Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Kind of President McCain Would Be

John McCain is telling us exactly the kind of president he would be. Unpredictable, reckless, risky.

He's shown over and over that his judgment is poor. He's not serious about being a good president; he just wants to be president. The way he inflamed things over Georgia ought to be enough to disqualify him from consideration. We didn't live through the Cold War just to be picking stupid fights with Russia now. His foolishness about Iraq is a unending indictment on his judgment. He was ready to invade Iraq a couple days after 9/11. He declared the war ended in 2003 (we won), but still insists that if we leave now we've lost. He's been brash, trigger-happy with his remarks (100 years in Iraq; bomb, bomb, bomb Iran).

Now we have his pick for VP in Sarah Palin, so transparently bad it's ridiculous. Global responsibility can't just be handed blithely to the first warm body who shows up -- male or female. The fact that McCain felt backed into a corner -- by the demands of the right wing fringe of his party and by a poor field to pick from among Republicans -- is reflected in his choice. In other words, he picked Palin from a position of weakness, not strength. He picked her for a moment of short term gain, which doesn't sound to me like the judgment of someone who puts "Country First." That's like a cornered dog clawing, growling, snapping, and biting his way to freedom. A cornered dog puts "Cornered Dog First."

So, what kind of presidential judgment, mulling over the choice, did McCain use in vetting Palin? According to Politico, before the big day they met once and talked on the phone once. Does that really count as a good basis for a 72-year-old cancer survivor to put someone a heartbeat from the presidency?

John McCain on Friday announced a running mate whom he met only six months ago and with whom he spoke just once on the phone about the position before offering it in person earlier this week.

And some of the other words in that article tell us pretty much what we need to know about John McCain:
By picking somebody he and most Americans barely know — an out-of-the-blue decision that sent shock waves of disbelief through the political world and still has jaws agape — McCain has taken a considerable gamble.

The choice is historic, yes. Palin becomes only the second woman to run on a major-party ticket and the first Republican woman to do so. But it’s also fraught with risks.
Out-of-the-blue decisions, considerable gambling, fraught with risks. Just the kind of guy we want negotiating with our friends and enemies. Just the kind of guy we want with his finger on the button. Roll the dice and hope it comes up with our number!

John McCain does not have the judgment, temperament, or even the common sense it takes to be president.

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