Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Advice To President Bush: Do Not Trust John McCain

I was a John McCain supporter in the primary of 2000. I now regret that I supported him and I am more thankful everyday that he did not get the nomination. In the years since the election of 2000 John McCain has become a media darling. It is rare that a Sunday goes by without John McCain making an appearance. What was billed as the "Straight Talk Express" has devolved into John McCain saying whatever he feels will keep him in front of the television cameras. He has become his own biggest fan, addicted to the red light on top of the camera and addicted to his own voice. The media loves him because he reserves his harshest criticism for Republicans, especially President Bush. The majority of the mainstream media hates the President, so any republican that criticizes him on national TV will have a special place in their hearts.

McCain's favorite and never-ending criticism on the war in Iraq is that there were and are too few troops. He is especially vocal with this criticism when there is a flurry of suicide bombings or kidnappings. He knows that the military plan including the number of troops used was devised by the military leaders, not by the President. he also knows that the number of troops on the ground is determined by the military commanders on the ground. President Bush has stated over and over that if the commanders request more troops they will get them. John McCain knows this, so why does he insist on repeating the assertion time and time again?

David Corn, who comes from the far left, has a theory in The Nation. he believes that it is possible that John McCain is planning to betray President Bush in October in an attempt to throw the election to John Kerry. Corn believes his motivation for this is revenge for the alleged Bush smear campaign from during the South Carolina primary in 2000. Corn draws on McCain's appearance on last Sunday;'s talk shows as evidence that he is setting the stage to defect, even as he campaigns for and with the President now.

Is it likely that McCain will actually jump ship? No. It is more likely that this is more spin from the media trying to portray John kerry as a centrist. The Kerry Campaign used this same tactic earlier when they repeatedly spread the rumor that McCain might accept the offer to be Kerry's VP. There was no truth to the rumor then, and there is likely no truth to it now. However, John McCain has one interest and that is keeping himself in the public eye. If he were to jump ship he would have to be certain that John Kerry would win and that he would be given a cabinet level position, because his constituants in Arizona would be furious and his chances for reelection would be close to zero. John Kerry has also made the possibility of a McCain defection on the grounds of Iraq war policy less likely in the past two days because of his decision to go hard left and become the antiwar candidate. How could John McCain justify supporting a man who now says he would have left Saddam Hussein in power?

John McCain probably won't betray the President, and even if he did it is not clear what the effect would be. The fact of the matter is that many Republicans already don't trust him, and many people would see his defection for what it would be, an attempt to undermine the President for personal gain.

John McCain should be treated as what he is, an unpredictable narcissist. The president would be well advised to keep him at arms length from now until the election.

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.