A Scold Is He
Of all the people I had to give a political donation to, it had to be to John McCain. Here is how he repaid me and his fellow Republicans, today, on ABC's "This Week":
On ABC’s “This Week,” host George Stephanopoulos asked: “The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Mike Duncan, has been highly critical of the way President-elect Obama has dealt with this.
"He's had a statement every single day, saying that the Obama team should reveal all contacts they've had with Governor [Rod] Blagojevich. He says that Obama's promise of transparency to the American people is now being tested. Do you agree with that?”
McCain replied: “I think that the Obama campaign should and will give all information necessary. You know, in all due respect to the Republican National Committee and anybody — right now, I think we should try to be working constructively together, not only on an issue such as this, but on the economy stimulus package, reforms that are necessary. And so, I don't know all the details of the relationship between President-elect Obama's campaign or his people and the governor of Illinois, but I have some confidence that all the information will come out. It always does, it seems to me.”
The next sounds you hear are me knocking my head against my keyboard. Why did I vote for such a man, tell me?
Was I drawn to him because of his "reformer" mantra, when instead, I should've seen a scold and a sell-out?
I genuinely thought he could bring reform to the Republican Party (both Parties need it badly), and in choosing a running-mate with similar credentials in Alaska, I thought this would be an excellent start at cleaning the Augean stables that is Washington. This is why I voted for him, but since November 4th, I have felt only disgust and pity at my own perfidy of my values.
I'm not alone. Commenter Knox left this cri de coeur in another thread, "John McCain is Al Gore":
I was so disgusted by McCain at the end of the campaign, I had a full-blown case of McCain Derangement Syndrome. I think you're right, I think he couldn't stand being the Media's bad guy. He's much happier back in the senate, back-stabbing republicans just often enough to retain his "maverick" status. (And McCain constantly referring to himself as a "maverick" is just his version of the Gore name-drop.)
What a conundrum that someone who's been through what he has, and at his age, still sees the world through the lens of a popularity contest! And now he's back on the talk-show circuit, on Letterman, no less, who has been positively vicious to SP. What a cool guy.
Looks like I still have some of that MDS!
I'll piggyback on Knox' excellent idea that the "maverick" mentions are McCain's versions of Gore's name-dropping habit: both share the need to be seen as "better than thou" -- in Gore's case, better connected than most people; in McCain's case, better than most Republicans.
Here comes the piggyback:
Gore invented the internet, and McCain invented Blackberries.
Okay, neither men really thinks this (and it was McCain's advisor who merely suggested the Senator helped usher in legislation for the latter, not the Senator himself), but it goes to our joint point that they want to be seen as separate, other, and special. These claims make both innovators who should then reap their rewards in popularity.
Incidentally, Senator Robert Dole wanted to be seen as a funny, nice guy. Senator John Kerry wanted to be seen as the Vietnam vet with a conscience.
The winners of each of those Presidential contests, namely Clinton, Bush, and Obama all share one thing in common -- they go for the jugular, and aren't afraid to play hardball. I don't know about you, that's precisely what I want in my President, and I think now that Americans sensed that even if some would never admit it out loud.
As for McCain's comments, Macsmind puts forward a suggestion a little more forcefully, and with less emotion, that I:
One of the big reasons McCain lost is because he’s gotten “soft”. Because he didn’t “go there”, we’ve got the most inexperienced - and now most questionable - person to ever get to the White House. If he’s lost the stomach to play in the rough and tumble of politics that asks for accountability, then perhaps it’s time to for him to retire.
Ironically, by trying to squelch Republicans' disgust over this Illinois corruption scandal, John McCain is enabling the very thing he has purported to dedicate his career to -- reform.
But you see, what's more important is to be seen as WORKING with Democrats, not reforming politics, really and truly.
Fantastic. Why do I see this only now? I feel used.
Is there a real reformer in the house?