Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

McCain’s Campaign going pretty well, actually. He’s getting his health care plan out there with enough effectiveness that NPR is caricaturing it. The point is being made that his reform is actually more fundamental that Obama’s in a decisive respect: He wants to maximize consumer choice by detaching insurance from employment. Not only that, the honorable man is showing himself to be too classy to exploit Barack’s recent troubles. Why not let the Clintons do the heavy lifting here? And there’s no reason he should treat Obama as the presumptive nominee at this point. All in all, Mac’s hope for victory rests on being a plausible alternative to a highly ideological and too inexperienced candidate. He’s doing well in being that so far.

Discussions - 3 Comments

I guess I don't see what difference it makes which of these liberals gets elected, other than to people who follow politics the way they follow sports.

Be careful about going down the path of "too classy" to speak on certain issues. Don't confuse genuine class with a misplaced scrupulousness and over fastidiousness concerning America's political discourse.

That's Bush all over, and he's now one of the most unpopular politicians in American history. All because he was too classy to take on Cindy Sheehan, too classy to notice Michael Moore, too classy to call out defeatist Democrats, too classy to take advantage of Jay Rockefeller's memo, too classy to fire Tenet, too classy to throw over staffers who clearly pursued their own agenda. Let's be real careful about allowing a confused understanding of what constitutes class to dictate our political playbook.

Again and again Bush failed to take on Democrats who were ripping him apart, and we contented ourselves that he was classy, that his class would sooner or later be noticed by the electorate. That was all a pipe-dream. That was fantasy; that was political insanity and wishful thinking. And it's proved costly, not just to this presidency, not just to the party, but to something far more important, our war effort.

Dan, again, I strongly agree -- except that Bush's troubles are partly due to his "classiness," not wholly. As Peggy Noonan rightly said the other day, he makes grassroots conservatives feel undefended. And expecting our adversaries, in this case the Clintons, to do our work for us is almost never a good idea. Equally bad: letting liberals tell us what we can and can't say, letting them set the standards of decency. When I hear about a "classy" Republican candidate, I assume he either lost his most recent campaign or is about to lose the current one. (Sort of like, as H.L. Mencken said, a cynic smells flowers and looks around for the funeral.)

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