Friday, September 26, 2008

Famous Last Words

"I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war." When John McCain made this memorable statement it was an obvious attempt to disparage his opponents motives. Now, because of his ill-conceived selection of Sarah Palin as running mate, we clearly see that he did not mean he wouldn't endanger the country in other ways just to try to win a political campaign. Carl Bernstein, as astute an analyst of the political scenc as anyone writing today, says it well in his article, The Palin Pick -- The Devolution of McCain. Berstein says,

Indeed, no presidential nominee of either party in the last century has seemed so willing to endanger the country's security as McCain in his reckless choice of a running mate. He is 72 years old; has had four melanomas, a particularly voracious form of cancer; refuses to release his complete medical records. Three of our last eleven presidents (and nine of all 43) have come to office unexpectedly in mid-term from the vice presidency: Truman, who within days of FDR's death was confronted with the decision of whether to drop the atom bomb on Japan; Lyndon Johnson, who took the oath in Dallas after JFK's assassination; Gerald Ford, sworn in following the resignation of Richard Nixon. A fourth vice president, George H.W. Bush, briefly exercised the powers of the presidency after the near-assassination of Ronald Reagan.

Given that history, what does John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin -- the cavalier, last-minute process of her selection and careless vetting; and her over-briefed, fact-lite performance since -- reveal about this military man who has attested to us for years that he is guided by his personal code of honor? "Two things I will never
do," McCain told me, "are [to] lie to the American people, or put my electoral interests before the national interest" -- an obvious precursor of "I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war."

He then answers his own question:

It does not take a near-death experience to know that Sarah Palin is not qualified to be commander in chief, or that -- in choosing her -- McCain has ignored his own oft-avowed code of conduct. "McCain made the most important command decision of his life when he chose Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee," noted David Ignatius in the Washington Post. "....No promotion board in history would have made such a decision."

I having no problem praising Berstein for coming to this decision because he now agrees with me. Of course I came to this same conclusion almost a month ago. See my post McCain Throws the Election on August 29, 2008.


ChrisB said...

And yet Palin still has more experience than Obama.

sepherim said...

Please don't insult those in the race who have real experience in things that matter but continuing to make that totally unsubstantiated claim. The only possible way you can make a case for this is if you consider experience being mayor of a small town as relevant for a major national office. I have known lots of small town mayors and have worked closely with several through the years. There is no way the experience gained filling potholes and keeping the garbage picked up in any way prepares anyone for being next in line for the most powerful office in the world. But even if you do consider that relevant, she obviously did not learn anything from her experience. Her performance at everything but reading a teleprompter and throwing out oneliners has been abysmal. Anyone who really believes that this woman is qualified to be vice president of the United States needs to go back to junior high and take a basic civics course. By her own admission just a few months ago she didn't have any idea what was involved in being the vice president. So if you don't like Obama, come up with a real reason.

ChrisB said...

If I were to admit that Palin is wholely unqualified for the job, that still doesn't mean Obama's qualified.

She's been governor -- admittedly of a small state -- for two years. He was a senator for less than a year before he started running for president. He has nothing but his experience in front of a teleprompter to commend him.

I don't want any Democrat to be president, but I cannot believe they're running this man. There are Democrats who wouldn't be a complete trainwreck as president, but he's not one of them.