Thursday, March 27, 2008

The emerging McCain doctrine

One of the reasons conservatives have never been thrilled with John McCain, aside from his utter disregard of the rule of law in the illegal immigration mess, is his maverickness, in other words, his easy willingness to side with the other side.

Here's another example. Note how the AP reporter frames it:
"Our great power does not mean we can do whatever we want whenever we want, nor should we assume we have all the wisdom and knowledge necessary to succeed," the likely presidential nominee said in a speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. "We need to listen to the views and respect the collective will of our democratic allies," McCain added.
Who wouldn't agree? But perhaps he should have cited examples rather than leaving it open to press interpretation.

For instance, the AP reporter divined that Mac was referring to Iraq and Bush's cowboy diplomacy. Thing is, he was in favor of US action all along and has expressed hope we'd have a presence there for 100 years. It's doubtful he performed a quick global test before making that remark.

He went on in the speech to chastise other world leaders should they fail to have the proper understanding of the threat from Islamic terrorism. That sounds a tad unilateralist, too.

The only issue remaining in which the US has been accused of cowboyism is our refusal to sign Kyoto, so he must have been referring to global warming. How about this takeaway--John McCain will not unilaterally attack climate change before consulting with our allies.

Oh well. Running against Bush is probably an effective strategy in light of conventional wisdom on the American street and various popularity polls. That will be suspended for the convention, where McCain will be forced to embrace a few neocons and wives of former presidents but he'll likely drift back left of the glide slope in the home stretch. Probably for the best under the circumstances, but sometimes the medicine is hard to swallow.

3 comments:

LASunsett said...

I think he is in a tough position in that, he must create the perception that he is distancing himself enough from Bush to win the election. Yet, he must be close enough to be able to continue on the things that need to be continued, once elected.

Perhaps, he may be speaking of not cowboying his way into new endeavors.

A.C. McCloud said...

The moderates are who they're focusing on, obviously. McCain knows he'll probably get a large number of "anybody but Hillary" votes from the right but needs those swing voters he's always done well with. Obama is trying to convince those swing voters that Mac is just Bush-3. He knows Mac is locked into his Iraq position permanently now and knows it could be his downfall. So do the Iranian puppetmasters who influence the Shiite militias in Iraq, who are ironically flaring up violence again. It'll be interesting to see if Obama 'piles on' this recent downturn as evidence of why McCain is wrong.

LASunsett said...

//It'll be interesting to see if Obama 'piles on' this recent downturn as evidence of why McCain is wrong.//

I think this is a distinct probability. But if he's smart, McCain will need to turn it back around and say something to the effect of:

That's all well and good Senator, but ideals won't work here. It's too late to debate the "validity of the war" argument again. We can't reinvent the wheel, we cannot change what is done. What we should/shouldn't have done, doesn't play here. By the way, what is your plan to stop the Mahdi Army from throwing a wrench into the peace and stability of Iraq?