’s. But, that, of itself, won’t guarantee he’ll make a good American president.
Despite McCain’s oft quoted “straight-talking” ability, the guy bobs and weaves better than a hunted rabbit. His views on abortion have been up and down more often than a whore’s underwear. Officially, he toes the party line, but in 1999 he admitted ‘Roe v Wade’ should not be repealed.
In 2007 he changed his mind.
He’s been known in the past as a lead sponsor of gun control legislation, yet voted against renewal of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.
A recent Washington Times editorial described McCain’s stance-shifting on immigration, thus:
“On illegal immigration, Mr. McCain said that anyone who says he supported amnesty is “a liar” and says he has “never” supported Social Security benefits for illegals. However, in 2006 and 2007, he joined with Ted Kennedy to support Senate bills that would have granted amnesty to millions of illegals. In 2006, Mr. McCain denounced in a floor speech and cast the deciding vote against an amendment by Sen. John Ensign, Nevada Republican, that would have denied Social Security benefits to illegals who work under a Social Security number obtained through identity fraud. He cosponsored the Dream Act providing in-state tuition for illegal-alien college students, but, in the face of intense opposition to the bill from grass-roots conservatives, Mr. McCain announced that he would have voted against the legislation had he been in attendance when it was voted on late last year (he was absent).”
Recently, in a GOP nomination debate, McCain insisted it would be fine if American troops were in Iraq for the next hundred years. He talked of only withdrawing when victory and honor were satisfied. I seem to remember those same arguments used over the Vietnam war. Then, it took another 20,000 or so dead Americans before ‘honor’ and ‘victory’ took a back seat to commonsense.
The sad fact, for people like John McCain, is that there will never be honor or victory for America in Iraq. The US forfeited its right to such eulogy the day it committed an act against international law by carrying out a premeditated strike against another nation; that, without the subsequent war crimes of Abu Ghraib, Fallujah, and numerous other less well publicized atrocities.
John McCain cannot grasp that obvious fact. He fails to move beyond the intransigence of American idealism. He is blinkered, nationalistic, and way too old to learn a better way. McCain’s heart will never accept that an Arab, once he’s had a good dose of US Imperialism, won’t realize how much better off he is.
In this world, that’s a highly dangerous mindset. It’s exactly the mindset of George W Bush.
Given the unknown numbers of whites who truly hate the idea of a black president, and the indeterminate mass of chauvinist male Americans who despise the concept of a woman in ultimate power, what chance next November will produce a Republican President John McCain?
Filed under: Each way bet