Technology with attitude

A Glimpse of the Real McCain

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What has George Bush done wrong in his presidency?

Spending, the conduct of the war in Iraq for years, growth in the size of government, larger than any time since the Great Society, laying a $10 trillion debt on future generations of America, owing $500 billion to China, obviously, failure to both enforce and modernize the [financial] regulatory agencies that were designed for the 1930s and certainly not for the 21st century, failure to address the issue of climate change seriously…

And that’s not even a Democrat.

In fact, that’s John McCain in a recent interview with the Washington Times. He also added that he disagrees with Bush’s use of executive privilege to sidestep oversight and Dick Cheney’s assertion that the vice president is part of both the executive and legislative branch.

I agree with everything McCain said about Bush. But if McCain wanted to run away from his own party’s president this forcefully, why not begin doing so two months ago? And why not choose a running mate who appealed to the center rather than one who has appealed primarily to the base?

This is the great error of the McCain campaign – a complete inability to integrate the Republican base with political independents. And I don’t know how much of that is McCain’s fault and how much is the party’s fault. I’m not sure the Republican base can be integrated with significant numbers of middle-of-the-road independents. The party has compromised too many of their convictions and has become too defensive of positions that don’t deserve defending.

I’ve never believed the Democratic spin that McCain would just be another Bush. Some might call this recent criticism of the current administration a desperate move. But I think this is the real John McCain who’s too often been consumed by the machinery of his own campaign. Unfortunately, it’s too late to brand himself as a third-way candidate. And I don’t think he’s even trying to – I think this is just a frustrated man releasing some steam and the McCain we’ll see over the last twelve days will be the same we’ve seen during the last several months.

If McCain loses this election as predicted, I think he’ll look back and regret the choices he made in the final months of his campaign. Hemmed in by his own party, thumped by an economic crisis and hurt by his own failures of judgment, McCain has just never acted like the real John McCain. That’s a terrible shame. The real McCain could have won this thing.