Friday, October 24, 2008

Once a great man?

A friend of mine, a strong supporter of Obama from the get-go, referred to McCain as having been "Once a great man".

I respond thusly:

McCain was never a great man.

He wasn't the most evil person either, and he has some likeable qualities. I actually don't think he's mean-spirited. Like any national Republican candidate, he has to appeal to some fear-addled bigots in order to turn a minority of well-off people into an electoral majority, and in a way it's sad, though also justified, that he should be held responsible for their actions.

But in terms of his character, I think his latest appearance on Letterman summed it up for me.

McCain: "I screwed up."

This is what McCain has - the ability to say "I screwed up" endearingly. It endeared him to the mainstream press, who believed that his ability to say "I screwed up" endearingly indicated a truthfulness and high sense of honor and principle. And they proceeded to shower praise on him from 1999 until a few weeks ago, when they finally got fed up with being duped. They should have got fed up with themselves rather than him, but I digress.

That McCain can admit he was wrong when he gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar is, I suppose, a good thing, as these things go. The problem is he has said "I screwed up" far too many times. And I forgive him. But you don't put a screw-up in a position of authority. He hasn't changed. He's always been a screw-up. He's never had a strong moral compass or an ability to influence people around him to do the right thing*.

The pundits loved him because they're screw-ups too. And that woman that made up the story. Hoo boy, that was a major screw-up.

I'm just glad that it appears that this country might... just... NOT... screw up this election!


*By 'right thing' I mean any principled stand, regardless of where in the ideological spectrum it might fall.

2 Comments:

Blogger Andy said...

His image as a straight shooter is so unjustified. He is not what people think he is. I for one, do not believe that we would be at war in Iraq if he was president instead of Bush, and yet he stood by Bush and said he was for it. It's almost as if he doesn't care about anything, he just wants to be President. But what is the point of being president if its not to promote the causes you believe in?

9:24 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

You need your own show. Rock on PF.

12:23 AM  

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