06 September 2008


Through the years, I have admired some aspects of Sen. John McCain. I always said he seemed to exhibit a high degree of integrity. For example, he spoke out and voted against Pres. Bush's tax cuts in 2002 and 2004. He rightly said the tax cuts mainly benefit the wealthy and are not designed to help the middle class. Then, this spring, Sen. McCain announced he was now FOR the Bush tax cuts and a few weeks ago he announced they should be made permanent. He also has changed his (campaign) mind about off-shore drilling--now he is for it. What should we make of this, except that he is trying to consolidate the base of the Republican Party which has been captured by its right wing?

Second, what should we make of his reckless selection of a running-mate (who gave the most juvenile, ridicule-laced acceptance speech I have ever heard), who is so inexperienced in national and international issues, a person he met only once before she surfaced as a seriously-considered choice? Again, he has caved to advice that he must shore up the right-wing base of the Republican Party.

For these reasons, I now see that Sen. McCain has compromised his integrity. He could have held to his original campaign strategy to form a coalition of Republican moderates, Reagan Democrats, and independents who form about a third of the electorate. He now is taking the more partisan rightist strategy.

Having moved right, Sen. McCain now has no strategy for attracting independents in the middle--except for one, highly effective, and proven strategy: Go negative. Let's see how negative his speeches now become. He has ditched his integrity, so why not?

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