The Real McCain vs. the Newspaper McCain
Matt Welch has an excellent, link-filled article asking newspaper editorial boards to, if they are going to endorse McCain, endorse the real McCain, rather than the “straight-talking”, “maverick”, “Iraq war skeptic” that newspaper editorialists tend to tag with the name “McCain”.
Considering that McCain in New Hampshire this month railed against “negative ads” while running them, and then bragged in his victory speech that he “always told you the truth,” it seems timelier than ever to double-check, rather than rubber-stamp, the new front-runner’s honesty. Particularly since his voluminous writings are filled with warnings like: “the worst decisions I have made, not just in politics but over the course of my entire life, have been those I made to seek an advantage primarily or solely for myself.”
Read the whole thing, especially for the context and copious citations. Frankly, I’ve never been a big John McCain fan, even though I’ve predicted that he will take the Republican nomination. I don’t like his “national greatness”, give up your life for the state brand of conservative authoritarianism. I don’t like his warmongering. I don’t like the fact that a member of the Keating Five somehow has the audacity to be the guy who “stands up to corruption” and doesn’t get called on it.
That said, one of the most heartbreaking things about this election season is that John McCain is actually an attractive candidate. Not because he’s become a better candidate or politician, but rather because the rest of the field is just that bad. I will give McCain credit for his standing up to the Administration on torture. I’ll also definitely give him credit for trying to push through immigration policies that at least have some modicum of decency, as opposed to the Know-Nothing position of the rest of the Republican Party. But those are small potatoes compared to his numerous flaws as a Presidential candidate.