Friday, January 11, 2008

The McCain Conundrum

I was going to critique the John McCain web site, but looking at the candidate sites makes my brain hurt. Besides, one is much like another, although McCain’s online store is pretty good (4 yard signs for 10 bucks). Also, I prefer the title of this post, which kind of sounds like a Robert Ludlum novel. (Does anyone know if RL wrote more books before, or after, he died?)

Here’s the conundrum: I read McCain’s positions on the major issues of the day and I strongly disagree with many of them. So why is it that if the election were held tomorrow, he’d get my vote?

The question is not simple, but the answer is: character. I believe John McCain is the most genuine and principled candidate in the field. He has had the courage to take some very unpopular positions (the surge in Iraq, immigration, campaign reform) and stick with them. Of whom else can that be said?

But here’s where it gets weird. I also think he’s less than candid about some of his positions. For example, he says on his site that he supports reversing Roe v. Wade. I completely disagree with that position, but I’m not bothered by it much because if he is elected I don’t think he’d do a single thing to affect that change.

A President isn’t really in the position to do much about Roe in the first place; I believe McCain is a pragmatic man who will work to find areas where Republicans and Democrats can agree, so he can accomplish something. He would not jump into a vicious fight he can’t win. Being pragmatic he says things he believes, and knows will appeal to the most conservative voters, because he needs their support, even though he is unlikely to fight those battles.

So -- I like the guy primarily for his honesty, despite recognizing that he is occasionally misleading, which I view as smart politics. Is it any wonder the pollsters can’t always figure out what people are really thinking?


hankster said...

Interestingly, this position on McCain is what Frank Rich wrote in today's (1/13/08) NY Times in his opinion, though the piece was not really about McCain.

d'blank said...

Frank always checks my blog before his dealine.