We have just endured eight years of “cowboy diplomacy” by George Bush. This has given us such zingers as “bring it on” and “we are going to conduct a crusade”. Bush’s mentality has further alienated this country from the rest of the world and extinguished our status as the shining city on the hill.
One thing you do have to admit though is that Bush can pull off these stunts and still maintain some appearance of likability. Disagree with him 100% on policy, but he is still the guy you would want to have a beer with.
Now enter John McCain. Josh reminded me this morning of a very testy exchange between Obama and McCain back in 2006. McCain was upset that Obama wouldn’t support his plan for a bipartisan commission to come up with lobbying/ethics reform, instead choosing for such reform to go through normal committee. This led to McCain firing of a very nasty letter to Obama for not supporting him.
While refreshing my memory on this little exchange, I noticed something that sounds very familiar:
“That’s why I am not going to win Miss Congeniality again this year in the Senate.”
As you can guess, John McCain said that. It’s something he repeats on the campaign trail still and even brought up in the first debate.
There are a couple of issues here that should be taken up by the media and pundits. First off is John McCain’s admission that he isn’t congenial. We need someone who can lead our country by understanding and working together, not someone who wants to strong arm any objections into submissions. No matter how you slice it, the Democrats will retain control of Congress this year and probably end up with a more solid majority. Having a President McCain, who admits to not being congenial, is a perfect recipe to have a Congress less effective as we do now.
Second, we need our world face of leadership to have some congeniality. If he strong arms Congress then we just don’t get legislation. If he strong arms other nations then we risk further alienation or even total isolation. While Bush gave us cowboy diplomacy, McCain would be more out to give us mafia diplomacy. That’s a step backwards, not forward.