Posted by: Randy Allgaier | September 30, 2008

John McCain – Not ready to lead, in the words of Conservatives

I am not one to quote conservatives at length on this blog. While I do try to look at a subject in an analytical way I am aware of my liberal tendency to worry about those without a voice, to consider healthcare a right and not a luxury, to help people out of poverty, to fully fund robust public education, and to judge society and our leaders by how we, and they, treat the least among us.

True conservatives tend to have a basic difference on the role of government and while I respect their point of view, I often differ with it.

Recently some of the most prominent names among conservatives, dare I call them the conservative elite, have questioned John McCain’s temperament to be President and his decision making- especially as it relates to one of the most important decisions he has had to make as a candidate for President, the choice of Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President.

Recently the über- conservative George Will wrote a scathing piece about Senator McCain’s temperament.

Will wrote:

“Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.
For McCain, politics is always operatic, pitting people who agree with him against those who are “corrupt” or “betray the public’s trust,” two categories that seem to be exhaustive — there are no other people.

It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?”

Rather damning I would say. But the criticism continues

David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter, is among conservatives who have worried that the Palin pick weakens one of McCain’s best arguments: that he has superior experience and is better prepared to protect America.

“How serious can [McCain] be,” Frum wrote even before Palin appeared at the GOP convention, “if he would place such a neophyte second in line to the presidency?”

In the “New York Times” the conservative columnist David Brooks said, “Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she’d be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness.”

And among the most stunning was the tirade on which Kathleen Parker of “The Washington Post” whent on in an article in the very conservative “National Review”.

“Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there. Here’s but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: “Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we’re talking about today. And that’s something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.”

When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama’s numbers, Palin blustered wordily: “I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it?”

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

If Palin were a man, we’d all be guffawing, just as we do every time Joe Biden tickles the back of his throat with his toes. But because she’s a woman — and the first ever on a Republican presidential ticket — we are reluctant to say what is painfully true.

McCain can’t repudiate his choice for running mate. He not only risks the wrath of the GOP’s unforgiving base, but he invites others to second-guess his executive decision-making ability. “

As a liberal- I couldn’t make my point any better than Will, Brooks, Frum and Parker.


  1. i think obama is the best

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