Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Let’s go to the videotape! (aka I told you this asshole would say anything to get elected)

As I wrote yesterday, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the complex rationalizations and simplified psychoanalysis that went into Matt Bai’s Sunday NYT Magazine piece about what might have shaped John McCain’s worldview—most notably what could inspire a man to embrace Bush’s failed and dangerous course in Iraq. It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate the attempt at understanding the Asshole from Arizona, it was just that the highfalutin’ explanations provided in the article give McCain too much credit for thinking this through—and, more importantly, Bai’s “analysis” crowds out what to me is the most obvious and likely reason behind McCain’s ever-shifting positions: John McCain will say whatever he thinks he must to get elected president.

Think I’m oversimplifying? Then I ask you to take a look at the latest Real McCain video from Brave New Films.

And don’t just take my word for it (or McCain’s—again, watch the video), former Rhode Island Senator (and, now, former Republican) Lincoln Chafee agrees. Appearing Tuesday on WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show, Chafee said of his one-time friend and Senate colleague that his political shifts were clearly born of an overriding desire to grab the presidency (just before the 13 minute mark on the audio, or at about 1:30 on the YouTube):

Lopate: [McCain’s] gone back on any number of things. Do you think he’s done it because it’s the only way he sees to win, or do you think he’s had a change of heart?

Chaffee: I think the former—that he’s just looking at it politically—which is unfortunate from my perspective. I am also surprised that once locking up the nomination he hasn’t tacked toward the middle more. He’s still kowtowing to that rightwing base.

So, there you have it. No complex worldview. No nuanced shifts. Just naked ambition.

John McCain: Empty. Cynical. Hypocritical. Ruthless. Pandering to the extremist right. It’s really not that hard to understand, and really not that hard to recognize, either. In fact, we are all painfully familiar with the type.

Update: Oh, yeah, here’s what Barack Obama had to say on the matter last night in Iowa:

We face an opponent, John McCain, who arrived in Washington nearly three decades ago as a Vietnam War hero, and earned an admirable reputation for straight talk and occasional independence from his party.

But this year's Republican primary was a contest to see which candidate could out-Bush the other, and that is the contest John McCain won. . . .

I will leave it up to Senator McCain to explain to the American people whether his policies and positions represent long-held convictions or Washington calculations, but the one thing they don't represent is change.

(cross-posted on guy2k and The Seminal)

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home