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August 13, 2008

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But David Broder says that the reason everything has gotten so negative is because Barack wouldn't debate St. McCain. I mean, what choice did St. BBQ have? A pox on everyone's house but mine, says I!

While I certainly agree with this Joe Klein piece more than I agree with most Joe Klein pieces, his argument about the Bush administration seems to me to be a subtle form of special pleading:

Those tactics won George Bush a primary--and a nomination. But they proved a form of slow-acting spiritual poison, rotting the core of the Bush presidency.

Bush's tactics against McCain in 2000 were vile. But they did not cause the disaster of the last eight years. George Bush was not a competent, moral, and upstanding leader prior to the 2000 SC primary.

In fact, many people understood just what kind of a leader George Bush was likely to be even before the SC primary. But for those too slow to figure it out earlier, that primary contest should have been an important early warning sign of what a Bush presidency would bring.

Joe Klein, on the other hand, took a very, very long time figuring out that the Bush administration was a disaster. It's kind of sad that, at this late date, he feels the need to conjure a "slow-acting spiritual poison" to explain a presidency that was rotten from the moment it came to office.

In fact, many people understood just what kind of a leader George Bush was likely to be even before the SC primary

Define many.

"Because he was, as far as I knew, more or less honorable,"

It's remarkable how many liberals couldn't tell the difference between a Republican being honorable, and being willing to suck up to Democrats for good publicity. Pretty shallow of you, I think, to make this mistake.

Of course, it was equally shallow of McCain to think that Democrats would still love him once he was running in the general election against one of their own, rather than in a primary against one of HIS own.

Brett, it sounds like you are suggesting that McCain was dishonorable because he occasionally worked with Democrats.

Pretty shallow of you, I think, to make this mistake.

McCain had a huge assist from the press, who worked hard to present him as the honorable maverick war-hero. for the past 9 years, everything from his constant Daily Show appearances to his Biography episode were framed to make him seem like the Last Honorable Republican. up until the last month, i don't know that i ever heard a negative word about him in the MSM.

a lot of people fell for it, sure. but they did so after being told by approximately 100% of the big-time media, for 9 years straight, that McCain really was the honorable maverick of the myth.

but of course thinking McCain was a good guy until he proved himself otherwise, much to the shock and dismay of Joe Klein et al, is nowhere near as shallow as electing GWB. twice.

Brett: I wasn't paying a lot of attention to McCain. What registered was: (a) his history as a POW, (b) the fact that after the Keating 5, he didn't just apologize, but actually tried to do something about corruption, (c) his speech about 'agents of intolerance', which I thought was good, and gutsy, and conservative in a good way.

Also, of course, some of his other views, which precluded my ever voting for him. (Insert caveat about possible situations in which his opponent is David Duke or Hitler or someone.) But I respected him.

I had a little default respect for McCain until I started looking more closely at his record. Turns out he was always a phoney, and fairly lazy, too. He is a careerist. Goldwater didn't think much of him (nor the Reagans, ultimately), and neither do some of the other Senators in his caucus - not so much for ideological reasons as for personal ones. Shallow and emotional. Very bad combination. At least Bush - shallow as he is - is not what you'd call 'overly emotional'. McCain (as Commander In Chief) would be really dangerous, folks. I'm glad to see that Klein, at least, is willing to do what other pundits and journos aren't: make himself vulnerable to ridicule for revising his assesment, and calling McCain what he is.

What Dallas said.

Brett,

So you're saying McCain is dishonorable?

I thought this article on McCain's early years was devastating.

this is a really nice ad.

too bad Obama didn't have anything to do with it.

The McCain camp no doubt hopes the Georgian-Russian crisis points out Obama's inexperience.

But I would hope McCain's "We Are All Georgians" eagerness to antagonize Russia would do the opposite and give one pause before they vote for someone who boasts, "I know how to win wars."

McCain's over-reaching has made George Bush look like a model of restraint and presidential -- no wonder the White House hasn't told him to shut up.

McCain is one step from senility, I don’t want an old jones running my country, do you?

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