McCain: At Least He’s Capable of Embarrassment

In the liberal New Republic, Jonathan Chait confesses that despite John McCain’s "nauseating" attempts to deny his bipartisan past, he can’t get too upset about the possibility that McCain might win. Chait writes:

Liberals tend to view the press’s love affair
with McCain as a wildly unfair act of bias. They have a point. On the
other hand, they should take some heart in the fact that McCain
obviously cherishes the approval of the mainstream (and even liberal)
media. His accessibility to the press and public is something small-d
democrats should cheer. McCain has conducted interviews with very
liberal publications like Grist.
He’s promised to undertake an American version of "Prime Minister’s
Questions," whereby members of Congress could spar with him.

Does
McCain spin and dissemble? Of course. But the current administration’s
practices go far beyond mere spin. In Bush’s Washington, critics are
enemies to be dismissed rather than engaged. A McCain presidency would
promise to dismantle the whole Rovian method that has torn open such a
deep wound in the national psyche.

Beneath
his wildly fluctuating ideological positions, McCain is an
establishmentarian Republican. Unlike Bush, he cares about elite
opinion. He is comfortable sharing power in the traditional postwar
style rather than monopolizing it. He might not be another Teddy
Roosevelt, but right now another Gerald Ford doesn’t look so bad.

The
idea that McCain could establish a reputation as a maverick by standing
up to his party on numerous issues, win back his party’s support by
abandoning nearly all his heterodoxies, then prevail by portraying
himself as an unwavering man of principle is nauseating. Yet somehow
the idea of a McCain presidency itself doesn’t terrify me. What can I
say? Bush has lowered my standards.

It’s that "would promise" that worries me. [Photo by Ted Soquoi, via Flickr]

Johnmccain

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