_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Stewart and McCain

Like plenty of other people, I respect John McCain, because he has taken a lot of honorable stands on issues like global warming, campaign finance, and detainee torture* that made him unpopular in his own party. In general, he seems to have actual principles (though very conservative ones) that he uses to guide his actions.

But he's all but officially running for president, and seems to have decided that this time around he can't just run on "straight talk" and needs to ingratiate himself with the party faithful. So he's been making some nauseating attempts at that lately. In perhaps the most depressing such move so far, he's scheduled to be the commencement speaker at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. But John Stewart called him on it Tuesday night, and though McCain used humor to deflect the questions, he was clearly having trouble defending himself, and maybe a little sheepish that he had compromised his own principles. (Stewart ran a clip of him criticizing Falwell to start the interview. Watch the whole segment here.

* How sad is it that taking a stand against torturing our prisoners is an act of courage?


doug said...


At one point, McCain says he "has spoken at universities and colleges all over the country ..." but it sounds like he's saying he "was smoking at ..." Which makes me wonder what, exactly, he has been smoking of late.

LJ said...

Your footnote is exactly how I felt about everyone's response to Feingold's call to censure Bush for the wiretapping program. "You want us to actually come out and *say* that the President can't break the law? We can't do that!" I feel more and more ill everytime I read the news.

Matt said...

It's kind of amazing how McCain finally gives up trying to spin his Liberty U trip, and just admits to what he's doing. It'll be interesting to see how he handles a presidential bid if he's not the "maverick outsider" candidate.
A couple of Paul Krugman's recent pieces in the NYT have tried to argue that despite his reputation as a straight talker, McCain is one of the most conservative voters in congress, which is the story on him I remember from 2000.

teague said...

LJ, I must admit that my initial reaction to Feingold's censure call was "Ack, bad idea...makes Dems look extreme and plays into the Republicans' hands."

But yeah, when I stopped to think about it, it was exactly what needed to be done. I'm not allowed to get pissed at Hillary for thinking only in terms of strategy if I do it myself...