I have been watching this recent issue unfold with a bit of incredulity – especially when you watch the video of what the “Palin Truth Squad” is crying about:
When I went to YouTube to see what the other side was doing, they artfully removed the leading content – and trimmed it down for others to make an assumption, based on showing the Hockey Mom/Pit Bull comment from her speech to actually set the premise of the “outrage” fostered by the McCain camp.
And then, I saw Andrew Sullivan’s post today. In it, he expresses much of my own thoughts, in a very artful manner. There is a disappointment I feel in McCain and his actions – or rather, his inaction in this, his last major campaign for his career. What surprises me is how he is trading his legacy for the potential win:
Yes, McCain made a decision that revealed many appalling things about him. In the end, his final concern is not national security. No one who cares about national security would pick as vice-president someone who knows nothing about it as his replacement. No one who cares about this country’s safety would gamble the security of the world on a total unknown because she polled well with the Christianist base. No person who truly believed that the surge was integral to this country’s national security would pick as his veep candidate a woman who, so far as we can tell anything, opposed it at the time.
McCain has demonstrated in the last two months that he does not have the character to be president of the United States. And that is why it is more important than ever to ensure that Barack Obama is the next president. The alternative is now unthinkable. And McCain – no one else – has proved it.
I have enjoyed watching McCain over the years – even appreciated his blunders on the Daily Show and appreciate that he is a POW. But when a man decided to follow the baser instincts of his advisers because it is more important to win via vitriol rather than on the benefit of your own plans, that is not a man I wish to see as President.
I can understand that history remembers the winners, not the principled losers – and especially since this is McCain’s last chance at this, he feels the need to win at all costs. And that fear is what his advisors are playing at.
But, in my book, a maverick is someone who actually takes a path that others will not – because, at times, the path not followed is one fraught with danger, but also of principle. I was watching “Scent of a Woman” the other night, and this part of Pacino’s closing diatribe hit home (h/t to Script-o-Rama):
As I came in here, I heard those words: “cradle of leadership.” Well, when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, and it has fallen here. It has fallen.
Makers of men, creators of leaders. Be careful what kind of leaders you’re producin’ here.
I don’t know if Charlie’s silence here today…is right or wrong; I’m not a judge or jury. But I can tell you this: he won’t sell anybody out…to buy his future !
And that, my friends, is called integrity. That’s called courage. Now that’s the stuff leaders should be made of.
Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew, but I never took it. You know why ?
It was too damn hard.
Now here’s Charlie. He’s come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It’s the right path.
It’s a path made of principle…that leads to character.
Let him continue on his journey. You hold this boy’s future in your hands, Committee. It’s a valuable future, believe me. Don’t destroy it. Protect it. Embrace it.
It’s gonna make you proud one day, I promise you.
Let the man continue on his journey. Our future depends on it.