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Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Political Naivete

By Steven Taylor @ 11:39 am

In an column in the Arizona Republic E. J. Montini writes to Senator McCain about Kerry’s offer of the veepship. Mr. Montini appeals to McCain as follows:

You are flattered but also loyal. You have said that you would not hand over an election to the opposition. Except that if you were on the ticket you wouldn’t be handing over the election to the opposition. You would be sharing in the victory.

You have said many times recently that this is the most divided political era that you have ever seen. You have called for an end to personal attacks. You have come to the defense of Sen. Kerry when he was criticized in a way that you considered to be unfair. For doing so, you were attacked by activists within your own party.

Months ago you told The Arizona Republic, “I believe the citizens of Arizona are a bit disturbed about how partisan and bitter this campaign has become.” And you recently have witnessed it getting worse.

You can change all that.

To which I say: poppycock.

Firstly, the Vice President has no powers of any significance. Second, to give a Vice President McCain “unity government” kind of powers would require complex negotiations between the two men that would amount to a semi-co-presidency that went outside the constitutional design of either office. Third, just because Kerry and McCain were on the same bumper sticker doesn’t mean that their differences would melt away on key issues like abortion.

This all sounds good in the “can’t we all just get along” vein, but it is wholly spurious reasoning. The reality would be that McCain would have to swallow his own views on many issues so as to get along with the boss. Such a “unity” ticket would not create a dissolution of the differences between these two men, or between the two parties.

The idea that just putting a Republican on a Democratic ticket would lead to true unity is the stuff of delusional fantasies.

Filed under: 2004 Campaign

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5 Comments»

  1. Just what we need, a one-party system—or a no-party system. Yeah, those governments never have to worry about partisan bickering.

    Comment by Rusty Shackleford — Tuesday, June 15, 2004 @ 2:05 pm

  2. “unity government” = Republicans doing what Democrats tell them to do and voting the way Democrats tell them to vote

    Comment by derek — Tuesday, June 15, 2004 @ 5:02 pm

  3. Yes, it’s poppycock. But it’s of a piece with the Republic’s relentless hammering of Bush. On Iraq, it’s pretty much all bad news, all the time. Probably 30 Abu Ghraib stories. Economic news-same thing. Bad news gets front page above the fold, good news buried in the back of the business section. Often beneath bad-news head and lede. Pimentel & Benson insulting Bush constantly. Even the business editor, John Talton, hates Bush. Recently called him a “toxic CEO” and compared him to the CEOs of Enron and WorldCom. It’s an ugly picture here in Arizona. However, there’s evidence the citizens aren’t impressed; their circulation drop was the biggest in the nation, over 4%, while Phoenix has continued to be one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation. I think President Bush will carry Arizona despite the leftist tilt of the Repulsive.

    Comment by ann — Tuesday, June 15, 2004 @ 9:29 pm

  4. I wonder if Kerry was ever serious about this.

    McCain as VP sounds like a nightmare to me. The one thing that a VP has to do is to support the top guy, no matter what he personally feel about given policies.

    I can’t imagine McCain being able to do that. He’d rip Kerry in the press over some obscure issue quicker than Larry King can prepare for an interview.

    I’m just not sure McCain has the ability to say one thing when he really believes another. And that’s an unforgivable blemish in any number 2. Bush (41) and Gore were good Vice Presidents because they were willing to hold to the party line and say what the boss wanted them to say even when it was personally uncomfortable. McCain has shown a genetic inability to do that.

    This would be a painful wound for Kerry that lasts at least 4 years. I can’t believe he doesn’t know that.

    Comment by Buckland — Wednesday, June 16, 2004 @ 10:11 am

  5. Two quick points: McCain would destroy himself. He has a shot at President in 2008. If he becomes Kerry’s Vice, what happens? In 2012 does anyone honestly think that the Democrats would nominate McCain? Would the Republicans take him back? Talk about burning bridges. Of course, how quickly would Kerry force McCain to resign?? Pretty quickly I am sure

    Comment by JIm — Wednesday, June 16, 2004 @ 9:04 pm

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