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Tag: George Will (Page 2 of 2)

George Will rips McCain to shreds

This past Sunday, George Will ridiculed John McCain on This Week for McCain’s foolish claim that he would fire the head of the SEC. He called McCain’s actions “unpresidential.”

Yesterday he went further in his column.

Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.

Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. This childish reflex provoked The Wall Street Journal to editorialize that “McCain untethered” — disconnected from knowledge and principle — had made a “false and deeply unfair” attack on Cox that was “unpresidential” and demonstrated that McCain “doesn’t understand what’s happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does.”

George Will is a respected conservative, but he has never been a fan of John McCain. He has been especially critical of McCain for campaign finance reform, and he hasn’t been shy in the past about questioning McCain’s temperment. Nevertheless, he seemed willing to give McCain the benefit of the doubt – until now.

Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.

It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?

Will is arguing that John McCain is unfit to be president of the United States. Throw in Sarah Palin and you have the scariest ticket in American history, following perhaps the worst president of our lifetimes.

George Will on the Clintons . . . again

They’re giving him way too much material to work with. George Will has had nothing but contempt for the Clintons for years, but now they seem to be determined to prove him right.

Then, last week, came the radio ad that even South Carolinians, who are not squeamish about bite-and-gouge politics, thought was one brick over a load, and that the Clintons withdrew. It was the one that said Obama endorsed Republican ideas (because he said Republicans had some ideas). The Clinton campaign also accused Obama of praising Ronald Reagan (because Obama noted the stark fact that Reagan had changed the country’s trajectory more than some other recent presidents — hello, Bill — had done).

The actions of Bill and Hillary Clinton in South Carolina should go down as one of the most pathetic political performances in history. He threw away what was left of his reputation, and she may have thrown away her chance at the presidency.

GOP is a mess

George Will is leading a growing chorus of commentators arguing that the GOP is destroying the conservative movment. For years I’ve been hearing pundits (including Will) brag about the conservative revolution overtaking this country, but the success of the GOP has more to do with political tactics (see Karl Rove) and the inept Democrats (see Kerry, Gore, Daschle and Gephardt) than the power of conservative principles.

The most obvious example involves spending. The GOP controls the Oval Office and both houses of Congress, yet George Bush and his Republican buddies are spending like crazy and reversing the fiscal sanity of the Clinton years. Bush loves to throw around the word “irresponsible,” yet this term is one of the first that would come to mind when describing Bush (along with “incompetent”). The GOP is winning elections not by challenging liberalism, but by offering goodies like prescription drugs and massive tax cuts and dividing the country on the issue of security. Barry Goldwater has to be turning in his grave. If they offered small government conservatism to the public, their winning streak at the ballot box would surely come to an end. George Bush learned this the hard way when he interpreted the 2004 election as a mandate for gutting Social Security. His approval ratings have been in a free fall following that brilliant determination.

My favorite new phrase is “big-government conservatives.” Huh? Are you kidding me? Will addresses what’s really happening – the religious conservatives are taking over the GOP. Fortunately, principled small-government conservatives like Will are getting fed up. Silly issues like “intelligent design” might force a split in the party. The mess in Iraq isn’t helping. Now, can the Democrats seize this opportunity?

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