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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

George Will: Obama More Rational Choice Than McCain?

"The queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. 'Off with his head!' she said without even looking around."

-- "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

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.

I wish I'd come up with that. It certainly fits what I've been saying about the GOP taking us through the looking glass.

But I didn't. I learned about the above statement in that dastardly Huffington Post, but it comes originally from well-known conservative columnist George Will in the Washington Post (which takes forever to load on my computer, so click at your own peril). Calling Senator McCain's call for Cox's head a "childish reflex," Will worries a McCain presidency would operate just like his campaign, more on "vehemence that coherence," on polarizing antagonism, and, most worryingly to Will, on impulse rather than sound judgment:

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? [George F. Will, "McCain Loses His Head," Washington Post, 2008.09.23, p. A21]

I think I could spend the rest of the campaign reading nothing but conservative press, and I could still produce a coherent argument for why Senator Barack Obama really is the best choice to be our next President.

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