Saturday, September 13, 2008

What Profits A Man?

It is abundantly clear that John McCain has no intention of presenting any reason to elect him President. It is abundantly clear that he simply removed the issues of experience and competence from the table of contents for discussion when he asked the thoroughly unprepared Sarah Palin to be his running mate. The flurry of ads the McCain/Palin campaign has released in the past couple weeks, none of which contain a single scintilla of factual content; the repeating of the easily debunked "Thanks but no thanks" line by Gov. Palin; the remarkable appearance of Sen. McCain on The View yesterday, which pointed up the relative tongue bathing McCain gets from some journalists because hosts Joy Behar and Barbara Walters managed the attempt to pin down McCain on his campaign's many falsehoods all make it quite clear that the only reason McCain thinks he should be President is . . . because he is John McCain. It is more than narcissism. It is a kind of meaningless solipsism that, were our journalistic class working properly, would be the main story. That is to say, the word liar would be tied around McCain's neck so hard it could never be removed.

I think there is a sermon here. In the Gospels, Jesus is quoted as saying, "What profits a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?" It is quite clear that John McCain has decided the Presidency is worth everything, including losing what little integrity he had left. A man bereft of honor, of anything to compensate for his clear lack of reasonableness, has no business seeking let alone holding high office. Were our journalistic class operating properly, this would be the only story of the campaign season. Not just that he and his campaign are serial liars; but that, by demonstrating a lack of integrity he has forfeited any indulgence by the American people for listening or heeding his words.

It is clear to me that John McCain wants office for no reason whatsoever but to occupy a position of power. He has no real plan on governance, indeed shows no real interest in the nitty-gritty details of policy. Why in the world would anyone seriously consider this person for high office if he offers no plan for using that office to serve those who elected him? This is a caricature not only of recent Republican governance pushed to its logical extreme. It is also an object lesson in the dangers of the pursuit of power for its own sake. Neither Sen. McCain nor Gov. Palin offer the electorate of the United States any reason to take them seriously.

It might be nice if someone, not least Sens. Obama and Biden, would make that case forcefully and coherently.

Virtual Tin Cup

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