The Eclectic Quill

October 6, 2008

Why John McCain Should Never Be President

Filed under: Politics — Kelly @ 7:20 pm

There’s been a lot of criticism aimed at John McCain, some of it is fair but some of it may seem, in isolation, to be petty. In fact there is enough of the "petty" reasons floating about that I could probably come up with a sizable list of more than a hundred of those reasons without a great deal of effort. When you start accounting for the sizable list of flip-flops, lies, gaffes and unconscionable laughs it doesn’t take long to start realizing that there is a pretty big dartboard to throw at there. Defenders of McCain may look at some of these and think that it is just "hating" on McCain. However, if you take a moment to zoom out you start to realize there are certain patterns that emerge, and in those patterns we some essential, substantive reasons that John McCain should never be President. These aren’t just policy reasons, they’re fundamental to the character and personality of John McCain.

First, there are several things that reveal something of John McCain’s temperament. If you haven’t seen the degree to which his temper can spill over, you should see this, article , but only if you want the "R" rated version. If you prefer a more PG version then you should see this . Both make the same point, albeit the first more sharply. McCain’s temperament is simply not suited for Presidential politics. It’s not just the outburst, it’s not just cursing, it’s the impetus—disagreement, which should cause great concern at the notion of McCain being President. He often cites himself as being a "maverick" who would work across party lines, and then exaggerates his history of doing so. However, he only works across the aisle when they agree with him. There’s a tremendous difference between putting aside party to get your legislation passed and being able to set aside your agenda to get their legislation passed. McCain’s temper is a result of being closed minded, of not being able to compromise, or to consider if there is any validity to ways of thinking other than his own. His temperament is not just that of a hot-head, that would be acceptable. Clinton was a hot-head and was able to work with a Republican Congress. McCain is a closed-minded hot-head, and that means he would be impossible to work with.

Second, there is his erratic behavior in crisis. It’s not just his behavior during the economic crisis; this only served to recall his behavior after the 9/11 attacks, when he was so quick to wrongly blame Iraq for the attacks in spite of the fact that there was no credible evidence that it was true. In the immediate aftermath of Leman Brothers fiasco McCain’s solution was to break up Fannie and Freddie and sell it on the free market. He took so many positions after that that the first one got lost in the shuffle, but there’s something to be said about McCain’s first reaction. It was akin to suggesting that the solution to 9/11 was to give flying lessons to Al Queda! The very thing which caused the problem was McCain’s solution! After that McCain took enough positions to rewrite the Kama Sutra, running form "the fundamentals of the economy are sound" to "this is so crucial that if I don’t stop campaigning right this instant and fly to Washing the nation will be in a depression on Monday." McCain is quite simply not to be trusted in a crisis. He panics and reacts without thinking. It’s possible to cover this up when you are serving in a body like the Senate, but when you are the man everyone is looking to for leadership, we need a President who has correct instincts, not sloppy, knee jerk reactions.

Third, there is his tendency to throw the dice . His gambling is more than a hobby it is an addiction. Would you give a gambling addict your credit card? Then why would anyone ponder giving him the keys to the White House? I don’t mean the money, Cindy makes enough money that cash is not a concern for him, I’m talking about the thrill of the big chase. He’s been willing to gamble with the election, throwing the dice with Palin and again with the rush back to Washington. Right now the dice are in the air again—or should I say the Ayers? He seeks the thrill of the win, not the proceeds of it. He craves the adrenaline rush. What gamble would he take if we made him the most powerful man in the free world? We have to consider what is at stake to lose, and how willing he would be to risk it, before we put him in the position to take the risk.

Fourth we should consider what kind of integrity he has shown. No campaign, not even the Bush campaign has been this filled with lies, or sank to the depths of the McCain campaign. He has been exposed again and again in many of these lies, such as his constant lying mantra about Obama’s tax plan. Yet those kinds of lies we come to expect in campaigns. He has taken outrageous lies to a whole new level, even suggesting that Obama wants to teach children how to have sex as one of his top priorities. What makes this especially inexcusable is that the legislation he was referring to was to protect children from pedophiles! He has accused of Obama of throwing a war to win an election, a treasonous act. Yet even these pale in comparison to the most recent, his accusations that Obama is somehow complicit in terrorism because of the actions of a man whom he would meet 30 years after those acts were committed are beyond low. They are accusations that were they made in any other field than the political spectrum would be found libelous. Such realities about the character of McCain cannot be ignored. Is it really wise to give so much power to a man with so much malice?

Finally, there is what I can only very loosely call his "sense of humor." I’m not just referring to his reputation and habit for racist jokes . I’m not referring to his rape jokes . Those by themselves are bad enough to seriously question whether that is the quality of person we would like to lead us, but those pale in comparison to the jokes he’s made about killing. First he literally jokes about nuclear strikes on Iran , then he jokes about killing Iranians again by exporting cigarettes to them . All his grandstanding and huffing about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his comments about nuking Israel become empty when you consider that he makes the same kinds of comments. Consider that if McCain were President the question that Iran might quite tellingly make is not whether we should sit down with Iran without preconditions, but whether they should sit down with us. McCain has made the same kinds of comment that he condemns! The only difference is that if he were President he would be able to legitimately carry them out. How well do you think this is going to work out in our trying to convince Iran to pursue nuclear weapons?

McCain is a man with a closed, yet opinionated man who has no tolerance for other ideas. He is willing to gamble for the mere chase of it. He is a mean, vindictive and malicious man, and his sense of humor suggests he is of a low moral fiber. He’s not "honorable" now whatever he once was. He hasn’t learned from mistakes like he should have with the Keating 5. He is the type of man that screams "Danger!!!" far more than "ready to lead." He is not able to lead now, nor will he ever be because he is constitutionally incapable. The only business he has in the White House is as a tourist, not as President.



  1. Check out my takes on the Rolling Stone article, which elaborates on this as well with a lot of documentation and quotes from GOP friends and colleagues.

    Comment by Brian Ross — October 6, 2008 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  2. I agree with everything you say. I saw through McCain’s facade the second he sang the “Bomb Bomb Iran” song a few months ago, and would only have considered voting for him if he had chosen someone with some actual smarts and the ability to see reality, like Chuck Hagel or Lincoln Chaffee.

    Instead, we get to see an example of McCain’s presidential decision-making with his choice of the supremely unqualified Sarah Palin. I mean, Barack Obama has been criticized – by all sides – of being too young and inexperienced. Yet everyone but the most delusional neocons say that his choice for a backup commander-in-chief is a man who will be ready if tragedy strikes.

    Isn’t this proof that all the experience in the world won’t help you if you are bad at your job?

    Comment by Joe — October 6, 2008 @ 8:26 pm | Reply

  3. “Isn’t this proof that all the experience in the world won’t help you if you are bad at your job?” I couldn’t, and didn’t, say it better myself!

    Comment by kelly — October 6, 2008 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

  4. you sure can’t say it better kelly!! all i can say is WOW! thanks for bringing it to the public like you do!

    Comment by CK0712 — October 7, 2008 @ 4:40 am | Reply

  5. This is one of the sillier sounding reasons why McCain should not be President, but because he parts his hair on the right (as does Palin), he is subject to a lot more eccentricities than normal, and is never going to be balanced in his approach (as opposed to Obama and Biden, who are both the neutral, more balanced, non-parting personality types).

    See the link here for Vanity Fair’s Editor Graden Carter’s take on this concept (its page two of his Letter from the Editor, start at the second big B paragraph heading and read the last 3 paragraphs – )

    Google hair part theory for the full take on this weird but surprisingly accurate predictor of personality…since i heard about it, I keep noticing how the right parter man is almost always really out in right field somewhere and definitely not centered as best we can define it.

    Comment by brenna — October 7, 2008 @ 11:02 am | Reply

  6. do you know your blog is listed on this blackhat site?

    Comment by James — October 7, 2008 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

  7. Hi everyone. I’m new here so I just wanted to say hi

    Comment by Bhamun — May 17, 2010 @ 2:25 am | Reply

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