Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Jack Cafferty Repost

I never really thought of John McCain as a stupid man. I always saw him as a beacon of hope in the Republican Party until he flip flopped on his religion, his views on torture, abortion, etc. Still, I never thought of him as being intellectually shallow until I watched the pandering session that was held at the Saddleback Church the other night. Then, today I read the commentary by Jack Cafferty on CNN and he had the same reaction as I had and I don't think I could have summed it up any better, which is probably why he gets paid to write his thoughts and I write mine on my lunch break.

Any way, here it is:

NEW YORK (CNN) 8/19/2008 -- Russia invades Georgia and President Bush goes on vacation. Our president has spent one-third of his entire two terms in office either at Camp David, Maryland, or at Crawford, Texas, on vacation.

His time away from the Oval Office included the month leading up to 9/11, when there were signs Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America, and the time Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans.

Sen. John McCain takes weekends off and limits his campaign events to one a day. He made an exception for the religious forum on Saturday at Saddleback Church in Southern California.

I think he made a big mistake. When he was invited last spring to attend a discussion of the role of faith in his life with Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, McCain didn't bother to show up. Now I know why.

It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we've all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand.

Asked about his greatest moral failure, he cited his first marriage, which ended in divorce. While saying it was his greatest moral failing, he offered nothing in the way of explanation. Why not?

Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived 71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers culled from the same speech he delivers every day.

He was asked "if evil exists." His response was to repeat for the umpteenth time that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and he will pursue him to "the gates of hell." That was it.

He was asked to define rich. After trying to dodge the question -- his wife is worth a reported $100 million -- he finally said he thought an income of $5 million was rich.

One after another, McCain's answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has -- virtually none.

Where are John McCain's writings exploring the vexing moral issues of our time? Where are his position papers setting forth his careful consideration of foreign policy, the welfare state, education, America's moral responsibility in the world, etc., etc., etc.?

John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet.

He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the "Straight Talk Express" for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes. Unless he's reciting talking points or reading from notes or a TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon mots at a bowling alley or diner -- short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that McCain gets in over his head very quickly.

I am sick and tired of the president of the United States embarrassing me. The world we live in is too complex to entrust it to someone else whose idea of intellectual curiosity and grasp of foreign policy issues is to tell us he can look into Vladimir Putin's eyes and see into his soul.

George Bush's record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me most is he seems content with himself.

He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of broken laws and promises, our citizens' faith in our own country ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.

I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him.

894th of 899? Compare that to someone with no political connections or millionaire wife, who became the first black President of the Harvard Law Review. Who would you rather have in the drivers seat?

Just because you got shot down over Vietnam doesn't mean you are qualified to be President.


Mike V. said...

it's really fucking embarassing.
sitting around chatting with a guy that should be literally selling snake oil on some street corner somewhere.

Patrick M said...

I'm just going to laugh. You're annoyed that McCain is trying to appeal to his base a little? From what I've heard over on the right, many of us who were not sure we could vote for him warmed a little more to the idea as a result. I will concede his answer on faith was pretty rote and useless and that Obama did, uh, answer, um, uh, that, um, question, er, better.

But considering how many on the left were whining abut McCain supposedly cheating because he appeared to do so well, I'll let you have your moment.

Toad734 said...

No, not his base. The Evangelicals are not and never have been McCain's base. And he wasn't appealing, he was pandering.

His answers were so simpleton that I am not sure that he was listening eventhough he did say exactly what people wanted to hear. But do you really believe that he wasn't listening on his ride over?? Give me a break, of course he was. Once he got there they may not have let him personally listen but other than putting him in an isolation booth on stage I don't know what else they could do.

Patrick M said...

I was talking conservatives, not evangelicals. Learn the difference. I fit with the former and NOT the latter. Some people fit both. But it's conservatives that dislike him the most. The evangelicals will go with single issues (like abortion, for example) and there's no changing votes there.

But do you really believe that he wasn't listening on his ride over??

He said he didn't. Until proved otherwise, I'll take him at his word. I'd do the same for Obama.

Toad734 said...

Dont get me wrong, it's not like he came up with the most brilliant answers and just wooed the crowd or anything like that. If he was listening and those answers were the best he could do you need to find another candidate.

Patrick M said...

...you need to find another candidate.

I think most of us on the right were saying that for months.