Guest Paul Posted September 20, 2008 Report Share Posted September 20, 2008 I knew John McCain had a bad temper, was far too eager to have the country in a war and didn't understand economics, but I did not expect to see this. This week, with his campaign suddenly on the ropes, he has started talking and acting like a desperate man. A prime example was his statement, clearly intended to show he was in command, that if he was president today he would fire SEC chairman Christopher Cox. Though the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal tried to cover its political bases with a swipe at Obama, its editorial yesterday called McCain's conduct "un-Presidential." http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1221783188...days_us_opinion Its reasons are wrong, but its conclusion is accurate. In trying to show he was in command, he proved that he is not --- not in command of the situation around him and, more important, not in command of himself. Senator McCain had three things going for him a few weeks ago. In that short time, he has managed lose all of them. He had an argument that he was the more experienced candidate. Then he selected a running mate who, in the words of one noted conservative, is "shockingly unqualified" for the office she seeks. Many commentators have said publicly that the selection is irresponsible. Barack Obama may not have many years in Washington, but he has a knowledge and a command of the issues. McCain's VP choice does not. He has given away the "experience" argument. McCain also had an argument that he was a man of sound judgment. Now, with his campaign in trouble, he is showing us how he would behave under pressure. Considering all he endured as a prisoner of war, you would think he would be showing calmness and control, but he isn't. Instead, he is showing desperation, poor judgment and even panic --- with his repeated verbal gaffes this week, his foolish statement about SEC chairman Cox and just yesterday his juvenile attempt to blame his opponent for the trouble in the nation's financial markets. In Obama, we are seeing an excellent example of presidential leadership. He has brought together some of the nation's top economists and financial experts, has coolly and calmly assessed the situation and has spoken responsibly. His demeanor and his behavior is a model of what we want and expect in a president: cool, thoughtful and in control. This is in stark contrast to McCain's hair-trigger responses that don't even make sense. (The president doesn't have the authority to fire the SEC chair.) Finally, McCain was riding an impression that he was a man of integrity, a reputation he carried for many years. He has lost it in just a few weeks, with his appointment of Palin to cater to the radical right, with his campaign of outright lies against his opponent, with his adoption of Rove-style politics and with his consistent duplicity on issue after issue after issue. He attacks his opponent for connections to insiders, but nearly all of his top advisers are high-level lobbyists. (Not to mention that Raines hasn't advised Obama --- the McCain campaign has been caught lying again.) McCain has been reflexively opposed to regulation for decades, but suddenly this week when it has become popular, he wants to be seen as a regulator. His explanation of his statement about the economy being fundamentally sound, in a word, is dishonest: he wasn't referring to the American worker, and he's being dishonest in claiming that he was. He has desperately taken multiple positions on the economic crisis in just a few days. Having sold his soul to the radical right, he has forfeited his claim as a maverick --- he may have been one at one time, but he is not running as one now and hasn't been for quite a while. In several decades of closely following presidential politics, I have never seen a candidate forfeit so many central themes in so short a time. I could speculate about the reasons, but in the face of this behavior they don't matter. When the Wall Street Journal --- not the old WSJ, but the new one, the one owned by far-right media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the same guy who owns and calls the shots for Fox --- when that Wall Street Journal calls the behavior of the Republican presidential candidate "un-Presidential," it's 'nuf said. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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