Skip to main content

The Hubris of John McCain

by Ari Rutenberg

"We don't want a president who invites testing..." - John McCain, in response to Joe Biden's claim that Obama will be tested by a foreign leader in his first six months.

It is astoundingly arrogant for McCain to assume that he will not be tested.  All Presidents are tested, and the current one hasn't passed one yet.

What is even more arrogant is his assumption that he has the experience and judgment to deal with any such crisis.  The reality is that McCain has no more elected executive experience (which seems to be McCain's own standard) than Obama.  The largest organization McCain has run was a Naval Air Wing, which is a lot smaller than Obama's campaign.  McCain has repeatedly damaged his own credibility with his strangely erratic, mean-spirited, creepy, epic-fucking-fail of a campaign.  The catastrophic and dangerous choice of Sarah Palin as his VP has only made his irrationality and foolishness more obvious.

However the worst part about McCain's extraordinary hubris is his
constant refrain that he "knows how to do that."  If it was so easy,
John, why didn't anyone do it before?  If you know, why haven't you
shared that with the rest of us, John?  And if all your policies were
going to help, don't you think they would have worked when Bush
implemented them?  If you know how to fix everything, what the fuck
have you been doing in the Senate for 25 years? 

Not that I agree with Republican policy, but it is shockingly
intellectually dishonest for McCain to imply that somehow he knows how
to do all of these things (i.e. fix the economy, catch bin Laden, get
those damn kids of his lawn, desperate smear campaign,etc.) having
never done them, or come close, despite 25 years at the pinnacle of
political power.  To assert that all of the guys who have been running
the country don't know how to do it is totally self-contradictory as
McCain is employing the very same people who he has implied did not
"know how to do that."

It shows incredible contempt
for those of other political philosophies who have worked long and hard
to deal with many of these issues.  How ignorantly myopic can one
campaign be, especially given their claim to being conservative and to
value experience, to blithely dismiss the collective experience of all
those who have come before?  It offends me personally, as one who has
great regard for the hard work and deep though so many have put into
solving the great problems of this world.

It is an indication of three things.  First that John McCain
believes the Presidency to be his, perhaps by divine right, or maybe
just by childish petulance.  He simply assumes that, given his
overwhelming self-confidence, he'll just be able to beat problems down
through sheer force of will. 

Second he doesn't know how to fix anything.  It shows a lack of
respect for the problems themselves to simply assume they can be dealt
with.  If he has not taken the time to think more deeply, or perhaps
read about previous attempts to implement the policies he advocates,
then, much like W., he will react to each event as if it were an
isolated incident, and have no concept of the potential ramifications
of actions in one area (say military policy) to another (how about the
economy).  McCain is admittedly not a deep thinker, but this kind of
raw pride shows a complete lack of ability to gain perspective on an
issue over time.

Finally, it renders his so-called experience meaningless.  Simply
having been present at certain events or for a certain amount of time
is not experience.  Experience is the sum of knowledge one gains from
learning from the decisions, mistakes, and especially failures made
in life.  McCain has clearly not taken the right lessons, if any, from
his experiences.  He still believes it was a mistake to leave Vietnam.
He still believes there is some possibility for a military victory in
Iraq.  He still thinks tax cuts create jobs.  And he still thinks
people want to be treated like children and told everything will be ok,
when what they really want is a big fat dose of honesty and humility.
He has learned none of the lessons of his own personal history, except
that he can get what he wants most of the time if he is a big enough

No one can fix all these problems alone.  No one man has all the
solutions.  And if there was to be such a man, it might not be Barack
Obama, but I'm damn sure it isn't John McCain.