01 September 2008

Richard Schiff On John McCain

I know he was just an actor on "The West Wing" but Richard Schiff makes a few interesting points about John McCain:

"Here is a man who had his moment in history already pass him by. After being eviscerated and politically castrated in the 2000 Republican primaries by the Bush PR machine; accused falsely of fathering an illegitimate and racially mixed child, he was given a chance at redemption and a chance to save the world from a man he considered at the time to be dangerous and untrustworthy. He could have run as a third party candidate and taken enough votes away from George W to seal the election for Al Gore. He passed."

"Four years later, John Kerry had talks with McCain about running as his Vice-President; a dream ticket that would surely bring down the Bush regime. Again he passed."

"When I ask Washington insiders why, they can only conclude that the reason was simple, unadulterated ambition to be President. But what a price to pay. This is a man who could have saved the world from the last eight years of disaster and instead is content to inherit the aftermath. But the other half of the divide chooses to imagine the younger McCain, the independent, free thinking, iconoclast he may very well have been once, long ago."

12 comments:

aj400 said...

I don't agree with this analysis. If John McCain had run as a third party candidate, taking enough votes from GWB to allow Al Gore to become president, I do not believe that Gore would have been a significantly different president to Bush.

American policy is determined by a consortium of corporate interests including banks, multinationals, media tycoons, oil companies and weapons manufacturers. The president presents their policies to the electorate as if they were his own or as if they had been democratically decided in consultation with senators and the party. It makes little difference who the president is or which party is in power - the policy is little different.

Al Gore as president would have been subject to just the same pressure and lobbying and would have made broadly the same decisions. Praiseworthy though his film An Inconvenient Truth is, he did not rediscover his interest in green issues until after he lost the election. If he had been president he would not have risked offending his paymasters by starting a green revolution.

scott redding said...

It's hypothetical what Gore's national security priorities in his first 8 months in office would have been. Bush's were a focus on Iraq and Russia, along with National Missile Defence, with the criticism being that he took the ball off Al-Qaeda.

If the 9/11 plot hadn't been disrupted, would Gore have prosecuted a war against Afghanistan? Yes. Would Gore have then moved on to a war against Iraq? More doubtful.

I think that the Obama/McCain choice will have more of an impact domestically than in theatres of war overseas. If anything, we'd see as vigorous a policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan from Obama as Bush/Cheney. We may see more of a foreign aid focus on "failed states" from Obama than McCain.

Pat Buchanan, former speechwriter for Nixon and who ran for President for the Republicans in 1992, has been quoted as saying that McCain will make Cheney look like Gandhi. I think Obama's the lesser of two evils.

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