Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nick Kristof gets his Angus on!!!

In today's NYT, Kristof (kind of) loves him some John McCain:

"Even for those of us who shudder at many of John McCain’s positions, there is something refreshing about a man who wins so many votes despite a major political shortcoming: he is abysmal at pandering."

That sums up what I've been trying to say about McCain around here lately. Sure I don't agree with a lot of his positions. For me at least, that is true of all the candidates, fringe or otherwise. Yet McCain's willingness to buck his party on torture and immigration, his willingness to give potential voters bad news, his steadfast opposition to earmarks, endears him to me in a very real way.

Kristof goes even further and claims to see a trend:

"It’s also striking that Barack Obama is leading a Democratic field in which he has been the candidate who is least-scripted and most willing to annoy primary voters, whether in speaking about Reagan’s impact on history or on the suffering of Palestinians.

All of this is puzzlingly mature on the part of the electorate. A common complaint about President Bush is that he walls himself off from alternative points of view, but the American public has the same management flaw: it normally fires politicians who tell them bad news."

I have to say that in my view, Obama is telling his base what it wants to hear. They may be his sincere beliefs, but I don't see him telling unions that NAFTA is here to stay or anything remotely like that. The only reason one might think he's annoying primary voters is from the Clinton campaign's desperate attempts to get the primary voters annoyed with him.


Dirty Davey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dirty Davey said...

Re: "Yet McCain's willingness to buck his party on torture and immigration,..."

What willingness? From the NYT of 14 February:

"The Senate voted Wednesday to ban waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods that have been used by the Central Intelligence Agency against high-level terrorism suspects...."
"The leading Republican presidential candidate, Senator John McCain of Arizona, a former prisoner of war who steadfastly opposes the use of torture, voted against the bill."

This must be some new and different meaning of the word "steadfast" with which I am not familiar.

Anonymous said...

Dirty Davey is right,

McCain has flipped on almost every issue of substance in order to cynically pander to the worst elements of the political sphere. (This list includes but is not limited to campaign finance, torture, taxes, domestic surveillance, immigration and much more.) On the 3 trillion dollar disaster in mass murder adventurism however his has not wavered. Escalate any war the U.S. is in and wage as many wars against the weak as possible.

Throughout his life he has shown profound weakness of character. After seeing over 130 shipmates burn to death from napalm and high explosives. He said it opened his eyes to the horrific suffering of napalm and that he didn't think he could any longer bomb the civilian areas of North Viet Nam. But within 3 weeks a few brave North Vietnamese saved his life of the vengeful crowd that had seen the mass murder of hundreds of thousands from his bombs and others. That flip against what he recognized as right is a pattern he has displayed throughout his life.

Last year he allowed amendments to his anti-torture bill which reversed the effect of the legislation so as to allow its use, ban any civil suits for its use and thus any ability to expose it, allow torture coerced statements and confessions in kangaroo trials, provide de facto impunity for using torture including allowing the use of reliance on (bogus criminal) legal opinions allowing it as a defense. He said not one word, allowed it to be portrayed as a successful thankless campaign against torture, and did not expose that the bill had become the torturers dream.

A man of principles to which he adheres regardless of consequence, he is not.
A man of honor, he is not.
A rogue bucking the system he is not.
A phony who with the media cultivates his false image is what he remains.