Friday, August 1, 2008

The contradictions of John McCain

John McCain says that he wants to run an honorable campaign. I, personally, would very much like to believe him. He clearly takes her personal sense of honor very personally. However, some people are starting to have doubts.

I think McCain is caught on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, he wants to run an honorable campaign. But part of being honorable, for him, is saving the country. He believes that he is the best person to be President, the best person who can save us from the threat of Islamic terrorism. So for him, the honorable thing to do is to win the presidency and save us all.

But now the question is, what is winning the presidency conflicts with his own sense of honor? At this point, Obama has a number of clear advantages. Which is more important to McCain, running an "honorable" campaign, even if it means losing the presidency, or doing whatever it takes to win the campaign, even if it means doing some things that are not all that pleasant?

One way for McCain to resolve this contradiction is to run negative ads, accuse Obama of ridiculous things like "playing the race card," and yet keep telling himself that he is doing the honorable thing. I suspect that is where we are now. McCain is desperate to win this campaign, so he is starting to run negative ads, but he's telling himself that he is still doing the honorable thing. Hey, total self-delusion worked for George W. Bush!

I think the facade will crumble long before the election. I think McCain will crack. He is not always graceful under pressure. As an Obama partisan, I want him to have every advantage. And sometimes I allow myself a little schadenfreude.

But I think McCain does have the best of intentions, and I do not look forward to him losing it, if he does. I'll probably figure out a way to blame Bush.

No comments: