Roger L. Simon

McCain runnin' scared

I cannot help but think that John McCain’s very public and definitive early opposition to Roe v. Wade has a lot to do with Giuliani’s equally early lead in the polls. “I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned,” [McCain] said yesterday in South Carolina, a key early primary state. (via Michael J. W. Stickings) Stickings also points out that Republicans don’t like mavericks. Probably not. Neither do Democrats obviously. They ran Lieberman out of the party.

Frankly I don’t believe most politicians when they talk about Roe. I would be curious to see where McCain stood were he to have a thirteen-year old daughter who had been raped. But that’s another matter. The way our political campaigns are set up intelligent discussion is abjured in favor of pandering to the base. Witness Hillary’s recent pronouncements about setting time tables in Iraq. Were she president would she actually do that? I don’t know – but I suspect not. Any American president would be faced with a reality that might even shake Cindy Sheehan (well, maybe not…). We move wholesale out of Iraq and not only does Al Qaeda move in, but more importantly Iran – a soon-to-be-nuclear power run by religious fanatics – into the bargain. That would be sobering, I would think, when sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office.

This pandering to get nominated is one of the weaknesses of our two-party system and, with this long election season, it is particularly so. The abortion issue is a clear example. If McCain were to win the Republican nomination on a strong anti-Roe platform, he would have extraordinarily difficult, almost impossible, time in the general election, especially if facing a woman (Hillary). Of course, I am pro-choice, so you don’t have to believe me. But even so, I am giving what I think is cold political analysis. Also I will admit that I am not very interested in social and economic issues in this election. I’m looking for a leader in the war and so far neither Hillary, nor McCain impress me.