Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Mittification of McCain

Gail Collins on McCain's many inconsistencies:

It’s not as if McCain has been caving in on anything important, like economic recovery ...

(Feb. 6: The Senate votes on a Democratic economic stimulus plan, which would give more help to the unemployed, veterans and senior citizens than the version President Bush wants. Forced to choose between Bush and the unemployed/veterans/elderly, McCain flew back to Washington and — skipped the vote.)

Or torture ...

(Feb. 13: The Senate considers a bill, vehemently opposed by the White House, which would prohibit C.I.A. interrogators from using tactics like waterboarding on detainees. McCain, whose ringing denunciation of waterboarding was the highlight of the Republican debates, votes — no. He says his own Detainee Treatment Act already bans use of physical force during interrogations. This would be the law that Bush, in one of his famous signing statements, said the president did not have to follow.)

Perhaps all this is just a momentary lapse, caused by McCain’s need to keep a lid on the Republican right while Mike Huckabee is still in the race. True, Huckabee appears to be hopelessly, impossibly, behind. However, his consultants are said to be working on a new and promising strategy that involves triggering an earthquake along the San Andreas fault, causing the West Coast to sink into the sea, dramatically reducing McCain’s current delegate count.

McCain’s inconsistency is actually nothing new. We saw a lot of it during the Bush tax debates.


February 16, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

The Mittification of McCain

As Mitt Romney said this week when he endorsed John McCain, the campaign might have been rough but “we always had good laughs together.” As examples of this hitherto-unnoticed good fellowship, Mitt pointed cheerily to the fact that he and McCain had shaken hands before the debates and “said hi to each others’ wives.”

Getting along with people you loathe is part of the business of politics, and nobody is blaming McCain for buddying up to the man he virtually accused of aiding and abetting Al Qaeda during the Florida primary. Although when you’ve said that somebody’s campaign was “based on a wholesale deception of voters,” calling it a “hard, intensive, fine, honorable” effort is perhaps one adjective too many.


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