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article imageOp-Ed: Conservative Columnist George Will Derides Shallowness of McCain Comments

By Brad Sylvester     Sep 23, 2008 in Politics
Conservative pundit George Will, in his column in the Washington Post on Tuesday, called McCain impulsive and hot-tempered. Will accused him of acting shallowly and suggested this sort of behavior is typical of what we would see from a McCain White House.
Well, it finally happened. Conservative pundit George Will and I agree on something. Namely, we agree that treating everyone who disagrees with you as traitors, criminals and idiots is not the proper way to run a government. George Will seems to believe this so strongly that he has come as close to disavowing the Republican nominee as it is possible to do without switching parties. In his Washington Post Column on Tuesday, Will attacked McCain as having “neither patience nor aptitude for…” “calm reflection and clear principles.” Will goes on to express his dismay at John McCain’s “impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events.” In other words, the man has a temper that seems to rule his decisions before he has time to think them through.
As a case study, he cites McCain’s comments that Chris Cox, the SEC Chairman “betrayed the public trust.” In a brutal and blunt commentary, Will derides the “shallowness” of McCain’s statements. Of course, John McCain, himself, reminds us how unbelievable it is that a man who finished fifth from the bottom of his class could wind up with a real shot at being president. Think about that statement for a minute, do you remember who was fifth from the bottom of your class? Would you let that person handle your household budget or decide upon complex issues of foreign policy and international relations?
Sure, he’ll have a host of top notch advisers to help him out on those things. After all his second in command is from a state that’s right next door to Russia. Ultimately, though, it’s John McCain who has to make the decision. If he has a demonstrated tendency, as the well-experienced George Will seems to believe, to make hot-headed decisions without full information, then those advisers aren’t going to do him a lot of good.
On the one hand, John McCain has developed a strong reputation for saying and doing exactly what he believes is right. He has done this for most of his career in the Senate. I can respect a man for that. Something seemed to change in him though when he ran against George Bush for the Presidency. After being viciously slandered by Bush and Rove in 2000, he was forced to get up on the convention stage and say the words “I endorse George Bush.” In the years since then, he has changed his position on a number of his former beliefs. He has moved in lockstep with the Bush presidency, voting with the President an astounding 90 percent of the time according to his own statements. Throughout his career, John McCain had been the poster boy for deregulation, including deregulation of the banking industry. Now he blames Washington’s lack of regulatory oversight for the banking crisis. The New York Daily News quotes McCain as telling us, "I say the Congress has failed, Democrats and Republicans. I remind you the Democrats have had the majority in Congress for the last two years. So everybody's failed." How did McCain vote on the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that dismantled a good deal of the previously existing regulatory oversight? That bit of deregulation, by the way, happened under a Republican controlled Congress, though, to be fair, it was signed into law by Bill Clinton.
So, yes, George Will and I finally agree that McCain with his campaign “characteristically substituting vehemence for coherence” will not make a competent President of the United States. We don’t need another President who shoots from the hip before looking at the facts. We don’t need another President of the United States who changes his positions for political expediency. We don’t need another President who finished near the bottom of his class. And we don’t need another President of the United States who bases his foreign policy on making snap decisions like looking Vladimir Putin in the eye and deciding that he is a good and decent fellow.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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