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.